First Impressions of Tiger

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By jpbailey
May 2, 2005

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After work, I went down to the Apple store in Clarendon, VA to pick up a copy of Tiger. There wasn't a line but the store was packed including a security guard watching over the rack containing copies of Tiger. There was a demo going on featuring iChat's new multi-point videoconferencing feature. And they were giving out cards where you scratch off the silver paint to see if you won something. I won a free iTune, but I did see someone win an iPod.

Installation of Tiger was painless. It took less than an hour and I experienced no problems. It could very well have been the smoothest upgrade I've ever experienced.

Biggest surprise - better performance. Everything is running faster for me. Safari, Mail, iPhoto, iTunes, etc. Pages instantly come up in Safari whereas before I always experienced a slight delay.

Spotlight does live up to all the hype. It first has to index your system before you can do a search. Spotlight said it would take 6 hours but in actuality, it took less than 30 minutes. Results do come up quickly and it really is amazing how it can pull up different files. This will quickly change the way I interact with files/folders...

I played around a little with smart folders. I think there is some potential there, but it's going to take some time playing around with it in order to better understand the logic. I think the learning curve is a bit like the Smart Playlists on iTunes. It takes a while to get the hang of it.

The Widgets are definitely cool and extremely useful. You bring them up by clicking on the icon in the Dock or by hitting F12. My only complaint is that there is very limited customization for each widget. For instance, you can list stocks in the Stock Tracker widget but you can't reorder your list. Seems like a basic feature that was overlooked.

The new Mail program is excellent. A tremendously improved interface and again, much better performance. Spotlight is built-in so searching is more powerful. The coolest feature by far is how Mail handles photos. A friend sent me a message containing five pictures of her son. On the Attachments line in the message is a new button labeled "Slideshow." Click on it and your screen fades to black and the pictures begin to display with a fade transition between each. Move your mouse and a little icon menu is displayed that allows you to cycle through the pictures or display all of them in an Expose-like manner.

Safari's RSS reader has a great display but is a little confusing to set up. I'm still playing with it so maybe it is just a learning curve. Safari's RSS reader includes a slider that controls the length of the article. Slide it all the way to the left and you can just skim headlines. Slide it all the way to the right and you can read the first paragraph of each article.

Tiger also has a couple of new screensavers including one that displays your RSS feeds. Great graphics.

All in all, very impressive. The cost was worth it just for the improved performance. We'll see what the experience is like over the next couple of weeks but Tiger has left a very good first impression.

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