Leopard is out. Mac fans all around the world are rejoicing as they install what is arguably the best OS X upgrade since, well, OS X. Using Leopard for five days now, I have already started adapting to the new operating system. Past habits are being modified, old applications are being trashed, and new features are being taken advantage of. So, instead of boring you with how great Leopard is (we know that already), I thought I would write about how Leopard has changed my workflow.
Without a doubt, Time Machine has already altered the way I backup. Last week I picked up a nice Seagate 320GB hard drive for my enclosure. This marks the first time in history I have purchased a dedicated backup drive. While I have backed up in the past using my NAS and Synk, I never devoted an entire drive to backups or even backed up my entire hard drive. Had Time Machine not made this easier, I would still be doing crappy backups.
I am already seeing the benefits of this change. In the process of updating Spanning Sync to the latest Leopard compatible version, Spanning Sync managed to erase months of appointments. Had this happened one week ago I would have been up the creek. Instead, I fired up Time Machine, browsed to my home directory’s Application Support folder, and restored my iCal calendars from a few hours earlier.
Back in Tiger, I used a program called Overflow to speed up my application launching. I loved Overflow because it launched quickly, looked beautiful, and most importantly was functional. Looking over Leopard’s features, I honestly thought Stacks would replace Overflow as my application launcher. Well, that did not happen in Leopard thanks to an unexpected change – Spotlight.
Right after installing Leopard I found the new hotness in Leopard’s Spotlight. Gone are the days of slow searches and irrelevant results. The new Spotlight is faster and functions as an application launcher. Spotlight always lists applications before anything else, so a few letters, enter, and an application launches. While Spotlight has less eye candy than a Stack or Overflow, I am finding it to be more functional.
Leading up to the launch of Leopard the Dock was a hot topic. The new 3D interface caused people to debate the Dock‘s location, perspective, and even usefulness. The debates resulted in an optional 2D interface, but I couldn’t care less about that. My true debate ended up over magnification.
I have always been a bottom, no auto hide, magnification user. After Leopard I find myself a bottom, no auto hide, no magnification user. Why the change? For some reason the magnification effect lost its glamor with the 3D dock. Sure, this change has absolutely no effect on my workflow, but I just thought I’d point out my change while others fight over more serious Dock issues.
Minor and Undecided Changes
There are many other aspects of my workflow which have changed with Leopard. Since the remaining changes are fairly insignificant or I’m not sure if I can call them a change yet, I will enter rapid fire mode for my remaining changes.
Mail instead of Gmail? Leopard’s Mail is looking pretty sweet and Gmail’s new IMAP support sure make the change easier. However, I’m not sure if I can break away from Gmail’s unique threading yet.
iCal instead of Google Calendar? As I mentioned earlier, Spanning Sync has not been working the greatest. With the my Jailbroken iPod Touch, I’m finding less of a need to use Google Calendar anyway.
iChat instead of Adium? If it would not be for iChat’s separate Contact Lists, I’d make the switch in a heartbeat. This change is going to take some adjusting to and Adium could easily win me back in a second.
MX Revolution button reconfiguration. I reassigned the buttons thanks to Spaces. New configuration: Side Wheel – Scroll through Spaces, Click Side Wheel – Spaces Overview, First Left Button – Dashboard, Second Left Button – Exposé, Search Button – Exposé Hide.
Finder icon view. Thanks to Leopard’s icon previews and Path Bar, I have made the switch from column view back to icon view.
What Did Leopard Change For You?
I’d love to hear your feedback. Has Leopard had an effect on your workflow? Are you finding the new Leopard applications suitable replacements or are you still looking for more?