updated 11:15 pm EDT, Sun June 22, 2008
Snow Leopard Screenshots
A German web site has posted photos of the test build of OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard," and describes it as "interesting -- but not overwhelming." Apple has told developers Snow Leopard will focus on boosting performance, not on new features. But Apfleltalk.de found at least one new feature -- the ability to create desktop web applications, much like the iPhone version of OS X. The site says Safari 4 includes a pull-down menu called "Save as Web Application" allowing users to create desktop versions of web apps, and place them in the Dock. It's not clear if these are simply web bookmarks, or actual applications that can be used offline such as Flicker or Photoshop Express. Clicking a saved item launches a stripped-down version of Safari with immediate access to a particular site or web application, similar to the way the iPhone stores web bookmarks.
This early build of Snow Leopard comes with a new version of Address Book that includes "Exchange Component." According to the site, Address Book "worked very well" at syncing contact information when logged on to a Microsoft Exchange server. Other than that, the application appears unchanged.
The site comfirms what has already been widely reported: Snow Leopard does not support the Power PC platform, leaving some owners with two-year old PPC Macs unable to upgrade. Apfleltalk.de says the new OS does, however, support 32-bit Intel machines -- so owners of early Intel Macs won't be left out in the cold.
Apfleltalk.de writer Felix Riesenberg says overall, the early build of Snow Leopard has few obvious changes from the current version. He says some of the applications are considerably smaller, but with no noticeable performance improvements as yet. RIesenberg points out, however, that Snow Leopard appears to be in an "extremely early stage of development" -- perhaps too early for Apple to show what it really has planned for the new version.