Many new features coming in Apple’s ‘no new features’ Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

“Apple is marketing the idea of there being “no new features” for Snow Leopard and instead promising an overall improvement in how Mac OS X works under the hood, thanks to a diligent code optimization and refactoring cycle discussed in the previous article. At the same time, there are plenty of significant new features coming in Snow Leopard to look forward to. Here are ten big new features (plus a few minor ones) that you probably haven’t heard much about from anywhere else,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for RoughlyDrafted.

Dilger looks at many new fetaures and techinologies, including:
• LLVM (Low Level Virtual Machine)
• CUPS 1.4 (Common Unix Printing System)
• ZFS support
• QuickTime X
• Grand Central
• OpenCL
• Multi-Touch™ support
• Resolution Independence
• Code optimization

Full article here.


  1. These new features seem to be geared to significantly improving the performance. That will probably show most prominently on lower-powered machines, as MacBooks, Airs and Minis. I’d say, these features will probably benefit the general user the most.

    ZFS seems to be the most radical, with the biggest impact. Vast majority of hard drive problems are not caused by hardware failures, but by data or file system corruption problems. ZFS alone will elliminate majority of the causes for these problems and noticeably improve disk performance.

    Resolution Independence, if it were ever to see the light of day, would probably be even more significant for an ordinary user. Too many people lower their monitor resolution, which was fine on a CRT, but looks simply dreadful on a LCD. With resolution indepencence properly handled (and if anyone could do that, it’s Apple), these people could leave their monitor resolution and the proper supported setting and change the size of things (buttons, texts and other elements of the OS) to match their eyesight.

    Let’s hope Mr. Dilger is right. I’ll gladly plop $130 for the new cat.

  2. @ Richie:

    While most general users may not understand these features (and therefore not see the value in them immediately), these features will improve system performance for everyone.

  3. “New features that will help the hard core, not the general user.”

    “Snow Leopard dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos.”

    That’s generally pretty hard core stuff.

  4. Remember QuickDraw GX? Good. Great geek stuff, minimal Joe Public stuff, not something to sell as itself. Anything that needs explanation (LLVM, CUPS, Grand Central) shouldn’t be a mainstream selling point.

    As for the “no new features” list, it sounds like MS’s perpetual list of promises for the next Windows that’s always a year or two away.

    While I have no doubt in Apple’s ability to deliver, this isn’t material that makes a MacWorld keynote.

  5. Anyone who has used OS X from day 1 should remember how each new OS release has generally increased system responsiveness whilst also providing new features.

    Optimization of the code is a big deal and will further increase the lead that Apple have over M$ and windows.

    The average user may not upgrade to Snow Leopard. However all new machines will have it installed and that’s the major way upgrades are brought into the fold.

  6. I’m not paying for improved system performance or stability! Smells like M$!! These are things that should have been done BEFORE 10.5 was released initially. What’s next, $1.99 patches?! I LOVE APPLE but this is building up to a huge disappointment!

  7. This all sounds great, but how do we get Apple to change their mind and make Snow Leopard available for those of us with the Power PC chips. I got mine just before they announced the switch to Intel and I feel like I have been left out in the cold with out any jacket. These machines aren’t that old to be left by the way side.

  8. Skabeetle:

    You are quite short-sighted and obtuse. 10.6 is not a point release. It’s not a bundle of patches. It’s a complete overhaul to squeeze out every single ounce of power from your system.

    Smells like Microsoft? Are you joking? They never promised anything like this before. Apple has the vision and foresight to refine their work.

    “I’m not paying for improved system performance or stability!” That comment alone shows up many brain cells you rub together… and what a raving lunatic you are… Go buy a Windows PC!

  9. Since this is being optimized to run on Intel machines,and as PreDrag said

    “These new features seem to be geared to significantly improving the performance. That will probably show most prominently on lower-powered machines, as MacBooks, Airs and Minis. I’d say, these features will probably benefit the general user the most.”

    Does anyone think this may be the 1st Mac OS X licensed to PC OEM’s?

  10. Above all, I’d like to see Airport start functioning properly again.

    I get more Airport-related issues than anything, and before Leopard, I never had any.

    I work at a Honda dealership that provides free wi-fi to customers. Several of us here have Mac laptops, and many of our customers that come in do too, and not one of them that has Leapord can connect to our wi-fi router! The system asks for a password, even when there isn’t one set!

    I’ve posted this on Apple’s own message boards, as well as various others, and I’ve seen similar complaints are a common trend, but I have yet to find a fix. We called Apple on the issue, but they insist that it isn’t on their end. Funny though, isn’t it, that the very same laptop will connect using Windows, but not Mac OS X?

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