Cupertino (CA) – Mac users received a substantial update for their Leopard operating system: Following the 10.5.5 OS X Leopard update released three months ago, Apple delivered the sixth Leopard update that patches numerous bugs and improves the overall security and reliability of the operating system. It also addresses a range of system applications and improves MobileMe syncing as well as OS X graphics capabilities.
Apple posted the 10.5.6 maintenance update for OS X Leopard earlier today that squashes bugs and security exploits in the operating system and tweaks some of its features. The 372 MB patch fixes nearly 40 problems in the operating system and its applications, Apple said.
Specifically, the Address Book is now more stable while syncing with the iPhone and other applications, and contacts, calendars, and bookmarks on a Mac automatically sync with MobileMe within a minute of the change being made on the computer – which is down from 15 minute intervals before. Several performance and reliability fixes contribute to a better performance of Mail, iCal, DVD Player, Calculator, Chess, Time Machine, Air Port, as well as networking and printing, Apple said.
The operating system now features improved compatibility with web proxy servers in Safari and with smart cards such as the U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Card. It also adds a new Trackpad System Preference pane for owners of portable Macs; there is also an update for time zone data and Daylight Saving Time rules for several countries.
An optimized graphics subsystem should deliver improved performance in games, iChat, iTunes, Aperture and in Cover Flow mode in Finder, while possible graphics distortion issues with certain ATI graphics cards have been fixed.
An issue in iChat that could cause encryption alert to appear in the chat window is resolved, while setting the status to “invisible” via AppleScript no longer drops users from an iChat session. Pasting text from a Microsoft Office document no longer results in an image rather than a text.
The OS X 10.5.6 update also includes several security improvements. It can be downloaded through OS X’s Software Update feature found in the Apple menu or by downloading an incremental (372 MB) or a combo (668 MB) update from Apple’s website.