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Tuesday, October 05, 2004, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Apple seeds Mac OS X Update 10.3.6 build 7R12

In its latest developer release of Mac OS X 10.3.6, Apple asks developers to test DVD playback and mass storage devices.

Apple Computer this week provided its developers with a new build of Mac OS X Update 10.3.6, a forthcoming maintenance release that will further fortify the company's Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" operating system.

Since seeding the software to its Apple Developer Connection (ADC) members last week, Apple has ammended the list of areas where developers should focus their testing. The company is now asking that tests be run on DVD playback quality and mass storage devices—including external hard drives, optical drives, and card readers.

Prior to providing the system software to its ADC members, Apple said the update would deliver improvements to web browsing, audio, USB, graphics card drivers, and OpenGL. The company asked that developers diagnose new versions of Safari (1.2.4) and Calculator (3.2), while also focusing their testing efforts on audio applications, graphics, FireWire, USB, and OpenGL-intensive games.

Mac OS X 10.3.6 will also reportedly include significant changes to the handling of optical media, such as CDs and DVDs. Likewise, Apple has encouraged its developers to experiment with disc burning.

Although Apple had previously distributed a developer preview of Safari 1.3, the software does not appear in Mac OS X 10.3.6. According to sources, the Safari 1.3 preview may fail to function properly in current builds of the Mac OS X 10.3.6 Update. The incompatibility is subsequently noted in Apple's internal list of known issues.

The lastest developer release of Mac OS X 10.3.6, build 7R12, is only the second build to be posted to ADC members. And while the development of the system remains in the earlier stages, an official release is expected by mid-December.