October 20, 2005 @ 6:41 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Mac OS X, Software)
Exclusive: Leopard to feature a totally redesigned Finder, based on Spotlight

To date, the only information Apple has provided about Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is that it will come sometime between late 2006 and 2007 and that it will be Intel compatible. Meanwhile, anonymous sources revealed to MacosXrumors the first major feature of Leopard and it looks like it has to do with the Finder.

According to the sources, Apple will entirely re-design the Finder in its next major Mac OS X update. The new version of the Finder, code-named “Chardonnay” (like the wine), will be totally based on the Spotlight meta-search technology which was introduced earlier this year with Tiger.

The extensive use of Spotlight in the next version of Finder will bring the following enhancements to it:
- significant overall performance increase
- improved user interface
- even more integrated Spotlight related features (search, smart folders, document previews…).

The aim behind this new Finder is to offer to the user the ability to browse his files just as he browses his music. Users will be able to browse files by different criterias (name, type/creator, creation date, modification date…).

Sources also told us that Apple may also add the ability to edit meta-tags directly from the Finder, just as we edit ID3Tags on iTunes. Though this feature doesn’t appear to be implemented in early builds, the new Finder’s architecture is making it quite easy to add such a feature, explain sources.

On the developers side, Apple should also improve Spotlight’s API a lot, making it easier to use for developers and more powerful. It might be possible for developers of Cocoa applications to add meta-tags support to a document type with few coding.

This first drop of information already shows that Leopard will be far more than a cosmetic update. We guess Apple has many other major features in development for this release. We’ll be trying to get more details on this major feature as well as on other Leopard features so don’t hesitate to contact us if you know more about Leopard.


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