Snow Leopard is starting to settle down into a relatively stable piece of software that will likely resemble the final release version, according to Engadget. Some speculate that it could receive retail release alongside iPhone OS 3.0 as soon as WWDC, which takes place in early June.
Like iPhone OS 3.0, Apple (s aapl) is now giving developers the go-ahead to develop Snow Leopard-specific apps without fear of major feature changes or revisions, since they just announced that the operating system’s APIs are now frozen. That should also mean that the feature list we’re seeing reported now from devs with access to the Snow Leopard beta is an accurate representation of what the new OS will ship with.
Some of the highly popularized features of Snow Leopard are the inclusion of QuickTime X, the long awaited update to the resident OS X media player software that will finally take it beyond version 7.xx. Another recent addition is Chinese character handwriting input recognition, a feature it borrows from its portable cousin, and a finished version of the Grand Central architecture, which lets devs use multiple processor cores without necessarily having the advanced programming knowledge usually required.
MacRumors points out yet another new feature they’ve spotted, which is the ability to access HFS+ formatted drives in Windows using drivers built into the new version of Boot Camp that will ship with Snow Leopard. The only people not pleased about that are probably the developers of MacDrive, a third-party Windows program which currently allows you to do the very same thing, but for a price. So long as Apple includes drivers for accessing NTFS drives in OS X, the circle will finally be complete.