Apple has announced that Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tiger” will go on sale Friday, April 29, beginning at 6:00 p.m. during special events at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
Tiger has more than 200 new features and innovations including Spotlight, a revolutionary desktop search technology that lets users instantly find anything stored on their Mac, including documents, emails, contacts and images; and Dashboard, a new way to instantly access important information like weather forecasts and stock quotes, using a dazzling new class of applications called widgets.
“Mac OS X Tiger is the most innovative and secure desktop operating system ever created,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Tiger’s groundbreaking new features like Spotlight and Dashboard will change the way people use their computers, and drive our competitors nuts trying to copy them.”
Spotlight is Apple’s new lightning fast way for users to find virtually anything stored on their Mac. Much like users can instantly find songs in iTunes by name, artist or album, Spotlight searches the contents inside documents and information about those documents, or metadata, to find just about anything—emails, contacts, appointments, images, PDFs, and almost any type of document, including Microsoft Office documents—then automatically organizes and instantly displays the results. Because Spotlight technology is built right into the core of the operating system, it automatically updates results instantly whenever files change and enables developers to incorporate Spotlight technology into their applications. Apple has incorporated Spotlight search technology into several Tiger applications including Mail, Address Book, Finder and System Preferences, and several third party developers are expected to introduce applications with Spotlight search technology in the coming months.
iChat in Tiger supports the stunning new H.264 video codec for dramatically better picture quality over the same Internet bandwidth. Users can now create audio conferences with up to 10 people and video conferences with up to four people in a 3D virtual conference room, just as if they were all seated together at a table*. In addition, contacts on a Buddy List can now see which iTunes song a user is playing and view it in the iTunes Music Store with just one click.
The new Automator workflow application lets users easily automate repetitive tasks without complex programming. Users simply select from a library of more than a hundred customizable actions and drag and drop them to create an automated workflow, specifically tailored to suit their requirements. Once created, workflows can be saved and even shared with friends and colleagues.
A full featured RSS reader is built into Safari to provide instant access to the most current information from leading news organizations, community web sites and even personal weblogs (blogs) directly from the browser. Multiple RSS feeds can be merged into one easy-to-read interface to create a user’s own personal news clipping service.
Other new features in Tiger include:
- QuickTime 7, the latest version of Apple’s standards-based media player, with H.264 support, live video resizing, zero-configuration streaming and extensive surround sound;
- Mail 2, a dramatically enhanced new version of the Mac OS X built-in Mail application with a new user interface, Spotlight searching, .Mac syncing and full screen slideshow;
- iCal 2, with support for birthday calendars, calendar groups, improved printing and Spotlight and Automator functions;
- Font Book 2, the updated font management utility included in Mac OS X that now supports libraries for installing fonts anywhere on the system or network; and
- a completely new .Mac sync preference using Xsync, a new sync engine built into Mac OS X that enables .Mac subscribers to automatically synchronize their Safari bookmarks, iCal appointments, Address Book contacts, Keychain passwords and Mail settings across multiple computers.
New core technologies and tools in Tiger make it easy for developers to create the next generation of innovative applications, including:
- native 64-bit application support to take advantage of the increased performance unleashed when accessing massive amounts of memory, while still running side-by-side with existing 32-bit applications;
- Core Image and Core Video to provide the foundation for new image and video processing applications;
- Xgrid, Apple’s easy-to-use distributed computing software;
- improved Windows compatibility to make it even easier for Mac OS X users to access a Windows-based home directory and authenticate against Microsoft’s Active Directory;
- major advances to the open standards UNIX-based foundation including an updated state-of-the-art kernel with improved SMP scalability, 64-bit virtual memory, Access Control Lists, GCC 4.0 and modernized network services; and
- Xcode 2, the latest version of Apple’s powerful suite of developer tools, designed to make it even easier and faster to build innovative Mac OS X applications.
Pricing & Availability
Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tiger” will be available on April 29 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $129 (US) for a single user license. Visitors to the Apple Store (www.apple.com) can pre-order copies of Tiger beginning today. The Mac OS X Tiger Family Pack is a single-residence, five-user license that will be available for a suggested retail price of $199 (US). Volume and maintenance pricing is available from Apple. The standard Mac OS Up-To-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after April 12 for a shipping and handling fee of $9.95 (US). Tiger requires a minimum of 256MB of memory and is designed to run on any Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G5, G4, or G3 processor and built-in FireWire.
Initiating a multiway video conference requires a PowerPC G5 processor or dual 1GHz G4 processors and 384 Kbps or faster broadband Internet access. Participating in a multiway video conference requires a 1Ghz G4 or dual 800 MHz G4 processors or faster and 100 Kbps broadband Internet access.