Apple’s Finder Remixed

by Bakari Chavanu Nov 07, 2008

After the review I wrote about Path Finder, I started thinking more about how Apple could possibly enhance the Finder in the next version of OS X. Of course it could use a lot of what Path Finder has included, especially tab browsing and increase customization. 

But I'm thinking why not incorporate some simpler versions of iLife programs? Why do we need to open up say iPhoto or iTunes to view and edit photos or play music? Quicklook, Cover  Flow, Preview, and the iLife media browser demonstrate that some sort of media center could be functionally embedded within the Finder, making less of a need to open up a separate applications for getting at photos and music. 

As I pointed out in my review of Path Finder, there exist an Image Converter in which you can open up a photo right from within the Finder and do some quick editing. This method could also include of course a quick slide show feature supported with music. Cover Flow. There should be no need to open up iPhoto do this. iPhoto or Aperture would be for larger batch processing.  

Apple says on its website that with Leopard's Finder, "browsing the files on your Mac is as easy as browsing music in iTunes." Well, yes that may be true. But what about a more robust Finder where we get increased iTunes-like smart album features instead of the limited search and sort rules that now exist. The Finder should be even more customizable, so much so that you could almost do many daily task right from with it: check iCal appointments, addresses, and email files directly from the Finder without having to open open up Mail. There are Automator actions that perform some of these functionalities, but those automations become yet additional plug-ins and mini-applications. Let's have them embedded within the Finder. 

Other ideas that come to mind is that Finder could incorporate for instance a simple scrapbook or notebook interface. There are dozens of third-party notebooks out there, which shows there's a demand for this type of software. But why does it have to be a separate application? Why not just have it a part of the Finder and instantly connected to various internet services like MobileMe? Users should be able to perhaps access all their documents from within sidebar of the Finder. Blog posting, iChatting, image file uploading, and CD/DVD authoring should be done right from the Finder browser. Some of these functions already exist, but they should be even more integral to the most used application in the operating system.  

I understand the need for Apple to keep much of the operating system as simple as possible, but with each generation of Mac users, streamlining and reducing the number of applications that need to be opened to view and process various media will not be that difficult to grasp. This doesn't mean that iLife applications should be done away with. They are seriously awesome. I for one base my business on them. But iLife should not be necessary tools to get media work done on a Mac computer. Basic media processing and creation should be fully integrated within OS X or XI! 

Is this too far fetched or retrograde to anyone? I'd be interested in what others think.


  • Lets not make the Finder look (and consume resources) like the bloated Windows Explorer for XP/Vista now…

    PetieG had this to say on Nov 07, 2008 Posts: 1
  • Very nice, but the more file-specific functionality you add to Finder, the more bloated it becomes.  Ultimately it could include the functionality of every application you have on your system - and be 20GB in size to boot.  Far better to have a lean and mean Finder and let the applications take care of the specifics.

    Paul Howland had this to say on Nov 07, 2008 Posts: 38
  • Yeah, I thought about the Finder becoming too bloated, but current features in the Finder hasn’t in my few slowed it down. Basically it just needs to be remixed because the basic functionality for what I’m talking about pretty much already exist.

    Bakari had this to say on Nov 07, 2008 Posts: 37
  • great idea, bakari!

    And I disagree with those who say it will bloat finder. Why should it? The code already exists elsewhere, so just call it as necessary.

    Chris Howard had this to say on Nov 09, 2008 Posts: 1209
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