Waiting For Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Mac OS X Leopard

With rumors of a March release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, swirling, Zach asked what was promised that he should be excited about, so I went looking to jog my memory.

The announced features include Time Machine automatic backup of all your stuff (with integration to make finding and restoring stuff in applications easy and sweet, watch the video already), as well as a big leap ahead for iChat. The news isn’t that iChat finally supports multiple logins, visibility, or animated icons, or even the fancy backdrops or other goodies in the video chat. No, the big news for iChat is “iChat Theater,” described here in Apple’s developer announcement:

Instant messaging has become an essential tool for users to communicate and collaborate. In Leopard, the ability to collaborate has been taken to a new level. In an iChat session, users will be able to use iChat Theatre to present data from another application, such as iPhoto or Keynote, as part of a video conference. The applications you create will also be able to integrate with iChat in the same way using the Instant Messaging framework via the Core Video and Core Audio APIs. Once integrated, the Instant Messaging framework will automatically compress the content, using the H.264 codec, and send it across the network to the remote user’s display.

From the looks of it, iChat Theater will be compatible with any IM client and network that supports video chat, including AIM.

Hey, note also that first line where they call IM an “essential tool.”