Update brings FireOS version 3.5.1, improves battery and ability to create folders
Amazon announced that it is pushing out the first major update for the company's new smartphone, the Fire Phone. The update will be delivered over-the-air for early adopters on AT&T, bringing with it a number of improvements and changes that are said to give the phone better battery life, video sharing and make navigation easier. The update pushes FireOS to version 3.5.1.
Microsoft-provided fix involves registry modification, manual deletion
Plagued by crashes, Microsoft has retracted its Windows patches from August 12. Users that have installed patches 2982791, 2970228, 2975719 and 2975331 are at risk of system instability, or a "0x50 Stop" error on startup, which prevents the system from booting. A fix requires either a clean OS install, or registry modification to purge the afflicted updates.
Activity feed changes, outside purchases biggest updates, notification options added
On top of a handful of new features and changes that were previously announced as coming this month, Microsoft is bringing some additional user-requested tweaks to the Xbox One in the August update. While the activity feed is seeing the biggest number of changes, Xbox One owners will now be able to purchase, download and install games and apps from outside of the console.
Adds support for newer cameras to Aperture 3, iPhoto '11
On Thursday, Apple updated its Digital Camera RAW Compatibility plug-in for its two leading Mac photo programs, Aperture 3.x and iPhoto '11, to add support for a number of recently-introduced digital cameras. The update includes support for two Nikon models, two Olympus models, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, several Sony Alpha releases and a single Sony Cyber-shot camera, the DSC-RX100 III. The update allows RAW files from these cameras to be directly imported by Aperture and iPhoto.
Macphun updates UI, image processing engine, adds effects
Image software maker Macphun has updated its FX Photo Studio for iPhone to version 6.0, revising its effects categories, improving the image-processing engine and updating the look of the app to a more modern UI design. The app, which has been downloaded more than 1.2 million times since the beginning of 2014, allows users to stack effects as well as adjust portions of the image using a Mask tool. It carries a complete selection of over 200 effects and filters -- combinations of which can be saved as presets -- alongside standard camera app editing tools. To celebrate, the app will be on sale until Monday for just $1, one-third of its normal $3 price.
Forthcoming iOS 8 upgrade with Touch ID support will be free for current owners
According to a new announcement from AgileBits, makers of the iOS and Mac password management app 1Password, the forthcoming version for iOS 8 will be a free update to existing users. In conjunction with that, and a new report that Russian hackers may -- or may not -- have collected over a billion unique email account credentials, the company has opted to put its iOS version on sale for $10, a cut of $15 from its normal $25 price. The iOS 8 update for 1Password, expected this fall, will add extensions and Touch ID support to the password manager.
Essentially requires all apps be recompiled for Mavericks to avoid Gatekeeper trap
A upcoming change in the way the OS X security feature Gatekeeper works is essentially going to force developers to re-build and re-"sign" their applications and submit updates to Apple for programs that need to run in Mavericks or Yosemite. The upcoming change for security purposes only affects those running the forthcoming 10.9.5 or later, but cause cause apps that aren't updated to "break" (not launch) except through bypassing Gatekeeper, which most users will be loathe to do. The change will not force users to update their OS versions.
First incremental update for OS X 10.10 includes Public Beta users
On Thursday, Apple updated its supported drivers for Epson printers and scanners for all OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9) users, and also added an update intended only for those testing the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite beta (either developers or members of the Beta Seed Program). The latter is just a small incremental update to the Feedback Assistant used to send Apple data on issues with the beta, and is available to all Yosemite testers.
Previous update caused system crashes, unstable or unbootable machines
Apple released a new update for MacBook Air EFI firmware today, updating to version 2.9.1 for "Mid-2011" models of the notebook. The company states that the update fixes a few issues for owners facing problems with waking from sleep and fans running at full speed in a specific instance. The update replaces a previous version that caused a number of additional problems for owners.
Now offers Tune Your Taste, verified accounts, song history, more
As the process of Beats Music's acquisition by Apple continues, the iOS app for the subscription-based Beats Music service has received an update to both make playback better and more reliable as well as to improve the overall user experience. The new version 2.2.0 gives users the ability to customize the services's "Just For You" recommendations by changing artists and genres with a new feature called Tune Your Taste. In addition to some other changes, Beats reports that it has "fixed a ton of bugs."
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.
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.
Updates allow entire direct message history to be seen across apps, consistently deleted
Last week, Twitter announced that it is going to issue an update on how direct messages are handled on the micro-blogging service. The update makes deleting direct messages consistent across all platforms, allowing users a single action for removal, rather than deleting across every interface version. Another update is coming that changes how direct messages are handled across the numerous platforms, to give users access to their complete messaging history.
New versions for Photoshop CS 6 and CC add new camera support, bug fixes
Adobe has made available release candidate versions of its upcoming Camera Raw 8.6 plug-in and DNG Converter, also at version 8.6, for final testing by users before an official release. As is now official policy with Adobe, users running Photoshop CS6 are limited to only receiving any new camera support and bug fixes; only Photoshop CC subscribers will receive any new feature updates. The release candidates a number of all three additions in the latest version.
AirBnB revamps look of app for iOS 7, adds 'Discover' feature
Short-term housing and accommodations app Airbnb (free) has been redecorating its entire public-facing image, from redesigning its website and sporting a new logo to bringing the flatter and larger design language of iOS 7 to its latest update. The new version of the app offers larger images and fonts, but retains the main features that both hosts and would-be renters use to connect. A new "Discover" feature lets users find places to stay through less conventional means, such as by theme, as well as the traditional methods of where and when.
Apple on Thursday seeded new betas of Safari for OS X Mavericks (10.9.x) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.x), number as versions 7.1 and 6.2 respectively, that feature a new build of WebKit with a number of improved and new features. The betas, once released to the public, will help bring the Safari used with those versions closer to the expected updated Safari that will ship with OS X 10.10 Yosemite in the fall. Among the improvements are Web-GL powered 3D rendering, support for IndexedDB for web applications and more.
Flaw allows attackers to steal authenticating cookies, hasn't been seen in wild yet
Adobe has issued an emergency patch of its Flash Player technology to correct a security flaw that could allow hackers false access to thousands of popular websites -- notably Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and eBay among many others. The patch, which will update Flash to version 184.108.40.206, is considered "critical" for users of OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems. Even if users have Flash Player disabled in their browser, they may still need to update if they are using any products that require Adobe AIR.
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.
New version 3.8 adds ability to connect friends during road trips, more
Navigation and traffic app Waze (free) has updated to version 3.8 for both Android and iOS today, including a redesigned main menu and more integration between the app and a users' contacts. With permission, the app can sync "Waze friends" with one's contact list, which can be useful if a group of people in separate vehicles are heading to the same destination.
Skype re-released on iTunes for iPhone, features new design
Microsoft has re-released Skype for iOS, featuring a clean redesign, new gestures and more. As previously reported, v5.0 of Skype includes a new modern hub-centric design that prioritizes recent conversations; users can swipe to see their favorite people or contacts. Messaging is more reliable, and users can create groups, share photos to offline contacts, and exchange video messages. In-app notifications for quick conversation switching is also available, and controls can manage the frequency of what one is notified about. Skype can be downloaded through iTunes for devices running iOS 7.0 or later.
Photo service adds sharing to social networks, admin invites, editing tags, more
Cloud photo-sharing and storage service Flickr has updated its iOS app (free) to version 3.1, which brings the ability to share whole albums of photos to social networks, email, or chat systems like SMS or iMessage. The update also brings the ability to add or edit a photo's tags and descriptions, and offers some additional enhancements to group support, alongside the usual performance enhancements and bug fixes.
Currently the only Mac model other than the Mac Pro not to ship within 24 hours
On Apple's retail website, all configurations of the iMac have now slipped from shipping within 24 hours to nearly a week or more -- hinting that a refresh may be imminent. Rumors have begun to circulate that new iMacs may appear at lower price points than the current generation, just ahead of next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. While a refreshed iMac is unlikely to be formally announced on stage, the event often heralds new and updated releases.
Version 11.2.1 corrects accidentally hidden Users folder
On Friday, Apple updated its iTunes application for the second time in as many days, but this time it was to correct a bug apparently introduced in the previous update, which accompanied the release of OS X 10.9.3. The new iTunes 11.2.1 update has the same release notes as the previous version but in fact exists solely to correct an error that hid the "Users" folder, causing consternation among Mavericks upgraders.
Snow Leopard dropped from latest driver updates
On Thursday, Apple updated its drivers for Canon printer, scanner and AIO products for Macs running OS X 10.7.x (Lion), Mountain Lion (10.8.x) or Mavericks (10.9.x). The updates are likely to already be included in the forthcoming 10.9.3 update, and updates every currently-available driver alongside adding new support for new models. This is the first time that no Snow Leopard version of a driver update has been available.
eBay updates apps for iPhone and iPad, featuring in-store pick-up option
Today, eBay announced updated apps for iPhone and iPad, adding improvements to its buying and selling features. Allowing eBay users to access the online marketplace to buy or sell items, v3.3 for iPhone and iPad features increased app speeds -- and for iPad only, a new in-store pick-up option for local purchases is included. Also available is new Passbook support that enables quick access to key information like store location, directions, hours and order number. For iPhone, the app now includes a personalized feed preview, displaying items based on a user's interests.
Latest release has minor tweaks, same focus on testing
Just six days after the previous release, Apple has pushed out the eighth beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to developers for testing. Other than minor tweaks and fixes, the only thing different about the latest version is its build number, 13D45a -- just two build versions older than the previous one, and with an "a" appendix for unknown reasons. The numbering suggests that the update is nearing "golden master" status, with no known issues listed.
Microsoft rolls out latest update for Xbox One console, adds friend notifications
Microsoft's Xbox One console has received another update, rolling out beginning today. Now including notifications for when friend players arrive online, users will be able to identify friends who are playing multiplayer games. The console's Kinect voice and motion detection has also been improved, reducing false positives on non-hand objects that trigger gesture commands. Other features in the update include improved GameDVR video quality, controller headset adapter firmware updates, silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand, and more.
Xcode update a bug-fix release, iMovie adds features
A week after developers received the "golden master" for Xcode 5.1.1 (free), the minor update has been released to users by Apple. The 2.18GB program, which allows developers to author programs for OS X Mountain Lion and Mavericks (10.8 and 10.9) as well as iOS 7.1, has received a handful of bug fixes, and improves the reliability of Quick Look within the debugger. In addition, Apple has updated iMovie for Mac to v10.0.3, which adds new sorting, title and font options.
Deframe version 1.5.1 released, features new video tools
Developer Einstein's Legacy has announced the release of its updated video tool software, Deframe. Allowing users the ability to extract high-quality still images and video clips from their footage, Deframe v 1.5.1 includes a redesigned user interface, new slide show creation, and the ability to share images via email or social media platforms. Deframe operations have been consolidated into a single window, providing a simplified interface for manipulating movies and extractions. Its slide show feature displays in a full screen mode, and can be navigated manually, or as a timed slide show. Available for $20 through the Mac App Store, Deframe requires OS X 10.8.5 or higher.
Construction beginning in earnest following demolition of HP buildings
Photos taken by a Mac and iOS developer's tip site last month and recently show a great deal of progress being made on the preparation for construction of Apple's "spaceship" Campus 2 main building and grounds. A month ago, demolition of existing HP buildings was still taking place; in the most recent photos, the site is all but completely cleared of any trace of its former occupant. Currently, a small army of equipment is preparing the ground for construction.
Heavy bug-fix update indicates final release imminent
On Friday, Apple seeded a "golden master" (GM) version of Xcode 5.1.1 to developers. The "golden master" is usually a release the company feels will not be changed before the final, but is tested one more time to find any showstopper issues. The new update features a substantive number of bug fixes and enhancements. Xcode 5.1.1 will also mark the beginning of a deprecation of some features, including the Apple Text Services (ATS) framework, which is being migrated to CoreText.
Snow Leopard users get separate version but continued support
Late on Thursday, Apple updated its drivers for Xerox printers, print servers and its WorkCentre line. The new version, 3.0.1, covers updated drivers for OS X Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9). Release simultaneously but separately was version 2.3 for Snow Leopard (10.6) only. The drivers update support for existing models and add support for new Xerox products, and the two versions are identical in terms of what products they support.
New update makes more concessions to keyboard, mouse users
At Microsoft's annual Build conference, Microsoft also announced that it has developed a major update to Windows 8.1. The update, available to users April 8, will improve the experience for keyboard and mouse users, as well as bring substantive changes to the Microsoft application store.
2013 Supplier Responsibility summary builds on previous successes
Apple has updated its Supplier Responsibility report, highlighting both continuing improvement and pointing out new initiatives designed to further improve conditions and social issues along its supply chain. Apple reports it achieved 95 percent compliance among all suppliers in limiting workers to a maximum 60-hour work week in 2013, and the company has doubled the number of factories offering free worker education and development programs. The company is also now training additional environment, health and safety (EHS) personnel for its workplaces.
Three-episode 'season pass' now available for $20
The epic quest platformer BioShock Infinite on Tuesday saw the simultaneous release on Mac and Windows of its third and final expansion pack, Burial at Sea - Episode 2. The add-on follows the release of Burial at Sea - Episode 1 and Clash in the Clouds for the artistic platformer, which makes exceptional use of rich environments, and offers new achievements as well as a continuation of the previous pack's storyline. The $20 "Season Pass" has been updated to include the new content.
Adds further support for in-app Rotten Tomatoes review snippets
On Tuesday, Apple updated its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS devices, bringing updated notifications when new releases hit local cinemas or the iTunes Store. Version 1.4 also adds actual review excerpts from the Rotten Tomatoes review website, rather than just scores, and adds sharing courtesy of the AirDrop feature, allowing users to share links to movie trailers featured in the app.
Mavericks server 3.1 pulled, version 3.1.1 posted with no changelog
Having released OS X Server for Mavericks nearly a week ago, Apple on Monday replaced the former 3.1 version available on the Mac App Store with a revised version, 3.1.1, which does not list any differences or bug fixes from the previous 3.1 release. The previous and current release both list a number of improvements, including new support for a Device Enrollment Program within Device Manager; new management of fonts, AirPrint and Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 settings, and improved Activation Lock use for admins. The suite costs $20 for new users, but the updated version is free for existing 3.x users.
Apple updates Digital Camera Raw Compatibility plug-in for iPhoto, Aperture
On Thursday, Apple updated its Digital Camera RAW plug-in for Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11 that adds compatibility with supported and new RAW camera output formats. The latest version, 5.04, adds six new cameras to its support list for users running OS X 10.8.5 or later and recent versions of Aperture (3.4.5 or higher) and iPhoto (v9.4.3 or higher). The update adds support for the Fujifilm X-E2 and X-T1, the Nikon D3300 and Nikon 1 AW1, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Pentax K-3. The update is now available through the Mac App Store's Software Update.
Restores Contacts and Calendar local syncing to iTunes
Following the release of internal betas distributed to Apple and AppleCare employees on Tuesday, the company has now made its latest betas for OS X Mavericks and iTunes available to developers. As noted previously, the update to iTunes restores local management of Contacts and Calendar data for users who prefer not to use iCloud syncing. The latest Mavericks beta features improved support for 4K high-definition displays.
Users who haven't upgraded to 10.9.2 get reminder notice
In an unusual move, Apple is sending out "critical security update" reminders to users running OS X 10.9.x if they haven't yet updated to 10.9.2, which fixes an SSL/VPN vulnerability. The reminder, which can appear as a notification on the user's desktop or as an update in Software Update (handled through the Mac App Store), emphasizes the importance of the 10.9.2 update, which also brought new features and other improvements on board. Apple may choose to similarly warn iOS 7 users who haven't updated yet, even though adoption has -- as is typical for both platforms -- been strong.
Adoption rate on par with recent releases, features bug fixes and features
The take-up of Apple's latest iOS point upgrade, 7.1, reached 17.9 percent of all iOS web traffic in North America just 72 hours after its initial launch, according to a follow-up study from mobile analyst Chitika. The firm studied tens of millions of ad impressions to draw its figures, which are in line with recent point releases from Apple. The company says that iOS 7.1 is on track to surpass the recent 7.0.6 update within a few days.
Opera Mini 8 for Java-running phones and BlackBerry OS updated
Mobile web browser Opera Mini has been updated with the release of Opera Mini 8. Custom made for the Java platform on basic ("feature") cellphones, Opera Mini 8 has a revamped appearance that includes an improved Speed Dial start page with redesigned tiles. Featuring a new night mode, users can dim the browser's screen and utilize darker colors for viewing in low-light conditions. Opera Mini 8 supports private tabs that do not save information once the open tab is closed, and settings for minimizing data usage have been improved. Opera Mini 8 can be downloaded for free with one's existing browser on any Java-based basic mobile phone.
Snow Leopard and later included, adds support for new models
On Thursday, Apple refreshed its printer drivers covering Epson and Xerox printers -- likely to be the first of a fresh batch of printer and scanner driver updates -- for Macs running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and later. Though the company is slowly winding down support for 10.6, the four-year-old OS continues to get selected security, iTunes/QuickTime and printer driver updates for the time being. Today's release both updates existing drivers and adds support for new models.
Only works with iOS 7.1 at present, Mavericks support likely ahead
The recently-released Apple TV 6.1 update that arrived on Monday has an undocumented new feature that allows AirPlay sessions to be initiated using Bluetooth rather than Bonjour, a change that should make third-generation (1080p-capable) Apple TV units friendlier to complex networks such as those found in institutional and enterprise environments. The system can still scan using Bonjour as well, but will work with Bluetooth if the initiating devices are running iOS 7.1.
Rapid take-up rate matches that of 7.0.6 security fix, adds speed, more
One day after Apple released its latest update to iOS, the latest version is now running on more than six percent of active iOS devices in North America, an analysis from mobile ad aggregator Chitika finds. While iOS 7.1 also contained security fixes, its major focus was adding a few new or enhanced features and squashing bugs, whereas the rapid adoption of the previous update -- 7.0.6 -- was credited to a major security patch.
Highlights main features of new version, showcases CarPlay
Apple's release earlier on Monday of iOS 7.1 is considered significant enough to prompt the company to create a dedicated page for it, showing off some of the new features and improvements made in the release. The page covers the major "marquee" features of iOS 7.1, including support for CarPlay (in supported automobiles), automatic HDR selection, better control of Siri, changes to the Calendar and phone icons, and a bevy of bugfixes, along with improved performance for iPhone 4 users and other more subtle and optional tweaks.
Adds support for OS X 10.9.2, tweaks Profile Manager
Apple on Monday released an updated "developer preview" of OS X Server 3.1, which updates support for OS X 10.9.2 (and requires it in order to run) and makes some minor changes in the recent Profile Manager overhaul. The new build is identified as 13S4122, up 21 builds from the previous beta, which was released in mid-February. As 10.9.2 is now officially out, Apple is likely pushing to release the final 3.1 server update soon.
Updates support for OS X 10.9.2, CUDA update also available
On Monday, video card maker Nvidia released updated drivers for 2010, 2009 and 2008-model Mac Pro units, along with a reminder that the units will need the previously-updated CUDA 5.5.28 driver for Mac in order to leverage the CUDA architecture in some Nvidia cards. The updated drivers bring support for the latest version of OS X Mavericks (10.9.2), and include an Nvidia Driver Manager preference pane.
Critical SSL security fix will be on majority of devices by next week
[Updated with more recent statistics from Chitika] One of Apple's biggest advantages over other mobile platforms is its ability to update its OS quickly, and more crucially -- particularly in the case of the rare security issue -- to deploy the update across all compatible devices rapidly, rather than have to wait weeks or months for carriers and partners to incorporate their own apps and other processes and "skins" into the fix. Updted stats from mobile ad analysts Chitika show that more than 25.9 percent of all North American iDevices were already running the latest version within four days of its release.
Lets users check connection speed, aggregate national averages
The US Federal Communications Commission has refreshed a broadband speed-checking tool for iOS that was originally created in 2010, and updated it for iOS 7 and other modern technologies. The free FCC Speed Test is part of the Measuring Broadband America initiative, and is part of an FCC initiative to get a better "performance map" of US broadband. Users can view historical test data and current performance using the program.