There’s this somewhat odd sentiment among some parts of the Mac community that the best release of the platform’s software ever was Snow Leopard. Yes, that’s right: 2009’s Mac OS X 10.6, a release that was famously marketed as having “zero new features” and focusing on bug fixes and enhancements.
That appraisal is, of course, open for debate, but the idea has persisted enough that some people still regularly call for “Snow Leopard” style releases of Apple’s current operating systems—even though I’m sure there would be a general cry of bloody murder if the company tried to release updates that really didn’t have a single new feature.
Such an update is decidedly not what we got at this past week’s Worldwide Developers Conference: the platform updates that Apple showed off are fairly brimming with new features. But running down the list it also becomes clear that this was a bit of a search-and-destroy exercise for Apple’s engineers, as they crossed off a whole metric ton of requests and “missing” features that have, in some cases, been lingering for years.
Perhaps these updates are more like “filling gaps” releases, but in any case, there’s a lot here that suggests Apple isn’t simply trying to look to what’s next but to fix what’s come before and level the playing field across all its platforms.