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First thoughts about Panther: Address Book…

Address Book under OSX has never been a particularly impressive application, but it’s just about worked as a system wide piece of kit. Panther brings with it a number of changes and improvements and a couple of nasty unprovements too. There’s some functionality here that I can’t categorically say wasn’t in Jaguar, so bear with me if I foul something up:

  • Every card in Address Book can have a picture associated with it. This is not new. However previously you were just able to pick up a picture and drop it whole onto the hole allocated for it, where it would sit greatly diminished in size and essentially unusable. The version in Panther introduces the lovely resize and crop functionality that’s been in iChat AV since the beta. Very nice indeed;
  • The edit functionality now lasts when you change cards which is a good change. Previously editing an card meant entering it individually and clicking on the edit button. Now the edit button will remain depressed until you release it. It’s not the UI approach I’d have taken, but it pretty much works;
  • The edit interface itself is a bit of a dog’s dinner. The previously understated and probably not very clear grey + and buttons have now become garishly red and green, the edit screen radically indents everything and moves stuff around to the extent that it’s difficult to see what’s going on and where your information has been moved to. An approach that highlighted the information rather than the labels might have been better;
  • Also noticed for the first time is the ‘send updates’ functionality – which I’m sure has been there for ages. It appears to be a way of informing everyone in your address book of any and all changes to your personal address card. I’m interested, but too scared, to see how this might work…

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