OS X Snow Leopard spotted at WWDC: $29 upgrade

At Apple's 2009 WWDC keynote in San Francisco, after a trademark stab at Windows Vista, Apple introduced some of the latest features of its next version of OS X: Snow Leopard

At Apple's 2009 WWDC keynote in San Francisco, after a trademark stab at the apparent problems plaguing Windows Vista, Apple introduced some of the latest features of its next version of Mac OS X: Snow Leopard .

In addition to things we already knew, such as built-in Microsoft Exchange support coming to OS X Mail, iCal and Address Book, Snow Leopard's dock gets the gift of Expose. Clicking and holding on any open application on the dock brings up all its windows in typical Expose fashion. And you can now mess around with stuff inside the smaller windows it produces without leaving Expose at all.

QuickTime X flashed open its trenchcoat, and the family jewels have grown since we last peered at it. Now, a la iMovie '09's visual timeline, you can quickly trim videos within a playback window and share the final versions directly to YouTube or straight into iTunes. The playback window is a little more sparse as well, with buttons and controls previously around the edge of a window disappearing after a few seconds -- think of a borderless video with nothing around the edges.

Preview's loading speed has been ramped up to load, well, previews twice as quickly, Apple claims. In fact, the OS itself installs much more quickly (yawn), but does require 6GB less of disk space over Leopard -- a big deal for MacBook Air owners who use SSDs, we believe, as this space will be freed up after upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard.

One other feature given some 'Stop! Schiller time', was Safari 4. But we've covered this extensively, so check out our widely read report here .

Many features reside under the hood, such as boosts in how OS X handles RAM and processes, but we'll detail these in a hands-on at a later date. But one thing Apple wanted to point out: your Mac can support up to 16 billion gigabytes of RAM. Daft, uh huh, but a fun fact.

Snow Leopard will be on sale in September. UK prices are yet to be confirmed, but in the US Apple has seriously dropped the gauntlet to Microsoft: it'll be a $29 (£18) upgrade from Leopard.

Quicktime X, only with its border intact

 

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