Saturday, April 30, 2005

Raarr for Tiger.

Tiger hit the streets today, available at Apple Stores worldwide, among other retail outlets. So what do I think of Tiger? I'm pretty pleased with it.

I must say that there are three elements that I am very impressed with. The first is Spotlight. Spotlight is killer. I primarily use it to launch applications, using Command+Space to bring up the Spotlight Search bar, typing the application name, than pressing Command+Enter to launch the Top Hit. This feature is like Windows' Start > Run on steroids. Yay for one LESS reason to use a mouse. :)

The second element that I absolutely love is the new Mail. Simply put, it's rocks. Two features in particular that make the new Mail a must have. First Smart Mailboxes (essentially Smart Playlists for Mail) allow you to create logical groupings of your mail instead of having to constantly search for them. I have groupings such as Girlfriend, The Boss Man, Q1-05 Mail, Get Back To, all of which help me browse my mountain of mail. I know Thunderbird also has this feature but it's difficult to discover and a little unwieldy.

The second feature of Mail that makes using it a joy is the reimplemented Search feature. When you type in a search query (Command+Option+F), it displays a small toolbar with several options. With one click, you can change the scope of the search from the current mailbox to All Mailboxes, or change the search criteria from the Entire Message, to just search the To, From, or Subject. So simple, so powerful, so unbelievably fast.

The third and final element of Tiger I absolutely adore is the RSS browsing in Safari. It's so damn handy, especially when you combine several RSS feeds into one page. To do this...
  • Bookmark all of your favorite RSS feeds
  • Open the Show All Bookmarks (Command+Option+B) and create a folder (I called mine RSS) and check the Auto-Click option for the folder.
  • Place all of the feeds you bookmarked into the folder you've created.
  • Move this folder into your Bookmarks Bar. This will allow you to have one-click access to it later.
When you do the steps above, you'll see a new item in your Bookmarks bar that when clicked, will display all of the RSS feeds from all of the different sources in one list. It's very handy, if you want to read all the headlines from your favorite news sites in one simple list.

It's unfortunate that some of sites that display RSS feeds have started inserting ads into the feed, which display inside of the Safari RSS list. Any site that has done this thus far has been promptly removed from my RSS list. I hope that Hyatt will add a preference to remove all graphics from the RSS feeds :)

Tiger is great, I'm sure that Mac geeks everywhere will enjoy it.

-s

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