I’m trying not to be underwhelmed… Last year I bemoaned how I feared that Apple was becoming a phone company, as last year’s keynote was solely dedicated to the iPhone which depressed the hell out of me; at least this year they spent three quarters of an hour on the new OS, Snow Leopard, before launching into the iPhone love-in (at which point my MacBook got closed). From a developer point of view, I’m really happy with what is happening with Snow Leopard - it’s not going to take lots of extra code or conditional code (“don’t do this on Tiger but do it on Leopard and maybe on Snow Leopard if the moon is gibbous etc”) to get Scrivener up and running very nicely on the new OS. And it sounds as though it is going to be more stable, be a lot quicker and so on. From a user perspective, too, the cheap upgrade (well, we’ll see about that - thirty dollars in the US will probably translate to forty pounds - sixty to eighty dollars - over here; they have yet to list the price on the UK Page) is well worth a more robust OS and the “Snow Leopard” moniker really makes it obvious that it’s not a whizz-bang major upgrade to Leopard.
Still… Part of me really wanted to see the new “marble” interface introduced that has been rumoured for the past year. As far as I understood it, this would just have kept the current dark grey toolbars but got rid of the glowing blue controls that have been around since early Aqua - such as scrollers - and replaced them with something more subtle, such as the old iPhoto scrollers. But no such luck, and that’s probably my biggest disappointment - that we are left with some controls that we use in every single application every day that are now looking rather hoary and kitsch. For something developed by Apple, that seems a little poor; especially when so much effort on their part is going into the iPhone interface. So my “it’s a phone company first and a computer company second” concerns remain.
I do find it somewhat amusing - and indicative of just how much of an “under the hood” upgrade this was - to look at the Snow Leopard refinements page. You know that there’s not much revolutionary or too exciting about an update when you see lots of space and blurb dedicated to features and bug fixes that would normally be relegated to the release notes - “PDF selection isn’t so screwy!”; “disk eject isn’t so buggy any more!”; “it works a bit faster!”; “we’ve refined the menus!”.
Still, good news for me at least; except that the text system is as horrible as ever…
All the best,