Don’t get fooled by seeing a small price ($29) for the latest upgrade to Mac OS-X “Snow Leopard”. Apple’s new OS has so much more to offer. It is built with a focus on improved speed and reliability, but at the same time has many tweaks, changes and improvements over the previous versions of OS-X.
10 Best features of OS-X 10.6 Snow Leopard
ActiveSync and Exchange 2007 support
The biggest new feature in Snow Leopard is support for Exchange, Microsoft’s popular e-mail, contact, and calendar server. Last year, iPhone got the support for Exchange and now it is the turn of Mac to make ActiveSync and Exchange 2007 native to the OS. That means Apple’s e-mail, calendar, and contacts apps work nicely with Exchange 2007 server, giving users the same capabilities as Microsoft Entourage but with the better-designed, less-memory-intensive apps — Mail, iCal, and Address Book. If you’re syncing your iPhone to the same Exchange server, all those calendar events will sync up automatically!
While malware has long been an almost daily annoyance for Windows PCs, Mac users have become accustomed to not worrying about malicious software. But few instances off late have pressed for a need to detect and contains the off malware or trojans which make their way to Mac systems. Apple provides this first line of defense by introducing a built-in system that detects malicious software and attempts to protect users from inadvertently damaging their computers.
Stacks get even better
Dock stacks viewed as grids now have a scroll bar if there are many items. You can also move up and down the folder hierarchy within the stack. And when you select a stack or right-click on a Dock item, you’ll notice that the contextual menu that pops up has changed.
Automatic location detection
Snow Leopard changes the time zone for you automatically, using Wi-Fi mapping to figure out where you are. This is particularly useful when you are traveling and iCal can also be set to adjust the times to the current time zone automatically, so your calendar always reflects the current times.
The Preview program now accurately detects and lets you select horizontal and vertical columns in page layouts, making for cleaner, more accurate cutting, copying, and pasting. The new Preview also features imaging enhancements. It can now detect images from a USB-connected digital camera or scanner. Preview now can open multiple PDF documents, display their contents as contact sheets, and show thumbnails of pages in a sidebar for easy navigation.
The new version of Apple’s QuickTime multimedia architecture in Snow Leopard is called QuickTime X. QuickTime X can record from your Mac’s camera or screen, and the results can be trimmed and shared to iTunes or YouTube.
Among the new additions are improvements to VoiceOver, support for trackpad gestures for the vision impaired, and support for Braille displays. And there are plenty more.
Automatic text replacement
Snow Leopard lets you specify such substitutions via the Keyboard system preference, so you have a common set of substitutions available to all applications. Programs have to be modified to specifically support it; but once they are, they’ll all share the same substitution list, which you can see in the Text tab of the Language & Text pane in System Preferences.
The screenshot above must give you an idea on how useful this new feature is. In Leopard, disks often couldn’t be ejected, because a file was in use by an application. Snow Leopard indicates which app is causing the problem.
This feature simply links Expose to the Dock. Holding down on an app’s icon triggers Expose for that application’s windows, and if you drag a file onto an app, you can then select which window you want to drop it into.
Note: The $29 upgrade price is for Leopard users; if you have an older Mac OS X version, it’ll cost you $169 to upgrade.