The Spaces feature in OS X Leopard is one of those things you either love or hate. Since I do a lot of my computing with a 13" laptop screen, I find it very useful. The trouble is quite often I'm clueless as to which space I am actually occupying. I know I can display the number in the menubar but that just gets me more befuddled.
Hyperspaces is a small application designed around this specific problem. It allows you to set a custom wallpaper for each space. It also allows you to give each space its own specific name. So, instead of seeing "Space 3" in my menubar, I see "Writing", I also have spaces for OmniFocus, iCal, Mail, and a few others. You can display the label up in your menubar or even right on top of the current desktop. The application offers several ways to navigate including custom hot keys to switch directly to a certain space or add and remove spaces.
Be warned that if you are running an older machine or one without a dedicated video card. Loading up multiple wallpapers could eat into clock cycles. Fortunately the developer also allows you to configure it so it just changes color or, if you really like one specific wallpaper, you can rely on Hyperspaces other notification methods such as the menubar and on top of the desktop.
One feature this application begs for is a customizable dock. I know this is a 1.0 release, but if the developer could allow you to additionally customize your dock for each space with this single application, he will please a lot of unsatisfied Spaces users.
With the demonstration version you can customize three of your spaces. If you want more than that, you can buy a license for $13. The developer gives out his email on the application website and encourages feedback. It appears to be a well loved project with a bright future. While Hyperspaces is still a bit rough on the edges (this review is of final candidate 1.0), I see this application getting traction with Spaces power users soon. You can find it at Hyperspacesapp.com.
This review was also recorded and published on the MacReviewCast episode 122.