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Mac OS X 10.5.3 moving along, on course with iPhone 2.0?

Apple continues to plug away at the next maintenance and service update to Mac OS X Leopard, which may be on track for a release around the same time as the company's iPhone software v2.0, according to one tipster.

People familiar with ongoing tests of Mac OS X 10.5.3 say a new build was released privately to developers on Wednesday carrying build number 9D32 and packing a half dozen more code corrections.

Among those improvements are tweaks to the performance of certain graphics drivers and fixes to parental controls, wireless certificates, and screen sharing, those people say. The latest additions bring the running total of fixes expected as part of the release to a staggering 220.

For the second time in as many weeks, Apple is also reported to have slightly expanded the focus area for developers by asking that they aggressively test Leopard's Spotlight search feature in addition to the 14 other core components listed alongside build 9D29 last Wednesday.

Again, the Mac maker lists no known issues with the 416MB update, as has been the case for several weeks.

While previous expectations would have software nearing a formal release by next week, a rumor sent to AppleInsider and other Apple news sites suggests that Apple may have placed Mac OS X 10.5.3 on a development course similar to iPhone Software v2.0, which is due at the end of June.

The unconfirmed tip goes on assert that the two pieces of software would be released within a week of each other and also include some contingencies on .Mac, which would reportedly be offered at a discount early adopters of the company's upcoming 3G iPhone. Again, the tip is unconfirmed.

Meanwhile, Apple is simultaneously working on Mac OS X 10.5.3 Server, which upon last check had reach build 9D28. The release currently bundles just over four dozen fixes and maintains a core focus area of 20 components.