Mac OS X 10.6

The announcement this week that Apple were releasing the latest update for the Mac operating system has been much reported. Apple stated a while ago that this latest release was more about refinements than new features, but sometimes refinements are better. The upgrade price from Leopard is merely ¬£25, which raises the question as to what you get for this. The answer is larger than I’d assumed. For me, the biggest reason to upgrade is that it will be possible for non-iPhone owners (such as myself) to syncronise contacts with their Googlemail account, to quote:

Now everyone, not just iPhone users, can synchronise their contacts through MobileMe, Yahoo! and Google.

In addition,

users of multi-touch trackpads on older macs also get three- and four-finger gestures.

My trackpad accepts two-finger gestures (for scrolling) but nothing else, so I’m hopeful on that front.

There have been some nice-sounding refinements to Expos√© (allowing access to multiple windows in an application, including minimized windows) as well as making the (in my view, largely redundant) “Services” menu option more context-sensitive. They’ve also done some work on Preview, which was getting a bit tired.

The ability to connect iCalendar and Address Book up to an Exchange server would be useful at work, but only after they upgrade our server to Exchange 2007!

I’ll be interested to see if the use of 64-bit code makes for a speed improvement on my MacBook Core 2 Duo, but my guess is that these improvements are harder for the individual user to experience for sure, unless they are dramatic. For me, however, syncing up to Google Contacts will be worth the 25 quid upgrade alone.

I’ll report more once I get it – but I’m not going to be one of those queuing outside an Apple Store on Friday.

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