Apple plans to launch OS X 10.5, code-named "Leopard," the last Friday in October, cutting it close in its commitment to ship the update this month, according to the Apple blog ThinkSecret.. Meanwhile, AppleInsider has a terrific overview of the most interesting elements of Leopard: The upgraded Apple Mail.
The launch will probably be 6 pm, which is the same time that Apple scheduled the launch of the current version of OS X, which was code-named "Tiger," ThinkSecret says. This is because Apple hates journalists and doesn't want us to enjoy our Friday nights. (Lucky I have TiVo to record Stargate: Atlantis.)
Leopard gives Mac OS X a new look. It also includes upgrades to the Finder and Spotlight, a backup-and-version-control utility called Time Machine, and a virtual desktops utility called
Places. Spaces. It integrates Boot Camp, which is now a (very stable) beta, into the core operating system. The upgrade is priced at $129. Note that if you're already using the free Boot Camp beta, it's disabled as of the launch of Leopard, and you'll have to pony up for Leopard to continue using it.
Based on the information I'm seeing so far, Leopard isn't a hugely exciting upgrade. On the other hand: (1) It's a dot-release. Dot-releases often aren't very exciting. (2) I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the code, and testing it out, and, hopefully, I'll prove myself wrong and find tidbits that are exciting.
The most interesting element appears to be Mail 3.0. According to the AppleInsider overview. The review starts with an overview of the history of Apple e-mail, the new features get discussed on page 3..
The new Mail integrates with the iCal calendar, allowing Mail and third-party applications to interface with iCal's To Do reminders. "Select a section of text within an email describing an event or objective, right click, and select 'New To Do' to convert the selection into a calendar reminder," AppleInsider says. The To Dos link to the e-mails they originated with, which sounds terrific.
Earlier, AppleInsider reported that Leopard To Dos and Notes will synch with the iPhone.. That's terrific too -- lack of notes and dated to-dos and is one of my chief gripes about the iPhone.
The new Mail client will support a feature called "Data Detectors." AppleInsider explains: "Emails in Mail that contain a date, phone number, or a contact (such within an email signature) are tagged with a drop down menu. Click on it and select "Create New Contact," and Data Detectors will scrape together as much as it can from the email: the name, mailing address, email address, phone and fax numbers, and copy them into a contact entry ready for your editing." AppleInsider includes a screenshot.
And Mail will also include an integrate RSS reader.
Are you excited about Leopard? What are you most looking forward to?