Apple today announced that its Mac OS X operating system version 10.4, codenamed Tiger, will be available on 29 April.
The company claimed that the platform has more than 200 newly developed and improved features including Spotlight, a desktop search technology, and Dashboard, a way to access real-time information including weather forecasts and stock quotes.
Spotlight is designed to search content inside documents and information about those documents, or metadata. It searches across content types including emails, contacts, appointments, images, PDFs, and almost any type of document, including Microsoft Office documents.
Dashboard is a touted as part of a set of accessory applications called 'widgets' that appear instantly to give users immediate access to time sensitive information.
Additional features in Tiger include a revamped iChat which supports the H.264 video codec for better picture quality over the same internet bandwidth.
The OS features a newly unveiled Automator workflow application designed to help users automate repetitive tasks without complex macro programming.
Other features include QuickTime 7, the latest version of Apple's media player, and Mail 2, an enhanced version of the Mac OS X built-in Mail application with an improved user interface.
Apple stated that the platform ships with native 64-bit application support to take advantage of the increased memory, together with Xgrid, the firm's distributed computing software.
It also has improved Windows compatibility to make it easier for Mac OS X users to access a Windows-based home directory and authenticate against Microsoft's Active Directory.
The Unix core of OS X boasts an updated kernel with improved multiprocessor support, 64-bit virtual memory, Access Control Lists, GCC 4.0 and Xcode 2, the latest version of Apple's suite of developer tools.
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