So the latest version of Apple’s operating system is out – Snow Leopard 10.6 – and most users should be itching to upgrade. Feature-wise it’s not a major upgrade (except for users with MS Exchange email accounts who now get native support in Apple’s Mail application).
But there’s a LOT of changes under the hood and it should run a lot faster. More importantly it introduces new features for application coders such as Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL that enable them to make full-use of multiple processors and the power of the machine’s graphics card.
So in the coming months we should see some more nice speed improvements as programmers of resource-intensive application rewrite them to take advantage of the new architecture.
Laptop users will also appreciate that the new OS is said to use up to 7GB less space on the hard disk.
One word of warning though – not all applications are compatible. Most are, but there’s a few that are broken by the new OS and if you have any apps you consider essential you might want to take a look at this user-compiled application compatibility list before you do the upgrade. Apple also has a list here.
Oh, and if your machine is a PowerPC – G3,G4,G5 – you can forget it…. Snow Leopard is Intel-only.
Reviews of the new OS: