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Apple: Mac OS X 10.4 to ship 29 April

Cue thousands more bad Tiger puns...

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Apple will ship the next major release of Mac OS X on Friday, 29 April, the Mac maker said today, 24 hours or so before it announces its Q2 FY2005 results.

Mac OS X 10.4, aka Tiger, will go on sale on the aforementioned day at 6PM. Apple neglected to say which time zone it's working to, with both the UK and the US press releases mentioning the same appointed hour. With luck, the further East you are, the sooner you'll get your hands on the upgrade, which should see Australian Mac users getting to run the code first, which will go some small way to compensate them for not having their own iTunes Music Store yet.

Tiger adds the obligatory triple-figure list of new features, including Spotlight, a system-wide, multiple document format search tool, and Automator, a GUI-based task automation tool leveraging AppleScript and OS X's Unix underlay.

Tiger will also include QuickTime 7, which adds the H.264 video codec - a tool utilised by Apple's instant messaging client, iChat.

Apple has updated its Mail, iCal and Address Book apps, adding new features, integrating Spotlight support and tailoring them for Xsync, the OS' now built-in synchronisation engine, previously implemented as a standalone app, iSync.

All this and more will set Mac users back £89 inc. VAT here, or $129 in the US. Apple has upped the minimum specification, from Mac OS X 10.3 Panther's 128MB of memory to 256MB, but beyond that it will run on any Mac with built-in Firewire ports and a G3, G4 or G5 processor. Anyone who buys Panther or a new Mac between now and the 29th will get an OS upgrade, though postage and packing costs extra, £12 or $10. ®

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