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Monday, December 01, 2003, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple tweaking "Home on iPod" feature for release

The illusive "Home on iPod" feature of Mac OS X has once again been proposed for inclusion in an upcoming update to the Mac OS X Panther, sources tell AppleInsider. Once a part of early Panther builds, the functionality seemingly vanished from the operating system during its latter development stages due to a number of imperfections.

The Home on iPod feature will allow users to store their home directory — including files, folders and applications — on their iPod or external FireWire hard drive and take it with them on the go. Users will then be able to plug their iPod into any Panther equipped Macintosh and login to their Mac as if they never left home. When the user returns home, they can automatically synchronize any changes they've made to their home directory with aid from Apple's FileSync technology.

With Apple's Panther update time schedule still up in the air, it's unknown when the feature will appear, though one source is citing the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update (which is traditionally the most feature rich of Mac OS X updates, as it falls halfway between major upgrades to the operating system).

Meanwhile, Apple is polishing its Mac OS X 10.3.2 update for release before the new year. In a note to developers last week, the company asked that they provide timely feedback on builds 7D14 and 7D15 of Mac OS X 10.3.2 Server and Client, respectively. With a substantial list of known issues to squash, the development team wants to ensure a safe release, sources said.

In October, Apple released Mac OS X 10.3 to retail outlets with a serious File System glitch that caused data corruption with hybrid USB/FireWire external drives.