Leopard's hits and misses: A spotty record

Now that we've used Apple's new OS for a week, what do we like and what falls short?

The result, at least before the final version of Leopard came out, was a shelf-like Dock that looked anything but a shelf when positioned on the right or left. Apple's ungainly solution in the shipping version: Transform the Dock when it's placed vertically.

Instead of a sideways glass shelf, you get a dark, sleek, translucent strip ringed in white -- basically, a modernized version of the old Tiger "Scotch tape" look. Some people don't like it, some do. But it's a little weird to have such a major part of the user interface change its look based on where it's located. It feels too much like an afterthought.

(If you really don't like the shelf-like Dock, there are Terminal commands and scripts available to get it to appear as a strip even when it's at the bottom.)

Stacks

The stacks that reveal the contents of a folder in the Dock are a nice idea, but some of their behavior is annoying. First, if the Dock is on the bottom of the screen (where a lot of people tend to keep it), a stack will display as a curving column of icons or as a rectangular grid, depending on how many items are in the folder.

For folders where the number of items changes regularly (such as Downloads), you never know which display you're going to get. Furthermore, stacks displayed as columns sort items alphabetically beginning at the bottom of the stack, while stacks displaying as a grid sort items alphabetically beginning at the top left. Between that and the changing shape, you can rarely find what you're looking for immediately.

Another miss with stacks is the fact that there's no easy way to navigate within them. In previous Mac OS X releases, folders placed in the Dock functioned as pop-up hierarchical menus for navigating their contents. It would be nice to get this functionality back.

Mail mis-delivery

When you first launch Mail in Leopard, it imports and converts your e-mail database and all your mailboxes. But some people who went through this process then found that rather than seeing all their mail in all their in-boxes just by clicking on the main Inbox header, they had to view each Inbox's mail separately, by clicking on each mailbox individually. Needless to say, that's a serious inconvenience.

Active Directory

Active Directory support doesn't seem to be completely reliable so far. Many users are reporting problems with Active Directory binding under Leopard. Binding to a domain and logging in both seem to be slower across the board for most users, and a number of people have reported other problems beyond just sluggishness. Given that for many people and organizations Active Directory support is a priority, this is a major miss.

Cover Flow

Admittedly, Cover Flow in Finder windows is cool. It allows you to visually scan files and folders the same way you flip through songs and albums in iTunes or on the iPhone.

Here's the annoyance, though: You open a Finder window in Cover Flow mode, then drag the lower-right corner of the window down to see more files. Oops! Watch instead as the Cover Flow icons grow to gargantuan size while the list of files you're actually trying to expand remains the same size.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?