As Snow Leopard Lurks, OS X Leopard Gets One More Update

snow_leopard_face_shot_photoApple has just pushed out the newest update to its OS X Leopard (10.5) operating system, with 10.5.8. This could potentially be the last Leopard update we see before Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) is released to the public sometime in the next couple of months.

Amazon already has Snow Leopard available for pre-order, with a ship date expected sometime in September, though it warns that date is not set in stone: “Official release date has not been announced by Apple, though they have indicated this product will be released sometime in September.

The new OS seems to be getting more buzz for its price (29.99) than its features. The emphasis with Snow Leopard is optimizing Leopard, to make OS X run smoother and faster. Remarkably, it will also have a smaller footprint than its predecessor, saving over 6 GB of hard disk space (though that does likely have a lot to do with the fact that it will only run on Intel processors).

Snow Leopard will of course also be coming out around the same time as Windows 7, Microsoft’s attempt to make its users forget Vista. Windows 7 will be out October 22.

So what’s new in 10.5.8? Nothing too exciting on the face of it, here’s a list of highlights:

  • Upgrades Safari to version 4.0.2.
  • Improves the accuracy of full history search in Safari 4.
  • Resolves an issue in which certain resolutions might not appear in the Display pane in System Preferences.
  • Dragging an Aperture image into Automator now invokes an Aperture action instead of incorrectly invoking an iPhoto action.
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent importing of large photo and movie files from digital cameras.
  • Improves overall Bluetooth reliability with external devices, USB webcams and printers.
  • Addresses an issue that could cause extended startup times.
  • Improves iCal reliability with MobileMe Sync and CalDav.
  • Addresses data reliability issues with iDisk and MobileMe.
  • Improves overall reliability with AFP.
  • Improves overall reliability with Managed Client.
  • Improves compatibility and reliability for joining AirPort networks.
  • Improves Sync Service reliability.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several third-party cameras.
  • Improves compatibility with some external USB hard drives.
  • Includes latest security fixes.

Update: The following two charts comparing the Windows 7 upgrade path to the OS X Snow Leopard upgrade path are pretty hilarious [via and (ds)]: