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Photos: Fourteen views of Mac OS 10.5 Leopard

Here's a preview of what we know about the upcoming operating system release from Apple.
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Although Leopard isn't due to hit store shelves until October 2007, Steve Jobs gave another preview at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference. Out of the 300 new features, here are 14, most of which have already been announced. What Jobs did at WWDC was expand a little on each. While there are no "killer apps," what we see only heightens our anticipation more for that final release.

Photo Credit: Apple

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Jobs did confirm that BootCamp would be included, and will include Windows drivers. A setup assistant creates a Windows partition on your hard drive, making setup much easier under Leopard. Now you can run Windows apps natively on your Mac. If you need to run the Windows apps concurrently with Mac, you'll need Parallels or VMware (available separately).

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The Dashboard widgets now number more than 3000. With Leopard, there's a new "Movie theater widget," allowing you to find movies in your area, watch a preview, or order tickets online. There's also a feature within Safari called "Web Clip" that allows you to cut and paste content from Web sites that you'd like to see as a widget. And with a .Mac account, your widgets can follow you from Mac to Mac.

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Jobs announced at WWDC "no blue background" on its desktop, ushering in photo backgrounds for Leopard. There's a new Dock, and a something called Stacks, which splays out the open files or apps within a folder. There's also a stack called Download so you can keep track of music and videos you acquire. In the demo, everything displayed smoothly thanks to the core animation in Leopard.

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Like Windows Vista, Leopard will have a complete set of DVD-burning tools. Create and burn your own DVD clips. A new image bar provides access to playback controls, subtitles, and alternative audio tracks, as well as image, color, and audio settings.

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Enhanced for Leopard is Finder. There's a new sidebar that allows you to search the contents of other machines (including Windows machines) on your home or corporate network. You can even bring files onto your desktop from other machines. File displays are more exciting in Leopard; there's Cover Flow--as on the new iPods--displaying the cover of documents, media files, and utilities for easy sorting.

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Like Windows Media Center in Windows Vista, Apple has provided Front Row to create an Apple TV-like environment for your Mac. Watch movies and TV, play music, view photos, or listen to podcasts conveniently from one interface.

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Enhanced for Leopard is iCal, which adopts an iTunes-like sidebar for easy scheduling. Using the iCal Server, you can group schedules and arrange meetings across the network.

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iChat sports several new effects, including one that renders you a ghostly blue. iChat theater allows you to show slides while talking to another person; both of you see the slides.

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Within Mail, Leopard includes 30 templates for composing professional-looking e-mail, and has a built-in to-do list, note-taking, and RSS reader.

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Also within Leopard are enhanced photo-editing tools. Called Photo Booth, you can take any digital image and tweak it just right.

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Apple takes Windows Vista's preview icons one step into the future, allowing you to view an entire file without opening an app. Save precious time by simply rifling through stacks of images rather than guessing what the file name really stands for.

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Within Leopard, look for Safari 3.0. As announced at WWDC, applications for the new iPod will be built using Safari, so expect to see some for use on your desktop as well.

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Say you want some apps open for games, more apps open for work, and still more for household chores (finances and such). Spaces lets you group apps the way you want, and allows you to switch groups or drag apps from one space to another.

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Perhaps one of the coolest ways to back up and restore files ever, Time Machine incorporates may of the other features within Leopard, such as Quick Look. Now you do a Spotlight search backward through time and preview the file without opening an app, before you restore it. Never before has backup and restore been so effortless.

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