Yosemite Beta pros and cons
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss the things they like and dislike about Yosemite now that the beta version has been released to the public in a thread started last week by one Mac Elite who wondered why no one seemed excited about this update to the OS. "Does anyone know how much amperage the iPhone 6 will require?" asks one Fresh-Faced Recruit to the forums.
Expansion campaign continues
In keeping with expansion efforts made during the past year, Apple has brought its AppleCare+ plans for the iPhone and iPad to Mexico and Sweden. Mexican plans cost 1,599 pesos, or about $123. Swedish plans are 799 kronor, or $117. In the US AppleCare+ coverage is $99.
Why isn't anyone so excited about Yosemite?
This week in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" asks "Why isn't anyone excited about Yosemite?", to which a variety of answers ranging from "I'm ecstatic" to "Yosemite is...eh" have been provided. Dedicated MacNNer "gregfripp" is trying to fix something in his dock, but is unable to do so, and has turned to the forums looking for advice.
iTunes and App Store difficulties already resolved
[Updated with spreading service issues] Apple online services have been affected by a pair of problems on Thursday, the company's system status page indicates. Still ongoing is a glitch with iCloud Mail, resulting in "slower than normal response" for some users. Trouble appears to have begun shortly after 2PM Eastern.
AutoFill, compatibility main areas of testing focus
Apple is distributing new developer betas of Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for OS X Mountain Lion. In release notes for both, the company is asking developers to test AutoFill, extension compatibility, and "general website compatibility." The updates' main feature though will be WebGL, making it possible to run 3D content without third-party plugins.
Can sometimes fail to install, leaving computer unusable
A firmware update, issued on Monday for "Mid-2011" MacBook Air models running OS X 10.9.2 and later, apparently has a bug in either the code or the downloaded file, which is causing reports of system crashes and occasionally a failure to install properly, leaving MBA owners unable to boot the machine. The purpose of the firmware update was to correct two "wake from sleep" issues that affected only "mid-2011" MBAs running 10.9.2 or later. Some users have found that an SMC reset can restore the units to functional status.
Mac Pro for consumers?
Today in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "PeterParker" was asking fellow forum-goers if they thought that Apple would ever create a Mac Pro in the sub-2K price range for people who aren't quite "pros" who want that style of desktop. Today, Forum Regular "Nassifer" was trying to determine why their notebook was so slow after doing a complete restore to 10.9.4, and turned to the forums looking for advice.
Fixes an issue that caused fans to ramp up, also cures wake-from-sleep issues
On Monday, Apple posted an EFI update specifically aimed at the mid-2011 model MacBook Airs that are running OS X 10.9.2 (Mavericks) or later. The update addresses two wake-from-sleep issues: one in which the computer would take longer than expected to wake from sleep, and the other (more rare) issue of cooling fans ramping up to full speed on waking from sleep. Owners must meet both conditions (mid-2011 MBA, and running Mavericks 10.9.2 or later) for the update to apply.
Will delete photos, videos stored in iCloud Photo Library, email attachments, more
Apple has informed developers testing both of the forthcoming Apple platform releases, iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, that it will again delete content stored on the CloudKit database serving both platforms tomorrow, July 22. Although details were not listed this time, the effect is expected to be the same as the previous "wipe" of the database, which took place on July 7. Anyone testing the iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library or Mail Drop attachment features will see their cloud-stored data destroyed.
OS X gets iTunes 12, iOS 8 gets new Tips app
(Updated with other beta releases, more Yosemite changes) Apple is now seeding its fourth betas of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to developers. Perhaps the most significant change is in the latter, which includes the first beta of iTunes 12. The updated media player uses a flatter, streamlined design more in keeping with Yosemite, and is the first version to support Family Sharing, something also present in iOS 8. While Yosemite is still only accessible to developers, sources claim that the first public beta could go live later this month, after Apple has put more polish on it.
SuperDuper vs. TimeMachine debate continues
The end of the week has been rather quiet in the MacNN forums, however forum members continue to debate the best way to backup data, with some saying SuperDuper (or "cloning" programs like it) are a better solution, others stating the best is Time Machine due to it highly self-regulating nature, and some taking the middle road with a "why not both?" approach. Earlier this week, Fresh-Faced Recruit "Rolando_jose" asked fellow forum-goers if it was possible to control Keynote using the Keynote remote from another iPad, for example, controlling the iPad Air with the iPad mini.
Linux gets better Chrome App Launcher
Google has issued Chrome 36 updates for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android users. The new version is mostly a maintenance release, making stability, performance, and security fixes. It does however implement several cosmetic changes across desktop platforms, for instance improving rich notifications with a "flatter" look, and giving Incognito mode a new tab page (below) that's cleaner and easier to read. Likewise, the Chrome App Launcher for Linux has been revamped.
SuperDuper vs. Time Machine
Today in the MacNN forums, Dedicated MacNNer "akent35" started a thread defending SuperDuper as a backup solution because every time this has come up in the past it starts a "war," and this time he believes he has reasonable evidence to prove this is a superior way to do backups. Yesterday Moderator "andi*pandi" was trying to figure out why Siri seems to have forgotten how to access contact information.
No ETA for normal service
Apple's iCloud Mail is currently down for a handful of users, according to Apple's system status tracker. Issues appear to have started after 4PM Eastern on Sunday, and are still ongoing, but are only affecting 0.1 percent of the userbase. So far, there is no ETA from Apple for when the glitch might be fixed.
bugs Apple should fix for Yosemite
This week has been rather quiet in the MacNN forums, however members continue to discuss and debate a wide range of topics. Earlier this week, Mac Elite "And.reg" started a thread discussing bugs and weird issues that need to be fixed in Yosemite before it becomes a public release this fall. Yesterday, "chasg" was trying to determine why his iMac wasn't booting from an external disk, and turned to the forums looking for advice.
Mavericks Applescript Problem
This week, MacNN Forum members assist others with troubleshooting Applescript problems, updating Flash issues with Safari, and more. One Fresh-Faced Recruit has been having problems with an Applescript after upgrading to Mavericks from Mountain Lion, and he hopes that others might be able to assist in figuring out why. Today, "jeff k" was asking fellow forum-goers if they could figure out why Safari would keep asking him to do a Flash update after he has already updated Flash.
US, UK, and Russia apparently immune
Over the weekend, a number of iOS and OS X users have started reporting glitches with Apple's official Calendar app. Affected people will see holidays from other regions appearing on their personal calendar, such as UK holidays in Ireland, or Mexican, Canadian, and even Hong Kong holidays in Lithuania. Some countries appear to be immune to the bug, including the US, the UK, and Russia.
Blu-Ray Player vs. iPad with Apple TV
This week in the MacNN forums, members debate which is better, a Blu-ray player or an iPad with Apple TV after Junior Member "phkc070408" stated that they are considering buying an Apple TV and simply downloading and streaming content from iTunes rather than getting a Blu-ray player. Forum-goers discuss ways to assist Forum Regular "Harvey" with his iMac after he reported that his screen went black.
Solves issues with video editors, multiple displays
This Monday's OS X 10.9.4 update appears to have made undocumented fixes to rendering problems with the 2013 Mac Pro, users say. Under v10.9.3, people running video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve were encountering problems such as crashes, freezes, pink and green lines in exported clips, and videos stalling during the export process. Posts on Adobe and Blackmagic's forums indicate that after updating OS X, video output is back to normal.
Official cutoff affecting more people than intended
Some people using @mac.com or @me.com email addresses as AIM logins in Messages are finding them non-functional, even after meeting Apple's requirements for a June 30 support cutoff, complaints indicate. In April, Apple stated that those logins would no longer work for versions of OS X below v10.7.2. Even people who do meet that threshold, however, are saying they can't use the logins anywhere, including the AIM web interface or third-party Mac and iOS clients such as Adium.
R. I. P. Aperture?
Yesterday, many MacNN forum-goers were up in arms over Apple's sudden decision to axe Aperture, while some claim the writing has been on the wall for some time, others state that they are not happy about this. Today, Junior Member "jdonahoe" took to the forums looking for assistance figuring out why their iOS 7.1.2 update is stuck at 80 percent.
Regular AppleCare plan vanishes
Apple is today making major changes to its AppleCare plans for iPhone and iPad buyers. When considering an AppleCare+ plan, shoppers now reportedly have a 60-day window after their iPhone/iPad purchase, instead of the previous 30 days. The one exception to this is in Japan, where the old limit is still in effect.
No-ip.com domains seized ostensibly to prevent malware spread
Updated with more testing Early Monday morning, Microsoft announced that had seized, by court order, 23 domains used by dynamic IP company no-ip.com. Seeing a preponderance of malware hosts using these domains, the company then routed all "known bad traffic" through Microsoft filters, in order to classify the identified threats. The move was not without innocent victims, however, as users who use the affected domains -- including paid users for legitimate VPN purposes and one MacNN employee -- are this morning unable to connect through the redirect, at least in part.
Builds in Safari 7.0.5
In addition to iOS 7.1.2, Apple has issued the final version of OS X 10.9.4 via Mavericks' Software Update feature. Like its sibling, v10.9.4 deals exclusively with bugfixes. It solves a glitch preventing Macs from automatically connecting to recognized Wi-Fi networks, as well as the reliability of waking a computer from sleep mode.
Deals with missing encryption for Mail attachments
(Updated with Apple TV news) Apple has released iOS 7.1.2 to the public via iTunes and over-the-air distribution. The update is only a maintenance release, solving several bugs. Most significantly, it solves a problem with iOS 7 failing to encrypt Mail attachments.
Final Cut Pro gets numerous workflow enahncements
Apple has issued updates for all of its professional video-related Mac apps. Leading these is Final Cut Pro 10.1.2, which has received dozens of workflow improvements and bugfixes. Optimized, proxy, and rendered media can now be stored in any location outside of the library, or deleted from within Final Cut. A standard (Rec. 709) look can be applied in real-time to HDR and wide-color video from ARRI, Blackmagic, Canon, and Sony hardware, and the software newly supports Apple's ProRes 4444 XQ format.
creating shortcuts, converting audio files and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members assist with problems creating shortcuts, converting audio files and more. Mac Enthusiast "Bobby" turned to the forums yesterday while trying to figure out how to create a shortcut to the "device/my computer window" on their desktop. Yesterday Mac Elite "rotuts" turned to the forums looking for assistance figuring out a problem with his keyboard where it would randomly add the letter "j" in the middle of words.
Some users report iOS Podcasts app no longer working under 7.1.1
Some users are reporting problems launching the latest version of the Podcasts app for iOS devices, saying it will crash a few seconds after launch under iOS version 7.1.1, the most recent update. The newest version of Podcasts was v2.1.2, released on May 29. It's not yet clear if the problem might be rectified by users powering down the iOS device completely and restarting it -- a solution that cures nearly every misbehaving app problem.
Faster updates through new menu bar item
MacUpdate has released MacUpdate Desktop 6, an app intended to simplify installing and updating Mac software. The title relies on the company's own directory, but permits one-click installs, and regularly scans for updates to installed programs, which can be applied via Desktop or a new OS X menu bar item. Although the Mac App Store handles similar functions, MacUpdate notes that it also covers software not hosted there, such as Skype.
refurbished vs. brand new Macs
This week in the MacNN forums, the regulars dive into a debate about buying refurbished Macs over brand new Macs in the thread titled "Mac crashes/freezes when asleep," after a second user stated that they were having similar problems and they were considering getting a new machine. Grizzled Veteran "PHoynak" recently acquired a blue Clamshell iMac from a friend, and had some questions about the maximum RAM it could use, what OS it could run, and more.
Also contains iBeacon improvements, 'missed call' bug fix, more
Despite no developer release, Apple is in fact working on an iOS 7.1.2 update that will likely appear in late June or early July, and offer some fixes for known issues in 7.1.1, say reports. The update, which first began appearing in web logs on various sites last month, is now said to have been handed over the carrier partners for approval. The incremental update is said to fix some known issues remaining in Mail and a lock screen security issue, as well as adding more support for Apple's iBeacons.
Feature so far limited to Macs with Bluetooth LE
Apple is still testing and has yet to finalize which Macs will be able to take advantage of OS X Yosemite's Handoff feature, sources say. With supporting apps and hardware, the technology lets people shift work from an iOS device to a Mac, or vice versa. So far, though, users of the Yosemite beta note that only Macs equipped with Bluetooth LE -- beginning with the 2011 MacBook Air -- appear to be compatible.
Best Way to Manage Music Libraries
Yesterday in the MacNN Forums, Mac Elite "schalliol" was explaining a situation he has, where he would like to be able to maintain a high-definition music library on a NAS that can be played from iTunes, Sonos and other applications from the server -- and wondered if there was a way to push MP3/AAC versions of songs to mobile devices. "Which app did this?" asks "Thorzdad" after his wife's iPhone unexpectedly began beeping and producing weather warnings.
User forum for reporting issues, solutions gets dynamic search box, more
On Thursday, Apple updated its user-forum Support Communities, making the front page simpler to navigate but again neglecting to create a mobile version for access from smaller iOS devices. The redesign offers a central text-entry box that doubles as both a search field (with dynamic suggestions) as well as a question input box (for existing members) that tries to match a user inquiry to existing discussions. At the bottom of the front page are areas for user tips, developer forums and tutorials.
Build 13E19 also available to members of public Beta Seed Program
On Thursday, Apple offered a new weekly beta of the upcoming OS X 10.9.4 update for Mavericks, once again fixing minor bugs and offering small tweaks as the release shapes up. The new build, 13E19, follows eight days after the previous version, 13E16. Both ask testers to focus on any issues with graphics drivers, Safari, Bluetooth, the App Store, Finder and audio drivers. The new beta is available both to registered developers and members of the public Beta Seed Program.
Some regions could get 24/7 phone support
During a town hall meeting earlier this week, Apple's VP for AppleCare -- Tara Bunch -- revealed several plans in the works for the company's technical support, sources say. Many of these revolve around AppleCare+, which extends the warranty coverage for devices and shrinks the costs for two incidents of accidental damage. Bunch noted that the company is planning to bring AppleCare+ to more countries, despite different insurance and legal structures making this complicated.
Linux on Mac, password problems and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members help resolve password issues, discuss changes coming in Yosemite and troubleshoot problems. In a thread that was recently bumped, forum-goers discuss putting Mavericks on older systems and running Linux on a Mac Pro. After one Junior Member was having trouble with their recently-updated Mac not accepting a password, Moderator "P" outlined some very useful steps in how to resolve the situation.
Feature additions yet to be discovered
Apple has begun distributing second betas of OS X Yosemite, iOS 8, Xcode 6, and updated Apple TV firmware to developers. Relatively few details are available so far. The Yosemite beta is listed simply as build 14A261i, and in release notes for the iOS 8 code, Apple states only that it "contains bug fixes and improvements."
Service timing out for some users
A number of iTunes Match users are experiencing problems matching and uploading tracks, according to complaints on Apple's support forums. Affected users will see iTunes say "Matching your music with songs from iTunes Store," but have the process stall out as it appears to be on the verge of completion. Difficulties started on or around June 9 and are continuing.
working with 4K in Final Cut Pro X
Today in the MacNN forums, Mac Elite "Doc HM" has been having trouble importing 4K footage into Final Cut Pro X, stating that footage he does manage to get into the program appears jagged, even though it looks perfect in iMovie '11. Forum members this week attempt to help Mac Elite "jeff k" determine why it is that Adobe CS5 is telling them that they have no scratch space when they know that they have 15GB of space left.
Units can potentially overheat
Apple has announced a free program to replace what it says are potentially dangerous European 5W USB power adapters. The adapters are identifiable by an "A1300" model number, and the letters "CE" displayed in solid, dark gray. They were available between October 2009 and September 2012, and bundled with the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S, as well as sold separately.
Some apps not propagating
A number of users are reporting problems accessing functions in various Apple online services, including the App Store, the iTunes Store, and the Apple TV. People with an Apple TV, for example, may be unable to load the Movies or TV Shows apps, although other apps like iTunes Radio and Netflix are still up. At the iOS App Store, some titles -- such as Facebook Messenger or Skype 5.0 -- are apparently missing or otherwise not propagating correctly.
Comes one day after SMC update, fixes reliability issues with peripherals, more
Just one day after issuing an SMC firmware update for mid-2013 model MacBook Air units, Apple on Tuesday added an EFI firmware update package for both the mid-2013 and early-2014 models. "This update improves reliability when waking from sleep and when booting while certain USB and Thunderbolt devices are connected," the company says. It also addresses a rare memory issue, and sleep issues seen while running Windows under Boot Camp.
Fix prevents excessive battery drain when lid is closed during operation
Apple on Monday issued a MacBook Air SMC Update version 2.0 specifically for the next-to-most-recent (otherwise known as the Mid-2013) MacBook Air models. The update, which requires users be running either OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 or later or OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5), corrects an issue that may "cause the battery to drain faster than expected when the lid is closed," says the company. The 804KB update file revises the firmware of the MacBook Air, and thus the computer must be plugged into a power source for safe updating.
Yosemite this fall
Today in the MacNN forums, members begin to discuss the changes that will be coming to OS X in the thread titled "Yosemite this fall" started by a Fresh-Faced Recruit who has been lurking around the forums for many years. This week, forum-goers try to assist one Dedicated MacNNer in figuring out what is wrong with their mouse after they reported strange problems.
"Duck" and "Shot" autocorrect fail
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss annoying autocorrect issues after Clinically Insane member "subego" pointed out that the words "duck" and "shot" are not what they are looking for, but autocorrect always changes their actual, more abrasive choice of words, to those options. Today, "gregfripp" turned to the forums looking for help figuring out why the screen on his Mac is no longer viewable.
Signature device was already feature-limited
Once iOS 8 launches this fall, Apple will officially drop compatibility with the iPhone 4. The information was touched on just briefly during today's WWDC keynote in the form of a slide. The oldest compatible iPhone will thus become the iPhone 4S; for iPads the minimum will again be the iPad 2, while for iPod touches it will be the fifth-generation model.
iTunes 11 enmity and more
Yesterday in the MacNN Forum Regular "Titanium Man" was asking if fellow forum-goers if they had any suggestions for good music players since they hate iTunes 11, and "downgrading to iTunes 10 causes some pretty bad problems." Grizzled Veteran "yoyoman" is still looking for opinions on which ear piece they should buy, one from Dash or one from LG.
Firmware may fix bugs in iMessage, email attachment security
An iOS 7.1.2 update has started appearing in the tracking logs of websites. MacRumors notes that it has been recording v7.1.2 devices with Apple IPs since last Friday. Even now activity is described as being low, but that may be expected for a minor release. Apple engineers will often test out bigger iOS and OS X releases by visiting websites, but in point releases browser code is usually secondary.
Says it recently fixed related server-side bug
Apple has issued a public statement admitting problems with the iMessage system and indicating that it's working on them. "We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update," the company says. Until now, the only comments from Apple have come from AppleCare representatives.