Apple Completes Work On Snow Leopard APIs

According tothe enthusiast blog AppleInsider, Apple recently told testers working with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard build 10A354 not to expect any future API changes, essentially giving third-party developers the green light to move forward with plans for OS X 10.6-compatible applications.

In Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard build 10A354, Apple simplified the APIs for "Grand Central," a set of technologies that enable support for multicore processors and parallel computing, AppleInsider reported.

Apple has said that Snow Leopard won't include a raft of new features, but will instead represent an architectural shift in OS X toward multicore processor support and parallel processing. Grand Central and OpenCL, which let applications tap into unused GPU computing power, are two additions to Mac OS X 10.6 that Apple partners believe could increase business usage of Macs.

Mac adoption stood at 5 percent in May 2008, but had fallen to 3 percent in February of this year, according to Forrester Research. Although not yet a trend, overall Mac sales during Apple's last fiscal quarter fell 3 percent year-on-year.

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Apple is expected to launch Mac OS X 10.6 this summer, possibly as early as next month, at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The event will include sessions on how to prepare for Snow Leopard's 64-bit architecture, tapping into multicore and GPU computing, and transitioning from traditional QuickTime APIs to QuickTime X, according to Apple's Web site.

Mac OS X 10.6 may have to share the spotlight with the iPhone, however. Apple is also expected to use WWDC as a launch pad for its iPhone 3.0 software, and potentially, new iPhone hardware.