Late Tuesday, Apple released its Snow Leopard Graphics Update 1.0 patch. The update, a 65.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Addresses frame rate issues occurring in Portal and Team Fortress 2 by Valve, on iMac (Late 2009 and Mid 2010), Mac mini (Early 2009 and Mid 2010), Mac Pro (Early 2009), MacBook (Early 2009 and Mid 2010) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010) or MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010) models.
- Resolves an issue that could cause Aperture 3, or StarCraft II by Blizzard, to unexpectedly quit or become unresponsive.
- Resolves an image corruption issue that may occur when disconnecting and reconnecting external displays while the system is running.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.6.4 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know.
Late Friday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 3.1.1 of its Fusion software for the Mac.
Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.
The new version, which can be found here, offers the following new features and fixes:
- VMware vSphere 4.1 is now supported as a guest operating system. VMware Certified Professionals (VCPs) and virtualization experts can use VMware vSphere 4.1 to install the latest server virtualization software and experiment with server setup, conduct training, show demos, and test production configurations. Running ESX as a guest eliminates the need to have spare hardware available to run ESX natively and enables ESX to run on systems that are not listed on the ESX hardware compatibility list (HCL). For more information on the supported processors and host operating systems, see see Considerations for Running an ESX Guest.
- Resolves an issue around accessing some iSight cameras.
- Resolves an issue where an incorrect disk error message appeared after a host crash occurs while working in a virtual machine.
- Resolves an issue where audio recording failed when the recording device output was not 44.1 kHz.
Fusion 3.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.
Per a quick release on the Near Field Communications World web site and his LinkedIn profile, Apple has tapped telecom guru Benjamin Vigier as its new Product Manager of Mobile Commerce. The hire immediately follows his handiwork on PayPal Mobile, Sprint MyMoneyManager and the iPhone-based Starbucks Card.
Prior to this, he spent two years heading SanDisk’s mobile commerce and near-field communication efforts and over a year doing NFC for Bouygues Telecom.
Current speculation points towards work on an iPhone-based commerce system, but we’ll have to see what comes along.
Late last week, Apple seeded the first build of what will ship as the free Mac OS X 10.6.5 update later this fall.
According to AppleInsider, the new build, numbered 10H525, incorporates fixes to existing problems with Exchange Server support, fixes user interface issues with embedded WebKit views in applications such as iTunes, and includes the graphics drivers in the earlier Snow Leopard Graphics Update release.
Apple is asking developers in particular to test iCal, Mail, printing, OpenGL 3D Graphics, QuickTime and the X Window X11 subsystems.
The current release of Mac OS X was last updated in June following WWDC. The initial developer build of Mac OS X 10.6.5 was anticipated to ship nearly a month ago in late July, but has continued to slip as Apple continues to focus its efforts on NVIDIA graphics drivers and related issues.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.
It’s got a code name, which makes it that much more real.
Per Electronista, Apple’s long rumored CDMA iPhone has been given a codename according to sources close to the story. The device is now known internally as N92 and is already at the Engineer Validation Test (EVT) stage. As just a step before the Design Validation Test (DVT) stage like that of the stolen iPhone 4, its progress is appropriate for the often-rumored January Verizon launch.
There are no guarantees the CDMA model will ultimately ship or necessarily that it will reach Verizon. Apple could reach Sprint, US Cellular and most other smaller carriers in the U.S., and it could be intended primarily for international carriers like China Telecom or some Latin American providers. With 92.1 million subscribers, however, Verizon is usually considered the largest CDMA carrier and would almost certainly be the primary target.
Apple is now believed to have had a change of heart on CDMA. Where it once described the standard as “dead” since a clear majority of cellular networks use GSM and HSPA, the company has reconsidered after recognizing length of time to transition to LTE for 4G and, more importantly, the threat of Android. Verizon is the world’s largest Android carrier and has helped Google thrive with HTC and Motorola phones being “safe” from Apple.
Analysts believe a Verizon iPhone could flatten Android as some customers may only be choosing Android as AT&T’s network quality and the cost of switching carriers discourage them from jumping networks to get an iPhone. While AT&T has tried to minimize the risk of losing customers, others have anticipated that AT&T could lose tens or hundreds of thousands of customers almost immediately.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.
Per Kotaku, id Software’s John Carmack demonstrated Rage on the iPhone 4 handset at QuakeCon 2010. The title, which ran at 60 frames-per-second, allowed Carmack to “kill anything done on the Xbox or PlayStation 2.”
The demo incorported id’s Tech 5 engine and could easily run on the 3GS with the visuals rivaling anything from the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox.
The first Rage game for the iPhone will be a small “show-off” sort of title, with a larger game due out next year to coincide with the big game’s release.
Late Wednesday, Apple somewhat unexpectedly released iOS 3.2.2 and iOS 4.0.2, the latest versions of its operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. The new version, which weighs in at over 500 megabytes, repairs a security vulnerability associated with viewing malicious PDF files.
To download and install the update, attach your iPhone or iPad to your computer, open iTunes, select the device and search for an update. The process will occur as per usual.
And if you’ve noticed any major changes or would like to offer feedback on this, let us know.
Late Tuesday, Microsoft released version 11.6.0 of its Microsoft Office 2004 suite and version 12.2.6 of its Microsoft Office 2008 suite as well as version 1.6 of its XML Converter utility. The Office updates, which weigh in at 192 and 332 megabytes, respectively, focus on improving security for both suites, fixing vulnerabilities that could allow malicious code to overwrite portions of your Mac’s memory and run arbitrary commands.
The updates are free and available through the AutoUpdate programs and require Mac OS X 10.2 or later to run Office 2004 and Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run Office 2008.
If you’ve installed the updates and have any feedback to offer, let us know.
In spite of the constant back and forth between Apple and Adobe, a new version of Flash Player for Mac has shipped that officially supports hardware acceleration for H.264 video content.
Per AppleInsider, the update 10.1.82.76 was announced Tuesday by Adobe product manager Thibault Imbert on his blog. The feature, code-named “Gala,” had been announced several months prior, but was unavailable with the official release of Flash Player 10.1 for Mac in June. In a break from usual protocol, Adobe enabled the new feature in a security release.
Hardware acceleration in Flash Player 10.1 for Mac is available only for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and the following graphics cards: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M.
According to Adobe, a CPU utilization reduction of up to two-thirds is possible when GPU hardware acceleration is active.
Adobe Flash Player 10.1.82.76 can be downloaded here and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.