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Saturday, November 15, 2008, 11:10 pm PT (02:10 am ET)

New seed shows Apple near wrap-up of Mac OS X 10.5.6

A quickly released follow-up test build of Mac OS X 10.5.6 comes with no known problems and points to Apple getting much closer to a finished patch.

Build 9G38, whose seed notes were posted online late Saturday by HMBT, is said by Apple to have no known issues and comes just three days after build 9G35, which had only only a few problems to target of its own.

The removal of any known glitches from these lists isn't by itself an indication that 10.5.6 is ready but does show Apple in the very last stages of its development cycle, which usually only leave a small amount of testing for those areas of the software the company believes may still contain hidden bugs.

Apple's fixed item list is relatively small and touches on synching as a whole, problems with DVI output and the Superdrive, and downloading playlists.

As with the version released earlier in the week, 9G38 is said to focus on MobileMe and the automatic sync process, especially with those networks where lag and bandwidth are known concerns. It also asks testers to check transfer performance when they sync from Me.com rather than a computer or a mobile device.

An extra focus is on sending mail either partly or entirely in non-Latin languages, such as Chinese or Hangul. Apple's engineering team also reportedly wants to hear of any problems that hard-lock the system in a kernel panic or freeze.

The new test code continues to have a very broad scope and lists over 80 apps or system components one which Apple wants to focus; this is one of Apple's most ambitious yet for its roughly year-old operating system.