Apple has released its Mac OS X 10.4.3 Update, available using Software Update or for direct download.

Two versions of the update are available: the Delta update upgrades a system from version 10.4.2, while the Combo update takes a system to 10.4.3 from any version of Tiger.

The new OS offers: "Overall improved reliability and compatibility for Mac OS X v10.4 and is recommended for all users," Apple states.

There's a multitude of fixes in this release, including updated Core Graphics, Core Audio, Core Image, and RAW camera support, while .Mac synchronisation, Spotlight Indexing, and AirPort and Bluetooth have all been enhanced.

Essential system software, such as Mail, Safari, Dashboard widgets, Address Book, AppleScript, Automator, Dictionary, Font Book, iCal and iSync, have all been improved.

Updates All Areas

Selected highlights from Apple's detailed release notes include:

Improved responsiveness during Spotlight searches in the Finder.

Improved compatibility for OpenGL-accelerated Macromedia Shockwave 3D webpage content when using Safari. Safari now passes a key Web usability test (Acid2).

Mac sync error alerts now provide a better description of the issue faced.

Smart Mailboxes that use "Entire Message Contains" and another criteria with the "any" qualifier now work as expected.

.Mac members can enable encrypted chat sessions after installing this update.

The update also improves compatibility with third party applications and devices, and includes previous standalone security updates.