Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.3, its latest update to the Snow Leopard operating system, on March 29. The update includes several security and application tweaks, and is meant to patch problems with MobileMe, Parental Control, Time Machine and other features. Apple's two previous Snow Leopard updates also addressed a number of security and feature issues. Apple is spending this week gearing up for the April 3 release of the WiFi version of its iPad tablet PC, which has enjoyed strong presales.
Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.3, the latest update to Snow Leopard, on March
29. The update includes not only several tweaks to applications such as Time
Machine, but also a security component, leading Apple to recommend it for all
current users of Snow Leopard.
According to Apple, the update is meant to address a number of issues,
including reliability of "certain third-party USB
devices," photo screen savers, QuickTime X and printers; apparent color
issues in iMovie with HD content; OpenGL-based application compatibility; and
DNS server ordering "as specified in Network Preferences and DNS
reliability." It patches problems related to AirPort and wireless
networking, Directory and File Services, iCal, Mail, Mobile Accounts, MobileMe,
Parental Control, Rosetta, System Imaging, Time Machine, and Xsan.
And it changes the Daylight Savings Time rules for areas such as Argentina,
and Antarctica. This is important if you live in Argentina,
Fiji or Pakistan
or are probably the only person using a MacBook on the frozen wastes at the
bottom of the world.
More information about the update, along with Apple's warning that "you
may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications
installed," can be found on this Apple support site.
Apple's two previous updates to Snow Leopard, in September and November,
also included a variety of tweaks. Mac
OS X 10.6.1, for example, attempted to address a range of stability, security
and compatibility issues.
Its original version shipped in August 2009 and
was initially priced at $29 for Intel-based Macs already running Leopard-unless
the user purchased a qualifying system after June 8, in which case the upgrade
to Snow Leopard cost $9.95. At the time, some pundits perceived Apple's pricing
as a way to steal some thunder from Microsoft's ramp up to the release of
Fundamental changes between Leopard, or Mac OS X 10.5, and Snow Leopard
included a rewrite of the Finder in 64-bit Cocoa
to speed up fundamental processes such as startup, installations and shutdown.
The newer operating system version also left a smaller OS footprint on the
disc, effectively freeing around 7GB of memory.
Within two weeks of Snow Leopard's release, research firm NPD
Group found that the operating system was outselling Apple predecessors
Leopard and Tiger by respective 2-to-1 and 4-to-1 margins.
This newest update comes just as Apple prepares for the April 3 release of
the WiFi version of its long-awaited iPad, a tablet PC running on a modified
version of the iPhone OS, and which has enjoyed strong presales over the
previous few weeks. Versions of the iPad with both WiFi and 3G will supposedly
be released later in April.