Snow Leopard: Under the hood

by postbreak

It’s been over a week since upgrading to Snow Leopard. There are some improvements I didn’t notice right away. As someone with a Core Duo Mac it’s nice to see we haven’t been left out in the cold. Apple’s way of upgrading is simply to kill the old version and introduce the new version. If you’re the latest and greatest then great, but the second your product gets upgraded you’re a second rate citizen. This gets even worse when you lose Apple Care support.  This is why I’m so surprised to find all these nifty updates that I can actually take advantage of.

Improved Battery Life

I have an original Macbook from 2006 so my battery life was never amazing. Chalk it up to less memory usage, optimized code, whatever it is I can now surf with WiFi and half brightness for about 3 hours 30 minutes. That number isn’t the best but it’s a half hour better than Leopard. Users with newer machines might benefit more from the battery boost.

Faster Everything

My Mac sleeps instantly and wakes up just as fast. Now when my Mac awakes my WiFi is restored in about 2 seconds. Bluetooth is still quite slow but it’s faster than before. Shutting down was always fast. I remember when I first got my Macbook shutting down was crazy fast. Now it’s as if I ripped the battery out when I tell it to shut down.

Java without an asterisk

It’s not often I use a Java application but since I have a 32bit cpu I could never get JRE 1.6. That’s right, Apple specifically built a 64bit version of 1.6 and left us early adopters out in the dark. Not anymore! Upgrading to Snow Leopard gave us early adopters 1.6 finally.

These are just a few upgrades I have found under the hood that aren’t well documented. The shutdown speed has been brought up however it’s much more drastic than reported. Find anything else that is new?