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Thursday, November 17, 2005, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Developers receive two Mac OS X 10.4.4 pre-releases

Apple Developer Connection members have received the first pre-release builds of Mac OS X 10.4.4, the next in a series of maintenance updates to Apple Computer's Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" operating system, according to sources and several reports already present on the Internet.

To date, developers have reported receiving two builds of the 26 megabyte update, the first of which arrived on Monday — about a week earlier than originally anticipated.

In that build, labeled Mac OS X 10.4.4 build 8G7, tipsters say Apple listed over two-dozen fixes and enhancements that had been added to the OS since the release of Mac OS X 10.4.3. Developers were asked to focus their testing efforts on those areas, which included: Bezel Services, CoreAudio, DVD Player, Quartz, Software Update, and Video Conferencing.

Sources said changes to Quartz Composer, a development tool provided with Mac OS X v10.4 for processing and rendering graphical data, accounted for nearly half of the bug fixes and enhancements listed in build 8G7. Meanwhile, other improvements targeted iMovie, Sync Services, GarageBand, and CoreImage, they said.

In a followup seed, released on Wednesday evening, Apple reportedly asked developers to shift their testing focus to I/O-related solutions such as USB, FireWire, Bluetooth and Firewall. Developers were also diagnose problems with Safari and .Mac iDisk RSS Synching.

The second build was labeled OS X 10.4.4 build 8G9, and included just one known issue. In a set of notes accompanying the build, Apple reportedly told developers that Mac OS X 10.4.4 so far included over 40 areas of change since the release of Mac OS X 10.4.3.

It's believed that Mac OS X 10.4.4 is on a development scheduled similar to those that have had their seeding process begin in mid November and end around the second week of December.