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Intel Macs a focus of Apple's forthcoming Tiger update

A forthcoming 10.4.10 release of Apple's Mac OS X Tiger operating system will offer the greatest benefit to users of its Intel-based Macs, according to reports.

The Mac maker, which began evaluating the Tiger maintenance update in May, has since issued a number a test builds to its vast developer the community. The latest such seeds were reported to have arrived during the firm's annual developers conference this week, carrying build numbers 8R214 and 8R2214 for PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs, respectively.

For the most part, Apple is working to increase the stability and performance of Tiger ahead of October's Leopard release, using recent builds of the impending update to address issues within the software's kernel, JavaScript core and OpenGL engines.

People familiar with the latest tests seeds say improvements to imaging, specifically fixes for RAW format support, have also emerged as a primary focus.

Of two distributions — PowerPC and Intel — Apple has asked its developers to test the latter more broadly, those people say. Areas of focus for the Intel version not emphasized with the PowerPC software reportedly include audio, video, graphics and Bluetooth technology.

It's unclear when Apple plans to release Mac OS X 10.4.10 or whether the company's upcoming iPhone device will have any dependencies on refinements included in the OS update.

The current version of Tiger is Mac OS X 10.4.9, which was released in March.