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WWDC Keynote

Well it appears that the WWDC keynote is over. A new MacPro and a new Xserve where announced, as well as a few features we can be expecting from Leopard. In keeping with the theme of this blog I'll skip some of the fluff and get right to the more practical features mentioned.

Time Machine - 10.5 will include a new backup application called "Time Machine" I'm not clear on the specifics but it seems pretty comprehensive. Automatic backup, full system clone and restore as well as the ability to restore individual files. The interface looks really cool, sort of like you're flying through space as you browse your back up. This may not be in the top ten most requested features, but it sure will save a lot of people a lot of time and heartache.

Spaces - Leopard will also include a built in desktop switcher. This is great news for those of us who have limited screen real estate. It will enable users to switch between virtual desktops and groups of active applications. For example, you could have your screen filled with Safari, iChat and some sticky notes, then switch over to another desktop displaying Mail and iCal without having to close any windows or quit any applications. You can even display all your desktops at once and drag items between them. It'll be nice to stop carefully resizing and layering all my windows to keep track of what's going on.

Spotlight - Spotlight will be updated with several new features in 10.5. You'll be able to search other networked machines and servers. Boolean operations will be available, better application launching, and incorporated recent items. Spotlight will be automatically pre-populated with the files you've been working on so you might not even have to search. Pretty cool.

Mail - Some major enhancements are coming down the pike for Mail also. Steve mentioned three new features: stationary, notes and a to do tracker. The stationary is pretty self explanatory and the notes feature appears to be a way to leave messages for yourself in a dedicated malibox within mail. I'm not 100% clear on the specifics of the new to do's, but it appears to be a system wide feature that is accessed by Mail, iCal and various other apps. Those three features are pretty exciting by themselves but Steve made it sound like there where even more improvements coming to mail with Leopard's release.

iChat - In 10.5 iChat will get several new features including multiple logins, animated icons, video recording, tabbed chats, the ability to show presentations, slideshows and even desktops. Thats great news, not only for those of us who use iChat to communicate at work, but for personal purposes as well. It will be great to show my in-laws a slideshow of our kids and be able to tell them about each photo as they see it, or even take control of their desktop for a couple minutes to walk them through something. Very exciting.

There was a lot more mentioned in the keynote today that I wont get into, head over to Apple's Leopard Preview page for some videos or to Engadget for a rundown of the whole keynote. Hopefully Apple will have the entire video available soon.

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