Mac OS X 10.6.6 Previewed

Even though Apple’s next version of OS, AKA Lion, isn’t supposed to be released until next summer, glimpses of it are available online.

Apple provided a sneak peak of the first build or Beta version on Nov. 4, 2010. Since then rumors that another test version could be coming have swirled. Many of the rumors speculate that Lion or Mac OS X 10.6.6 will be built around the Mac App Store.

App Store Still Coming

The Mac App Store is a widely anticipated venue where customers would be able to buy and download programs for the Mac much like people now buy and download music for the I-Pod. News reports about the version that came out last month state it has a feature for fetching and renewing App store receipts.

The interesting thing is that the Mac App Store itself still hasn’t been revealed. Mockups of it have been posted at Apple’s website. Apple has also been accepting Apps for the App store from developers. The company has also been developing alliances with major software firms such as Oracle.

The latest speculation is that Apple will release the next beta test of Lion and the Mac App Store to the public at the same time. Another strong possibility is that Apple will bring out the Mac App Store when Lion is released.

Problems with Lion

Although there have been no official announcements from Apple about a Lion delay. It is quite possible that there are technical problems that Apple has to work out.

Reports indicate that Lion was supposed to contain the wireless printing feature Air Print. Yet Air Print wasn’t mentioned in the documentation made available last month. This means that there could be problems with it and Lion. It isn’t known whether these problems could affect other Mac OS X applications.

One potential hurdle to both Lion and the Mac App Store is that this technology will have to work flawlessly. It will also have to be fairly easy to use and accessible to those with minimal computer knowledge.

It isn’t clear whether Apple has gotten either Lion or the App Store to function on those levels. If it hasn’t both projects could be delayed for weeks or months.

Another potential hurdle is integration with other operating systems.

Apple recently backed down and opened up future versions of Mac OS X to Java developers. So it is entirely possible that the Mac App Store could feature some other companies’ products.

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