Squad based strategy comes to mobile and desktop worlds
Trying to mash tactics and strategy into a game that spans computers and mobile devices is no easy task. Not only do the controls need to be precise enough to use with a mouse and touchscreen, but the game must offer a consistent experience. Best known for Battlecruiser 3000AD in the late 90s, 3000AD has offered gamers a tactical, squad based strategy game in Line of Defense Tactics across multiple platforms -- OS X, Windows, iOS and Android. The game focuses on strategic thinking and resource management to get a squad of four through their missions in one piece. Does the game hit all the right marks considering its ambitious reach? Or will Line of Defense Tactics end up a frustrating game because of it?
Appears intended to support 4K displays
The OS X 10.9.3 beta supports new graphics scaling options which appear aimed at supporting 4K displays, users say. While a Mac Pro or Retina MacBook Pro can connect to a 4K monitor, they normally do so at resolutions up to 4096x2160 at 24Hz, which results in OS X's interface being spread out and shrunk, and choppiness in the case of things like the mouse cursor. The MacBook Pro can alternately use 3840x2160 at 30Hz, but this isn't an improvement.
where is OS X heading?
This week in the MacNN Forums, a discussion was started about the direction that OS X might be headed after Mac Elite "PeterParker" posed the question "Do you think OS X will receive a radical redesign?" to fellow users. Forum-goers discuss what iPhone choice would be better, an iPhone with 16GB of storage or 32GB.
Site gathers together previously disparate content
Apple is hosting a new webpage at its developer center, highlighting resources for designers looking to tailor their apps for the look and feel of iOS 7 and OS X. Although most of the page's content -- which includes videos and text documents -- was already available, it was previously scattered across pages devoted to different subjects.
Issue does not affect all users; differing types of failures reported
Threads in the Apple Support Communities reporting issues with AirPlay mirroring and extended displays after installing OS X 10.9.2 have appeared, with no clear pattern or cause determined as of yet (though having older hardware may be a factor). Apple released 10.9.2 on Monday to address a serious SSL vulnerability and to upgrade some features. Users have reported a menagerie of different issues, complicating the situation.
SSL fix present but undocumented
(Updated with Safari, security updates for Lion, Mountain Lion) Following a long beta-testing period, Apple has released the finished v10.9.2 update for owners of OS X Mavericks. The software primarily adds support for FaceTime audio calls in both the FaceTime app and Messages. The two apps have also gained contact blocking, allowing people to screen out individual users.
Update expected to include FaceTime improvements, fix for SSL vulnerability
Apple has started seeding a pre-release version of OS X 10.9.2 to some of its own staff, sources tell AppleInsider. The code is listed as build 13C64, and is thought to foreshadow an imminent public release. Significantly the update is said to include a number of important changes, including the ability to block individuals in Messages, audio calls and call waiting for FaceTime, and a promised fix for SSL security.
Role unspecified, but had reverse-engineered iOS, OS X for porting
A well-known hacker of OS X and iOS, who single-handedly rewrote the core of both operating systems to allow them to be ported to other devices and contributed to various jailbreak apps for iPhones, has announced that he will be joining Apple as an intern or employee later this year. The coder, known as "winocm," is 17 years old but already an expert reverse-engineer who says he has been doing "insane things" with the cores of iOS and OS X.
Follows shortly after latest OS X 10.9.2 beta
Apple is seeding a new build of the OS X Server 3.1 beta to developers, reports say. The code is identified as build 13S4101b. So far, any further improvements have gone undiscovered.
No significant changes listed; rumors of early March release continue
Apple on Wednesday released its sixth OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks beta to develops right on schedule, using a build number exactly six digits higher than last weeks'. The new update lists no significant changes, and again asks developers to focus their testing on Mail, Messages, SMB2, graphics drivers, VoiceOver and VPN. The company has been battling mostly-minor but annoying issues with its re-written Mail program, and bug fixing continues on that.
Logitech releases its Global Fan Collection, flag-inspired mice
Logitech has announced the release of its new Global Fan Collection, comprised of flag-inspired designs for its popular wireless mouse. The Global Fan Collection features graphic designs that represent 14 nations' flags, intended for users who are enthusiastic about a country as well as its sport culture. Countries represented by the designs include the United States, Argentina, the UK, Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, and more.
No final release date, no significant changes from previous beta
Developers can now download the fifth version of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2, an upcoming maintenance release, from Software Update through their registered developer accounts, or from the Apple developer portal. The latest update has no significant changes in the release notes, but again asks developers to focus on networking, Mail, Messages, VoiceOver, VPN and graphics drivers. The new build, 13C53, comes one week after the previous release.
Should minimize impact of exploit
Apple has silently updated malware definitions in OS X to block anything but the latest Mac version of Adobe Flash, v18.104.22.168, according to a security memo. Adobe issued the new Flash code yesterday to deal with a serious vulnerability that could let hackers seize control of a computer. Equivalent Windows and Linux patches were also made available.
More profile manager fixes, general server updates in patch
Apple has deployed another beta release for OS X Server. The new build, 13S4090C, has cleaned up more Profile Manager problems as well as general Server fixes and patches. The new version can only run on the current beta of 10.9.2, which is also only available for developers. The new version focuses on general improvements with the server.
'New' look replaces Windows 7-inspired desktop in previous version
While it continues to dominate the vast majority of worldwide, there is a sense that both consumers and industry are moving slowly away from Windows software as alternatives -- primarily Apple's OS X and iOS -- gain more mainstream attention. This drift seems to be embodied in the latest release of "Red Star OS," a Linux variant developed for the last decade by North Korea as a state-sanctioned OS. In a bold move, version 3 has adopted a directly OS X-like look, dropping the previous Windows 7 stylings.
Email client not fetching new messages as intended
Apple has posted a new support article explaining a temporary workaround for people having trouble with Mail in OS X Mavericks. When the OS was first released, some users had problems with Mail like the app failing to fetch messages or properly move and delete them. Many of those glitches were fixed by the release of OS X 10.9.1, but some people are still having trouble getting the app to fetch messages without quitting and restarting.
Portable Puku S8 charger offers 900 hours of smartphone standby time
Puku has announced its new portable charger, the Puku S8. Featuring a powerful rechargeable battery, the S8 provides three to five full charges for an average smartphone in a small form factor. Compatible with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices that charge through a micro USB cable (or adapter for micro USB), its compact design allows for easy carrying while travelling. One charging of the S8 can power up to 900 hours of standby time, 36 hours of talk time and 153 hours of media play time. The Puku S8 is available in six colors, and is priced at $100.
Forthcoming update edges closer to release, continues to fix issues
Late on Thursday, and just a week after the previous release, Apple has seeded a fourth beta of the upcoming OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks to developers, again focusing on issues in Mail (specifically related to Smart Mailboxes and Gmail compatibility), Messages, graphic drivers, VoiceOver and VPN. In addition, Apple has asked developers to test SMB2 network file sharing, which replaced the long-standing Apple File Protocol when Mavericks was released.
4K monitor with OS X
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss a wide range of topics from 4K displays to iPhone Wi-Fi problems. Mac Elite "FireWire" was wondering if a 4K display that was attached to a Retina MacBook Pro would have scaling that is similar to the Retina display, or if the icons and text would just be "ridiculously small." Today, "Eden Aurora" was asking what files are necessary for transferring video from iMovie 9 to iMovie 10.
3D scenery gradually becoming more universal
Apple has added two new cities to the areas covered by Maps' Flyover feature, users note. These include Helsinki, Finland and Cape Town, South Africa. The official list of cities with Flyover support has yet to be updated, but Apple hasn't made any changes to it in some time, despite constant service improvements during 2013.
'Traditional' PCs outsell Macs 19 to 1, but used to outsell them 56 to 1
Mostly on the back of iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, Apple has been predicted to outsell the combined Windows empire sometime this year, according to statistician and analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco. To reach this conclusion, he combined sales of all of Apple's OS X and iOS products together and compared them to combined Windows sales (including the tablet-based Window RT and Pro, not that it materially affects the results) to arrive at his estimate.
Public release timing remains unclear
[Updated with more details] Apple has released the first OS X 10.9.2 beta build, enabling registered developers to begin testing the update ahead of public availability. The build arrives just a few days after Apple began distributing the release version of Mavericks 10.9.1, which brought changes to the Mail client and a number of bug fixes. The new release is the first to bring FaceTime audio to the Messages and FaceTime programs for the Mac.
Free upgrade, wide compatibility for Mavericks designed to encourage upgrading
Last week, Apple updated its Safari browser for Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks -- but for the first time since 2010, did not include an update for the Snow Leopard version, last updated to 5.1.10. The move may signal that Apple is winding down support for the three-generations-back OS, which remains the third-most popular version of OS X behind the current version, Mavericks and 10.8 Mountain Lion (respectively).
New OS X update improves stability, fixes Gmail issues
Apple on Monday released an update for OS X Mavericks, bringing the operating system to version 10.9.1. The update tweaks the Mail client built into the OS, improving the way it interacts with Gmail (following a standalone patch that previously addressed some of the biggest issues) and fixing a number of bugs with Smart Mailboxes, search within Mail and "group" name handling from Contacts (formerly known as Address Book). It also tweaks the function of VoiceOver, fixing an issue that kept sentences with emoji characters from being read.
Workers prepped to deal with update's changes
Apple is now seeding the latest build of OS X 10.9.1 -- 13B40 -- to AppleCare workers, a report says. The code reached developers Tuesday night, but its distribution to AppleCare is believed to be more significant, since it implies that the software is close enough to completion that AppleCare workers can start familiarizing themselves. A finished update might therefore reach the public within the next week or two.
Free upgrade spurs quick adoption
Mavericks is already the predominant version of OS X in use by the public, according to November tracking data from Net Applications. During that month, Mavericks' share rose from 0.84 percent to 2.42 percent of the Mac's total global share of 7.55 percent. Mountain Lion's share, meanwhile, plummeted from 3.31 percent to 1.85, while Lion dipped from 1.56 percent to 1.34. Leopard and Snow Leopard, already marginal platforms, dropped only slightly, slipping from 0.33 and 1.6 percent to 0.32 and 1.53 percent, respectively.
Side Tree Software's programs on Mac App Store $1 throughout December
Side Tree Software has announced that all of its programs available at the App Store will be $1 each through the month of December. Starting today, apps such as Abuzzle, Equal, Mymyry, SlidePuzzle and Tribbi are available for the $1 sale price.
Multiple fixes made; more sought for Mail, Safari, VoiceOver
[Updated with info on Safari beta] On Thursday, Apple released its second beta for the forthcoming OS X 10.9.1 release, build 13B35, noting some improvements from the first beta release and asking for further testing on areas such as Mail, Safari, graphics drivers and VoiceOver. In addition, the updated beta improves compatibility with VPN servers in OS X Server (addressing a standing but web hosts have had to work around) and now periodically updates Shared Links in Safari, improving that service.
Mail, graphics problems among focus areas
Apple has seeded the first OS X 10.9.1 beta to developers, reports say. In release notes, the company asks developers to concentrate testing on Mail, graphics drivers, and VoiceOver accessibility. The code is listed as build 13B27.
Requires recent Mac, iPhone hardware
A new product, Knock, promises to let Mac owners unlock their computers by knocking twice on their iPhone. Users first have to download a $4 iPhone app and a free Mac client. Once both are installed, knocking on an iPhone sends a command to a Mac via Bluetooth, triggering an automatic login.
Joins previously-rumored Mail update
Apple is preparing updates to several core apps in OS X Mavericks, sources say. The people note that Apple is now seeding new versions of Safari, iBooks, and Remote Desktop to its workers, as well as a previously-rumored Mail update. The Safari code is identified as v7.0.1, and expected to provide a number of bugfixes. The same description applies to iBooks 1.0.1, and Remote Desktop 3.7.1.
Mavericks uses light sensors as motion detectors
Apple's newest Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, uses the light sensor included in many Macs to keep a device from prematurely falling asleep. The functionality was discovered by by a coder looking through Mavericks' code, and the coder thought that one element indicated that the iSight camera is always on and watching the user. Instead, subsequent investigations revealed that the OS taps into the ambient light sensor.
Apple shifts development efforts towards Syrah
Web traffic from the unreleased OS X 10.10 has spiked during the last week, according to data shared by AppleInsider. Although traffic was reportedly growing slowly throughout the month of October, a surge appears to have taken place after the launch of OS X Mavericks. It may suggest that with Mavericks feature-complete, Apple is beginning to shift more workers to v10.10 development.
WD suggests uninstalling company-provided drive management tools
Storage manufacturer Western Digital has informed registered customers that users of its external hard drive line with accompanying drive management software may experience data loss and other problems when using the hardware with OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Western Digital has warned users to immediately uninstall WD Drive Manager, WD RAID Manager, and WD SmartWare for the best chance of not losing data.
Political divisions continue to impact app
Taiwan's foreign ministry has issued a complaint to Apple about the way the country is characterized in Maps, reports say. In both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, Maps lists Taiwan as a province of China. "The maps don't acknowledge Taiwan as its own nation. We voiced our disapproval and hope Apple will make the change," a ministry official states. While many Taiwanese consider themselves independent, the Chinese government considers the country a possession, which in the past has led to political conflict and threats of war. Apple has yet to respond on the matter.
Free Mavericks just the beginning for Mac OS
During the conference call for its fourth quarter financial statement, Apple confirmed that future versions of Mac OS will be free. That will keep them in line with a precedent Apple set with the the OS X Mavericks OS update, which Apple released earlier this month. The free operating system updates, along with iWork updates and free copies for each purchaser of Mac and iOS hardware, is part of a $900 million sequential increase in deferred net revenue for software upgrade rights and non-software services.
Apple extends your creative potential with GarageBand for iOS, Mac
GarageBand for iOS and Mac OS X both received comprehensive updates at Apple’s “A lot to cover” event last week. GarageBand for iOS used to cost a few dollars, but like all of Apple’s third party apps for both iOS and Mac, it is now free. GarageBand for iOS looks quite similar to GarageBand on the Mac, but the iOS version has of course been optimized for multi-touch UI. As far as music creation goes on mobile devices or on desktops, none are simpler to use. Yet at the same time, you can create highly polished pieces of music on either device with the iPhone 5s highlighting the processing processing power of Apple's 64-bit A7 chip, being able to handle up to 32 simultaneous tracks. It’s hard to believe, but every iPhone 5s owner has more recording power in their pocket than The Beatles ever had access to.
More timely than some past disclosures
Apple has officially released the updated open-source components found in OS X Mavericks. Under the terms of licensing agreements, Apple is obligated to share any modified open-source code with the public. The company does this with both OS X and iOS.
Could limit key attack vector
Flash is now a sandboxed plugin in OS X Mavericks, according to an Adobe blog post. Using the OS' App Sandbox feature, Adobe says it has been able to limit Flash's file read/write access and what assets the plugin can find in the first place. It can no longer reach local connections to device resources and IPC (interprocess communications) channels, for instance, and network privileges are restricted such that Flash-based malware can't communicate with servers set up by hackers.
Multiple Display features enhanced in Mavericks
OS X has long offered support for multiple display setups, but has received a lot of mixed feedback regarding particular implementations and interfaces. With OS X Mavericks, Apple has attempted to address all of the major user complaints and provide users with a more natural multi-display environment, with the main enhancement being the ability to use full-screen apps either across all displays or on a single display.
Zero cost eliminates barrier to adoption
OS X Mavericks currently represents around 6 to 8 percent of all OS X web traffic, even though the software was released less than 24 hours ago, according to live data from analytics firm GoSquared. Tracking figures are currently in flux, but are so far sitting within the 6-8 percent window, occasionally surging over 9 percent. GoSquared provides analytics for over 40,000 websites.
RAW update makes minor tweaks
In the wake of OS X Mavericks' release, Apple has already posted three related software updates. The first is Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.09. The code adds iPhoto '11 and Aperture 3 support for Olympus' PEN E-P5 camera, and brings back lens correction for Sony RX100 photos. It also solves bad white balance for Nikon images edited by third-party apps.
Should allow older Macs to remain useful
Apple is bringing a "previous versions" feature to the Mac App Store, according to an official memo. Developers are being informed that unless they specify otherwise through iTunes Connect, Apple will now be allowing Mac App Store shoppers to download the latest version of an app that remains compatible with their version of OS X. The Mac App Store is accessible through Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks.
Should improve performance, add Mavericks support
Apple has started seeding a beta of iTunes 11.1.2 to employees, a leak indicates. The update will add full compatibility with OS X Mavericks, as well as Arabic and Hebrew language support. For all users, the code should boost performance and stability.
All now 64-bit, free for iOS 7 and Mavericks upgraders
Apple has launched updated versions of the apps formerly known as the "iLife" and "iWork" suites for OS X and iOS 7. On the Mac, iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband get makeovers, with major changes seen in Garageband to bring it much more in line with Apple's existing "Pro" audio app, Logic Pro. For iOS, the three programs have been updated for the iOS 7 look, with iPhoto for iOS gaining the ability to make photo books. The iWork apps have received new templates and design overhauls, but are otherwise only lightly changed.
Free Mavericks downloadable via App Store
(Updated to reflect launch) Apple has revealed at its special event that OS X Mavericks, the latest incarnation of its Mac operating system, is free. The major update will be available to download later today at no charge via the App Store, with users of systems dating as far back as six years ago able to download and install the operating system.
Hints at imminent Mavericks release
Some prominent websites are already beginning to push Safari notifications, even though the feature requires OS X Mavericks, reports note. These include sites like NBA.com and the New York Times. The option allows Mavericks users to receive alerts from websites even when Safari is closed; at the moment, the only way to see notifications is with the Mavericks GM available to developers.
Hints at prep for launch of OS X Mavericks
People using the latest version of OS X Mountain Lion are beginning to see an "Open in iBooks" buttons on iBookstore pages within iTunes, users say. The button appears if a person has a title in their iBooks library, but is currently non-functional, since the first Mac version of iBooks is only due to launch alongside OS X Mavericks. That may suggest, however, that Apple is making final preparations for Mavericks' release.
Syrah currently almost identical to Mavericks GM
Apple is already seeding nightly internal builds of OS X 10.9.1 and 10.10, according to sources and leaked data. 10.10 is said to be codenamed "Syrah," after a type of wine, and have begun seeding in small groups in early September. Seeding has scaled up in recent weeks though, and web traffic from 10.10 machines has reportedly escalated in recent days.
Company looks to go beyond Haswell improvements
Apple is searching for two power engineers to "help improve the performance and battery life of OS X," according to a Twitter post by OS X team member Anthony Chivetta. Both jobs will be based at the company's Cupertino headquarters. Listings ask one of the engineers to "design the latest tools to automate the collection of power information," and the other to improve the power efficiency of both OS X and its included apps.