Apple has been upgrading its tech support 'Discussions' boards over the weekend and hopes to reveal a slew of handy new user features later today.

The company had hoped to launch new features yesterday (November 13), but reports: "The transition process is taking a bit longer than we anticipated." Meanwhile discussions, including a spate of very recent reports of of iTunes losing its connection to songs in music libraries, are available in "read-only" mode.

Better searches, RSS and more

The revamped discussion boards will be worth the wait, the company promised.

New features will include a "much improved search engine", capable of searching for numbers and running proximity searches.

Discussions will also offer RSS support, so users will be able to track topics using Safari RSS. Posts will be editable, so users can add bold and italics, and posts will be timed according to a user's local time.

Another new feature will enable users to mark posts as a question and then to later mark it as answered. This means other users will be able to quickly navigate to threads that contain resolutions to problems.

Change is good

Apple also notes that user aliases will no longer be changeable - existing aliases will be transferred to the new system, and must have a minimum of two and a maximum of 30 characters.

Subscriptions won't be transferred, and Bookmarks won't be available. "For now, please use your Web browser's bookmark feature to mark interesting subjects," Apple says, confirming it is looking at ways to re-enable these features in future. Avatars will also be unavailable.

The transition to the new service began at 8pm (PST) on November 11 (4am November 12 UK time). The URL will also change, from to