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Apple tweaks Dock menus in new Snow Leopard beta

Apple on Thursday evening delivered to developers a new build of its forthcoming Snow Leopard operating system that addresses a number of outstanding bugs but also delivers a couple of interface tweaks.

"This Snow Leopard Developer Preview Update is recommended for all users running the Snow Leopard Developer Preview Build 10A394 or later," Apple said. "This update includes general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security."

The new build, labeled 10A402a, weighs in at roughly 1.3GB and was distributed via Snow Leopard's Software Update mechanism. It's the second such build to arrive in that manner in as many weeks, signaling ongoing tests to the new version of the system's automatic software updater.

In their brief experiences testing the new build, people familiar with the software claim it to be more responsive overall, as Apple focuses on optimization and stability ahead of a release planned for this fall.

Additionally, developers have noticed a couple of obvious interface tweaks, the first of which has seen the Dock's contextual pop-up menus re-skinned in a charcoal motif with white text. In previous builds, these menus were know to sport the same interface as traditional Finder contextual menus, which include black text on a platinum backdrop.

Snow Leopard's new Dock contextual menus | Source: The Quantum Byte

Apple may also be fiddling with the design of other Mac OS X interface elements, such as slide knobs, which now appear to feature a deeper, more vibrant shade of blue.

Snow Leopard

At its annual developers conference last month, Apple said it plans to release Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in September as a $29 upgrade for all owners of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.