Apple seeds first Mac OS X 10.6.6 beta in advance of 10.6.5 release

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Apple has issued the first build of Mac OS X 10.6.6 to developers ahead of the public release of Mac OS X 10.6.5.

Mac OS X 10.6.6 build 10J521 was released to developers Thursday, suggesting that the 10.6.5 update could arrive any day now.

The changelog for Mac OS X 10.6.6 notes that the beta "contains developer support for fetching and renewing App Store receipts." App Store receipts could be a reference to the recently announced Mac App Store that is coming to Snow Leopard in the next three months.

Taking a cue from the success of the iOS App Store, Apple will begin offering Mac applications through a digital storefront, keeping a 30 percent cut of sales. Developers began submitting the first Mac App Store apps to Apple on Wednesday.

The trio of iOS 4.2, Mac OS X 10.6.5 and iTunes 10.1 are expected to be released shortly, as the new AirPrint feature on iOS 4.2 requires iTunes 10.1 or Mac OS X 10.6.5. The golden master for iOS 4.2 was released to developers earlier this week. Apple has promised that iOS 4.2 will come sometime in November.

The last update to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard came in the form of 10.6.4 in June. Mac OS X 10.6.4 resolved issues with the trackpad and Adobe's Creative Suite 3.

On Oct. 20, Apple revealed Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which will bring a number of iOS features back to the Mac. Drawing inspiration from the iPad, Mac OS X 10.7 will feature a LaunchPad for finding and launching apps and full screen applications.