OS X 10.9.3 update boosts maximum amount of VRAM recognized by recent Apple notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:39
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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If you’re hesitant about updating to the recently-released OS X 10.9.3, there may be good news if you’re a recent Apple notebook owner.

Per French news site Mac4Ever and MacRumors, updating to 10.9.3 increases available VRAM from 1024MB to 1536MB, boosting the size of the shared memory, possibly to further improve 4K performance on the most recent Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks..

The change can be seen in the Graphics/Displays section of the System Report accessible via “About This Mac”. Apple has not yet updated its support page to reflect the new VRAM limits, continuing to list 1GB of system memory as the maximum. The update was also not mentioned in the 10.9.3 release notes.

The 10.9.3 update also included enhanced support for 4K displays and restored the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Macs and iOS devices over USB.

Finally, it’s been reported that some machines with HD 4000 graphics have seen a VRAM boost as well, namely the 2012 Mac Mini, which now has a maximum VRAM of 1024MB, up from 768MB.

If you’ve seen this improvement or any significant changes on your end since installing OS X 10.9.3, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 35.0.1916.114

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:16
Category: News, security, Software

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It’s the updates that tend to help.

On Thursday, Google released version 35.0.1916.114 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- More developer control over touch input.

- New JavaScript features.

- Unprefixed Shadow DOM.

- A number of new apps/extension APIs.

- Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

Security Fixes:
- High CVE-2014-1743: Use-after-free in styles.

- High CVE-2014-1744: Integer overflow in audio.

- High CVE-2014-1745: Use-after-free in SVG.

- Medium CVE-2014-1746: Out-of-bounds read in media filters.

- Medium CVE-2014-1747: UXSS with local MHTML file.

- Medium CVE-2014-1748: UI spoofing with scrollbar.

- CVE-2014-1749: Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives.

- CVE-2014-3152: Integer underflow in V8 fixed in version 3.25.28.16.

Google Chrome 35.0.1916.114 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple fixes disappearing Users folder “bug”

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 19th, 2014, 08:40
Category: Apple, iTunes, Mac, Software

blueitunes11logoThere was quite a bit of online discourse when a recent set of Apple updates rendered people’s Users folder invisible in OS X. The Mac Observer’s observations concluded that it was the iTunes 11.2 update rather that the 10.9.3 update as many initial thought, which seems to be confirmed by Apple’s release of iTunes 11.2.1 which fixes the problem. What confused the matter was that there were reports of Apple representatives telling people that it was intentional. After all the hacks and fiddling to restore the folder visibility, it seems that patience won out as Apple’s latest iTunes update restores visibility of the Users folder. Initially I was annoyed at the possibility that Apple was “dumbing down” OS X again, as it did when it made the user’s Library folder invisible, but as I thought about it, unlike accessing the Library folder (as an IT consultant and power user), I rarely if ever access the the Users folder. Fortunately that’s not the case and was just a “whoopsie”on Apple’s part, unless they are just backpedaling on their initial decision, so go out and update without worry.

Is Apple getting a bit slack about vetting software updates, in spite of the new beta program? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

Swarm hits the iOS App Store

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 16th, 2014, 08:58
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software

Swarmapp_logoWhat is Swarm, you ask? Swarm is the new iOS app from Foursquare that aims to separate the check-in functions of Foursquare that we all know and love, and stick them into a new app. Here is the App Store blurb explaining the app;

With Swarm, you can easily see who’s out nearby and who wants to hang out later.

Features:
- Want to meet up with friends? Quickly open up the app to see who is out nearby. 
- Want to share what you’re doing? Checking in is faster and more fun than ever.
- Got an idea for something fun to do? Easily message all of your nearby friends.

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Apple’s iPhone upgrade promotion starts today

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014, 08:33
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, News, Promotion, Retail Store

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According to 9to5Mac, sources close to Apple say that starting today (May 8th), Apple will begin contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email this week, inviting them to come into their local Apple Store to upgrade their device to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. No trade-in prices have been mentioned, but it’s expected that this is an extension of Apple’s iPhone hardware trade-in program which allows customers to turn-in older iPhone models to purchase a new model at a discounted price. Reports from outside sources have said that Apple has recently increased the buyback prices for iPhones in its trade-in-programwhich it may be leveraging in the promotion in an attempt to increase iPhone sales.

Back in January, Apple posted its first quarter iPhone sales and analysts were disappointed that it didn’t meet their expectations. Even though Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 47.8 million a year earlier, Wall Street analysts were expecting closer to 57 million iPhones to be sold. These “disappointing” numbers may be the impetus behind the upgrade promotion which will hopefully bring up sales numbers for the current quarter.

What about you? If Apple knocks on your door, are you inclined to run to your nearest store to upgrade your iPhone? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

No new hardware at WWDC

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 6th, 2014, 09:09
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Developer, iOS, iPhone, Mac, News, OS X, Software, WWDC

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We you eagerly anticipating a first glimpse of new Apple TV and iWatch hardware at WWDC? Hopefully you can settle for peeks at iOS 8 and OS X 10.10, because it sounds like that’s all we’re going to get. Sources have told Code/red that Tim Cook has no intention of parading out its upcoming hardware, or software associated with it, at the convention.

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What you will probably see is a lot about Healthbook, Apple’s new health and fitness tracking app, which many speculate will tie in closely with the hardware of the iWatch. You can get a ton of info on Healthbook over at 9to5Mac with this article which covers it in quite a bit of detail.

How disappointed are you about the news? Will new iOS and OS X goodies be enough? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.

 

 

ComiXology removes in-app comic purchasing

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 1st, 2014, 14:08
Category: Amazon, Android, App Store, Apple, Apps, Google, iOS, Software

Comixology_biteI think it’s safe to say that it was Amazon that did the removing, but the fact remains that a major feature of the iOS app was removed. For the Android version, there were also some changes, but not as drastic. Comic purchases are now routed through comiXology instead of Google. The move is intended to avoid paying Apple and Google a premium for making purchases through their systems.  For Apple, that means loosing 30 percent of each purchase, something it has charged for in-app purchases since 2011. Instead of buying within the app, in the iOS case, customers will now have to make purchases via the comiXology website. Purchases will then be downloaded to the app once the user opens it, much like e-books do on Amazon’s Kindle for iOS app.

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California kills smartphone ‘kill switch’ bill

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 25th, 2014, 09:55
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Legal, Mobile Phone, News, security, Software

Back in February, State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon introduced a bill that would mandate the inclusion of a “kill switch” in phones sold in the state of California. If approved, the anti-theft feature would have been required to be preloaded and automatically enabled on all smartphones sold after January 1, 2015, leaving the phone inoperable if stolen. In a statement put out by Leno and Gascon at the time of the bill’s introduction, in San Francisco alone, cell phone thefts make up 66 percent of all robberies. Just over the bridge in Oakland, thefts are even higher to over 75 percent. The statement also said that recovering those phones cost consumers in the US more than $30 billion in 2012.

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Mac Pro shipping times are improving

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 25th, 2014, 08:56
Category: Apple, Hardware, Mac, Mac Pro, News

Mac Pro assembly lineBack in mid-February, shortly after the new Mac Pro was announced, we reported about how shipping dates were listed for “April”. Well, April is here and it looks like Apple is finally catching up as shipping times are now listed as 3-5 weeks. At the beginning of April, times had started showing up at 5-6 weeks and have been slowly improving. Alas, you still cannot walk or drive to tour nearest Apple retail store and pick one up. All sales of the Mac Pro are through the online store, which will probably be the case until Apple catches up with its backlog of orders. There are some online retailers selling Mac Pros, which you might get sooner, but their supplies have been limited by Apple.

 

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Rumor says iPhone 6 will get curvy

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 24th, 2014, 08:33
Category: Apple, Cases, Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

Curvacious-case

Another report from the Japanese blog Mac Otakara says that the iPhone 6 may have more rounded edges and a curved screen similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S III, although references to a curved or “rounded” screen may simply indicate that the screen extends to the edge of the screen with the edges of the glass being rounded. The blog points to a current case design for the iPhone 5 and 5S as an example of what the edges of the future iPhone might look like. The Curvacious Bumper, from SQUAIR, adds a rounded edge to the iPhone 5/5S which the designers liken to the rounded form of the iPhone 3G.

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