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Improvements we can look forward to in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Improvements we can look forward to in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

At yesterday’s WWDC 2009 keynote, Apple spilled the beans on what we can expect from Mac OS X 10.6 – also known as Snow Leopard. Here is an overview of the most exciting improvements it offers!

If you’re a loyal MacYourself reader (thanks for that, by the way!), you know Apple news and rumors isn’t our thing. As a Mac tips & tricks site, however, it would be irresponsible not to cover some of the awesome enhancements Snow Leopard will bring when it’s released in September for just $29. Some of them even address issues covered in our previous articles.

Speed, speed, and more speed

According to Apple, Snow Leopard will be 2x faster waking from sleep, 1.75x faster shutting down, 1.55x faster joining wireless networks, and 1.45x faster during installation. As if that weren’t enough, initial Time Machine backups could be up to 1.5x faster as well, and Finder is about 1.5x faster generating document thumbnail icons. In other words, it’s blazing! These are the kinds of real world speed increases we will notice right away, not just benchmarks. Oh, and it takes up approximately 6GB less space on hard drives too. Has your jaw dropped yet?

Put Back trashed files

PC users will probably jump on this because it’s been in Windows for years, but we’ll ignore that fact for now. Usually when a file is in the Trash and a user wants to return it to its original location, they have to manually drag it back there themselves. Now Finder sports a feature called Put Back (from the File menu) which does this automatically. It’s going to be a great time saver.

Exposé… in the Dock

Snow Leopard brings an awesome new way to use Exposé, bringing window management to the next level. Clicking and holding an icon in the Dock will show all of that application’s open windows. Minimized windows will be represented by smaller thumbnails and pressing Tab will cycle to the windows of the next application in the Dock. This will definitely be another one of those “Exposé tips & tricks to show off to your Windows friends.”

Gamma 2.2 – the new standard

As mentioned in our “Prepare for Snow Leopard by calibrating your LCD to gamma 2.2” article, Snow Leopard will give Macs a nice visual boost. Blacks will be blacker and colors will appear more saturated. In addition, images and graphics will look closer to the way they do on Windows PCs, therefore making multimedia designers’ lives easier. All in all, this is a big plus.

Date in the menu bar

One of my long-standing issues with the Mac operating system is that it doesn’t display the date in the menu bar along with the day of the week and time. A nifty workaround tutorial was posted a while back to achieve the desired result in previous versions of OS X, but this is coming as a feature in Snow Leopard.

No-hassle iChat video conferencing

Snow Leopard’s version of iChat will reportedly feature new, more reliable ways of making connections to friends and family during video chats. Those annoying communication errors should pop up far less often. Video conferencing will also require just 1/3 of the upstream bandwidth currently needed in Leopard. Less compatibility problems and more quality? Count me in.

An all-new QuickTime X

QuickTime has been rewritten from scratch and it appears the paid version of QuickTime Pro might be no more. That means the free bundled version in Mac OS X is feature-packed and a huge step up from what we have now in almost every way. It sports a slick new interface, media trimming capabilities, video & audio capture, screen recording, and more. Way to go, Apple!

These are just a few of the many areas where 10.6 Snow Leopard will improve and expand upon the solid foundation built by 10.5 Leopard. It’s just a little taste for now, but expect many more in-depth articles covering the new version of Mac OS X when it ships in September of this year.

One Comment Has Been Posted (Leave Your Response)

I’m excited to update to Snow Leopard, even if I don’t want to pay for it. Ha ha.

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