Unboxed and loading. Photo: Tracy Apps
We asked you for your thoughts on the new operating system from Apple, Snow Leopard.
Expectations were that the latest OS would be snappier and iron out a few glitches in the previous release. Some even thought that Snow Leopard might be good enough to lure PC users over to Mac.
Here's a selection of early reviews from people who managed to get a copy on release day.
MICHAEL LITMAN, LONDON, UK
To make sure we didn't miss out, we decided to head to the Apple local store and get a copy. We're early adopting tech lovers who like to be at the forefront of advances. However, this time, pre-ordering held no weight as the postal service was on strike on the day of release so we had to go to a retail store and buy it anyway.
Michael Litman says the new OS is evolutionary but not revolutionary
I got it for domestic use first and foremost but increasingly now for business use. Apple have been extremely savvy in including exchange support for Macs and I look forward to a seamless experience with my work email, calendar and address book which was not previously possible before Snow Leopard.
Initial reactions are that it's evolutionary but not revolutionary. Installation saves at least 10GB of hard disk space which is absolutely invaluable. Rebooting is much quicker. Everything from the bottom up looks to have been given a tweak and has been sharpened up.
It took me under an hour to install. That's incredible. Coupled with saving approx 10GB of storage, it's quite something!
Pros: They've taken an OS which was already a solid performer, refined it and enhanced it further. I love the 'Quick Look' feature. It allows you to instantly preview the contents of documents without ever opening them. This works well with images and movies. For business purposes, the Exchange support is absolutely worth more than the minimal cost of upgrade to Snow Leopard by a significant margin. That's likely to drive an entirely new set of customers to the platform. As for existing Mac users, they now have one less reason to do business with Microsoft, as Apple removes one more barrier for platform adoption.
Cons: None to write home about initially although you will need an Intel processor to run it, old Power PCs are incompatible. I would like to have seen wireless syncing, and back up with the iPhone. Although that may still come further down the line.
There's not a lot to play around with in terms of new features. It is an upgrade and not an entirely new operating system. Having said that, the majority will be happy that something which worked so well already, now works even better. Some cynics have said that you're paying for what is nothing more than a service pack. While they may be right to a degree, I'm more than happy to have paid the lowly price of £25 for the performance upgrades.
BRIAN HUNT, LINCOLN, UK
I got my copy of Snow Leopard this morning and it installed within 30-40 minutes. So far I have had no problems, and things seem to be running quicker than they did before. I have noticed that over the last few upgrades, Mac OSX has got more and more bloated making it less and less responsive. I welcome this move from Apple to attempt to remove the bloat and get things running faster.
I reserve my full judgement for a few weeks after using the new OS on the more meaty apps such as Premiere Pro and Logic Pro; which really did slow things down previously. We may even have to wait even longer for applications to be developed specifically for the 64bit capabilities of this new incarnation. Adobe recently seem to drop development of their 64bit version of Photoshop for OSX, perhaps the release of Snow Leopard may help them to reverse this decision.
So far so good though. I would say it was much more painless than doing a Windows update, but I was pleasantly surprised when I upgraded my Vista machines to Windows 7 last week, again no problems so far with those machines.
TRACY APPS, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, USA
The installation was a snap. The setup was slightly different than previous versions, because it didn't require you to boot from the cd/dvd in order to upgrade or install. This was really nice, because it simplified the process a bit.
Tracy Apps, installing Snow Leopard onto her computers
I've definitely noticed a 'speed bump' in this. Everything seems to move quicker, files transfer faster, programs load a bit quicker. I can imagine that this is due to both the 64 bit processor support in snow leopard, as well as the "slimmer" code.
There are a few cool little cosmetic changes that I really like; for example, the right-click (or control-click) on the programs on the dock now brings up a nicer looking "popup" menu, as well as some handy new options. Also, you can now start a search of your hard drive by right clicking (or control-click) on the finder icon in the dock.
The new Quicktime is absolutely beautiful. A great improvement from the last interface. It really allows the program get out of the way of the movie. Another little enhancement that is awesome is the ability to change the size of the icons from a little slider control at the bottom of the finder window. That's much nicer than before. I haven't run into many programs that aren't working with the new OS.
Snow Leopard, can the keyboard cat lure PC users?
As for my expectations, this just about meets and slightly exceeds them. I really wasn't expecting a lot of fancy bells and whistles. Being a "tech-y" person, I understand how much work goes into changing the "under the hood" part of anything. I can imagine that some users will feel let down because most of the changes aren't visible (although I'm sure everyone will see their computer run a bit snappier) or flashy, like when widgets first came out. I'm also sure there will be people who will be upset that Snow Leopard will only run on Macs with Intel processors. So, is this worth my $29.00 (USD)? The answer is an ALL CAPS, YES :)
CHRIS WEBB, SURREY, UK
It's a good solid upgrade and took about 50mins to install it. Once its done, it doesn't need about five reboots to work. It works straight away with no hassle.
I got about 8GB of drive space back which was handy, considering Windows eats more space each time, this is a welcome change. The finder is lightning quick, all of my applications work fine. Safari is faster, same as Mail.
£25 is a bargain for such a well polished piece of software, if you own an Intel Mac this is a good value buy. While barely any new features, this is still a rich experience. It's stable , fast and transformed a year old Macbook Pro into a very lightning fast machine. I am still getting used to it but first impressions are excellent.
PAUL BORGE, LONDON, UK
I stupidly pre-ordered Snow Leopard, assuming Royal Mail would deliver it on time. When they didn't I went to the shop instead. I'm a bit of an Apple fan-boy, so guaranteeing a copy was paramount.
Paul Borge went to his local Apple store to grab a copy
I bought this for myself and my family. Domestic for me, and business for my parents. For a small business it's good to have something rock solid and low maintenance when it comes to IT. So far Macs have proven their worth in this respect. I'm spending the weekend with the family, so I've got about five machines to upgrade beyond my own!
To be honest, there's not a huge difference. Everything is a little quicker, it's saved me over 6Gb in hard disk space and there are a few changes to menus, Stacks, Expose etc. From a GUI point of view it's pretty much identical to Leopard. The new version of Quicktime is a lot slicker, so I won't be defaulting to a third party application for video playback anymore.
It's the easiest and fastest update yet and comes in the smallest OS box I've ever seen. It's identical to Leopard, so no big surprises for the less technically-minded. Some programmes open faster, but Office 2008 is as clunky as it's always been.
The pro is that it's a good system tweak for a massive discount over previous OSX updates. The con is that it's pretty much a service pack - something Microsoft would offer for free. That said, OSX is years ahead of Windows, so it's worth the payout. I can't see a need to upgrade this anytime soon, but Apple will no doubt have something even better already in development.
JOHN THURM, BURY, UK
I wasn't going to upgrade to Snow Leopard straight away as I usually wait for any problems to be ironed out first. I had, however, read on Twitter about how successful the beta versions had been and went ahead and pre-ordered it. It didn't - thanks Royal Mail. I left the porch unlocked Saturday morning just in case and when I returned from a trip to the theatre there was a Snow Leopard waiting for me! Thanks Royal Mail.
John Thurm had his copy of Snow Leopard delivered to his home
I use the Mac at home, mainly for photography and my wife uses it for her college work. This is the first time I have upgraded the OS on a Mac and I was delighted how easy and quick it was. Just a case of sticking the DVD in the slot and clicking a few buttons. About 50 minutes later, Snow Leopard was alive!
The new OS is very similar to Leopard but it is so much faster. Safari opens instantly. The screen colours seem much better as well with really good blacks and it has freed up quite a bit of disk space.
I was a little concerned about whether Adobe CS3 would still work but all seems fine. I haven't found anything that hasn't worked so far. I can't actually think of anything more that I would want from an OS. My priorities are speed and ease of use. Snow Leopard certainly has both.