Snow Leopard touchscreen "evidence," trademarked Apple chat bubbles

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A new report alleges that a large on-screen digital keyboard could be a sign that Snow Leopard sets the stage for Apple's upcoming tablet device; and Apple rejected an App Store submission for its chat bubbles.

"Evidence" of Snow Leopard's possible touchscreen connection

Snow Leopard features a new, larger on-screen software keyboard that is accessed more easily than in Leopard. The soft keyboard can also be expanded to take up the entire width of the screen. The new operating system also features the publicized "Expose" feature, which allows users to easily switch between different open windows within the same application with a finger-sized preview pane.

Cult of Mac sees these additions as signs that Snow Leopard, or a version of it, could play a significant part in Apple's long-anticipated, yet-to-be-announced touchscreen tablet device.

"Snow Leopard includes a big virtual keyboard that looks clearly designed for typing on a touchscreen," the report states. "It’s a big, bold version of the iPhone’s virtual keyboard with large keys that scream 'type me!'"

To see the keyboard in Snow Leopard, go to System Preferences and choose Keyboard, click the box "Show Keyboard & Character Viewer in menu bar," and then enable "Show Keyboard Viewer" in the menu bar option on the top right of your screen.

What operating system the device might run is unclear, though sources have told AppleInsider that the much-anticipated tablet will sport a 10-inch screen and debut in early 2010.

Developer blasts Apple for App Store troubles

In a profanity filled, not safe for work rant, developer Joe Stump said an update to his application Chess Wars was denied because the chat bubbles in the software were too similar to those in the official iPhone SMS application created by Apple.

Stump said he was upset because of a lack of communication from Apple. He alleged that he tried to reach out to the company after "weeks" of silence. The application was updated in an attempt to fix "show stopping bugs" that were only discovered after the software was initially released.

Stump said an Apple representative told him that the chat bubbles used in the iPhone SMS software are trademarked. The employee reportedly told him that he could make the bubbles "less shiny" to be in compliance.

This latest example joins a number of incidents in recent months in which developers and pundits have become publicly critical of Apple's App Store policies and alleged lack of clear communication