What You DO Get in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

June 8, 2009

Snow LeopardAmong other things,* Apple announced the release of the next version of Mac OS X dubbed Snow Leopard today. Mac owners can get the 10.6 version hike this fall and it will cost a modest $29, a full $100 less than previous OS X updates.

Why is that? Well, while Snow Leopard has had much work done under the hood, there aren't a whole lot of user-facing new features--and that's what sells operating systems at a $129 price point. Instead, this time for 30 bucks you get "enhancements and refinements" (Apple's words).

Still, even though you might have to dig for them, it looks like a few nice tweaks are on the way with Snow Leopard. Here are the ones I'm most looking forward to.

  • Faster bootup and shutdown times, and half the disk footprint of Leopard, which will save you about six gigabytes of disk space.
  • Signal strength indicators in the Airport menu (so you can choose the Wi-Fi network with the best signal).
  • A split pane terminal, so you can run jobs side by side (like tail a log in one pane while running a script in another, so you can see what's going on in each simultaneously).
  • Date in the menu bar. (I use a hack to get this right now; happy to hear that won't be necessary anymore.)
  • Safari 4. While the beta was crashy (at least for Windows), it is leaner, meaner, and a bit more flashy than Firefox or Chrome.
  • Video editing and screen recording (for screencasts!) in Quicktime.
  • Microsoft Exchange support--good for all those (poor) folks using Exchange.
  • 64-bit computing, which means you can get more memory into your system.

Here's the full list of Snow Leopard "refinements and enhancements."

* Oh yeah, there was also something about some new phone and laptops, too. Or something.

Behind the scene fixes are always nice and welcomed. Do you know if the $29 upgrade will allow you to do a full reinstall, I’m not a big fan on just upgrading an OS, at least in the PC world its just better.

Hopefully will be a new mac owner pretty soon. :)

thejefferson [+1]
Jun 8 09 at 5:33 pm

On a somewhat related topic, I saw your tweet earlier today about your Android phone weeping.

I’m a happy G1 owner, and I’m kinda interested in what your reactions are to what was announced today at WWDC regarding the 3G S, its price point, features, and what it does, if anything, to how happy you still are (or are not) with being an Android user.

mrhaydel [+7]
Jun 8 09 at 6:29 pm

“A split pane terminal, so you can run jobs side by side (like tail a log in one pane while running a script in another, so you can see what’s going on in each simultaneously)”

emacs
C-x 3
M-x term
C-x o
M-x term

;^)

Satish
Jun 9 09 at 12:12 am

Being myself a recent switcher, I find it amazing that a new updated OS will actually make an existing computer faster AND at the same time taking less hard disk space.

Sounds almost too good to be true! Anyways, I’m so *not* going back to Windows.

Carlos Yoder [+1]
Jun 9 09 at 6:57 am

I went ahead and switched out of Firefox to Safari 4 and I’m pretty happy. Glim and some other recently developed plugins have really helped to make Safari a little more how I like to browse.

Dave W [+2]
Jun 9 09 at 7:51 am

Terminal has better features than a Finder window. Tabs, split pane, themes. Apple, can wez haz better file browzer?

Ryan Smith
Jun 9 09 at 2:43 pm


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