I broke down last week and ordered MacOS X Tiger after reading John Siracusa’s Tiger review on Arstechnica.com. The review is very much an depth technical review, so I would not recommend it for everyone. AnandTech.com’s review is probably a better start, since Anand covers such features as The Dashboard in more depth, and is more of a user centric review than John’s.
Of interest to me, were that Tiger has the following changes and features:
Faster GUI: MacOS X is inherently slow. It has been since its creation. The technology for GUI does a lot more than the old QuickDraw on the original MacOS Classic. With Tiger, Apple has embraced OpenGL even more and given the GUI a much needed speedup, supposedly even the rendering by the CPU is faster too.
New Kernel & Extensions: Drivers are what make the OS unstable. Microsoft spent years getting this under control with NT, and with Linux you have to recompile the kernel to add extensions. Apple went with an architecture that allows for easy extensions, but obviously it took them four years to deliver on what they exactly wanted to do with drivers and extensions. Tiger has a very defined architecture now, and hopefully this will mean less broken drivers and more stability.
Spotlight Searching: This is one feature which is suppose to be the reason why you should update to Tiger. The problem with Spotlight is that once you use it, you’ll never think about it again. In other worlds, the most modern OS should have had this a long time ago!
QuickTime 7: Apple has overhauled their multimedia system and has made it even more powerful. It is not that they added a new codec to it, but they have made it faster and more of an integral part of the technologies in OS X. QT 7 is one upgrade that will definitely impress. Unfortunately Apple still wants to charge users $30 for a fully enabled QuickTime Player application.
Overall Utilities & Application Improvements: Safari, TextEdit, Mail, Dashboard, etc… with Apple it is the little things that they do that makes a difference, and with Tiger, they have tweaked and added much in the way of applications and utility changes. Not one specific change will make you go out there and buy Tiger, but added all together, you do get quite a lot.
The Bugs Are There!
Undeniably Apple has delivered some very bad OS releases, (System 7, MacOS X 1.0, and even the last one OS X Panther). From reports on the Internet, it seems that Tiger may have a few bugs crawling around and it may have been rushed a bit, but I’m sure the .1 update will be coming out very soon. As always a 2 month delay in upgrading is a pretty good strategy to have.