Little time left before OS X 10.9 reveal
A little over a week since the last beta, Apple is seeding a new build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers. The release is listed as 12E55, and has no known issues. People are asked to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, graphics, and Windows filesharing.
Preview of OS X 10.9, iOS 7, possible MacBook refresh
Apple has formally announced that the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin with the traditional keynote address, set for the first day of the conference: Monday, June 10. Unusually this year, the company has pre-announced that the convention (and presumably the keynote) will focus on the forthcoming OS X 10.9 and iOS 7. Though not included in the announcement, CEO Tim Cook is expected to headline the presentation.
Company may be on accelerated pace ahead of WWDC
Apple is seeding yet another build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, 12E52. As before there are no known issues, and Apple is still asking developers to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, and graphics drivers. When it's finished v10.8.4 is primarily expected to be a maintenance update, although it does appear to include support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
New OS expected to be evolutionary upgrade
The next major upgrade of OS X, v10.9, will concentrate on "power-user" features while bringing in more concepts from iOS, say sources for 9to5Mac. In the former category, several improvements to Finder are expected, such as tagging and tabbed browsing. Fullscreen apps should finally remain open on secondary monitors, and Safari is expected to get a new version with a new backend, improving performance and efficiency.
Will feature new versions of OS X, iOS
Apple has formally announced the details of its 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference. The event will run from June 10 through the 14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Tickets will go on sale April 25 at 10AM Pacific time, and Apple is promising over 100 technical sessions presented by over 1,000 Apple engineers. As usual, the conference will focus on helping developers creating, deploying, and integrating OS X and iOS-based projects, and networking between fellow developers.
Release includes no new notes, but indicates new hardware on the way
[Updated with discovery of code for 802.11ac support] Apple is now seeding a second beta of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, reports say. The build is labelled 12E30, and as before comes with no known issues. Developers are also once again being asked to focus on Wi-Fi, Safari, and graphics drivers.
New collective developer effort finally brings forth a 1.0 release
After a beta period lasting a decade, application launcher and task manager Quicksilver for OS X 1.0 (free) has finally been released. The application, which was in the hands of its original developer for six years before finally falling to a collective group of volunteer developers to finish starting in 2009, uses mouse gestures or keyboard shortcuts to do searches, launch programs, associate file types with particular applications and other features, according to a post on the group's blog.
Apple responds to security warnings
Apple has silently updated built-in malware definitions in OS X to block the Yontoo trojan, says security firm Intego. In OS X's Xprotect file the trojan is identified as "OSX.AdPlugin.i." Following testing, Intego calls Apple's detection "very specific and potentially location-dependent," and "likely there so as to catch only the surreptitious installations of this file."
A new Mac trojan is inserting ads into Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, says a Russian security firm, Doctor Web. Nicknamed "Trojan.Yontoo.1," the malware is so far being distributed through movie trailer pages, which prompt people to download a browser plugin, a media player, a video enhancer, or a download accelerator. When launched, the malware asks to be installed under a name such as "Free Twit Tube."
Award winning PDF editor and converter now available on App Store
Software developer Smile has released PDFpen 6.0 and PDFpen Pro 6.0, the latest versions of its all-purpose PDF editing tool for OS X. This major upgrade of PDFpen features export to Microsoft Word format, and a new editing bar for faster access to tools and properties. Additionally, the new version adds automatic form creation and the ability to set and modify document permissions settings.
Makes Boot Camp upgrades, adds gift card scanning for Mac App Store
Following an unusually long development cycle, Apple has finally released the completed version of OS X 10.8.3. The software is mostly a maintenance update -- for instance fixing problems with stuttering sound on 2011 iMacs, Logic Pro freezing when using some plugins, and apps crashing when opening file URLs. It makes several enhancements as well however, such as adding Safari 6.0.3 and upgraded Boot Camp features. The latter now supports Windows 8, and can run on Macs with 3TB hard drives.
Unusually long testing period continues
Apple is seeding another beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers. The build is listed as 12D78, and appears to have no known issues. As with past builds, Apple is asking developers to focus testing on AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, graphics drivers, and Safari.
Five more vulnerabilities discovered
Oracle has released a new version of Java 7, Update 17. The patch is being released early, Oracle says, to cope with a security hole that is being "actively exploited by attackers to maliciously install the McRat executable onto unsuspecting users’ machines." The vulnerability was made public late last week. It also fixes a second, previously undocumented flaw, believed to be likewise connected to Java SE's 2D component.
Now sets record for most-revised beta, no changes announced
Late on Thursday, Apple released yet another build (12D74) of OS X 10.8.3 to developers for testing, though as with recent revisions there appears to be no significant code changes, and no new release notes or immediately-obvious differences. As before, Apple is asking testers to focus on graphics drivers, AirPlay, AirPort, Safari and Game Center. The company has already fixed a strange "file URL" bug that would cause all kinds of applications to spontaneously quit when the phrase "File:" followed by three slash marks was written, but has not yet released 10.8.3 to the public.
Lion, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard get Java SE 6 fixes
Apple has released a promised Java update in the wake of an attack by Chinese hackers. The patch is available in two versions, for Lion/Mountain Lion and Snow Leopard. In both cases the code should bring Java SE 6 up to v1.6.0_41.
Not yet spotted 'in the wild' but could become a threat
Anti-malware software maker Intego is confirming reports of a new OS X-based malware it called "Pintsized" that uses a modified version of OpenSSH to potentially set up a remote connection into Mac accounts, whereupon it could be used to snoop for private owner information. Though not yet seen "in the wild," the malware attempts to disguise itself by using filenames that appear as part of the normal OS X printing system, and sets itself to launch on startup.
Once again, no major code changes noted
Apple is distributing an eleventh beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers, listed as build 12D65. As with the tenth release, there appear to be no significant code changes or feature changes other than some bug fixes. Apple is also asking developers to once again test the same components as before, including AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, graphics drivers, and Safari.
No differences spotted
(Update with info on "File:///" fix) Apple is distributing a tenth beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers, listed as build 12D65. As with the previous beta, there appear to be no significant code changes. Apple is also asking developers to test the same components as before, including AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, graphics drivers, and Safari.
Siri for iOS also slated to get more features
A new opening for a UI engineer at Apple indicates that the company has major plans for Siri, says AppleInsider. The person will be expected to work on the presentation of results in Siri's conversation view, integrating new apps and services into the voice command system. Apple describes Siri as "an entire miniature OS within the OS."
Shipping for iPad mini orders drops to 1-3 days
Roughly ten days after it last updated iPad mini ship times, Apple has dropped the wait again -- indicating that availability is improving. While still not achieving what CEO Tim Cook calls "supply/demand balance" (which generally translates into a shipping status of "in stock" or available for immediate shipping), the delay has now dropped to 1-3 business days in the US and Canadian stores, down from the 3-5 day delay recently advertised. The iPad mini has been heavily in-demand since release, and in-store supplies are still constrained.
Java resumes working in OS X
Oracle has released Java 7 Update 13. In an announcement, Oracle explains that the update was originally slated to go live February 19th, but that it was pushed out early because of "active exploitation in the wild of one of the vulnerabilities affecting the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) in desktop browsers." In all the code fixes 50 security holes; 44 of these are said to have been browser-only.
OS could be revealed within weeks
Testers running OS X 10.9 are increasingly making their presence felt online, according to AppleInsider. Traffic logs for the website are said to show hits from v10.9 users growing week-by-week during January, peaking in a period shortly after the 22nd. Since then hits have remained relatively consistent.
Normal use waiting on Oracle update
Apple is once again blocking the use of the Java web plug-in in OS X, reports say. The company has issued a silent update to OS X's anti-malware system which sets the minimum version of Java beyond the current Mac release, Java 7 Update 11. As a consequence, Java can't be used in web browsers on Macs until Oracle issues its next patch. The step may back (or be based on) views that Java continues to have serious security flaws.
Any significant changes still to be discovered
Apple is seeding a new beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers, says AppleInsider. The build is labeled 12D54, following up on the 12D50 release posted on January 8th. Any important changes have yet to be discovered, but it should continue a trend of having no known issues while cleaning up any bugs in previous code.
Blacklist requires unreleased version of Java for plugin to work
[Update: Mozilla joins in, FBI issues warning, fix coming] Apple has disabled the Java 7 browser plug-in on Macs through an updated OS X blacklist file, notes MacRumors. Recently a major security vulnerability was discovered in Java 7, one already being exploited in malware. In response, Apple has silently pushed an updated Xprotect.plist file to OS X users, setting an as-yet-unreleased v1.7.0_10-b19 as the minimum version of Java required for unrestricted operation.
Update includes no known issues
Apple is seeding a third beta build of OS X 10.8.3 to developers. The build is listed as 12D43, and includes no new feature additions, but also no known issues. Apple is asking developers to concentrate on testing AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, Safari, and graphics drivers.
SoC patent could lock down Apple's A-series technology
Apple has won a pair of new patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The first, Systems and methods for providing a system-on-a-substrate, documents the architecture of a system-on-chip (SoC) in the style used for Apple's mobile devices. Specifically it talks about locating all of the same components for a system on the same substrate, in "bare die" form. Apple notes that a bare die can include parts like processors, memory, controllers, accelerometers, and so on.
Malware slips into OS X's definition list
Apple has silently updated malware definitions in OS X to block a trojan discovered on the Internet earlier this week. Known as Trojan.SMSSend.3666, the code comes disguised as an installer for various apps. Opening the installer prompts people to "activate" their software by SMS, entering a key into the installer after receiving an initial text. The reality is that the trojan is signing users up for a subscription service that charges them via their cellphone bill.
Registered testers can obtain future builds through Mac App Store
Beginning with a new, second OS X 10.8.3 beta build, Apple is now giving developers the option of obtaining beta OS updates through the Mac App Store's Software Update mechanism. The move should make distribution of updates to registered testing devices more uniform, and expands the use of "developer channel" updates available through the store. Apple says that while email notification of new updates will continue as well, a new tool installed by registered developers will allow Software Update to notify users of new builds.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple a pair of new patents. Of the two, the most significant may be Desktop widgets for presentation in a layer, essentially documenting the widgets dashboard users can pop up in OS X. The feature dates back to OS X Tiger, and grants quick access to a collection of simple but custom-picked apps like a calculator or sticky notes. The patent also mentions that widgets can be installed from an online repository, and/or fetch their source data from the Internet, such as in the case of a weather widget.
May hint at plans for updated Mac Pro
The first OS X 10.8.3 beta includes drivers for AMD's Radeon HD 7900-series video cards, the 7950 and 7970, notes Netkas.org. The cards aren't in any current Macs; they're in fact based on AMD's new Graphics Core Next architecture, and are each equipped with 3GB of DDR5 RAM. It's believed that Apple could be including the drivers for the sake of a new Mac Pro.
Graphics, AirPort, AirPlay main elements of focus
Apple has begun seeding the first beta of OS X 10.8.3 to developers. Listed as build 12D32, the code is said to have a few known issues, such preferences appearing off-kilter in Software Update, especially with non-English language settings. After waking from sleep, meanwhile, a Mac may render background graphics as black or transparent.
Serves as bridge for users of older platforms
Apple has put OS X Snow Leopard back on sale at its online store, at a cost of $20, notes French site MacGeneration. The software was originally pulled around the time of Mountain Lion's release. Snow Leopard is now two generations old, making the software's return somewhat unusual.
Targets Keychain problem
Apple has released a new software update, OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 Supplemental Update 2.0. The code fixes the issues behind an earlier release, and should let the 2012 Mac mini, 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and 2012 iMac properly upgrade to v10.8.2. "This update addresses an issue with Keychain that can affect 2012 Mac systems," Apple's notes read.
OS likely in extremely early stages of development
Computers running OS X 10.9 are already showing up in web tracking, notes 9to5Mac. The site says it has picked up at least four IPs running the OS during the last month, and that the addresses trace back to Apple's corporate network and the wider Bay Area in California. At least two of them are said to be using a screen resolution consistent with a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.
Developers get invites in advance of seed
Apple is on the verge of seeding the first beta of OS X 10.8.3, says AppleInsider. The site quotes developers who say they've received invitations to test the new software. Because Apple hasn't even begun distributing the beta yet, it's unknown what kind of changes the company might have in mind beyond fixing bugs and security vulnerabilities.
Brings Mountain Lion security tech back to previous OS
Complementing the release of OS X 10.8.2, Apple has also posted OS X 10.7.5, an update for Lion users. The software mainly retrofits Lion with Gatekeeper, the security technology built into Mountain Lion. By default Gatekeeper rejects unsigned apps, although restrictions can be loosened if necessary.
Also upgrades Game Center, FaceTime, Messages
Apple has posted OS X 10.8.2, a major update for Mountain Lion. The main addition is Facebook integration, which was originally expected at the launch of the OS. The feature allows not only quick sharing of links and photos, but also the ability to receive Facebook alerts in the Notification Center. More hooks extend into Game Center, where people can "Like" games, and use Facebook as a source for friend recommendations. Scores can now be shared to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages; friends can be challenged to beat scores and achievements.
New 12C50 build includes release notes, may come tomorrow
Less than 15 hours before the expected announcement of a new iPhone model and accompanying iOS updates, Apple has distributed a new build of 10.8.2 (numbered 12C50) to developers that includes release notes, making it likely to be the final version pushed out for testing before release -- which could come as early as Wednesday. The new build comes only five days after the third developer beta and adds a number of previously-announced but newly-implemented features. Also unveiled was a new build of 10.7.5 (11G54).
Patches disable always-on Java support
Apple has posted two new OS X Java updates: one for Lion, Java for OS X 2012-005, and one for Snow Leopard, Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 10. In both cases the patches now prevent Java from running in an always-on state. The Java plugin is killed if no applets have been run for an "extended period of time;" in fact, if Java for OS X 2012-004 wasn't previously installed, 005 disables Java by default until a person choose to enable or re-enable a Java plugin in their browser.
Completely overturns 2010 court verdict
Apple has won an appeal in a patent infringement lawsuit over the company's Cover Flow, Spotlight, and Time Machine interfaces, Bloomberg reports. The case was first filed in 2008 by company called Mirror Worlds. Although the firm briefly claimed victory in 2010, in 2011, a judge overturned a jury verdict awarding Mirror Worlds $625.5 million in damages. With the latest ruling, a judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington has stated that Apple didn't violate the three Mirror Worlds patents which were the basis for court proceedings.
Windows 7 finally overtakes Windows XP in usage
Two milestones can be found in the latest monthly data from Net Applications, heralding good news for both Apple and Microsoft. The combined active base of OS X use surpassed that of Windows Vista for the first time, and Windows 7 became the first Windows version to top the marketshare of the perennial Windows XP, nearly three years after its release and just before it is due to be replaced with Windows 8.
On track to outperform Lion, Snow Leopard still dominant
According to tracking from ad network Chitika, the latest version of OS X is already installed on over 10 percent of Macs accessing the Internet, a reliable measure of the active user base. The figure comes only one month after the launch of Mountain Lion, meaning the OS version is well ahead of Lion penetration at the same point in its release schedule. Currently, Snow Leopard still has the largest share of Macs, followed by Lion and Leopard.
New code out less than a week after first release
Apple is already seeding a second developer beta of OS X 10.8.2, reports say. The release, build 12C35, is arriving less than a week after the first beta went live. The timing is unusually short given that Apple will often space out beta releases by two weeks or more.
Graphics, media tasks still main focus
Apple has released a fourth beta of OS X 10.7.5 to developers. The download, build 11G45, is about 1.16GB as a delta, or 1.93GB as a combo update. As with the previous build there are no known issues, and Apple is again asking developers to test graphics quality and performance, as well as media importing, viewing, and editing.
Lion, Mountain Lion safeguards provide modest defense
A new security exploit in Java 7 is affecting Mac, Windows, and Linux users alike, according to an engineering manager for Metasploit, an open-source penetration testing framework. The vulnerability is described as "super dangerous," since an attack can be triggered simply by visiting a hacked or intentionally malicious website. OS X Lion and Mountain Lion do provide a modest level of protection, since Java isn't installed by default on the operating systems, which also ask users if they want to run the software.
Launches in tandem with public release of 10.8.1
Apple is now seeding an initial beta OS X 10.8.2 to developers. The build is listed as 12C31a, and in combo form the download measures 641.83MB. Developers are being asked to test Messages, Facebook, Game Center, Safari, and Reminders, although Apple lists no known issues with the update so far.
Deals with Exchange, Thunderbolt, iMessage glitches
Apple has posted the finished version of OS X 10.8.1, its first update to Mountain Lion. The code is purely a maintenance release, solving a variety of bugs. Some notable examples include the Migration Assistant suddenly quitting, issues with Microsoft Exchange servers and Mail, and audio not playing properly via a Thunderbolt Display. One prevented iMessages from being sent.
Risk so far 'considered low'
A new piece of backdoor malware affecting OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris is in the wild, according to security firm Intego. Nicknamed OSX/NetWeirdRC, the code is said to be similar to Crisis in that it's a commercial remote access tool that was leaked to Virus Total. If a computer is infected, it can potentially allow an attacker to install new files, grab screenshots and system information, see which programs are running and steal encrypted passwords from apps like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Opera.
10.8.1 update still in beta
Apple is already notifying participants in the AppleSeed distribution program that OS X 10.8.2 is in the works, according to 9to5Mac. AppleSeed and Mac Developer builds of releases tend to coincide, which should mean that developers will soon be able to test the update. By extension that may imply that v10.8.1 is almost finished, despite a second beta having just been seeded on Friday.