Monday, June 8, 2009

Apple shipping Snow Leopard in September, $29 Upgrade

Aside from bumping up the specs on the Macbook line, Apple was also kind enough to tell us about Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard will be released September for $129 (for larger refreshes), and $29 for Leopard users, a very good and reasonable price considering its not a major upgrade. Apple's still giving users and developers some fun new tech to play with -- particularly the GPU-exploiting OpenCL, and the Grand Central Dispatch tech for developers to ease application optimization for multi-core processors. Pretty nerdy stuff, but if it makes our Dashboard Sudoku Widgets run faster, we can hardly complain. Other updates to the OS Apple is trotting out at WWDC:

  • Apple rewrote the Finder, while keeping it mostly the same on the surface, for a bunch of "little benefits." Tweaks include faster Quick Look previews and Spotlight searches.
  • There's built-in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 support in the OS, including Mail, Calendar and Address Book syncing.
  • QuickTime X has a new "modern foundation," HTTP streaming and a whole new look. Users can record and trim video, and upload to sharing sites like MobileMe and YouTube.
  • Snow Leopard has half the footprint of Leopard, amounting to 6GB in savings and 45% faster installs.
  • New trackpads can handle handwriting recognition now, and there's new text selection "AI." There's also support for wireless Braille accessories (pictured).
  • Safari 4 is available for Windows, Leopard and Tiger, but Snow Leopard adds "Crash Resistance," which keeps browser and tabs intact even if a plugin crashes -- user just refreshes the page. 64-bit version does JavaScript 50% faster.
  • All core apps are 64-bit, and performance improvements abound. Mail boasts 85% faster message loads and 90% faster loads, while Time Machine has a 50% faster initial backup time.

The one thing I was disappointed about, was the fact that they did not put the "Marble" UI on Snow Leopard. Looks like we'll have to wait till OS X 10.7 for the refresh.

[Portions from Engadget]