I picked up Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on Friday, as I’m sure many people did.
Somehow, the improvements I notice the most are visual. Apple has adjusted the default gamma from 1.8 to 2.2. I don’t know what that means. However, I can tell very easily that all the colors I’m seeing are more saturated. It was slightly off-putting at first but I’ve quickly come to appreciate it. The second thing I’ve noticed — and I might just be imagining this — is that the glass dock’s magnify effect seems to be smoother than it was on 10.5 Leopard. This doesn’t make sense to me, because I’m under the impression that such things should only be improved on machines with discrete video cards. My late 2006 MacBook has an integrated Intel video card.
Someone at Apple decided to put the Applications folder in the dock by default. This is appreciated, since it’s one of the first things I would do after installing Leopard. There are other changes to the dock. Menus are charcoal and transparent. Exposé is available on a per-application basis by clicking and holding on each application’s dock icon. Also, Exposé is available as an icon, which can be dragged to the dock. I recommend doing this.
I have no complaints about the software. It was inexpensive at $29. The previous update — 10.5 Leopard — cost more than $100 if I remember correctly. Installation was very similar to that of Leopard. I performed a clean install. When I purchased the software at the Apple store, the clerk asked if I had an Intel Mac with Leopard. I did, and Snow Leopard requires an Intel Mac. And I read on the Internet some questions about whether a clean install was even possible with Snow Leopard. Like I said, I was able to do it. But I do wonder if the process will be any different when performing a clean install of Snow Leopard on top of an existing install of Snow Leopard. Will the installer ask me to insert my Leopard install disc? We’ll see.
Overall, Snow Leopard is an inexpensive update which provides some worthwhile new features and clears up some disc space.