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Apple broadens focus of Mac OS X 10.5.8 in new beta

While the first two beta releases of Apple's Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard update signaled a focus on underlying service technologies, a third pre-release made available to developers overnight expands upon those areas to include several forward-facing apps and additional frameworks.

People familiar with the beta, labeled Mac OS X 10.5.8 build 9L16, say the Mac maker has for the time being tabled its focus on components such as Bluetooth, Automator, graphics drivers, iDisk syncing, Spotlight and Sync services.

Instead, the company is now reportedly requesting feedback on a number of alternative components, amongst them are AddressBook, AppKit, ColorSync, the CoreAUC HD video decoder, FileSync, Image IO, Mail, mass storage devices, MobileMe preferences, Safari, Security and the Mac OS X kernel.

Meanwhile, nearly a dozen new fixes have been baked into build 9L16, bringing the total number of code corrections expected as part of Mac OS X 10.5.8 Update to approximately 40.

In particular, Apple is said to have repaired an issue that prevented some third-party USB webcams from functioning properly after a Mac wakes up from sleep, as well as having addressed a problem where Bluetooth devices would inexplicably fail to function without notice.

Some of the other fixes target problems with AddressBook retaining settings for shared contacts with MobileMe, freezes in the AirPort control panel, and image-related overflow glitches within Safari.

Mac OS X 10.5.8, widely believed to be one of the final updates to the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system, is expected for a release sometime this summer or early fall. The distribution currently weighs in at roughly 260MB in barebones delta form, or 750MB as a combo update.