SLIDESHOW

Mac OS X Snow Leopard: New Bells and Whistles Explained

An in-depth visual tour of the new Mac OS features that every user will want to know about.

A Treasure Trove of New Features

Although positioned as an under-the-hood upgrade to Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard offers a lot of changes on the surfaces as well. Under the hood, it offers a 64-bit OS for faster processing and greater memory access, support for multicore processing via Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL, and faster Java and QuickTime performance.

Do note that Snow Leopard does away with two old Apple technologies: It no longer supports the long-waning AppleTalk network protocol, and it won't run on PowerPC-based Macs. If you have PowerPC apps (such as the Microsoft Office Update utility), note they will run if you have Apple's Rosetta technology installed. If Snow Leopard may not install Rosetta automatically, you can install it using the Optional Packages installer on the Snow Leopard installation DVD.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

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Exposé Meets the Dock

The Exposé feature has been integrated into the Dock, so if you hold and click an app icon in the Dock, previews appear for each window, allowing you to switch among them and apply other options.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

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The Dock's New Look

The Dock has a new look, with slicker menus. Common options are now in the Options submenu, making initial menus less cluttered.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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Wi-Fi Status Always Available

The AirPort status in the menu bar now shows the signal strength and security status of all available Wi-Fi networks. The Network system preference also shows these when you are choosing a Wi-Fi network.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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The Right Time Wherever You Are

Snow Leopard uses a Wi-Fi location database to determine where your Mac is, and it can set the date and time automatically based on the detected location. Likewise, iCal can be set to use the time zone where you happen to be, or it can stick with your "home" time zone.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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Easy Flight Status Checking

Mac OS X uses a technology called Data Detectors to identify information in text and e-mails such as dates and addresses. The detectors then provide contextual menus to, for example, add an address to the Address Book. Snow Leopard expands the Data Detector capabilities to find flight codes, letting you then open the Flight Tracker widget to see the flight status.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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Recover Your Trash -- Again

When you open the Trash and right-click or Control-click an item, you will now see a Put Back option in the contextual menu, which enables you to return the item to its original location -- a feature previously available in Mac OS 9 and earlier.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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System Preferences: New, Changed, and Gone

Several system preferences have been renamed, split apart, or deleted. The QuickTime system preference is no more (the new QuickTime X engine means the Mac OS no longer needs options to reduce quality to maintain streaming performance), while International is now called Language & Text and adds new capabilities. The Keyboard & Mouse system preference has been separated into two items (Keyboard and Mouse, of course); the Keyboard system preference adds new substitution and service customization capabilities as well. Oh, and the Energy Saver system preference's icon is now a "green" compact fluorescent bulb.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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Trackpad Gestures for All

Snow Leopard lets all Macs with gesture-capable trackpads use the entire set of gestures. Before, older MacBooks were limited to one- and two-finger gestures.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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Bluetooth Setup Is Now in Context

Bluetooth keyboard and mice are now set up through the Keyboard and Mouse system preferences, where you designate other attributes for input devices. Gone is the Bluetooth pane from the now-split-apart Keyboard & Mouse system preference.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

10 Reasons Snow Leopard Is Ready For Business

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Services Are Now Contextual

The Services menu -- where you call up applets available systemwide -- for each application is now contextual, showing only the applets that apply to whatever is selected in your current application. There's also a new option to change service preferences (see our "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" slideshow).

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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My Scanner Is Your Scanner

Snow Leopard adds the Scanner Sharing control to the Sharing system preference. With it, you can share any scanner attached to your Mac over the network to other authorized Mac users -- similar to how printer sharing works.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

10 Reasons Snow Leopard Is Ready For Business

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Quicker Sidebar Customization

It's a bit easier to add folders to the Finder's Sidebar in Snow Leopard, as you can now use a menu option or keyboard shortcut, as well as drag items into the Sidebar. Snow Leopard's Sidebar also lets you change the order of its categories. And if you removed unwanted categories and later add an item that belongs in that category, Snow Leopard adds the category back.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

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Preview Comes Closer to Adobe Reader

The Preview application can now open multiple PDF files, as well as display a PDF's contents in a contact sheet view. Other Preview changes include thumbnail views, "soft proofing" views, and auto-sizing of the PDF contents to fit the Preview window.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

10 Reasons Snow Leopard Is Ready For Business

Snow Leopard Taps Into the Mac's Core Power

QuickTime Pro Is Now Free

QuickTime Player now incorporates the features of the formerly separate $35 QuickTime Pro, such as the ability to record and trim your own movies (including screencasts) and share videos on iTunes, MobileMe, and YouTube. Behind the scenes, Apple has improved the speed of the video engine, for smoother rendering of streamed video.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

10 Reasons Snow Leopard Is Ready For Business

Snow Leopard Taps Into the Mac's Core Power

Your Top Sites in Safari

Safari 4.0 -- which was released earlier this summer and is installed with Snow Leopard -- has a new Top Sites view that shows previews of the Web pages you frequent.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

10 Reasons Snow Leopard Is Ready For Business

Snow Leopard Taps Into the Mac's Core Power

New Aurora, Slider-Sized Finder Icons

It's still an aurora photo that graces the desktop as the default background image, but not the same one as in Leopard. Also tweaked in the Mac OS' UI is the icon view in Finder windows: There's now a slider bar that lets you resize folder and file icons easily.

See the InfoWorld slideshows "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For power users" and "What's new in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: For office users."Get all the details on the new Mac OS X in the "Snow Leopard Bible," by InfoWorld's Galen Gruman and Macworld U.K.'s Mark Hattersley.Follow InfoWorld's ongoing coverage of Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

See related stories:

Apple to Release Snow Leopard on August 28

10 Reasons Snow Leopard Is Ready For Business

Snow Leopard Taps Into the Mac's Core Power