A Look at Snow Leopard: New Features From the Latest Build

World of Apple this week has been kind enough to post a series of screenshots taken from the latest build of Snow Leopard that show off some of the new features coming in Apple’s latest OS revision. While Snow Leopard is being billed more as a streamlined and smoothed-out version of OS X 10.5, there are still some changes to the UI and feature set coming along with the improvements under the hood.

The latest build does indeed boast significant performance enhancements, including a reduced footprint for most applications, which have been rebuilt using Cocoa. The screens also show that most processes are now native Intel 64-bit, but that applications have an “Open in 32-bit” mode as well. As we’ve noted previously, Quicktime Pro features are all enabled by default, although Quicktime X is still missing. The version included with Snow Leopard is still 7.5.5.

Two new features, though arguably minor, really have me looking forward to getting my hands on Snow Leopard, because they address some of those petty, repeatedly annoying pet peeves of mine that prevent my OS X experience from being altogether pleasant.

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The first is a restore feature that’s been added to the Trash Bin. Called “Put Back,” it allows you to undelete the file you just trashed, without having to drag and drop it back to its original folder. This is one of the very few things I miss from my days using Windows. Not everything Microsoft does with their OS is a complete failure. Just most things.

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The second is the ability to navigate folder structures from within the “Grid” view in stacks. I actually keep my folders in “List” mode specifically to avoid the annoying problem of having a Finder window open every time I click on an Adobe application, for instance, since they reside in nested folders. There’s even a video of this in action.

All things considered, it looks like Snow Leopard is on track to be one of the most impressive Mac OS revisions in recent memory. Kind of makes you wish they took their time and got things right the first time around, so we wouldn’t have to pay for the privilege of having Leopard’s kinks worked out. I honestly think they should offer some kind of special upgrade pricing for people who’ve already bought Leopard, but I suppose as long as they’re adding something new to the pot that’s actually useful, it’ll be worth taking the hit.

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