Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Leopard: It does include remote control software

What's wrong with the geek coverage of the Leopard announcements? There are some very pleasant surprises hidden away that are getting little discussion. iChat is particularly interesting. Leopard's iChat is said to include the ability to share static images -- a feature that would be incredibly useful for corporate communication.
... Use new iChat Theater to present photos from iPhoto, slides from Keynote, or content from any iChat-enabled application with any iChat or AOL AIM buddy. And do it in style — full-screen, accompanied by a video feed of you playing host. iChat’s virtual presentation room makes a big impact...
Much to my pleasant surprise, it also includes the first real move towards useful bunded remote control software:
Apple - Apple - Mac OS X - Leopard Sneak Peek - iChat

... Share and share alike

Remote control takes on a whole new meaning with iChat in Leopard. Thanks to iChat Screen Sharing, you and your buddy can observe and control a single desktop via iChat, making it a cinch to collaborate with colleagues, browse the Web with a friend, or pick the perfect plane seats with your spouse. Share your own desktop or share your buddy’s — you both have complete control at all times. And when you start a Screen Sharing session, iChat automatically initiates an audio chat so you can talk things through while you’re at it...
This is something I've been moaning about for years. My one wish for Leapard was remote control that worked and performed well, something analogous to Microsoft Remote Desktop. This seems like a big step in that direction, and it's more than I'd expected. True, it's only ONE desktop (no true thin client multiuser support) and it probably won't work with fast user switching, and it may be hard to hack to allow remote initiation of session control ... but hey, it's a start.

It will, at the very least, make it possible to manage my mother's machine -- which means I can justify buying her a Mac Mini!

Between the static image sharing and remote control in iChat, and the innovative backup approach, if Leopard performs as well or better than 10.4 on legacy hardware I'll be a very happy customer. Now if Apple would only add antiviral/antiworm services ...

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