Apple seeds new Leopard build via Software Update

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Apple Inc., which last week asked that developers provide feedback on their experiences using pre-released builds of Mac OS Leopard, has followed up by seeding a significant stability update to the next-generation system software.

The latest seed, labeled Mac OS X Leopard 9A500n, arrived via Leopard's Software Update mechanism as a "recommended" update for all developers running Mac OS X Leopard build 9A499.

In a brief set of release notes, Apple said the 505MB update provides general bug fixes and stability improvements. Developers who've installed the software have responded favorably thus far, reporting that they immediately noticed speed optimizations and improvements to the overall stability of the system.

The release comes just one week after Apple issued a survey that asked developers to compare their experiences using Mac OS X Leopard Build 9A499 and a shipping version of Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x) in the areas of Mail & Web, Graphics & Media, Setup & Mobility, Desktop & Interface, Productivity & Communication, and Sharing & Devices.

For each category, the company identified a half-dozen areas of user experience in Leopard — such as "Composing styled HTML mail messages" and "General stability and performance of Mail" — and asked that developers compare their experience in those areas to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger via a rating system that spans "Much worse" to "Much better."

Apple has said it plans to launch Leopard sometime in October.

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