Let’s get this out in the open shall we: I think the semi-transparent Menu Bar looks alarmingly similar to Windows Vista. Anyone else think so?
Anyway, with one final wave goodbye, Brushed Metal is out the back door and is unlikely to ever return. No tears from me, I never liked it anyway. Now we have the new “plastic gray” look, a big improvement. And, Steve says, it will be everywhere, as part of a new effort to bring back some consistency to Mac OS.
The new iFinder - sorry, Finder - is simply described as “iTunes for files”. It’s got the same iTunes-style sidebar (complete with capitalized category headings, that’s going to annoy some people) and CoverFlow is built-in. (I really hope the CoverFlow guys got a good deal when they sold to Apple, because their idea is getting everywhere now.)
iTunes for files
The Dock, like a lot of other stuff, has been given a 3D effect makeover. Dock icons now appear to sit on top of a small shelf that extends inside your screen for a centimeter or so.
The new Dock: one of the few UI elements that’s still “lickable”
The “floor” of this shelf is a shiny reflective surface, that will even reflect the contents of windows that are dragged down towards it. All rather Web 2.0.
The Dock still separates Applications on one side and Files on the other, but now there’s an elegant gap between them.
Files can now be viewed using the snazzy Stacks feature, which makes a group of files spring out like a Jack-in-a-box:
Stacks of fun to be had with these
There’s also a grid-effect, very reminiscent of Overflow, I think:
Easier access to everything. At last.
Spotlight is different; results can be viewed more easily from the sidebar:
And searching has improved:
From the Finder or the menu bar, Spotlight in Leopard lets you search for more specific sets of things. Use Boolean logic to narrow search results by entering “and,” “or,” or “not” into a search request. You can also search for exact phrases (using quotation marks), dates, ranges (using greater than [>] and less than [<] symbols), absolute dates, and simple calculations.
So far, so good? On the whole, I like what I see, although I’m most interested to see the extent to which it can all be customized and tweaked. Since I generally don’t use the Dock and keep it hidden, I’m curious to see if the concept of Stacks will make me come back to it. Same goes for Spotlight.