Tiger Gripes?

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Chris Adamson
May. 04, 2005 12:25 PM

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With the lavish praise hurled upon Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger in the media — and not a little bit of scorn for Longhorn's problems — you'd think that jumping in with both feet would be a breeze.

Let's be honest. There are annoyances and bugs in this product, just as with any other. Denying that may be typical of some extreme Mac advocates, but it doesn't help: it doesn't advance the platform, it doesn't make things better, etc.

What bugs you about Tiger? Where does Tiger not behave, where do you see change for change's sake, and what from Panther (or Jaguar) would you like to have back?

This blog is mostly meant to collect your nits and gripes in the feedback, but let me toss out a few of mine:

  • iChat drops the connection frequently - once every couple hours, at least. This didn't happen in Panther. Watching in Activity Monitor, it doesn't take long for iChatAgent to go red (ie, "not responding"). What's up with that?
  • iSync acts like you've never used it before - even if you used iSync in Panther, the Tiger edition promptly announces that it's a new day and you have to re-add all your devices and give them an initial sync. WTF?!
  • Runaway CPU use - I occasionally see some benign application start gobbling 40% or more of CPU time, on both of my processors. Both iTunes and BBEdit have done this. Weirdly, the grab is reported by Activity Monitor as happening in system space, not user.
  • Mail got a pointless makeover - no more drawer, and the toolbar buttons are now rearranged, smaller, and less hittable. Where did this come from? Can someone tell me why the new way is better?
  • iChat Groups - groups used to be in a drawer, with checkboxes to show or hide group members in the buddy list. Now the names of all groups appear in the main display, with a count of how many group members are online. Fire does it this way too. On paper it sounds good -- in practice it means you either have a trivial number of groups, or an iChat window as tall as the screen. If you have 10+ groups like I do, you can fill the window just with group names.

Chris Adamson is an author, editor, and developer specializing in iPhone and Mac.