Hot on the heels of the initial release of Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6), Apple has delivered Mac OS X 10.6.1. The changes from Apple are coming with such fury right now, that it’s been hard to keep up. But we’re doing our best.
64 bit compatibility
As I noted in a column posted elsewhere, the biggest problem you are likely to encounter with Snow Leopard, whether 10.6 or 10.6.1, is third-party software that won’t work because it is 32-bit and is attempting to interact with the 64-bit programs that ship with the new OS. Happily, developers are working aggressively to update their software to address this matter.
Here’s a sampling of recent notable upgrades (in alphabetical order), with caveats as appropriate:
- 1Password 3: A new version of 1Password, still in beta, works with Snow Leopard. The prior version (1Password 2) will also work in Snow Leopard for all browsers except Safari. For Safari, 1Password 2 can work if you are willing to run Safari in 32-bit mode (by enabling the option in Safari’s Get Info window).
- Ambrosia: Ambrosia Software has updated its WireTap and Snapz Pro X utilities for Snow Leopard.
- Dymo Label: Dymo’s site claims that you need to wait for the forthcoming Dymo Label 8.2 to get Snow Leopard compatibility. However, I am using the current 126.96.36.1994 version in Snow Leopard and have had no problems.
- Flip4Mac WMV Player: A beta build of this program is 64-bit and works in Snow Leopard. However, you can only use it with QuickTime 7, not the new Mac OS X 10.6 QuickTime X. QuickTime X does not work with any of the old QuickTime plug-ins.
- Rogue Amoeba: The entire line of this company’s audio software, including the popular Audio Hijack Pro, is now “Snow Leopard compatible.” But see this note for a possibly required work-around when using the programs with 64-bit software.
- Smart Scroll: The latest beta version of this utility offers partial Snow Leopard compatibility. It reportedly works for all variations of hardware and software—except for 32-bit applications running on the latest 64-bit Macs.
Mac OS X 10.6.1-specific fixes
The main function of Mac OS X 10.6.1 is to squash a variety of bugs, as described here. Among the most notable fixes:
Mac OS X 10.6.1 installs the latest 10.0.32.18 version of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in version. This remedies an issue with security vulnerabilities in the prior version of the plug-in, the version that is installed as part of Snow Leopard 10.6.
If you had a problem sending e-mail in 10.6, the one where you get an alert stating “Error 54: Connection Reset By Peer,” Mac OS X 10.6.1 should eliminate it. This means you no longer need the more convoluted work-around that Apple had previously recommended.
Mac OS X 10.6.1 addresses an issue where some printer drivers did not appear in the Add Printer window. Separate updates, offered by Apple around the same time as 10.6.1, provide the latest printer drivers for HP, Canon and Brother printers.
Double-clicking documents in Finder
It’s a feature, not a bug! Here’s one more Snow Leopard caution: Suppose you create a new document in some third-party application, such as a text document in Bare Bone Software’s TextWrangler. When you later double-click the document icon in the Finder, you expect it to open in TextWrangler, right? Of course you do. That’s the way it’s worked in every version of Mac OS X—until Snow Leopard.
Try the same thing in Snow Leopard, and the document will open instead in TextEdit by default. The reason for this has to do with changes in how Snow Leopard treats creator codes, as explained in detail in this TidBits article.