Will Snow Leopard change the world?

Apple has been making the next OS lean and mean and it should kick off a whole new season of Apple goodness for us Mac lovers, giving us an estimated 6GB of storage back as well as making all sorts of operations faster, particularly in video, I have heard.

The system also boasts a whole slew of refinements that developers are well aware of - we have to wait till September.



Not only that, Snow Leopard will make it even easier to lever Macs into existing IT structures, making it less of a pain when executives demand they have Macs and, not only that, they should be integrated into existing networks.



Ars Technica has detailed some of the 'refinements', like shut down and wake from sleep being 75 per cent faster. This chimes perfectly with my own law of computing; that 'Too much speed is always enough.'



Another one that will be appreciated by laptop owners more information on the condition of your laptop battery will be available than in Leopard. In other words, you'll know when your battery is due for replacement which, in the latest MacBook line, should be three times later than with last year's models.



I have posited before that once Apple got the OS onto the iPhone/iPod touch, it meant Apple engineers could really make the code a lot leaner for the general computer OS. It was only a matter of time before some other small-platform features went the other way.



One of these is so-called 'web spots', to be part of Universal Access, Apple's technology aimed at making Macs usable by the hearing and/or visually-impaired. (All Macs have Universal Access already in OS X - it's just getting expanded a bit).



Web spots will allow homing in on particular sections of a webpage so users can jump from one section to another. This is the feature that allows iPhone users to zoom in on particular sections of webpages by double-tapping them.



But Snow Leopard will be faster, too - it will have a sped-up Java processor and a new parallel-processing architecture called Grand Central, for multicore-enabled applications. The ability to steal processing capability from graphics cards when available is also a Snow Leopard feature, and the revamped QuickTime X engine means web, video and animation should all run faster.



Scotty to Enterprise



Infoworld detailed more of what enterprise users can expect from Snow Leopard. There are plenty of people using Macs in enterprise already - and iPhone has made further inroads. A current user of a Mac in a Windows world is Mark Crump, who wrote about his experience in the AppleBlog.



Two major Snow Leopard changes are aimed directly at business users - and to the benefit of the IT staff members who support them.



A year ago, the iPhone added native Exchange support via Microsoft's ActiveSync, including remote kill capabilities and other management features via Exchange.



Mac OS X Snow Leopard will come with native Exchange support via ActiveSync as well, so you can use Apple's Mail client or Microsoft's Entourage client with Exchange 2007 Server natively. In other words, no longer are you restricted to using IMAP. Users will need to use Exchange 2007 for native access, though there should be no need for an Exchange client license on the Mac. Connected to an Exchange 2007 Server, Apple Mail just acts like Entourage - it will be persistently synced.



Snow Leopard is supposed to add native Exchange 2007 support to Apple's Address Book and iCal (scheduler) too - both will be able to be set to sync directly with Exchange 2007. You will be able to select which services you want Snow Leopard to sync, enabling business users to maintain personal calendars in iCal and/or personal contacts in Address Book, while keeping their business information in Exchange. (Read the Infoworld article linked above for more detail on this.)



What this means to IT staff is that Mac users will be interacting with Exchange pretty much like Windows users do already, silencing yet another IT moan about letting Macs get a foothold in their precious environments.



Apparently, Mac OS X Snow Leopard will also delete a technology IT has long hated: AppleTalk. Ever since it introduced Mac OS X nearly ten years ago, Apple has methodically shifted more and more of the Mac's networking to IP. Mac OS X Snow Leopard will complete the transition, removing the AppleTalk protocol completely. The Infoworld story reckons Mac OS X Snow Leopard will be totally IP-based.



For those security conscious people, there will be a new option to set a delay between when the screen saver begins and a password is required to access your Mac. The Firewall settings in the System Preference>Security pane have been simplified.



There are lots of other little changes coming, but the fact that Mac applications, for the most part, will require no revision to work under a leaner, faster Mac OS is pretty cool, as is the fact that the new OS will look and work pretty much how the current one does. So Mac users will need little, if any, training to adapt to it.

This article originally appeared in the New Zealand Herald.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior IT Project Manager

    £55000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: iOS Developer - Objective-C

    £38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Design and build advanced appli...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition