As many of you are aware, OS X 10.4 (Tiger) was released on Friday. This was done to much fanfare for the regular Mac fanatics. My copy arrived in the mail on Saturday and I’ve had the chance to play around with it, however only a little bit. But, even from the limited amount of time I can say a little bit about it.
Well, it’s cool. I’ll give it that. Upon install, it began to index my entire hard drive. This took about 10 minutes on my PowerBook. After that, I began to play with it. Now, it is a little different than Quicksilver, but not by much. It does a better job finding documents and the like, but it won’t replace QS for me. I love QS too much to let it go. But, the possibilities of spotlight are pretty promising. It is pretty much what desktop search is to the PC, but a little more refined and with better use of metadata. But, this is a nice addition. I only wish I had this a year ago when I was using my Mac every day.
If you have used Konfabulator, then you’ve used Dashboard. They are very similar. They both use widgets and they both reside on your desktop. Now, the Apple version is a little, only a little, bit more polished in its presentation, but I don’t think that Konfabulator will be hurt too much by this. They have the PC market now too to focus on. But, the one thing that will come over time are the widgets that people will create. I am thinking of creating one, but I don’t know of what yet. More of the fact that I can create one (not that I couldn’t with Konfabulator). It’s a nice feature, but I still don’t know how much of it I will use. I have other applications that do some of the work for me already. So, only time will tell if this is useful or not.
This program looks like it can have a lot of potential. I mean, it’s what batch jobs are to Photoshop, but over the entire OS. I haven’t been able to use it very much so far, but I can imagine that this could be useful for some serious batch jobs or repeated actions.
One thing that I liked in iPhoto was the ability to use Smart folders to show the most recent photos, or in iTunes to see all the songs by a particular artist. Now, you can use the same technology in Finder. It could be useful for finding documents spread across your hard drive, but if you keep everything in a well defined folder structure this might not be that useful for you. However, it’s a nice addition.
Being an avid Firefox user, these updates are kind of wasted on me. So, I won’t even comment on them since I really don’t plan to ever use them.
There are many more little tweaks and things that have been done to the OS since 10.3, but I don’t know them all or they just didn’t stick out to me. Overall, the new interface is on par with that of 10.3, but some of the interface design looks kind of disgusting in places (Mail.app). I don’t know if they designed it to be ugly, but it is. I guess it’s the behind the scenes stuff that I just don’t know enough to talk about.
To buy, or not to buy?
Well, that is the question if you have 10.3. Honestly, unless you are going to be using the Mac every day and if you feel that you cannot live without some of the features in 10.4 you can probably hold off on this update. Now, I don’t think that the price will come down anytime soon, or at all. But, to me, there are no showstoppers that make this OS upgrade a must. I know that many reviews online have been saying that this is the one upgrade that you must get. Well, if you were running anything before 10.3, I’d agree. But, if you are satisified with your 10.3 install and you are just the casual Mac user, you can hold off. I am still deciding on if my purchase was worth it or not, but I knew that I would get it eventually, so why not now? Gotta love my logic, right?
But, I guess that I like it. I’m not head over heals “wow!” about it, but it is a decent upgrade. I think that over time it will grow on me and I will make the most (or at least more) out of it. But, as of right now, it is hard to tell what kind of value it is really providing me. All I know is that it is not as much as I thought it would be when I got my copy in the mail.