Mac OS X 10.5.7 Optimized for Intel Atom Netbook/iTablet Class Processor?!

Yeah, this story is thin. iPod nano thin. But Wired (via MacRumors) is claiming that Apple recent Mac OS X 10.5.7 Leopard update gives netbooks running the software (aka Hackintoshs) a significant boost to battery life (up to 33%).

This has led to some speculation that Apple maybe -- just maybe -- built in better power management and other optimizations for lower end processors like the Intel Atom.

Of course, that type of speculation is but one tiny little step to yet more rumors of Apple preparing to launch a netbook-like laptop of their own (or perhaps a full own OS X iTablet).

Hope springs eternal... especially when spring is right before WWDC. TiPb's still leaning towards a larger-screened iPod touch as being more likely, but what do you think?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 11 comments. Add yours.

frog says:

Is Darwin still open source?

Zapplegate says:

Has anyone checked to see if the reduced power consumption applies to all apple laptops?

Hakala says:

I am itching to watch keynotes from WWDC like Paris Hilton was itching to get that ankle cuff off her foot.

Al says:

I haven't spent much time at all analyzing these rumors so this is purely speculation, but I don't think that Apple is working on any type of portable computer with lower specs than their $999 MacBook. They introduced that computer as an afterthought or a side note at their Unibody unveiling event. I just can't see them making a computer with lower specs than that when they already have the ultimate in portable computing with the MacBook Air (which I realize is quite expensive as netbooks go but is exponentially better than most of the garbage netbooks that I have seen). I also can't see them making an iPod Touch with a screen that differs from the iPhone because then developers will have to develop alternate versions of their apps and the app store will have to differentiate between the devices to make sure that users are getting the correct versions. I think that Apple will keep the iPhone and iPod Touch unified. So basically all of that to say I have no idea what is coming next but I don't think that the rumors seem credible at this point.

fassy says:

@frog
Yes, Darwin is still open source, but different components are under different licenses, so I have no idea what obligation (if any) Apple would have to release source for this particular piece.

rpv says:

@Al , although i agree with you , but logic never applies to Apple. So, we never know what they can be using it for. maybe AppleTV ?

frog says:

fassy: I was thinking the other way around. Maybe the open-source community added support, and it simply got merged in without any real intention?

Bryan says:

Here's to hoping this helps when I'm forced to run Windows for work stuff...

fassy says:

@frog -- good point; it is certainly possible.
On a slightly related note, Apple also hired the former security architect of the One Laptop Per Child project. While he will be working primarily on OSX security, with his experience getting things done on lower end hardware, this hire will add more fuel to the netbook/iTablet speculative fire.

biastapobiono says:

Super writing - i will come back again soon!

GanjaManja says:

I'd hope they reduced power consumption by 33% for ALL their computers, simply because it'll have millions of people using less electricity (and spending less money)!
Perhaps it isn't an indication of a product, just of being energy-aware.
Keep us updated if you find this power draw reduction applies to other systems running 10.5.7, that would be awesome.