Apple has begun seeding builds of 10.6.6 before the previous version, 10.6.5, has actually been released to the public, according to a report from AppleInsider. The new build contains no specific issues, but contains “developer support for and renewing App Store receipts.” This refers to the upcoming Mac App Store that will be a future part of 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and next summer’s 10.7 (Lion) release.
We already knows that 10.6.5 is imminent, so the fact that Apple has already moved onto development of 10.6.6 just underlines the fact that we won’t have too much longer to wait. What’s more interesting, though, is the tiny footprint of 10.6.6: it’s only 3.7MB. Compared that to 10.6.5′s anticipated footprint of nearly 500MBs and it’s easy to see that 10.6.6 won’t be bringing all that much new to Snow Leopard, at least as far as bullet points on a feature and bug fix list are concerned.
Taking a cue from the success of the iOS App Store, Apple will begin offering Mac applications through a digital storefront, keeping a 30 percent cut of sales. Developers began submitting the first Mac App Store apps to Apple on Wednesday. The trio of iOS 4.2, Mac OS X 10.6.5 and iTunes 10.1 are expected to be released shortly, as the new AirPrint feature on iOS 4.2 requires iTunes 10.1 or Mac OS X 10.6.5. The golden master for iOS 4.2 was released to developers earlier this week. Apple has promised that iOS 4.2 will come sometime in November.
The last known build of 10.6.5, 10H568, weighed in at nearly 500MB and contained improvements or fixes for Microsoft Exchange servers, printing, Dictionary.app, OpenType, VoiceOver, Bluetooth, iPhoto, Aperture, graphics cards, Address Book and iCal among others. The build number on the new release is 10J521.The move indicates that public release of 10.6.5 is coming shortly, possibly in conjunction with iOS 4.2 and iTunes 10.1.
What Mac OS X 10.6.6 will bring to the table is pretty huge for the Mac software ecosystem, though: the Mac App Store, which at the very least will add the ability to one-click buy, download and install application support to the operating system.