The following frames cover most of the user-experience tweaks found in Snow Leopard. We apologize for the haphazard clump of screenshots, but hey, you want it all, right?
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Contacts app now syncs with Google and Yahoo!: No longer a service for the iPhone and Mobile Me, the Contacts application can now talk to your Yahoo and Google address books and pull your contact info.
Exchange Support: Snow Leopard now supports Microsoft Exchange throughout the platform, meaning mail, calendars and contacts can all be synced using the secure protocol. We haven't yet had a chance to put it through the ringer ourselves, but you suit-and-tie-loving mactards can at least be excited.
Date Appears In Menu Bar: If, like me, you're too lazy to click on the calendar, hit the widget key to see the calendar, or just make use of your memory, you can now have the full date on display from the Menu Bar.
Optimized Video Chats: Previously, to video chat in 640x480 resolution in iChat, you needed 900kbps of bandwidth. With the Snow Leopard version of iChat, you only need 300kbps. Plus iChat theater also lets you carry out multiple chats in 640x480 resolution. It looks cleaner and runs smoother. We like it.
Quicktime X Youtube Upload: In addition, you can upload directly to Youtube from Quicktime X, making the video player more functional than ever.
Smart Text: Snow Leopard has a number of new text-based enhancement for apps like Text Edit, iChat and Mail including spelling auto-correct, and text substation, which lets you use shorter macros in place of longer words and phrases.
Password Login Delay: This is a legit and useful new feature of Snow Leopard—if you enabled a password protection when your computer goes to sleep, you can now choose how long your computer is idle before the password actually kicks in. Its great if you have your computer set to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity.
Google and Yahoo! Support in iCal: One nice thing about iCal is that it's now much easier to add calendars from Google and Yahoo!. No hacks or third party software necessary.
New Quicktime X UI: Snow Leopard comes complete with a new version of Quicktime that comes with a revamped UI, fullscreen mode, complete with a visual timeline and the ability to quickly edit videos, iMovie style (those last two were previously exclusive to the now defunct Quicktime Pro).
Split Terminal Consoles: Code monkeys will probably appreciate this because they can run different sessions and compare what goes on behind the scenes. For most of us, however, it matters little.
Native Gamma 2.2 Support: Snow Leopard supports Gamma 2.2 out of the box, which is preferred over Gamma 1.8 by design and graphics professionals because Adobe RGB also supports 2.2.
Better Drive Eject Protocol: If you use an external HDD with any regularity, you know ejecting the thing can be tricky—sometimes it will tell you an app is using the drive, but won't specify WHICH app is using it. Not only is ejecting more reliable, but if an app is actually using it, it will tell you which one it is.
Multitouch Gestures: Some of the pre-unibody design MacBook Pros that came along late in the game now have multitouch gestures supported—ALL of the gestures.
Trash Stashing: If you accidentally sent an item to the trash that you want to replace, it's now as easy as right clicking on the item in the garbage folder and clicking "Put Back." Problem solved.
Dock Expose: This is one of the slicker features to grace the Snow Leopard update—when you click and hold the icon of an open app on the dock all open windows associated with the app line up and arrange themselves like they would in Expose. But, you know, controlled from the Dock. Also nice is the revamped dock menu design, which looks very in tune with the iPhone's touch-friendly design.
Quicktime X video capture: With Quicktime X, you can also capture video direct from an iSight camera, firewire video camera or audio in. You can also record your screen with the push of a button.
Airport Signal Strength: Windows users have long been accustomed to this, but when you're looking for free wi-fi to steal and wanna get an idea of what's most reliable, you can now get an idea before you connect. It really took Apple this long to add this?
Improved PDF Handling In Preview: Preview improved the text selection algorithm for PDF's, so when you're trying to excerpt a pesky block of text from a dual column PDF, you can actually copy and paste it without getting a bunch of extra words.
There are four new fonts that come with Snow Leopard—Menlo, Chalkduster, Heiti and Hiragino Sans GB. But truth be told, they're no Helvetica.
Better Image Scaling: Preview now uses a process called Lanczos interpolation to resize and scale images. Judging from this image of a puking monkey that i resized from 450 to 800 wide, I'd say it works reasonably well.
Automatic Timezone Detection: If you're jetsetting around the country and/or world with regularity, Snow Leopard will detect your location using wi-fi hotspots and adjust the timezone accordingly.
Really Big Icons: When you're browsing in Finder's icon view, there's a slider that lets you scale your icons up to a massive 512x512 pixels. Why you'd want to do that, I don't know, but you can.
Thumbnail Preview: If you're viewing icons in Finder and come across a video file, a play button will appear over the thumbnail and you can preview the video without a pop-up window. You can also flip through PDFs and Office docs right from the thumbnail.
Six Extra Gigs of Space: Not like its a negative in any way (six gigs are six gigs), but if Snow Leopard freeing up six gigabytes of storage space feels necessary or exciting to you, you probably should just buy a new hard drive.
When browsing a stack in grid view and you have a bunch of crap in the folder, the window is now scrollable, simplifying the process, and basically making it look more and more like a Finder window with lipstick.
Annotate This!: Preview now has a bar at the bottom of the window full of various annotation tools, such as shapes, highlighter, memos, underline, strikeout and hyperlink. Useful for the bookworms out there who are deal with texts in digital formats.
Chinese Character Input: This isn't really a feature the majority of us will use, but rather a demo of what's possible with Apple input technology. You can use the trackpad to write Chinese characters and have them appear as computer text. Pretty neat idea.
Printer Updates: Snow Leopard will now automatically download drivers from the internet when you plug new printer in, and deliver driver updates over the air like any other app that makes use of Software Update. Takes some of the hassle out of having to dig up and install everything yourself.
Malware Scanning: Not so much an advertised feature of Snow Leopard, but it seems the new Apple OS has the ability to do a light scan for malware when yo attempt to open a file. Interesting.
64-Bit Computing: Snow Leopard has been designed from the start to support 64-bit computing, and if you have a Core 2 Duo (or better) processor, Apple says your computer will run faster and more secure. But the noticable advantage of 64-bit computing is that it can support more than 32-gigabytes of RAM (16 billion-gigabytes MAX) down the road.
Grand Central Dispatch: Apple's new Grand Central Dispatch technology claims to take advantage of multi-core processors by routing processes more efficiently to prevent lag and freezing. If one core gets tied up by a resource-heavy app, the other is still free for general use across the rest of the computer.
GPU-based h.264 Acceleration and Open CL Compliance: Quicktime X uses newer GPUs to accelerate h.264 videos which allows for faster, smoother playback that uses less memory and computing power. Snow Leopard is also designed to work with the Open CL standard which basically means that any developer can code OS X apps to access the discrete NVIDIA GPUs found in newer Apple Products for more than just graphics.
Rosetta Isn't Gone: Just because Snow Leopard doesn't run on PowerPC machines doesn't mean it's dropped support for legacy apps altogether. If you attempt to install a PPC-based app, Snow Leopard will prompt you to install Rosetta.
Faster Time Machine Backups: Apple says that the initial Time Machine backup in Snow Leopard is 80% faster than before, which will save you ALOT of time if you have huge chunks of data to push through.
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