Mac OS X beta's grab bag of apps

Sources said the new software will arrive with a complement of extras to speed users' entree into Mac OS X
Written by Adam Gillit, Contributor

Besides the complement of core OS tools supposedly on tap for the public beta of Mac OS X, the new software will reportedly arrive at this week's Apple Expo in Paris bearing a number of utilities, applications and extras.

Some of the applications are new versions of software already available in Mac OS 9, some are ports of NeXTStep utilities, and some are entirely new concoctions created to spice up the first end-user release of Apple's next-generation OS.

Address Book: This application provides a centralised location for contact information that can be used by other applications. Users currently can't import addresses from other programs, sources said, but the application will remember e-mail addresses used in Mac OS X's bundled Mail application. Sources said the ability to assign photos to entries was currently unimplemented.

Clock: A digital- or analogue-style clock can be displayed in the Dock or floating in a transparent window.

Internet Explorer 5: A Carbonised version with an Aqua interface of Microsoft's Web browser. Most functions are fully implemented; although the application Java support is not complete, sources said. The browser also includes plug-ins for QuickTime, iTools, Shockwave and Flash.

Mail: An OS X-native e-mail client with multiple accounts, POP and IMAP support.

Music Player: A separate MP3 and CD player with a QuickTime Player-like design.

QuickTime Player: A revised version of the Mac OS QuickTime Player -- the Favourites drawer is gone, changed to a tab in a new window, brought up by a prominent "TV" button on the Player's face, that also includes icons for a variety of streaming media channels. The playback and volume controls have also been revised.

Sherlock: The Internet search tool offers most of the same functions as the version bundled with Mac OS 9.

TextEdit: A more powerful version of SimpleText, the classic Mac OS' text editor.

System Preferences: Instead of a variety of Control Panels, the Mac OS X beta collects all the preference controllers in one application. This includes the ability to set preferences for the Classic environment, ColourSync, Date and Time, Energy Saver, General, International, Internet, Keyboard, Login, Monitors, Mouse, Network, Password, QuickTime, Screen Saver, Sharing, Sound, Speech and Startup Disk. A strip at the top can be configured to hold the most commonly used modules. Desktop and Dock preferences are accessed from the Desktop.

Desk Accessories: The Calculator, Key Caps and Stickies are given a facelift, but without much change in functionality.

The beta also has a Grab Bag folder that contains some applications previously offered as control panels under the classic Mac OS, some features that were available at the System level and other goodies.

AppleScript: This subfolder includes the Script Runner and several example scripts. Clicking on the demo script files ending with .scpt opens the Script Editor, instead of running the script. The Script Runner application is not yet fully implemented, sources said, but when scripts are run from the editor, they seem to function as they do in OS 9.

Battery Monitor: For portables that run off battery power.

Chess: Visually similar to the Chess application included in NextStep, this is a front end for the familiar (to some) gnuchess.

CPU Monitor: Monitors the system load several different ways, like its xNIX counterparts.

HTMLEdit: A fairly robust HTML-authoring application with support for JavaScripts, VBScripts and forms.

Image Capture: This utility for downloading images from digital cameras can be configured to respond automatically when the camera is connected.

NetProbe: A DNS lookup, ping, traceroute, whois and finger suite.

PDF Compositor: Frequently demonstrated by Jobs, this utility lets users manipulate Portable Document Format files.

Sketch: A simple drawing program.

Another folder installed with Mac OS X will let users manage files and processes under the new operating system.

Stuffit Expander: The port of Aladdin's popular compression utility run native under OS X.

Apple System Profiler: This holdover from Mac OS 9 generates system profiles as well as lists of devices, volumes and applications.

Assistant: This utility simplifies installing and setting up applications and network connections.

Console: This software generates a log of system activity, sources said.

Disk Copy: The OS X version of the venerable Mac utility for mounting disk images.

Disk Utility: Disk First Aid and Drive Setup have been combined into one program. Disks are identified by xNIX appellations and by their OS 9 counterparts.

Grab: A rudimentary screen-capture utility that operates somewhat like Command-Shift-3 or -4 under Mac OS 9.

Help Viewer: A utility to access help documents. The viewer displays five topics for Mac OS help: Using the desktop, Changing settings, Getting connected, Sending email and Printing.

Installer: A utility for executing installer scripts.

Keychain access: activates or deactivates security features.

Multiple Users: This software lets the administrator or root account holder to add additional user accounts to the system.

NetInfoManager: Allows administration of NetInfo configuration

Print Center: Replaces the Chooser and Desktop Printers to manage printer output via networks, AppleTalk and USB.

Process Viewer: Shows a list of all running processes, including percent of CPU and memory used. Allows force-quitting of crashed apps, like the Application List called up by pressing Option-Command-Escape under Mac OS X.

Script Editor: Like its Mac OS 9 counterpart, this software lets users edit and compile AppleScripts.

Software Update: A counterpart of the Mac OS 9 control panel that monitors the latest software releases for the user's machine.

Terminal: The command-line interface to the underlying BSD Unix.

Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment on the reports.

Daniel Drew Turner contributed to this report

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