Exclusive: Some more Snow Leopard screenshots and info

Hot on the tails of World of Apple's screenshots of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (currently in early developer testing), we at Neowin have some more tidbits to feed your hunger for more Snow Leopard information. While World of Apple was quite comprehensive in their overview, we received some information a few days back that they skipped over entirely with their review of build 10a261.

First of all, a bit of a summary of what we know so far is needed here. The Finder, Mac OS X's file manager and 'desktop experience', has been rewritten in the 64-bit friendly, and more up-to-date Cocoa, moving on from its origins in Carbon. As of now, the new Finder is a little bit buggy (according to our source), but it is there, and is definitely 64-bit Cocoa. It also includes a slider to adjust the size of the icons, located on the bottom right of each window.

Additionally, it appears that QuickTime Pro has been enabled in this release, but may be disabled later on. The purpose, as has also occurred in the Leopard and Tiger betas, is to let the testers get the full experience. No bug is to be overlooked.

Recently it was exposed that the Stacks feature, originally released with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, has been expanded in Snow Leopard to allow for "drilling down" into folders when in grid view. This means you can navigate through folders without opening a Finder window at all; it's all done from a popup from the dock.

Additionally, there is now a "Put Back" menu item for each file or folder in the trash, and as the name suggests, it puts the file back where it came from.

What Neowin has discovered

There are a few things that haven't been discussed yet, which an anonymous source has provided to Neowin.

First of all, Rosetta is now optional. In the Mac OS X installer, you are given the option to leave it out of your install. This will save a significant amount of disk space.

Secondly, the applications (drastically reduced in size) still support the legacy PowerPC processor, as well as multiple languages. Seems as if the huge space reductions are coming from somewhere else. XSlimmer can still remove quite a bit from the applications folder.

A few more interesting bits of information: there is no longer a MobileMe screen in the welcome wizard upon first boot, and there's still no option to install to ZFS. However, read and write support for ZFS and NTFS filesystems is not available, as has been discussed in our Snow Leopard discussion in our Mac forums. Almost all applications are 64-bit now, too, with the major exception being iTunes.

It is worth noting that Apple keeps its major features for keynote events. Many expect Apple to reveal more about Snow Leopard at its 2009 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Many also believe that Apple is not focusing on consumer-based features in this release, instead focusing on speed and stability. We will see how it plays out, however Snow Leopard isn't due out until later this year.

Want to see some more screenshots? We've set up a gallery for you here.

Don't forget to join in our Snow Leopard discussion in our forums here (new news will start here).

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KeR said,
I want Snow Leopard, real bad. The reduced file size must improve performance.

WAHT!? they reduced file sizes? so innovative. you're gonna buy snow leopard just cuz they reduced the size to some files? wowzers

Rosetta...that's for running PPC apps, yeah? I don't think I've ever used that, pretty sure all my apps are Universal.

Hmm..can Mail.app currently connect to Exchange? Thats crazy because i don't think Windows Live Mail can (unless you get your sys admin to enable imap or something..which is an uphill battle not worth fighting for).

No one copies anyone. It's business. If a company sees another company use a certain feature in a product that the majority of the population wants then why not include that feature in your own product. It just makes sense. Both MS and Apple are innovative. Yes you will find similar or identical features in each OS, but they do have their own separate innovations. Though for my own opinion. Apple really needs to get rid of their nearly 10 year old visual theme. And they really do need to rethink their menus and explorer windows. The mess up top is so 10 years old. Maybe they should use some ideas from windows 7's interface.

Yup, I totally agree. The problem here is that people only say this when Apple copies Microsoft, when it's the other way around, flame flame flame.

qdave said,
hmm looks exactly the same as leopard.

'tis true, but Snow Leopard is designed for optimization as opposed to a UI overhaul.

qdave said,
I suspect it will get some UI tweaking as if they released it looking exactly the same (even if it had a tonne of optimisation) lots of people wouldn't buy it.

But Apple tend to keep releasing the developer previews using the old skin and then sneakily merge in the UI improvements towards the end when it goes out of beta. I believe they did the same with Leopard...

Seems a little harsh that they will charge probably $100 for performance enhancements only. Thats just like a service pack rather then a real $100 value with new features/UI.

Same could be said about the first leaks of Windows 7. It's made gains in the latest builds. Snow Leopard is still very early on.

skynetXrules said,
so osx has finnally be able to return trash can item to it orginal place.

we had that years ago!

So did OS X, I believe. For some reason they got rid of it. Good to see everbody here loves Apple

Rolith said,
OS "9" had it... since the switch over of kernals it has been left out as far as I'm aware.

Ah, right. I wasn't sure which version had it...I'm not up-to-date on Apple's history

"Put Back" is certainly a welcome addition, and I'm certainly looking forward to giving Snow Lepoard a spin at my nearest Apple Store once it comes out. Can't wait to see what is revealed at WWDC!

"Secondly, the applications (drastically reduced in size) still support the legacy PowerPC processor, as well as multiple languages. Seems as if the huge space reductions are coming from somewhere else. XSlimmer can still remove quite a bit from the applications folder."

Not surprising since the actual binaries are a small part of the app (An app may be 80MB but the binaries are only 2MB)

And stripping out architectures from the binaries would break any digital signatures they have, and only save a small amount of space (good thing that not many people are using the digital signatures, ehh?)

Yawn. No laughable "300 revolutionary new features" list like with Leopard? Just have non-destructive Folder Merging and I'll be happy. I remember asking for that since Puma. I'd love to hear more about which apps other Finder have been x64'd.

Still waiting to see how many Windows 7 features they rush into this release so they can claim Microsoft copied...

See the launcher-based "Smart menus" and "Peaking" features...

Not that Microsoft doesn't steal from OSX... Apple just seems a bit more ego-stroking about it..

That said... I'll still likely get it... $100+ "upgrade" for a system i bought 2 months ago.

...I'm a consumer whore...

Rolith said,
Still waiting to see how many Windows 7 features they rush into this release so they can claim Microsoft copied...

Yup, that sounds like Apple...

I am still mystified how they were able to convince their customers that Vista looked like Mac OS X. They couldn't look more different.

Don't tell Apple that the photocopiers in Redmond only copy paper

@hardgiant -

Exactly! It makes sense to incorporate a similar feature if it is a good idea - it can only benefit the end user. Look at Safari 4, for example, and the ideas they took from Google. They were able to develop a solid competitor to Firefox on Windows and although very similar to Chrome, I think it is better.