Apple has introduced a series of enhancements for subscribers to its .Mac suite of Internet services.

The company describes these as including "some of your most-requested features for HomePage Web publishing and iCards e-greetings." They include new HomePage templates, new download pages, new iCards, and the capacity to build and edit .Mac Web sites using Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. Users also enjoy a free download of Norton Parental Control software.

The new file-sharing templates are called My Downloads. These let users "create multiple customized download pages to give visitors access to files on your iDisk", Apple says.

The new external HTML template makes it easier to integrate self-made HTML pages into a .Mac site. Apple has also introduced six new photo-album templates, three new movie templates and a new journal template.

Apple iCards e-greetings site has been redesigned, with over 200 card designs assembled into categories. iCards now integrate seamlessly with member's .Mac Address Book, and new features include six new typestyles and text resizing.

Normally available as part of Symantec's £55 (including VAT) Norton Internet Security 3.0 product, Norton Parental Control is software for parents that allows them to block or allow access to Web sites by category or by URL.

The software also lets parents set different access levels for different children. It will also prevent personal information, such as credit card numbers, from being revealed by email, newsgroup postings or attachments. Apple's US and Canadian .Mac members are being offered $20 discount on Symantec products.

Anecdotally, Apple's .Mac suite also appears faster at log-in and when moving between pages than it did before.