Although Apple is marketing Mac OS X Snow Leopard as an operating system update with “no new features,” under the hood improvements will actually translate into a slew of new enhancements, five of which are described herein.
Citing sources, RoughlyDrafted is offering of an overview of some of the big new features that are due to make an impact when Snow Leopard drops next Spring. Among them are previously disclosed or well known additions such as SproutCore, the LLVM Compiler, the CUPS printing engine, native exchange support in Mail (as well as iCal and Address Book), and self-contained Web apps.
New multi-touch framework: With all Apple notebook systems due to ship with multi-touch enabled trackpads following this summer’s MacBook and MacBook Pro design overhauls, Apple is putting the finishing touches on a complete multi-touch framework that will ship as part of Snow Leopard.
It will consist of code libraries and functions that ordinary developers can use to enhance their applications with the same multi-touch capabilities currently available in Apple-born apps like Safari and iPhoto, and do so with ease.
Slimmer applications: Another goal of Snow Leopard is to reduce the overall footprint of Mac OS X so that it can be scaled to a growing array of mobile devices that will rely on lower capacity solid-state Flash RAM drives, like the upcoming Apple Newton Web tablet.
As such, Snow Leopard applications have been put on a weight loss regiment that has already translated into the standard Mac OS X Utility folder dropping from 468 MB to 111.6 MB in size. Mail has also seen its heft shaved by two-thirds, from 287MB to 91MB. Similarly, iChat is down from 111MB to 52MB, and iCal from 89MB to 48MB.