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Thursday, December 01, 2005, 03:00 pm PT (06:00 pm ET)

Spotlight, wireless, RAW enhancements due in Mac OS X 10.4.4

Improvements to Spotlight searches, AirPort, Bluetooth, and RAW camera support are a few enhancements Apple reportedly has planned for an early winter release of Mac OS X 10.4.4 Update, a routine maintenance update to the Mac OS X "Tiger" operating system.

Earlier this week, Apple provided developers with the third external pre-release build of the update, according to sources and reports present on the Internet. With the build, reportedly labeled Mac OS X 10.4.4 build 8G14, Apple expanded developer testing areas to cover AirPort, iSync, Disk Utility, and others.

Mac OS X 10.4.4 is scheduled to deliver fixes for AirPort and Bluetooth wireless access, Spotlight indexing and searching, and RAW camera support. Sources also say the update will correct bugs in Software Update, Sync Services, Core Audio, Core Image, and several default Dashboard widgets.

As is customary with the majority of Apple's Mac OS X Updates, Core Graphics will see improvements along with new versions of ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers. New versions of AppleScript, iChat, DVD Player, and Safari applications are also expected.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to tweak USB and FireWire devices compatibility, and SMB/CIFS and NFS network file services.

It appears that Mac OS X 10.4.4 is on track for a release before the holiday break. The software update reportedly weighs in at 46MB in Delta form, or 113MB as a Combo updater.