Have Apple dropped the ball with Leopard?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by thomasp, Oct 31, 2007.


Have Apple dropped the ball with Leopard

  1. Yes

    32 vote(s)
  2. No

    128 vote(s)
  3. Undecided

    27 vote(s)
  1. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    Firstly, I realise this will probably be quite a controversial topic, but it is not my intent to start a flamewar - merely to have a civilised discussion about the pros & cons of Leopard, compared to other operating systems and compared to what we were expecting from Leopard.

    I've been reading quite a few of the posts and news stories around here and on other websites, and while it seems that Leopard does have some great new features like Time Machine (although for my personal use, TM isn't quite what I want, so I won't be using it when I eventually get Leopard) and Quick Look, there are also quite a few features that have been mentioned as a step in the "wrong" direction - the ones that have stood out the most to me are the firewall, new folder icons, the dock (although I've seen praise for this as well), the menubar and a few other UI things.

    So, do you think Apple has dropped the ball with Leopard and tried to make something that was too good but actually made it worse by changing things that didn't really need changing?

    I for one don't remember as much criticism about Tiger when it came out - I don't think I've seen this much criticism of an Apple OS since 10.0 was first released!

    My opinion, although I haven't used leopard yet - Apple have tried to keep up with MS in the "eye candy" department (dock, translucent menubar, etc), but have forgotten what made OSX so great to use: eye candy that wasn't "offensive". I do feel from looking at screenshots, and asking and reading questions here, Leopard is a slight step back, certainly for what I'd use an OS for.
  2. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Remember there are a lot more, very vocal, new Mac users out there since Tiger was released. Who haven't used a .0 OS.
    It's a the first version of a new OS. Of course there are going to be problems. There were problems with Tiger, Panther, Jaguar etc.
  3. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    One thing I should also add is that yes, I realise the Internet generally focuses on the bad side of things... but still, those things can influence people's decisions on whether or not to buy (although that didn't seem to happen over the weekend with Leopard!)
    I get the feeling, from reading things around the 'net, that Leopard still needs a bit of work doing to it and there are quite a few things that should have been ironed out before release.

    Also, don't forget that some things were "promised" or shown in pre-release versions (like the Star Wars iChat "skin") and then mysteriously disappeared in the final release.
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    What?!? Ahahahahahhahahaaa!!!

    *pauses for breath*


    The wailing when Tiger was released was pretty loud. It broke stuff. Lots of stuff. You obviously weren't paying attention :p

    On topic, I don't think they've dropped the ball, I just think people's expectations were higher than they ought to have been. OSX is now mature, so it's difficult for Apple to add optimisations or extra features in the way they used to. There's a few bugs that need ironing out, and a couple of omissions (Java 6 being the most obvious), but as a just released OS it's a good product.
  5. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Were they actually promised?
  6. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    I think there's been almost too much Leopard hype, what with Tiger being such a great OS and with the recent release of Vista...

    I couldn't think of a better word. sorry. Although I would call showing something in the keynote presentation (like the Star Wars iChat skin) pretty much promising it to be in the final release.
  7. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    Some of you need to get out more.

    If Lepoard has got you upset because it's missing silly things like iChat skins etc, you seriously need to get a life.

    I haven't purchased Leopard yet, I am waiting for the overdue MacPro update but guys, come on is a an iChat skin really something to cry about? MAybe the possible flaws in the Firewall should be more of a concern than the more trivial things.
  8. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Apple haven't hyped this OS any more or less than previous versions. People on forums and the media have hyped it more.

    Showing it in a presentation and flat out promising things (let alone "pretty much promising") are 2 completely different things.
  9. iBecks macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    Maybe your opinion will change after you have used Leopard for awhile.

    I was dubious at the beginning, I even thought about reinstalling Tiger, however I've resolved the issues I was having and am happy with Leopard.

    Granted there are changes, but this is just the start of the journey for Leopard, lets hope Apple respond to the feedback from users.
  10. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    THere are some changes that people don't like but most of these are cosmetic and will most likely be disabled/altered by 3rd party programs. Some are a step back such as spotlight inability to search for system files in the menubar, the firewall as being discussed on the frontpage. However after using it for 6 days now it is definitely a step forwards and am loving it. Don't think i could go back to tiger anymore.
  11. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    It's a mistake to think Leopard is nothing more than "eye candy": Leopard is a massive upgrade and makes OSX a fully POSIX compliant, UNIX03 certified 64 bit Operating System.
    I am extremely pleased with Leopard and have experienced no problems at all with it on either my Mac Pro or two MacBook Pros
  12. Cybix macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    Western Australia
    When I first installed and had a fiddle. I played with the new features for a while, then kinda decided that not much has changed, and everything still really just looks the same. But the more stuff I find out and learn, the cooler it gets. It's like Tiger on roids or something.

    loving it so far :)
  13. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Leopard has piles? :eek: :confused:
  14. mrtravel123 macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2007
    Just to insert my novice 2 cents.

    Well, in my opinion, the hype about Leopard has come mostly from Apple. The Apple website says that Leopard is the "most impressive" Mac OS X version yet. Also, that the new features will "transform" your Mac. From a notice standpoint I kept thinking about all of the "secrets" that Apple was keeping from us... all of the upgrades that they were not wanting to tell us about until later. In short, that a big "wow" was coming... or that we'd be so excited once we installed Mac and saw all sorts of new goodies. Hmmm. I look at my $129 investment and I am underwhelmed. I guess my expectations had been built up (by Apple) and I was a little disappointed when I started touring Leopard on my Mac and certainly didn't notice any "transformation" that Apple was talking about. It is certainly better than Vista... and the improvements seem to be good for the most part. But, so far FOR ME, THE NOVICE USER, I'm a bit disappointed. If anything, it's annoying that my computer takes longer to boot up now.

    About specific features?

    Bootcamp? Not for me. Parallels is more practical for me. So, this new feature really wasn't something I was waiting for. But, for some people I'm sure they love it.

    Time machine? Not really for me. Not now anyway. But, I can see how (for some people) this is a great feature.

    Stacks? Cool. But, not something that transforms my Mac... or that I've found myself interested in using since my Friday install of Leopard.

    Spaces? My favorite cool feature because I'm always working on many things at once. But, I'll have to change some habits in order to maximize this new feature. So, for me, I l-o-v-e the idea of Spaces a lot. (smile)

    Finder? I'm very organized with my files and really don't benefit from the new search features, coverflow within finder, etc. I also don't have a network for my "at home" Mac.

    Quick Look? Doesn't benefit me because I use file names that make sense... and have my files organized by category and file type. So, I really don't need to use it, except for downloaded files with weird names! So, for this reason... I may really appreciate it some day.

    Mail and iChat upgrades? I don't use either... and the upgrades seem non-revolutionary in my opinion.

    Of course, there are many other upgrades... many of which seem to dazzle the eyes and offer modest tweaks to a variety of OS features. But, overall, I really don't see my Mac as a "new Mac" like the Apple ads are saying.

    Just to re-state... I am a novice user.... and a newbie to this forum. But, I am 100% pro-Mac. I hate Vista with a passion (my reason to get back to Macs) and I'm very pleased with my new MB. I just think the newest OS doesn't meet up to the hype I felt Apple was presenting us. On the other hand, the iPhone exceeded my expectations. It was worth the $600 IMO. (Although I did appreciate the $100 from Apple... and the $100 from American Express). So, you win some... and you lose some. For me... I think the $129 for Leopord wasn't worth it. But, maybe in time I'll come to appreciate the features more. Of course, it's only been a few days and I'm just a novice. So, I'm still learning & I will probably not appreciate some of the new features as much as users who are much more advanced than I.
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    90 percent of the value of Leopard is not what the end user sees who installs it right now, but massive enhancements inside, that will enable improvements in all applications over the next year. Lets see what there is:

    DTrace - the first really usable kernel debugging tool available anywhere. Of no use to any enduser whatsoever, but it will lead to massive quality improvements in the lowest level of the system, and has been used in the later stages of Leopard development.

    LLVM - a tiny virtual machine that produces code optimised for your Mac at runtime. It is used massively in OpenGL, so anything that cannot be handled by the graphics card will be handled by optimised assembler code produced by LLVM. It will eventually be used by the gcc compiler so all code is specifically optimised for _your_ machine.

    Full 64 bit support - do I need to say more?

    The next generation of Objective C - garbage collection, intelligent iterators reduce coding time and debugging time massively. Again, of no use to the end-user, except that applications will appear quicker.

    Resolution independence - it is there. It doesn't work by magic; application developers have to put some effort in and then turn it on for their application.

    Core animation - the whizzy effects that you get when you "Find" something in Safari is available to all Cocoa applications with a minimum of programming effort.

    And that's just what I can think of right now.
  16. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    A split vote from me. Under the hood, Leopard is a big step forward. John Siracusa's review does an excellent job of explaining why. Time Machine is a also big win. This will only become clearer as the majority of people, who never backed-up before, find they need to use it.

    On the other hand, the "trivial" UI changes are hard on me. The increased Menu Bar transparency doesn't bother me, but the increased transparency of menus themselves do. Together with smaller menu fonts and a darker Menu Bar, I find menus harder to read.

    Strangely, I find the decreased transparency of the Dock, which I side mount, also to be disruptive. Combined with the white border which now runs around it, it stands out too much.

    I like that Apple is not afraid to experiment. There are people who really like Stacks, and we never would have known if Apple did not try. However, they eliminated the hierarchical list functionality which I used constantly.

    Dynamicv is right that people always complain about change. As I recall, there were howls when the note on the iTunes icon was changed from green to blue. However, to my old eyes, everything about Leopard seems smaller, darker and harder to read. With much regret, for the exciting technical improvements, I went back to Tiger. It saddened me to do this, and I am sure Apple will make adjustments soon enough. But for me, for now, the feeling of visceral relief to be back to my old system was worth it.
  17. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    While I'd definitely agree that there are a few areas where apple made bad design decisions, they are relatively minor (generally aesthetic) things and vastly outweighed by the many huge improvements in the OS. I hope they make more tweaks and fixes soon, and especially respond to the UI criticism. But in the meantime, it's a fantastic OS and I'd say most users shouldn't hold back on upgrading because of things like the way the dock looks.

    I'd describe it as 50 steps forward, three steps back.
  18. Markleshark macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2006
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    You get the hype with a new OS.

    Thing is, it is mainly under the hood improvements in Leopard, coupled with a few nice additions. The additions all work almost as advertised, some like them some don't. Personally, I can't believe they included Wikipedia support in the dictionary. WTF were Apple thinking? :)rolleyes:). Point being if you don't like the additions, don't use them. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

    With most of the stuff, you can't turn on your Mac and go 'Wow, that looks different' but its all working to make your Mac better.

    Panther was the first OS X I used, and thought Tiger was a huge jump (and FWIW, there was loads of moaning about Tiger... 'Dashboard? WTF will I use that POS for?'). After Tiger I still think Leopard is amazing. Sure there are bugs, but it's .0, these will get fixed. If Apple had said 'We're delaying it 6 months but we promise it'll be bug free.' 1) Everyone would have moaned like f**k, and 2) There would still have been bugs.

    We won't see another OS as fast as we saw Panther -> Tiger, then Tiger -> Leopard. Not unless there is some kind of huge breakthrough in what computers can do in the next couple of years.

    So no, Apple far from 'Dropped the ball' with Leopard. In fact, I think they hit the nail right on the head... Just maybe with 10.5.1. ;)
  19. macfan881 macrumors 68020

    Feb 22, 2006
    ok to the people who say steve promised these features please tell me anywere in both times he showed off leopard he promised anythin and second if you ever looked at the leopard site before the realase date was annouced it always stated certain features may be moved without noticed.
  20. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Not having the entire OS interface come to a total grinding halt for 3 minutes while the OS searches in vain for a network drive, like 10.4 and below OS X did, that alone makes Leopard a worthwhile upgrade.
  21. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    There's some great posts in this thread :D One trouble with internet reviews (that I've now found out from reading this thread!) is that they neglect the most important changes - the "under the hood" changes. One of my biggest concerns with Leopard is that I have a 2-year old computer (G4 PB) that now seems to be very close to the bottom end of the "minimum requirements" list. Although I'm hoping that's just Apple being conservative.

    I've never used iChat in my life, and never will. I was simply using that as an example.
    That's what I'm hoping, although £60 (EDU discount) is quite a bit to shell out only to find that I was better off with Tiger...
    If they do, and add functions/options to do things like de-3Dify the dock (I know that can be done in the terminal), then Leopard really will be a great OS
  22. CavemanUK macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2006
    Rhyl, North Wales
    Dude, £60 for a non-open source brand new operating system is CHEAP! Its also unfair for you to moan (that might be too strong a word, sorry) that Leopard hasnt met your own expectations. But that is why it was available to test at every applestore.. and given a few weeks/months, it will be in every PC world and every other Mac shop.

    You didnt have to buy it straight away.

    Regarding the 3D dock.. I agree. Big changes like that should have an "old version" switch. Some people cant handle change. Thats human nature so interface designers should respect that.

    One of the machines im running Leopard on is a G4 iMac which runs great. Obviously the transitions arent smooth.. but they are certainly useable so im sure you should be fine with a PB.
  23. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    The reviews that the average people read (i.e. not Siracusa) were almost uniformly positive on Leopard.

    And the geek reviews were mostly positive as well. So what's the issue?
  24. milo macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    It looks like the issue is some people seeing all the posts with minor quibbles (which I generally have agreed with) and interpreting them as major problems with the OS.
  25. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    As a long-time Apple user and follower I think that the problem with this thread is that the author did not think clearly enough about where his feeling that Apple was "dropping the ball" was coming from. I don't think that Apple has dropped the ball with Leopard although I think they should have been a bit braver and not ripped out so many features at the last second just because there were going to be "some issues." That was surprising IMO and I can't remember them doing that previously.

    In other areas besides Leopard, I think that Apple is not so much dropping the ball as they are just doing some seriously bad juggling with it this year. It's as if they keep almost dropping it and then catch it within inches of the floor, and it's far from a pretty thing to watch. :eek:

    As a company, I think they are doing far too much in 2007 and are clearly stretched as thin as tissue paper. IMO there has been more crappy, sub-par hardware from Apple in 2007 than in any other year, more software glitches in 2007 than any other year, and more PR "misteps" than in any other year I can remember. They also seem to be focussed on "going international" in a big way this year, but are still doing it all wrong and don't seem to even know it. Chalk that up to just being an American company I guess. :)

    I haven't lost faith and I don't think the situation is unrecoverable, but IMO Apple most definitely has dropped a few pegs on the quality scale this year.

    The most glaring to me is the screen issues with the iMacs. If there was one thing you could *always* count on from the very first Mac, it's that the screen on your computer would be far better quality than almost any other. The fact that Apple now thinks it's okay to mass-produce junk iMac screens and shuffle them out to the masses at Best Buy is an extremely disappointing turn of events (again IMO).

    Sure, they will do their famous "fix it on the sly" thing and without ever mentioning it as a "problem," the bad screens will (probably) be cycled out and no one will remember it happened. But how *did* it happen that tens of thousands of POS screens were shipped without anyone even noticing at Apple? That's a massive failure of quality assurance IMO.

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