Fixes a rare issue for much-used batteries
Users owning a 15- or 17-inch MacBook Pro that is either the "Mid-2010" or the "Early 2011" models will soon see an SMC firmware update for their machines that will update the firmware to version 1.7. The upgrade addresses "a rare issue on some Apple notebooks where a battery that has accumulated more than 1,000 charge cycles may unexpectedly shut down or stop functioning," according to the company. Apple rates the batteries as being good for 1,000 or more cycles.
Sporadic reports of lower thermal thresholds, GPU underclocking
According to scattered reports on the Apple Support Forums, some users who have applied Apple's latest extensible firmware interface (EFI) update are experiencing reduced frame rates while running graphically-intensive applications on the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphic chipset. The problems are inconsistent, and temporarily fixed by a SMC reset. The issue mostly affects waking a computer from sleep, gaming, or using Windows in Boot Camp.
Firmware v2 adds in-camera editing, extra controls
Canon has issued a firmware upgade for its EOS 7D DSLR. Firmware v2 adds a number of improvements to the three-year old camera, allowing greater control of image settings and functionality. Changes include a higher maximum RAW burst rate, now up to 25 RAW files or 130 JPEGs, as well as a number of new in-camera editing functions.
Sony drops new PS Vita firmware update, v.1.66
Sony has issued its second PS Vita update in the past three days. The new update takes the PS Vita to firmware version 1.66 after just issuing version 1.65 just Monday. The 1.65 update was live for just a short while before Sony pulled it because it caused an error in adhoc wireless multiplayer on PSP games.
Alters graphic cards' firmware
Apple has updated Software Update and its support website with a small update called iMac Graphic FW Update 3.0 which it says will fix "a graphics issue that will cause an iMac to hang under certain conditions" for Intel-based iMacs running OS X Lion. The bug apparently exists inside the firmware for the graphics card in recent iMacs, as the company issued a similar update last June.
Sony releases firmware update for PS3, 4.10
Sony has released its latest firmware update for the PS3 taking it to version 4.10. The new update is referred to as being minor, but brings with it a change in the Terms of Service following the PlayStation Network (PSN) being folded into Sony’s larger Sony Entertainment Network. The move continues a trend towards Sony developing a more cohesive and integrated online platform that brings together its movie, music, TV and gaming content.
Previous generations of MacBook Air, MBP, iMac
[Update: MacBook Pro eligibility corrected] Apple late today issued further EFI firmware updates to allow previous-generation MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMacs to access Lion Internet Recovery, a technology that lets users re-download and reinstall Lion when the hard drive containing the recovery partition has completely failed and no other backup medium is available. The models updated today include the MacBook Air (late 2010), the mid-2010 aluminum iMacs and the mid 2010 MacBook Pros.
Airport and TC updated to v7.6, MBP to v1.5
Late on Thursday, Apple released firmware updates for the MacBook Pro (all models), as well as the Airport and Time Capsule wireless base stations (802.11n capable models only). The update to the MacBook Pros, which brings the firmware up to version 1.5, resolves an issue where the MBP may shut down under heavy load when the battery charge is very low, even if the unit is actually plugged into power at the time.
Previous version unstable, caused issues
Apple has again released an update for the firmware of its Apple TV device, re-releasing v4.4.1, which was pulled on Monday after users reported serious problems with their devices after installing the update. The new version has fixed the issue, and now does what the original v4.4.1 was supposed to do -- resolve an issue present in v4.4 that caused some Apple TVs to be connected to iTunes in order to update.
Fixes intermittent display flickering
Apple has added a firmware update specific to the 24-inch LED Cinema Display that addresses an issue that can cause intermittent flickering when connected to a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac. The update, which does not yet have the normal accompanying technote, may not resolve a flickering issue if a Mini DisplayPort extender cable is used, according to the company. Users on Apple's support forums have been complaining about the flickering problem for months.
Intel: Firmware update promised in two weeks
Intel is promising a fix for its 320-series SSD drives within two weeks, in the form of a firmware update. Macworld reported today that the chipmaker has isolated the issue that saw a number of the 320-series solid state drives fail after a power outage, resulting in a Bad Context 13x Error. The firmware fix promises to avoid future issues but will not recover lost data for owners currently suffering from the issue. Intel has come under fire for its slow response to the issue, which was first reported months ago and acknowledged by Intel in late July.
Only for the 27-inch LED-backlit model
Today Apple issued a firmware update for the 27-inch LED Cinema Display (the model introduced on July 27th) which addresses intermittent audio dropouts some users have experienced while using the display, which had been previously addressed in a technote on Apple's support site. Under certain cirumstances, audio would cut out, and require unplugging the display or restarting the computer. This is not the same update as the LED Cinema Display Software Update 1.0, issued this past September.
EFI update for both 11- and 13-inch Airs
Apple has finally released an EFI Firmware Update for the latest MacBook Air notebooks released earlier in the year. The download is said to resolve an issue that sometimes caused the device to become unresponsive, along with a separate glitch that resulted in a black screen when users attempted to wake or boot the notebook.
i-Function set for all NX-series lenses
Samsung has announced that its NX10 DSLR camera will soon support the company's i-Function lenses. An upcoming firmware update will allow users to take advantage of the lens technology, which communicates directly with the camera body to control settings from the lens itself.
Update for 15- and 17-inch mid 2010 models
Apple has released an EFI firmware update for recent 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models. Version 1.9 provides a bug fix for an issue that sometimes caused systems to freeze during startup or occasionally stall during normal operation. The EFI download also improves compatibility with number of external displays.
Firmware expected sometime in summer
A YouTube video posted by the Polish site MakoweABC shows the iPhone OS 4.0 beta, including the new multitasking features and folder creation. The host demonstrates how to launch several apps and bring up the multitasking toolbar with a double press of the home button. Each of the app icons are listed on the bottom of the screen, allowing users to terminate each app by tapping and holding on the icon.
Keynote available as video podcast
Apple has posted a video podcast of its April 8 special event, which focused on a variety of new features introduced with iPhone OS 4.0. The upcoming firmware will finally enable multitasking, enabling iPhone users to simultaneously run several applications. Users will also be able to take advantage of additional features such as gift apps, playlist creation, video tap-to-focus, and 5x digital zoom.
Downloads available for Mac and Windows
Apple on Wednesday released updates to its AirPort utilities for Mac and Windows systems, along with a firmware update for Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme Base Station devices. AirPort Utility 5.5.1 has been improved with a number of bug fixes, helping to prevent problems when importing settings or propagating MAC address control lists using an extended network.
Firmware paired with licensing agreement
Apple on Monday released the iPhone OS 3.2 SDK GM (Golden Master), which will serve as the final version of the kit. Developers can also now download the official iPad 3.2 firmware and corresponding licensing agreement. The agreement hints at terms for future firmware upgrades.
Download available for 27-inch iMacs
Apple on Monday released a firmware update for 27-inch iMacs released late last year. Confirming earlier reports, the latest download is a second firmware update designed to address issues involving intermittent display flickering. The company in December released a graphics firmware update that was also claimed to prevent image corruption and flickering, although it was reportedly unsuccessful for many users.
Download geared for latest iMacs
Apple on Wednesday released a Bluetooth firmware update designed for users running Windows via Boot Camp. The download is said to improve the wireless performance with Vista and XP on the latest 21.5- and 27-inch iMacs released earlier this month, although specific details have not been provided.
Update available for latest 160GB models
Apple has released a firmware update, v2.0.3, for the latest 160GB iPod classic. The update adds support for Genius Mixes, the iTunes feature that automatically creates playlists. Tracks are analyzed and combined into several genre-based mixes that can be listened to via iTunes or directly from the iPod.
MacBook Air update
Apple on Friday released a System Management Controller (SMC) firmware update for its MacBook Air devices. The latest version expands compatibility for newer service-replacement batteries. Users can download the updater, close any open applications and follow the installation steps before restarting the machine.
AirPort BS Firmware 7.4.2
Apple on Tuesday evening release an update to its software for its wireless router devices. The Time Capsule and AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.4.2 (with 802.11n support) fixes five specific problems, according to the company: (1) some problems with extending and maintaining connectivity with extended networks; (2) an issue with clients that enable 802.11 "Power Save;" (3) Fixes connectivity issues with some third-party devices; (4) an issue when the base station is configured for PPPoE; and (5) some Back To My Mac issues with connectivity and support for third-party routers. Apple recommends that AirPort Utility 5.4.2 or later be installed before upgrading to Firmware version 7.4.2 (including the version 5.4.2 for Windows).
Apple has released firmware updates for the most recent MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models. An EFI update is available for each notebook, offering improved stability and bug fixes, although the exact reasons for the release remain unclear. Users can also download an SMC update which is claimed to improve the sensing and accuracy of the MagSafe adapter indicator light on all models, along with the battery charge indicator lights on the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Glass trackpad fix
Apple has released a software update that is designed to fix the glass trackpad problems with the new aluminum MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Owners had reported that the device would occasionally fail to recognize the click input. After downloading the update through the Software Update feature, the computer should be connected to the AC power source before executing the program. The company has not provided any details regarding the nature of the problem, but claims that the update addresses the issue.
Forums iPhone paranoia
Forum roundup: MacNN forum goers today discuss the release of the new iPhone firmware 2.1 upgrade. One forum member contemplates the usefulness of the iPod touch and iPhone in this thread. Paranoia expressed in one story about a perceived security flaw in the iPhone is debated in the thread titled "your iPhone is watching you". Members discuss the Genius feature in iTunes 8 in response to a question posed about blocking data sharing. One Dedicated MacNNer is having problems with OS X frequently freezing and finds some tips and advice in this thread.
D3, D300 firmware updates
Only a few days after its D700 announcement (pictured at right), Nikon has released v2.0 firmware for its D3 digital SLR (Windows/Mac), bringing improved autofocus performance, improved Auto White Balance, and an issue that caused the battery indicator to blink, regardless of actual battery charge (which the company claims happened in "rare circumstances"). Nikon says that the firmware update incorporates a number of other fixes, including (1) allowing the aperture setting to be adjusted from the computer when shooting LiveView mode using Camera Control Pro 2 (ver. 2.2.0) or later with a PC-E lens. Other fixes include more "Vignette control" settings and fixes, more world-time options, new options for "Choose image area," and a new "Copyright information" item that has been added to the setup menu.
802.11n wireless firmware
Apple on Monday released an update to its 802.11n wireless AirPort products, including its wireless Time Capsule backup solution: The Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express Base Station with 802.11n. The update says that Firmware 7.3.2 updates include bug fixes and that it requires AirPort Utility 5.3.2. AirPort Utility 5.3.2 -- both of which were released in early June and can be obtained via an automatic software update or as a manual download.
Xserve EFI 1.1 update
Apple on Monday unveiled Xserve EFI Firmware Update 1.1 for Intel Xserve servers, stating that the patch offers users improved stability when applied. As with most recent Apple updates, little is revealed about what problems the update resolves; it is not known whether "stability improvements" refers to freezing, kernel panics, or other miscellaneous temporary failures. Xserve EFI Firmware Update 1.1 is available from Apple's support website, and through Software Update.
iMac ATI firmware update
Apple today posted the iMac ATI Radeon HD Graphics Firmware Update 1.0.1 for iMac owners with either the Radeon HD 2400 XT or HD 2600 Pro graphics cards. The update simply states that it addresses system stability issues in those systems, but does not mention whether any performance enhancing aspects are also included. Firmware updates require an uninterrupted patch process, so users are encouraged to follow the instructions included with the update.
MacBook Pro 1.5.1 update
Apple today released its MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5.1, which it says provides fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Pro computers. The update revises a recently-issued MBP firmware update that came alongside similar updates for most of its other Mac families, including the MacBook, MacBook Air, and iMac computers -- as well as a specific MacBook Air Bluetooth update -- and also comes with updated version of the Firmware Restoration CD 1.7. "After the firmware is successfully applied to your Mac, your Boot ROM Version will be:
MBP21.00A5.B08 or MBP31.0070.B07," the company notes.
iPhone beta saves images
iPhone developers testing the latest v1.2.0 beta firmware have found that future implementations of the iPhone OS allows users to press and hold their finger over an image in Safari to save it to their Photo Album. According to Gizmodo, the method works with all new versions of the v1.2.0 beta, and is ideal for saving friends photos from Facebook or a similar service, allowing the photo to serve as a background or other interface element.
HighPoint Technologies has announced that the RocketRAID 3522 now supports booting Mac OS X on Apple Mac Pro (2006-2007) models. The RocketRAID 3522 has a dual mini-SAS interface that supports up to eight external direct connect SATA hard drives. Some of the new features available in the RocketRAID 3522 include selectable RAID block sizes for application tuning. Advance RAID level 0,1,5,6 and new RAID 3 support. Upgradable firmware support via the HighPoint web GUI and 32-bit EFI boot capability with Mac Pro 2006-2007 models. Booting support for Mac Pro 2008 models will be coming soon and requires an firmware upgrade through the HighPoint web management GUI.
Apple today released a number of updates, including firmware updates for its MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro as well as firmware for its iMac. The Mac BookAir EFI Firmware Update 1.0, MacBook EFI Firmware Update 1.2, and Mac Book Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5 fixes several issues to improve the stability of the notebook computers, while the iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.3 fixes several issues to improve the stability of iMac computers. Apple's Firmware Restoration CD 1.6, for its Macs, can restore the firmware of an Intel-based Macintosh computer and the company notes that restoring the firmware will reset some of the computer's preferences to defaults.
SDK beta times out
Developers participating in the iPhone SDK beta are discovering that the device is "bricking" itself after the limited-time beta expires. TUAW readers point out that this shouldn't come as a surprise, since a note posted for developers says that the beta would indeed expire if not kept current. Another user notes that the next development firmware version has yet to be seeded to non-enterprise developers, while another still says that a call to the Apple Developer Connection revealed an updated SDK masquerading as an older one.
Mac Pro Tiger Airport
Apple today unveiled two updates, one for its Airport drivers under Mac OS X 10.4.x Tiger, and a firmware update for the Mac Pro (Early 2008), bringing the firmware to version 1.3. The AirPort Extreme Update 2008-001 for Tiger is recommended for all users with Intel-based Macs equipped with Tiger, and is said to enhance the reliability of AirPort connections. The update is 1.3MB, and is available from Software Update, as well as Apple's support page.
Code crashes iPhone 1.1.4
A new exploit has surfaced for the iPhone's Safari browser that, while drawing parallels to an earlier issue, requires no user input to function. According to iPhone World, the vulnerability is triggered by previously conceived code that has been refined in the above manner. The issue affects firmware version 1.1.4 iPhones, and presumably previous versions. Safari on the Mac and PC were also affected by this vulnerability, but it was recently fixed in Safari 3.1, released today.
Radeon 2600 XT for Mac Pro
Apple today unveiled an update for the Mac Pro ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card, which was suspected of causing mass system instabilities in those machines. The 792KB update requires Mac OS X 10.5.2 with the latest Leopard graphics update, and is said to improve overall system stability. As with most recent updates, the specific problems and fixes are not listed. The issue was affecting all of the new model Mac Pros, regardless of how old the actual tower was.
MacBook keyboard fix
Apple today unveiled a firmware fix for MacBook and MacBook Pro owners, remedying some long-standing keyboard issues. The update says it addresses a problem where the computer would ignore the first key pressed after a period of inactivity, also addressing "some other issues", according to the supplied literature. Some users were having similar issues, but related to typing in a text field, regardless of whether or not the computer had been sitting idle.
Tiny Code apologizes
In response to a large influx of feedback regarding Tiny Code's announcement last week, developer for the app KellyTM revealed that the statement was false. Last week, Tiny Code announced that they were officially working with Apple on making legit iPhone and iPod touch apps, using a copy of the yet-to-be-released software developer's kit. KellyTM had also said that Tiny Code was waiting on the release of firmware version 1.1.4 before releasing any more updates, which he led others to believe was the first implementation of custom apps for the devices.
Tiny Code waits for 1.1.4
In what appears to be a move on Apple's part to sway current iPhone and iPod touch jailbreak developers into becoming legit, Tiny Code announced that it would no longer be updating its iPhone Repo application. The developer said that due to a closer relationship with Apple, and use of the official software developers kit, it will abstain from creating software for jailbroken 1.1.3 iPhones. Supposedly Tiny Code will wait for the 1.1.4 firmware before introducing any more software.
iPhone 1.1.3 jailbreak
iPhone users who have upgraded to firmware version 1.1.3 now have a viable jailbreak option with iJailbreak 0.5.1, an update to iJailbreak 0.5 that was released this morning. This iPhone-only jailbreak allows users to open up an iPhone with v1.1.3 installed in order to implement custom applications and services. The jailbreak requires users to implement bootloader 4.6, and will not function with any other version.
Italian iPhone, US EDGE
Telecom Italia Mobile is the leading candidate for the Italian iPhone carrier, according to extrapolations based on evidence in the iPhone software package, while a vast EDGE network outage is affecting a significant portion of iPhone users in the US. Italian news site Macity has pointed out that the TIM_Italy.bundle introduced in the v1.1.2 iPhone updater is still there in the current v1.1.3. In firmware v1.1.1, Apple had introduced Italian as an operable language.
Eye-Fi 220.127.116.11 update
Eye-Fi recently unveiled Eye-Fi Manager 18.104.22.168, an update to its device management software for the Eye-Fi wireless storage card. The update brings with it iPhoto integration, and increased stability for both Mac and PC users. Users also receive a firmware update, which improves the card's performance when it is in less-than-optimal broadcasting conditions, and enhanced compatibility with Kodak's Easy Share cameras. Existing users are able to upgrade for no additional charge.
1.1.3 prepares for SDK
The recently-unveiled 1.1.3 update for the iPhone and iPod touch potentially lays the groundwork for officially installable third-party applications. According to Creations.net, SpringBoard no longer needs to be modified to show other applications in the unit's /Applications folder, and they no longer run under the root user, instead identifying themselves under the user "mobile". Preferences have also changed locations, now occupying the /var/mobile directory in place of /var/root.
Two new iPhone unlocks?
Two new apparent unlocking solutions for Apple's iPhone firmware v1.1.2 have surfaced, allowing owners of the cellular handset to sign up for wireless service with carriers other than Apple's exclusive partners. The new techniques, dubbed SonicSIM and StealthSIM, both claim to unlock iPhone v1.1.2 for use with all wireless carriers that use the same technology as Apple's cellphone. SonicSIM is a special card rumored to partially unlock the iPhone by tricking the device and dual booting operating systems, while StealthSIM is a similar card produced by a company hoping to sell the solution for $90 on eBay.
Creating custom ringtones
Apple today released an informational note about creating custom ringtones in GarageBand 4.1.1. "With GarageBand 4.1.1 you can export your original song, your original audio recordings, or use Apple Loops and iLife jingles to create a custom ringtone for your iPhone," the company says. Users need GarageBand 4.1.1, iTunes 7.5 or later, and an iPhone with firmware version 1.1.2 or later. The process involves setting up a cycle region that covers the desired area of a song to use in a GarageBand song, which must be 40 seconds or less in length.
Xserve "Lights-Out" v1.1
Alongside its iPod software updates, Apple has released Xserve Lights-Out Management Firmware Update 1.1 for its high-density, 1U rackmount server. The Xserve The update includes changes to the Lights-Out Management environment for the Intel-based Xserve. Apple said it addresses the intermittent issue that causes the LOM port to be unresponsive. This update is strongly recommended for all Intel-based Xserve systems. The Xserve Lights-Out Management Firmware Update 1.1 application will be installed into the "/Applications/Server" folder of the selected volume, according the documentation. Users must then run the firmware update application -- either through the Finder or via the command line-- to perform the update. The 780K download is available via the Web.