Apple last week released Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Although it contains a few new interface features (welcome back, Put Back!), it is mostly under-the-hood refinements designed to make the OS faster and more secure. You can read about some of the changes here and a detailed review here.

As always, you should let others become the early adopters and work out the kinks. The biggest concern is the compatibility of older applications, and you can find lists of what has been tested here and here. It’s also important to note that Snow Leopard will only run on Intel-based Macs. Those with PowerPC chips like the iMac G5 or the PowerMac series will go no further than OS X 10.5.

Finally, if you do decide to take the plunge, be sure to backup first, preferably to different media, just in case something goes wrong. In fact, the steps I outlined for upgrading to Leopard still apply. The only addition is to be sure to include “Rosetta” during the installation process.

As for me, I will be installing Snow Leopard later this month and will report any issues that you might need to be aware of.

[Written by Kem Tekinay]