Apple releases Mac OS X 10.5.8

Apple on Wednesday released the latest update to Mac OS X Leopard, version 10.5.8, which improves the reliability of key features such as AirPort wireless networking and Bluetooth while also fixing disappearing display resolutions in System Preferences.

Included in the 10.5.8 update is the latest version of Apple’s Safari Web browser, version 4.0.2, which was first released last month, as well as an improvement for full-history searches in the browser.

In addition to the AirPort improvements, Mac OS X 10.5.8 features a number of other network-related fixes, such as improved iCal reliability with MobileMe Sync and CalDav, improved data reliability issues with iDisk and MobileMe, overall improvements to AFP reliability, and improved Sync Service reliability.

On the device front, the update brings additional RAW image support for third-party cameras, improved compatibility with some external USB hard drives, a fix for an issue that could prevent importing large photo and movie files from digital cameras, and the aforementioned Bluetooth improvements for external devices, USB Web cameras, and printers.

The 10.5.8 update also addresses an issue that could cause extended startup times and fixes a problem with dragging Aperture images into Automator, which had been incorrectly triggering an iPhoto action.

There are a number of security fixes in OS X 10.5.8 as well, including patches to bzip compression, a fix for buffer overflow issue in ColorSync, improved error handling for launchd, and a fix for MobileMe not signing out properly. Another issue–also resolved in this batch of security fixes–could have allowed someone with physical access to a computer to circumvent a screen saver password through the use of the MacBook’s four-finger gesture controls.

Apple also released Mac OS X Server 10.5.8 Update, which improves the reliability of AFP for file services and Time Machine backups, maintains a history of user’s previous passwords, propagates file system permissions, and improves Spotlight indexing and memory consumption.

Mac OS X 10.5.8 is recommended for all Leopard users. The update is available via Apple’s support downloads page in both incremental and combo update packages, as well as via Mac OS X’s Software Update.

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