General opinion of reviewers is that Mac’s envied operating system just got one step closer to heaven. At first glance, the new OS doesn’t show any substantial changes, but if you do go deeper, you will find that the $30 dollars that the upgrade cost are well deserved. Besides mayor performance upgrades, Snow leopard has subtle but very significant changes to their UI that every user would appreciate. This is somehow a message to Microsoft: We users don’t want a flashier OS… we want a FASTER ONE! Are you guys from Redmond taking note? Hello?
|Apple’s snow Leopard presentation in the WWDC. (World Wide Developers Conference)|
One conclusion everybody is getting at is that Leopard and snow leopard have almost identical performance regarding third party and old 32bit applications. But in every other test, it seems like snow Leopard kicks his fellow feline’s ass. In such tasks as image loading and File Transfer, snow leopard performed 40% to 50% faster. The same kind of improvement happened when using the snow leopard and the new Quicktime 10.
Mayor UI Changes
Now you can trigger Expose for a certain application by clicking and holding over the dock icon. Also, your windows will show up in a grid rather that in a single row. The stacks function that came into light on Leopard has changed in to a less flashier, but more stable and solid popup.
Each window has a text label so you can differentiate similar screenshots. When you minimize a particular window, it will show up in the expose view in a separate row at the bottom. Now you can also drag things in between previewed windows.
There is a little slider now at the bottom right, with which you can scale your icons up to 512px. The practical use of this function is to preview your video files in a clear way directly from the icon. Also you could preview an entire PDF file from the icon, browsing through pages using previous and next buttons. How about that! I think such a thing would be a resource sucker luxury under windows.
To many users, all these changes are so subtle that they won’t feel there is enough meat for them to upgrade. I do think the speed performance alone is quite a mayor reason. Apple had an almost perfect operating system for some time now, and they have decided to take the safe route and keep it that way, staying far from messing their successful trademarks. Only time will tell if users are ready for mayor UI make-ups, or are going to accept these “invisible” refinements intelligently.
|Will Snow Leopard’s “under the hood” changes be more appealing than Windows 7 total makeover?|
Other important changes
- All native apps are 64bit coded. This means (amongst other things) that they can take full advantage of RAM greater than 3 GIGS.
- Mayor re-write of the code for performance improvement.
- 45% faster installation
- PDF handling twice as fast.
- Microsoft Exchange support standard inside Snow Leopard.
- New dark Quicktime interface. Improved video hardware acceleration, and basic editing capabilities in standard version.
- Almost 20% lighter installation.
- Extended battery life on laptops.
- Malaware detection. (at last Apple admits there is a real threat)
- A brand new eject manager that improves the way you disconnect a removable drive. Now it does cut efficiently all services to the drive, and in the case that is absolutely impossible to do, it pinpoints for the user which program is holding on to the external storage device so you can go to the problematic app and quit the action. I wish Windows had that function.
- Built in auto substitution of text inside the OS. If I wrto tihs line in Swon Leopard it woudl read juts fine.
- More accessibility features as voice over, trackpad gestures for the visual impaired and others.
- Faster startup and shutdown.
|Click on image to access apple’s official list of over 100 enhancements and refinements.|
Apple’s official list of incompatible software
Snow Leopard Software Compatibility Chart (updated)
What others have to say
Peter Svensson at AP:
“ For most Mac users, Snow Leopard will likely be a no-brainer upgrade, given the low price. But early upgraders often face minor bugs and installation problems, so unless you're dying for one of the new features, waiting a month or so is a safer course... So how does Snow Leopard compare to Windows 7? Snow Leopard's benefits will be most apparent down the road, while Windows 7 promises more of an immediate payoff. “
David Pogue at the New York Times:
“ Incredibly, Snow Leopard is only half the size of its predecessor; following the speedy installation (15 minutes), you wind up with 7 gigabytes more free space on your hard drive. That, ladies and gents, is a first... That Snow Leopard's looks haven't changed at all, in other words, betrays the enormous changes under its pretty skin... Either way, the big story here isn't really Snow Leopard. It's the radical concept of a software update that's smaller, faster and better -- instead of bigger, slower and more bloated. ”
Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal:
“Apple already had the best computer operating system in Leopard, and Snow Leopard makes it a little better. But it isn't a big breakthrough for average users, and, even at $29, it isn't a typical Apple lust-provoking product.”
Randall C. Kennedy at PC World:
"Where's the beef?"
Andy Ihnatko at Chicago Sun-Times:
“...the price represents perhaps the most emphatic middle finger that Apple's ever extended towards Microsoft's general direction. In the past five years, Microsoft has done far less with Windows than Apple has done with the Mac OS.”