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Friday, September 01, 2006, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Apple issues new build of Leopard Preview

Apple Computer on Thursday evening offered developers testing its next-generation Leopard operating system the first update to the software since it was released privately last month.

Leopard build 9A241e

"This Software Update delivers improved reliability and compatibility for Mac OS X Leopard Developer Preview and is recommended for all users," Apple said of the update, distributed over Leopard's Mac OS X Software Update mechanism.

The 46.4 MB patch, labeled "Leopard Preview Update version 1.0," updates Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard from build 9A241 to build 9A241e .

Minor fixes delivered to Leopard Apps

Apple did not accompany the release with any documentation, nor did it specify which areas of Leopard the update targets. However, an inspection of the installer log reveals changes to applications such as AddressBook, Dashboard, Expose, Mail, Spaces, Spotlight and Time Machine.

The installer also modifies Leopard's Mac OS X Dock, AddressBook synching, Firmware Password Utility and widget installer.

Slight stability increases

Tipsters testing the latest build say they have not noticed any major changes. However, they say some stability issues appear to have been addressed, as certain issues persist less often than before.

Parallels Desktop and Leopard

One report received by AppleInsider also notes that build 1848 of Parallels Desktop emulation environment functions smoothly under Leopard, but the more recent build (1862) produces some color distortions with interface buttons and windows.

Leopard aids MacBook cooling

According to the same report, Leopard's energy saver and power management routines are far superior to those included with the latest shipping version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, particularly with cooling fan behavior.

"Fan behavior on my MacBook Pro with the Leopard preview is excellent," the tipster said. "[It's] immensely better than with Tiger but that was true even before I installed the Leopard Preview update."