Which is probably for the best, because it may deflect attention away from the packaging for this latest upgrade. I’m not going to pull my punches here: it’s cheesey as heck. That’s right, I said cheesey.
Apple’s designers have borrowed the boldly elegant “X” from the packaging of its predecessor, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and placed it against the goofy, sci-fi-fueled, airbrushed nebula of stars from Leopard’s Time Machine feature. Why they did this, it’s not clear, because it looks horrific. Apparently, Leopard’s most lucrative potential customer base may all be devotees of the plasticky, bombastic and yet still naïve era of science fiction we call the Nineteen Eighties. Cue up your Betamax copies of “The Last Starfighter” and “Enemy Mine.”
The Forgotten Font Panel
Anyway, while skimming the features, I instinctively zeroed in on its list of typography improvements. They’re modest in number and ambition, and Stephen Coles provides some interesting early commentary on them over at Typographica. I have to say, though, that the biggest disappointment for me is that Mac OS X’s awkward and frustrating Font panel is still not fixed; it remains highly counter-inuitive and functionally limited, if not broken. I wrote about this over two years ago, and with no apparent improvement in Mac OS X 10.5, the problem is likely to persist at least until Leopard’s successor is released. It’s a crime how bad this crucial piece of functionality is, and how Apple just doesn’t seem to care.
Missed Product Tie-in
Finally, I guess I’m a little disappointed that Leopard’s final feature set doesn’t in any way seem to be composed of cinematic dramatizations of Garibaldi-era Sicilian history. A little bit of Visconti might have helped the packaging quite a bit.