Apple has responded to .Mac critics and implemented improvements that should speed up European users upload and download speeds, at least when using the .Mac Web Gallery.

The company last night issued a statement to .Mac users in which it thanked people on the .Mac Web Gallery discussions forum for help.

"The info and feedback we've received has been invaluable to us in diagnosing and developing an action plan for addressing performance issues reported by some members," the company said.

Apple has now implemented a number of enhancements that should make Web Gallery pages load "noticeably faster,"

The company warns that actual page load times will vary depending on a user's connection speed and Mac setup, "but most customers should notice an immediate improvement," it promised.

"We are aware that some customers are still reporting issues and are continuing to investigate concerns on a case by case basis. Performance improvement is an ongoing process and we are working to make sure we provide a world class level of service to all our customers in the weeks and months to come."

The company adds that those speed enhancements announced thus far extend only to a user's Web Gallery home page and photo albums only.

The company has done nothing to boost up/download speeds for users of iDisk or any other .Mac services, "at this time," the company said, hinting that such improvements may emerge, assuming European users of the subscription-only service maintain pressure on the firm.