Friday, June 30, 2006

Leopard Fakery, Round   ???

I know this happened two days ago, but I thought I'd comment on the fake Leopard video posted that seems to have everybody up in arms more so than my own screenshots. But while it is extremely convincing, and far better than my screenshots, it is a fake. Here's why, split up into two sections: Technical, meaning just the general observations from the screenshot, and "Well, Now that I think About It...", which is just the mental reasoning as to why this is fake.

Technical

One of the first things the video demonstrates is a new Finder. Sure, it's pretty cool-looking: it's got that Unified look to it and tabbed browsing, but the big thing that gives it away is the label on top of the Sidebar, just like Path Finder's. Anybody can change Path Finder to look just like Finder, and with a quick trip to Interface Builder and some customization in the Preferences, you can make a damn good fake and fool lots of people.

After you finish all of that, you take a trip down to Finder's app bundle (System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Finder.icns), take the icon and replace the Path Finder icon with it, and voila! You've got a new, Leopard-ized Finder!

Now there's the matter of the About This Mac box. Although you may not know this, you can actually change that box to say anything you want: just go to System/Library/CoreServices/SystemVersion.plist, then modify to your heart's content. You really can put anything in that box, but if you do that, you'll have problems getting updates, since that's what Software Update calls on to find out what updates you need (I haven't actually tried putting 10.5 in the form to see if I can get any beta updates, but I doubt it).

Well, now that I think about it...

Here's what I don't understand: If you are rich enough to get a test copy of Leopard, why can't you afford some good screen recorder software? I know it exists- just look on VersionTracker, MacUpdate, Apple's Downloads page or even a Google search for Mac screen movie and you can download some from $10-$30.

Also, only providing one video of one Leopard feature isn't too impressive, especially when it's just tabbed browsing. You want to know what would convince me? Show off something completely original and innovative- something that has never happened in a Mac app before- and I'll be convinced. But there's nothing here that can be proved with confidence that it's real, so until I do see something, I stand by my reasoning.

Lastly, the biggest and most important thing to think about when you look at these screenshots is pretty obvious: do you really think that after the last couple of weeks, after all of the fake screenshots that have been posted on Mac rumor sites, that a supposed "real" video is suddenly going to pop up on YouTube, just happen to show up after all of the fake screenshots, and be legit? It just doesn't seem likely. Now if such a thing were posted before all of the screenshots started coming up, then I think you would have a better time proving this to be real, and I probably wouldn't be writing this. But in my opinion, this just seems like the next big Apple rumor in line that will have it's fame for a couple of days, then die out- just like mine, and the one before it, and the one before it, and the one before it.



(P.S: My TextEdit screenshot is almost done, I swear. I'll have it ready by Saturday/Sunday.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

TextEdit 2: Coming soon to a blog near you

I'm getting close to completing my screenshot of TextEdit 2. I'm on vacation right now and the place I'm at doesn't have Wi-Fi, so I can't guarantee how often I'll get wireless... but we'll see. So I apologize for not getting to all of your responses as fast as possible, and hopefully you'll see something complete in the next couple of days.



(here's a VERY early "beta" in case you're interested: and no, I promise it won't be a knock-off MS Word)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Leopard features I probably will make screenshots from

After making those screenshots and mentioning on making fake ones exclusively for evaluation/feedback, I've decided to make a small list of the things I want to see in Leopard (that I could make screenshots out of). I probably gave everybody a good idea as to what I want the Finder, Desktop Switching and Virtualization to look like, but here's a list of everything else so far:

  1. As seen from the first set of screenshots, a hybrid iCal/Address Book application. I'm not entirely sure how such a thing would work yet, but it would work a lot better than having to open two separate applications.

  2. An app removal app (that sounded funny). I'm not talking about some hideous "Add/Remove Programs" menu like Windows, but something nice and easy so when I throw away an app, I don't have the Caches, Preferences and the like crapping up my hard drive.

  3. iChat just needs to be better. Like, a lot.

  4. Safari RSS isn't too spectacular. Some kind of interface, aside from the Bookmarks Menu, should be implemented. Maybe I'll screenshot it.

  5. Has Apple forgotten about their "Appearance" Pref Pane? This should be extended more.

  6. TextEdit, although a bare bones text editor, shows a lot of potential and could easily be a free alternative to Microsoft Word when it comes to writing anything fairly basic formatting-wise.

  7. Spotlight. While it's a great quick-launch search bar (for me at least), it's one of those "love/hate" features of the OS.

  8. Some good, free backup app. Something so simple a typical home user could back up his/her hard drive in a half hour.

  9. Built...in...Growl....

  10. While useless to Mac users, any Windows user would definitely like a way to transfer their files without buying any software/hard disks/CDs.That way, they take out their Mac, hook up one cable and have everything loaded up within the hour (or so).



Anyway, this is just a starting list. Most of these things are easy to make screenshots from, but stuff like the Safari screenshot might be a bit harder to pull off. If you want, send me suggestions to my e-mail address, or just comment on this post (I'll give you credit for anything you come up with), and I'll see what I can do.

Stay tuned, folks.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The jig is up...

I'm going to be honest here: When I posted those Leopard screenshots on Blogger, I was never expecting quite the popularity it ended up acheiving. For it to get on the front page of digg is one thing, but to have it get commented on 200 times is pretty surprising to me. I had no idea it would cause such a debate, and I really enjoyed reading all of your comments, whether you thought it was real or not (mostly the latter, though). But, seeing as my third screenshot didn't fool anybody, I think it's about time I just give it up.

So in case you didn't just hear me admit it, those screenshots are 100% fake. They are entirely Photoshopped, done merely for fun out of lots of free time and about 6 cans of Diet Coke. I decided to make them after seeing this TUAW post, and after looking at the outstandingly fake screenshots, I decided to see if I could top it. So I'll walk you through what I did to create this, and also post the PSD in case you want to take a look at it yourself:

Desktop: Although I was going to use a better-looking background image, I decided against it for some reason, and thought that it might look more like a Beta-like if I just used a solid color. The two HD icons are there just to put something on the desktop (I think some guy thought they were Photoshopped, which they weren't)

Finder: Finder is, at the base, just a horribly-mangled iTunes window. It's the exact same color and shape as iTunes, and to hide all of the top elements I just stretched out an empty part of the window until everything was covered.

The tab bar is of my own creation, of the sorts. Although the actual bar and tabs are homemade, I just used the tab buttons from Safari since I was too lazy to make my own. Some people pointed out the bottom margin discrepancy between the active and inactive tabs, and this is only because Blogger shrunk my image, which causes it to look a little distorted.

The toolbar, aside from the standard set of icons, also has that funny little forward-slash icon. I wasn't entirely sure what to do with it, but in my mind I could imagine a little address bar coming down that would let you choose where to go. As for the bookmarks bar, well, you can kind of figure out what that does.

The sidebar, now looking back at it, doesn't have the proper spacing between icons, which at least 1 person pointed out on digg. I wasn't sure whether to eliminate it or to keep it, but I left it in since people would probably raise hell over it if I took it out.

Dock: My original plan for the Dock was to just use the Dock that's there when you first get your computer. But because of the way Cmd+Shift+4 works, I couldn't get both the Dock body and the icons in one snapshot, so I had to go into each application and manually get the icons and put them in there. Eagle-eyed observers will probably find some fault in the spacing of the icons, but I did the best I could.
Other people talked about that Address Book/iCal hybrid app icon. Although Apple strives for having an easy-to-use design with their applications, I think it would seem more useful just to combine the two apps together, and knowing Apple, they would probably find a way to make it work (and yes, I also know the icon looks like shit- I wasn't aiming for anything remarkable).

The Internet Explorer icon is the real thing. I just used my own PC (being a web designer I need a PC for IE testing; I'm a Mac geek at heart) and then tried about 5 different programs to extract the icon. I eventually got it out, but all I can say is, icon-anything in the PC world is a pain in the ass. In response to those who wonder how I got it at such a high resolution, it's only because Blogger scaled the screenshots: if you were to view it full size, you'll find the quality of the icon is actually quite lower.

Internet Explorer: This confused a lot of people and is probably the part of the screenshot that needs the most explanation. Since I have a PC with IE 7, I just went in and took a quick picture of it and sent it to my Mac. I cut out the Windows title bar and replaced it with an OS X menu bar, and then added a cheap drop shadow so it looked like an inactive window.
Like many people observed, this Windows layer would work a lot like Classic worked, being able to just run applications right alongside OS X. I'm hoping, however, that if it's ever implemented Apple would go a step further to make Windows apps work with things like the Dock and Exposé, so they seem more integrated into the operating system.

Menu Bar: Everything on the menu bar is real, except for, of course, the Windows and Switcher icons, which I just made from scratch. I didn't think anybody would look for them, so I'm really impressed.

About This Mac: This solidified a lot of people's opinions that this was a fake screenshot. Apple has changed at least one thing in the about box in every version of OS X, so I thought it would be more suspicious if I didn't change anything at all than if I added something like "Windows". Since I don't actually own an Intel Mac, I tried the best I could to see what the About Box would look like, but as many people pointed out, I did miss the fact that Intel Macs use DDR2 RAM and the Windows label isn't lined up correctly.

Desktop Switching: One truly awesome thing about OS X is the number of effects for opening or doing something with windows (e.g: Genie Effect, Ripple Effect, Cube Effect), which inspired the Hole effect. I used Core Image Fun House, as such an effect can't be achieved *easily* in Photoshop CS, which is what I made the rest of the image in. Then, I went back into Photoshop and cleared the black area Fun House creates from the distortion and put a fake second desktop underneath it. Sure, it looks cheesy, but if Apple made it, something tells me you would like it.

While I was originally considering having the menu bar and Dock change with the desktop, I realized that it's multiple desktops, and that it wouldn't make much sense to have 2 Docks and 2 menu bars. Some people pointed out that they should change too, but hey, it's your opinion. As for the "CoreWindows" tab you can see in the Finder window, I was really only doing that to see what kind of reaction I'd get from Mac users.

(and just so everybody knows, the effect wasn't inspired by goatse. Perverts.)


Overall, these screenshots aren't perfect, and you could probably assemble a list of the things that I did wrong (just look at the 200+ comments from digg and the other Apple sites). If you want the PSD anyway, just send me an e-mail at trinityrubicon@gmail.com and I'll be more than happy to send it to you.


Now that I've had my fun, I'm not sure what to do with this blog. But I kinda like the name, so maybe I'll post something else here (fake screenshots for evaluation?). We'll see.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Leopard screenshot #3

Finder with Location Bar open:

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard screenshots

Finder & Internet Explorer:



Desktop Switcher: