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Inside Apple's iOS 4: new feature parity with Snow Leopard

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
Apple's iOS 4 features the biggest foundational leap for developers since the company first opened up iPhone OS 2.0 to development, now catching up to the core features of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Developers familiar with Apple's plans say the new iOS 4 brings a series of plumbing improvements that move the core of iPhone OS 2.0 and 3.0 from the level of 2007's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard into the modern world of today's desktop and notebook Macs running Snow Leopard.

Primary new features include support for Blocks, which encapsulate C, C++ or Objective C code and data into a single object somewhat similar to a closure or function object. The system uses Blocks to support Grand Central Dispatch, which queues up and schedules them for execution, potentially in parallel on multiple processor cores.

Another core set of functionality iOS 4 borrows from Snow Leopard is expanded support for powerful regular expression tools for pattern matching, search, and replacement of text content.

The new iOS 4 also includes major new core networking features on par with Snow Leopard, including broad support for IPv6 addressing and DNS, something that will be increasingly critical for adoption in countries like China and Japan, which are aggressively moving their networks to the modern new standard for Internet addressing as IPv4 addresses run out.

Additional under-the-hood work in iOS 4 was done to support new "Anyconnect" SSL VPNs from Cisco and Juniper. The SSL-based VPNs are quickly becoming popular as a way to offer easy to configure, secure access to corporate networks from any location, regardless of NAT or other complications, and without needing specialized equipment or software on the client side, as was the case with IPSec VPNs.

Apple's near-exclusive focus of its Worldwide Developer Conference on iOS 4 this year, without even any mention during the keynote address related to new technology on the horizon for Mac OS X, makes sense given that the company had some catch up work to do to bring its mobile platform into feature parity with its desktop operating system.

The move also opens the potential for Apple to begin taking advantage of multiple core processors and delegation off tasks to available graphics cores, a frontier it just recently pioneered on the desktop with the release of Snow Leopard last year.

Apple is uniquely positioned as a operating system architect with a sophisticated, modern core operating system that scales from the desktop to mobile devices. In contrast, Microsoft is now selling a bewildering variety of different operating system products with very different kernels and core operating environments necessary to support legacy:

Windows 7 on the desktop PC
Windows Embedded Standard for other devices, based on XP
Windows Embedded Enterprise, with versions based on both XP and Vista
Windows Embedded Compact, based on an old version of Windows CE 5 in Windows Mobile 6.x
The forthcoming Windows Phone 7, based on the newest Windows CE 6, which is separately used by the Zune HD and shares some components with Kin devices, despite their being incompatible on an app level with both new Windows Phone 7 and old Windows Mobile 6 devices.
post #2 of 82
To whoever wrote this post:

Is XCode even installed on your 'puter? How 'bout spell check?
post #3 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfreq View Post

To whoever wrote this post:

Is XCode even installed on your 'puter? How 'bout spell check?

Did you read the article? Was it informative? Did you get something out of it besides a case of the troll wannabes?
post #4 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfreq View Post

To whoever wrote this post:

Is XCode even installed on your 'puter? How 'bout spell check?

Apple doesn't spell Xcode with those caps, does it?
post #5 of 82
...is all the support in iOS4 for Snow Leopard Server - that is, the technologies in Apple's server product. That is:

CalDAV - as used in Calendar Server
CardDAV - as used in Address Book Server

For those using the other Apple operating system, that is a big and welcome update.
post #6 of 82
Quote:
The forthcoming Windows Phone 7, based on the newest Windows CE 6, which is separately used by the Zune HD and shares some components with Kin devices, despite their being incompatible on an app level with both new Windows Phone 7 and old Windows Mobile 6 devices.

Is that the official Microsoft product name, or a description of the OS? It's getting hard to tell these days...
post #7 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by curmi View Post

...is all the support in iOS4 for Snow Leopard Server - that is, the technologies in Apple's server product. That is:

CalDAV - as used in Calendar Server
CardDAV - as used in Address Book Server

For those using the other Apple operating system, that is a big and welcome update.

I just want to second this. This is important for us here, since this will basically enable everyone to use Apples own server for calendaring.

As far as I have seen so far though, we miss seeing other users calendar on the iPhone/iPad. After that we can ditch desktops or laptops for a few employees!
post #8 of 82
I skipped the entire iPhone OS 1/2/3 series. Only programmed on Mac OS so far, and fixed an Objective-C bug that a friend had in an iPhone OS app he was writing. But now that iOS 4 is supposedly very similar to Mac OS X 10.6, and now that the iPad will be using iOS 4 soon, I think it's time...

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #9 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfreq View Post

To whoever wrote this post:

Is XCode even installed on your 'puter? How 'bout spell check?

What? Seriously!
post #10 of 82
First, kudos to Apple on their work with iOS and bringing it on par with SL. I think that they are doing a wonderful job.

There is one thing that I didn't see people talking about until now (I may be mistaken):

The preparations Apple did with Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) on SL was presented as support for easier and more efficient way to code and launch multithreaded applications. I think that there is another thing about it - Apple is preparing the ground to enable future versions of Mac OS X and iOS to run every task (including OS tasks) in a sandboxed environment. This is similar to what the Chrome browser does. If this is indeed the case, Apple will have to have a very efficient multithreading manager in the OS - hence GCD. It will also immensely enhance the security and stability of OS X. Of course, it is also inline with the growing number of cores available on new CPUs.

In short, I think we are going to see two major enhancements in the next versions of both Mac OS X and iOS:

1. Sandboxing capabilities.
2. Vector graphics UI, independent of resolution (my bet is that the code name "marble" refers to this feature).

They did all the preparation work, now it's time to reap the benefits.
post #11 of 82
You forgot to include the newly announced 'Windows Embedded Handheld'.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/18/wimeha/

face --> palm.
post #12 of 82
>Primary new features include support for Blocks, which encapsulate C, C++ or Objective C code and data into a
> single object somewhat similar to a closure or function object. The system uses Blocks to support Grand Central
> Dispatch, which queues up and schedules them for execution, potentially in parallel on multiple processor cores.

Grand Central on iOS means multicore iPads and iPhones.
It would be a nice rumor to spreand; why nobody talk about this ?

Bappo
post #13 of 82
What I find incredibly interesting about this is when it comes to operating system marketshare. When iPhone OS 4 gets feature parity with the desktop version then they are more or less the same operating system, more so if Apple does some sort of merge in future.

When you take into consideration the fact that the iPhone/iPod/iPad share is 90-100 million and the iPhone 4 had 600k preorders with 13 million credit checks for the launch and projected to double the current share by 2011, this gets very interesting.

The Mac shipments are 12 million per year and Apple has 5-10% desktop share vs 80-90% Windows. This means that to rival the Windows install base, Apple in the worst case would need to ship 240 million devices. It may be a bit more than that by next year as the market grows.

Smartphone traffic will rival desktop traffic one day too (page title is slightly erroneous):

http://timothycohn.com/2010/04/15/ha...s-the-desktop/

This has implications for the browser war because the big players: iOS, Android and Blackberry all use webkit.

Apple has surpassed Microsoft in market value, there's a chance that this is their back-door to beating them in install-base (browser and OS) too. The new war will be with Google but they have a UNIX OS so it's not such a big deal. This will become a very significant development when phones reach Core 2 Duo level of performance with 2GB RAM and 64-128GB SSD standard.
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano_tube View Post

First, kudos to Apple on their work with iOS and bringing it on par with SL. I think that they are doing a wonderful job.

There is one thing that I didn't see people talking about until now (I may be mistaken):

The preparations Apple did with Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) on SL was presented as support for easier and more efficient way to code and launch multithreaded applications. I think that there is another thing about it - Apple is preparing the ground to enable future versions of Mac OS X and iOS to run every task (including OS tasks) in a sandboxed environment. This is similar to what the Chrome browser does. If this is indeed the case, Apple will have to have a very efficient multithreading manager in the OS - hence GCD. It will also immensely enhance the security and stability of OS X. Of course, it is also inline with the growing number of cores available on new CPUs.

In short, I think we are going to see two major enhancements in the next versions of both Mac OS X and iOS:

1. Sandboxing capabilities.
2. Vector graphics UI, independent of resolution (my bet is that the code name "marble" refers to this feature).

They did all the preparation work, now it's time to reap the benefits.

That sounds cool. I'd love 10.7 for those two features alone.

Can't wait. Well, I'll have to...next June? Sighs...*

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Another core set of functionality iOS 4 borrows from Snow Leopard is expanded support for powerful regular expression tools for pattern matching, search, and replacement of text content.

This isn't borrowed from Snow Leopard. NSRegularExpressionSearch does not exist in Foundation for OS X yet. Also, this isn't new in OS 4.0; it exists in 3.2.
post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

That sounds cool. I'd love 10.7 for those two features alone.

Can't wait. Well, I'll have to...next June? Sighs...*

Lemon Bon Bon.

I think they will release a almost finished developer preview next June and will release the OS 1-2 Months later. If they want to lead the pack, they need to keep their secrets.
post #17 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bappo View Post

>Primary new features include support for Blocks, which encapsulate C, C++ or Objective C code and data into a
> single object somewhat similar to a closure or function object. The system uses Blocks to support Grand Central
> Dispatch, which queues up and schedules them for execution, potentially in parallel on multiple processor cores.

Grand Central on iOS means multicore iPads and iPhones.
It would be a nice rumor to spreand; why nobody talk about this ?

Because it's obvious that it's going to happen. The only question is timing.

AMD designs are already going multicore - just like almost every desktop CPU out there. GPUs have had multiple cores for years. Particularly in a mobile device, the ability to ramp clock speed is limited by power consumption and heat, so multiple cores is a given.

The only question is 'when'. Since most of Apple's products are on 6-12 month update cycles, I would expect either a two care iPad this fall (in time for the Christmas season) or next spring.
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post #18 of 82
I see another angle to the parity between iOS and OS X ... I know I am going out on a limb but I still see iOS features finding their way into OS X to create a hybrid in the near future.

This may come about by simply brining out larger, more powerful iPads (iWorkStation?) with additional OS X like features such as support for OS X IO (mouse, graphics pen, FW, USB2, etc.) and porting more Apple Apps over time such as FinalCut Studio with the addition of full gesture support.

I agree with Marvin ... this time next year or soon thereafter the global OS market share by MS will be shown to have been overtaken by Apple since iOS is a fully fledged OS. The trolls will argue till they are blue in the face that it doesn't count as they did with the relevance of market cap (watch AAPL pass XOM in 2011). However, the press will eat it up and the one last claim to fame of MS will be shattered. Phrases such as Software Legacy, Computer History and Twentieth Century will become associated with Microsoft. Even then Apple trumps them as the first personal computer and the first commercial developers of a graphics GUI (yes I know all about Xerox). Boy did Bill retire at the right time!
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Been using Apples since 1978 and Macs since 1984
Long on AAPL so biased. Strong advocate for separation of technology and politics on AI.
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post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bappo View Post

>Primary new features include support for Blocks, which encapsulate C, C++ or Objective C code and data into a
> single object somewhat similar to a closure or function object. The system uses Blocks to support Grand Central
> Dispatch, which queues up and schedules them for execution, potentially in parallel on multiple processor cores.

Grand Central on iOS means multicore iPads and iPhones.
It would be a nice rumor to spreand; why nobody talk about this ?

Bappo

Yeah. This one seems pretty obvious to me too. My guess is that next year's iPad and then the iPhone 5 will both have a new dual core Apple processor. Hopefully the iPad will get a lot of love in other forms too such as an SD card slot for storage, a RAM increase, and of course the new Retina Display. Just a few thoughts off the top of my head.
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano_tube View Post

2. Vector graphics UI, independent of resolution (my bet is that the code name "marble" refers to this feature).

This already exists where appropriate (vectors are not the be-all-and-end-all, sometimes its better just to use high resolution bitmaps and scale them), resolution independence has been in Mac OS X for years (although never a public facing part of the OS). You can see it in full effect however on iOS, when you zoom in on a MobileSafari web page, and all the web page widgets and fonts scale up smoothly.
post #21 of 82
Within a couple of years (2012) Apple will drop laptops and have only upgraded iPad devices that will be able to function in the same way as laptops and desktops. This OS modification is just one more step to an OS X with multi-touch controls for everything.
post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Within a couple of years (2012) Apple will drop laptops and have only upgraded iPad devices that will be able to function in the same way as laptops and desktops. This OS modification is just one more step to an OS X with multi-touch controls for everything.

Why would they drop a platform with costs in the thousands for the highest end models, for a device that sells for $299?
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post #23 of 82
Wow! Keep the hardcore geeky crap coming! Love it!
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Within a couple of years (2012) Apple will drop laptops and have only upgraded iPad devices that will be able to function in the same way as laptops and desktops. This OS modification is just one more step to an OS X with multi-touch controls for everything.

Sorry, but this is just a ridiculous scenario based on an utter lack of understanding of all relevant issues.
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

What I find incredibly interesting about this is when it comes to operating system marketshare. When iPhone OS 4 gets feature parity with the desktop version then they are more or less the same operating system, more so if Apple does some sort of merge in future.

When you take into consideration the fact that the iPhone/iPod/iPad share is 90-100 million and the iPhone 4 had 600k preorders with 13 million credit checks for the launch and projected to double the current share by 2011, this gets very interesting.

The Mac shipments are 12 million per year and Apple has 5-10% desktop share vs 80-90% Windows. This means that to rival the Windows install base, Apple in the worst case would need to ship 240 million devices. It may be a bit more than that by next year as the market grows.

Smartphone traffic will rival desktop traffic one day too (page title is slightly erroneous):

http://timothycohn.com/2010/04/15/ha...s-the-desktop/

This has implications for the browser war because the big players: iOS, Android and Blackberry all use webkit.

Apple has surpassed Microsoft in market value, there's a chance that this is their back-door to beating them in install-base (browser and OS) too. The new war will be with Google but they have a UNIX OS so it's not such a big deal. This will become a very significant development when phones reach Core 2 Duo level of performance with 2GB RAM and 64-128GB SSD standard.

We always hear about desktop market mac vs pc but the interesting part of this is Apple is winning out the masses of the coming generations. Anyone with any sense on market trends knows that the coming generations are the best target & the best forecast of trends. Right now I'd say Apple is well setup to blow Microsoft market share away in coming years. If they bring FaceTime to iPod Touch & iPad that will just blow everything away.
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Within a couple of years (2012) Apple will drop laptops and have only upgraded iPad devices that will be able to function in the same way as laptops and desktops. This OS modification is just one more step to an OS X with multi-touch controls for everything.

Apple will stop selling laptops when a sufficiently large number of people stop buying them. You may be right, but I don't see it happening for at least 5 more years... maybe longer. The top consumer computer uses are Internet access (web and email), productivity suites and gaming. All 3 of those can be done on the iPad, albeit in some modified fashion. Most people buy cars, not trucks. Yet auto makers will continue to make trucks for that smaller group that will always need them.
post #27 of 82
Feature parity?! I don't think so. Use your built-in dictionary.

When iOS has automated memory management with garbage collection, then we'll be a little closer.

Apple is moving iOS closer to OS X and that's a good thing. But it's not parity.



{Edit}
What's with AI lately? It's becoming more and more like MacDailyNews, which is fanboyism in the worst extreme.
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Feature parity?! I don't think so. Use your built-in dictionary.

When iOS has automated memory management with garbage collection, then we'll be a little closer.

Apple is moving iOS closer to OS X and that's a good thing. But it's not parity.


{Edit}
What's with AI lately? It's becoming more and more like MacDailyNews, which is fanboyism in the worst extreme.

Stating feature parity doesn't mean that all features and aspects as similar.

For instance, the engine for QuickTime X in SL was design for iPhone OS and then moved to Mac OS after the fact. You don't consider that a feature parity even though the app built around each is unique?
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post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasein View Post

Apple will stop selling laptops when a sufficiently large number of people stop buying them. You may be right, but I don't see it happening for at least 5 more years... maybe longer. The top consumer computer uses are Internet access (web and email), productivity suites and gaming. All 3 of those can be done on the iPad, albeit in some modified fashion. Most people buy cars, not trucks. Yet auto makers will continue to make trucks for that smaller group that will always need them.

The nightmare scenario for Apple's computer business is as more of our time is spent inside web browsers the less important the OS becomes. With standards compliant browsers web apps look and behave identically no matter if you have Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, OS-X, etc so justifying the premium pricing of an Apple computer over some generic low-margin computer becomes much harder.
post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Stating feature parity doesn't mean that all features and aspects as similar.

For instance, the engine for QuickTime X in SL was design for iPhone OS and then moved to Mac OS after the fact. You don't consider that a feature parity even though the app built around each is unique?

Feature parity doesn't mean parity-of-a-specific-feature. It means parity-of-all-features. English is a funny language that way.

"My business can only use Macs if Word offers feature parity across both platforms." That's an example of the correct use of feature parity.

Word looks different on the two platforms, but a Word doc can be manipulated the same way on both platforms. (I'm not saying it can, I'm just using it as an example)
post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

The nightmare scenario for Apple's computer business is as more of our time is spent inside web browsers the less important the OS becomes. With standards compliant browsers web apps look and behave identically no matter if you have Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, OS-X, etc so justifying the premium pricing of an Apple computer over some generic low-margin computer becomes much harder.

I think the App Store's success over web apps pretty much shows how much Apple needs to worry about this particular "nightmare scenario". People simply prefer native apps over web apps.
post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

Feature parity doesn't mean parity-of-a-specific-feature. It means parity-of-all-features. English is a funny language that way.

"My business can only use Macs if Word offers feature parity across both platforms." That's an example of the correct use of feature parity.

Word looks different on the two platforms, but a Word doc can be manipulated the same way on both platforms. (I'm not saying it can, I'm just using it as an example)

That is one way you can interpret it, but you need to realize that language often has more than one definition and evolves more quickly than technology. English, in particular, is a funny language that way. You can use a very select and pedantic view of the word parity but the article is not incorrect as stated.
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post #33 of 82
I love how Apple can move one code base (core services that is) from the desktop to their iDevices yet Microsoft has a half-dozen or so core OSes for all of their current offerings. No wonder Microsoft has twice the number of employees as Apple does.
post #34 of 82
Having a MacOS underpinning is a huge competitive advantage for iOS devices. iOS feels a LOT snappier on my iPod Touch 2G the iPhone OS 3.0. The web browser feels somewhat faster as well. I love the new update!

PS Can't wait for the official version to come out so I can jailbreak and get multitasking as well. I know it might slow down my 2G, but I am starting to feel very limited without it after seeing all the videos.
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post #35 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

The nightmare scenario for Apple's computer business is as more of our time is spent inside web browsers the less important the OS becomes. With standards compliant browsers web apps look and behave identically no matter if you have Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, OS-X, etc so justifying the premium pricing of an Apple computer over some generic low-margin computer becomes much harder.

Adding to what anonymouse stated, Apple has been a major pioneer, supporter and contributor to open web standards so it seems to me that Apple sees a standardized web as an aid to their HW sales, not a hinderance.

Remember, Apple writes software to sell HW and Mac OS X and it's apps are not the only reason to buy a Mac. There is a lot more than aesthetics that make a Mac a more desirable open than "some generic low-marn computer". Plus, if what you were saying is true then the advent of Flash (which does look the same across PCs and the growing standardization of browsers would mean that Apple's marketshare would be in decline for the past decade, not growing considerably faster than the rest of the PC market.
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post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post

Why would they drop a platform with costs in the thousands for the highest end models, for a device that sells for $299?

Because eventually, they want to make money off of consumers. 10 million developers vs 6Billion consumers... you do the math. 10% of 6Billion is a good number to shoot for even at only a $100 profit (vs 40% profit on 10% of 10Million...).

The computing future will look like like mainframes in the past
1) a Mac Pro in your closet
2) a mac mini at your entertainment center
3) bluetooth keyboards laying around like remotes
4) iPads, iPods and iPhones will be internchangable... basically multi-core, single core and dual cores of the same thing
5) bonjour connectivity to all your services, with VPN connectivity when you're away
6) Apple making me.com the hub of your experience... syncing and linking dynamically as you move from device to device.

Better model than everyone having a laptop (a truck) and a car (iPad).

Planes, trains, automobiels, bikes, skates, and scooters.
post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Because eventually, they want to make money off of consumers. 10 million developers vs 6Billion consumers... you do the math. 10% of 6Billion is a good number to shoot for even at only a $100 profit (vs 40% profit on 10% of 10Million...).

Your argument makes no sense to me. It's not a one or the other situation here. In fact, Apple has gone out of their way to make the PC a necessary part of your digital lifestyle. All your iDevices are simply accessory satellite devices to your PC.

Even the iPad, which many talk about replacing the PC requires a PC to even use the first time. This was done on purpose as it's clearly designed to complement, not substitute.

I know some can only see things in black or white, but the Mac is a very important part of Apple's business and will continue to be so for a very long time.
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post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcg View Post

I think they will release a almost finished developer preview next June and will release the OS 1-2 Months later. If they want to lead the pack, they need to keep their secrets.

I'm willing to wait for OSX 10.7....if it comes in white!
post #39 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Because eventually, they want to make money off of consumers. 10 million developers vs 6Billion consumers... you do the math. 10% of 6Billion is a good number to shoot for even at only a $100 profit (vs 40% profit on 10% of 10Million...).

Hate to burst your economic bubble, but they do, and will continue to, make plenty of money from consumers with Macs.

Quote:
The computing future will look like like mainframes in the past
1) a Mac Pro in your closet
...

Better model than everyone having a laptop (a truck) and a car (iPad).

Hate to burst your view of the future bubble, but you'll note that it includes a Mac Pro in your closet, which may just as easily, and far more likely, be an iMac, Mac Mini, or MacBook on your desktop.
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

I'm willing to wait for OSX 10.7....if it comes in white!

I hear Mac OS X 10.7 will come in over 16M colors.
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