Apple Mac OS X Tiger 10.4
Tiger is a giant leap over its predecessor, Panther. In my tests, the operating system seemed stable and relatively bug-free, and performance was excellent on both my new test system and even my ageing Powerbook.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Is this latest release of Mac OS X worth $199 bucks? The answer is yes and the improvements aren't just cosmetic.
Rather, new features such as Tiger's desktop search tool are powerful enough to change the way you use your Mac.
Spotlight on Spotlight
The breakthrough feature in OS X version 10.4 - the reason to get Tiger at all - is Spotlight. This whip-smart desktop search tool rummages through your files, folders, e-mail, and certain applications, and then displays results neatly by category.
Spotlight's search window dresses the top-right corner of any Finder window. Alternatively, pressing Command-Space summons a search field that drops down from the upper-right menu bar. The first time you use Spotlight, your Mac needs 15 to 30 minutes to index its contents. After that, the OS constantly indexes files in the background. As you would in the iTunes search window, keep typing to constantly refine your search results on-the-fly.
Spotlight is fast, and its searches can run deep, making it superior to previous Finder-based searches and Windows searches. Spotlight can search by the usual criteria (file name, kind, keywords) but also by a dizzying variety of deeper parameters such as audio bit-rate, codecs, colour label, photo aperture, and type of encryption. It searches through files and folders, all Apple applications, and major third-party applications like Microsoft Word and Excel. Spotlight doesn't search through Microsoft Entourage, however, which is a bummer, since not everyone uses Apple Mail.
Widgets, video chat and RSS
I liked Apple's new Dashboard Widgets - fun and functional utilities of many kinds which appear/disappear instantly on a separate desktop layer, managed from a Dock-like Widget Bar. A basic set is supplied by Apple (including clock, calculator, calendar, address book, weather forecast, unit converter and more). Dozens more third-party Widgets can be downloaded.
iChat now supports the Jabber chat protocol and lets you conduct 10-way audio chats and slick-looking four-way video chats, although there are hardware limits (see "System requirements").
Fans of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) will also enjoy Apple's update to the Safari Web browser, which now supports the reading of blogs and news feeds. Apple includes links to about 25 news sources, but it's easy to add your own and to create a page that aggregates your favourite news sources.
Parental Controls and automation
Tiger's Parental Controls for Finder, Mail, iChat, Safari, and the new dictionary/thesaurus (a separate app that lets you look up words without an Internet connection) are strict, but there are some holes. For Mail and iChat, for example, you can add individuals with whom your child can communicate, but once people are "white-listed", the messages can include every profanity known to man and still make the cut. The controls also work only with Safari, and parents have to add every Web site a child is allowed to visit as a bookmark.
Tiger does make it easier to deal with repetitive actions like batch-importing photos with its new Automator application. Apple includes 175 prebuilt actions, and more are available on its Downloads page as well as through third-party Web sites.
Apple has added slideshow support to the Finder, Spotlight, and Mail - letting you, for instance, view a series of e-mail image attachments as a slide show (and, at a click, adding selected pics to iPhoto).
Finally, cross-platform folks will like the improved support for faster, more seamless networking between Macs and PCs.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- FTFrontend DeveloperNSW
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- CCSAP ISU Functional ConsultantVIC
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelVIC
- FTSenior SharePoint Administrator. Location -ACTACT
- CCTechnical Specialist - Cloud ServicesVIC
- FTData ScientistACT
- FTXamarin DeveloperVIC
- TPMobile Application DeveloperVIC
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FTSenior Network EngineerNSW
- TPTechnical ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSoftware EngineerWA
- FTEnterprise Architect - Network and TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- FTFrontend developerNSW
- CCPeopleSoft Functional AnalystVIC
- FTsolution ArchitectNSW
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- FTUrgent -Java Developer (Programmer). 3 different positionsVIC