People familiar with the latest pre-release distributions of the next-gen OS say ... Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system will include tools borrowed from the iPhone that let developers determine the geographical location of Macs, as well as extend additional support for multi-touch to their apps.
Will utilize a Mac's existing networking hardware to triangulate the system's location in a manner similar to the way the original iPhone was able to ... [Plus] a new set of Cocoa-based programing interfaces for leveraging the multi-touch features of the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros within their applications.
CoreLocation works with the iPhone's built-in GPS, cell phone-tower triangulation, and Wi-Fi positioning data ... Location-awareness is the New Hotness in many an application, from Google's recently announced Latitude service to the Places feature in Apple's new iPhoto '09 and iPhone apps such as Loopt and AroundMe.
While the rumored multi-touch capabilities will undoubtedly revive fervid dreams of the oft-imagined Tablet Mac - which has been coming "real soon now" since as long ago as 2002 - multi-touch APIs would more realistically simply make available to developers access to the capabilities of the multi-touch trackpads in the current MacBook line..
Besides making Internet maps and directories (like Yelp) easier to use, this could potentially help companies like Google (GOOG) upsell location-based advertising ... good news for Boston-based Skyhook Wireless, which makes a GPS-like location platform based on wi-fi ... [It] uses a database of wi-fi hotspots to triangulate your location.
Apple already uses Skyhook in the iPhone and iPod touch, which suggests it could be their technology partner for the Mac, too.
This is a direct result of the success Apple has had getting developers to use the same features on the iPhone ... fairly obvious given that all newer MacBooks feature some level of multi-touch support in their trackpads ... And of course, theres always rumors of Apple incorporating multi-touch on the desktop as well.
If Apples patents are any indication, multi-touch is going to be at the forefront of many devices Apple is working on going foward.
This type of feature cross-pollination is relatively trivial for Apple to implement since Mac OS X and iPhone OS are based on the same foundation. It also means that developers should be able to easily adopt these features as well.
The development of OS X Snow Leopard appears to be entering the final phase ... Despite its lack of major end-user features, Snow Leopard could be the biggest OS X update ever thanks to one killer feature - speed and performance.
Despite the lack of user features, Snow Leopard will be a major update. Integrated support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 in Address Book, Mail and iCal is pretty big as it allows users to sync their corporate email, contacts and calendars across Macs and iPhones out of the box. But the one killer feature that will entice most Mac users to upgrade is speed.
The synergy between Apples desktop and mobile OS X development really seems to not only be benefitting both platforms, and optimizing R&Ds bottom-line, but bouncing off each other in iterative splendor.
Hopefully iPhone OS 3.0 can take a little back as well Im looking at you, universal spotlight search!
As the traditional desktop and web become increasingly intermingledfor instance, offline Gmailacross the board location awareness will improve search, content delivery, and even the advertisements you see.