The Great Apple Tablet Conspiracy Finally Engulfs Snow LeopardS

Someone at CNET has a theeeoooorrry! You see, Snow Leopard, Apple's "under-the-hood" update to Mac OS X, actually has plenty of over-the-hood enhancements, most of which are suspiciously finger-friendly. I think you can guess where this is going.

The thesis flags more or less every cosmetic and UI change in Snow Leopard as a move towards touch (and by extension, tablet) friendliness: the new Expose removes the keyboard and mouse from the equation, and empowers the big-buttoned dock; Stacks are now much more useful, negating the need to dive into Finder for many tasks; Quicktime controls (and editing) are poke-able; the tech behind the new (and oddly touted) Asian character input support could be extended to more drawing capabilities; and Safari 4's new Cover Flow integration is more useful as a touch interface than a traditional one.

I'll add a few more to that: Finder's new preview functions reduce clicks, and Snow Leopard's general speediness and space-savings would suit the presumably scaled-back hardware of a tablet.

It's miles from conclusive, and CNET's certainty and enthusiasm are easy to mock, but I like this. Jesus sees Apple's tablet as a bigger, more powerful iPod Touch, running some variant of iPhone OS—an solid theory, since you could argue that iPhone OS is Apple's touch version of OS X—but I've previously fingered OS X as the device's software, based on Apple patents that describe Snow Leopard-esque interface modifications to accommodate finger input. On top of that, OS X is already a decent touch OS—Cover Flow is everywhere, and the dock is, well, big.

And at minimum this story gives us one more website to commiserate with when Apple finally announces their plans to never, ever make a tablet. Thanks! [CNET]