Parallels Desktop updated to 8.0.18354

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Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2012, 06:12
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Parallels released version 8.0.18354 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 333.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Resolves an issue with the built-in camera not working with Windows.

- Resolves an issue with some USB devices not working in virtual machines.

Parallels Desktop 8 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended to run Windows 7), at least 700 MB of space available on the boot volume for Parallels Desktop installation and 15 GB of available disk space for Windows.

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

Apple to restore duplicate song search, chase cloud-based movie streaming bug in iTunes 11 update

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Date: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, 06:18
Category: News, Software

There’s always a quick bug fix/feature change after a major new release of software.

iTunes 11 is no exception.

Per All Things D, Apple is said to be working on reinstitution the feature in a future update, a feature that was removed with iTunes 11.

The departure of the duplicate song finder in iTunes 11 was noted as a “drawback” in Walt Mossberg’s review of the software. But the Wall Street Journal tech columnist also noted that Apple officials indicated to him the function will “soon be restored in a minor update of the program.”

In previous versions of iTunes, users were given an option called “Display Exact Duplicates.” This feature would help users to clean up their music library by displaying songs that had multiple copies.

While that feature will reportedly return to iTunes 11, other functions removed from the latest update are not returning. That includes browsing album covers through the Cover Flow carousel, a feature that Apple told Mossberg was considered useful by “too few users.”

Mossberg also experienced some album covers that were missing in the album view option in iTunes 11. He was told by Apple that this “rare bug” has already been solved, and will be fixed in a minor update that will arrive soon.

Apple is also said to be aware of a bug that can prevent Apple TV users from wirelessly streaming cloud-based movies to the set-top box. A fix for that issue is also said to be on its way.

iTunes 11 was released last week, bringing with it an overhauled user interface that aims to be cleaner and less cluttered than its predecessor. Despite a new look and feel, many of the features found in previous versions of iTunes remain or can be restored, such as the dedicated sidebar.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you love or hate iTunes 11 so far, please let us know in the comments.

Apple updates iWork to version 9.3, offers substantial updates for iOS versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps

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Date: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, 06:50
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a hefty update.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Tuesday refreshed the iOS versions of its productivity suite, with Pages, Numbers and Keynote, all of which boast improved compatibility with their Windows counterparts.

iWork:
The latest version 9.3 of iWork Mac lends support to the concurrently released iOS updates, including improved compatibility for Pages, Numbers and Keynote with their Microsoft Office counterparts.

It marks the second major update of Apple’s first-party iOS apps in less than a week, following Thursday’s refresh of the iOS Remote app and adds the following changes:
- iWork Update 9.3 adds support for iWork for iOS 1.7 apps.

This update is recommended for users of iWork 9.0 and later.

The download comes in at 316.7 MB, identical to the previous update, which coincided with the release of Mountain Lion in in July.

Pages for iOS:
Apple’s Pages for iOS update was most substantial, and along with the “improved compatibility with Microsoft Word and Pages for Mac,” the iPhone and iPad app adds Change Tracking to entire text documents. The feature was previously an exclusive to the desktop version of Pages, which allows users to collaborate and make changes to a document, with those edits being viewable to all contributors.

Version 1.7 offers the following fixes and changes:
- Preservation of tracked changes in documents exported to Microsoft Word or Pages for Mac.

- In this release Pages for iOS is updated for improved compatibility with Microsoft Word and Pages for Mac.

- Use Change Tracking to track changes to body text in a document.

- Accept and reject individual changes as you review a document.

- Import Pages and Microsoft Word documents with change tracking and continue to track changes to body text.

- Preserve tracked changes in documents exported in Microsoft Word or Pages format.

- Preserve calculations in tables when importing from and exporting to Pages for Mac.

- Add reflections to shapes.

- Lock and unlock objects.

Pages for iOS version 1.7 is available now from the iOS App Store as a 245 MB download.

Numbers for iOS:
Numbers for iOS also hits version 1.7 with Tuesday’s update, bringing extended support for importing and exporting files with filters and rich text retention. The new version offers the following fixes and changes:

- In this release Numbers for iOS is updated for improved compatibility with Microsoft Excel and Numbers for Mac.

- Hide and unhide rows and columns.

- Import and export Numbers for Mac spreadsheets with filters, and turn filters on and off.

- Preserve rich text in tables when importing and exporting.

- Add reflections to shapes.

- Lock and unlock objects.

The iOS iteration of Numbers weighs in at 244 MB and can be downloaded via the iOS App Store.

Keynote for iOS:
Keynote, which also hit version 1.7, offers the following fixes and changes:
- In this release Keynote for iOS is updated for improved compatibility with Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote for Mac.

- Import and export all Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote for Mac slide sizes.

- Import and export presentation themes, complete with master slides and preset styles.

- Play back all Keynote action builds including Move, Rotate, Scale, and Opacity.

- Add new slide transitions including Shimmer and Sparkle.

- Preserve calculations in tables when importing from and exporting to Keynote for Mac.

- Add reflections to shapes.

- New print layouts include options to print with presenter notes, with builds, and without backgrounds.

- Lock and unlock objects.

Keynote comes in at 304 MB and can be downloaded via the App Store.

If you’ve tried the new versions of these apps and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments section.

Dropbox updated to 1.6.3

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Date: Tuesday, December 4th, 2012, 07:51
Category: News, Software

Hey, you can’t knock improvements on useful software.

Early Tuesday, Dropbox released version 1.6.3 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 23.1 megabyte download, which adds the following fixes and changes:

- Fixes rare issue with sync not working on 10.4.

- Other small fixes.

Dropbox 1.6.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Mozilla releases Firefox 17.0.1 update

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Date: Monday, December 3rd, 2012, 08:57
Category: News, Software

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Hey, an update’s an update…

Over the weekend, Mozilla.org released version 17.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 34.1 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

Fixed:
- Font rendering issue in Firefox 17.0 (bug 814101).

- 17.0.1: Reverted user agent change causing some website incompatibilities.

- Over twenty performance improvements, including fixes around the New Tab page.

- 17.0.1: Leaving Private Browsing with Social API enabled should reset social components (814554).

- Pointer lock doesn’t work in web apps (769150).

- Page scrolling on sites with fixed headers (780345).

- Known Issues Unresolved If you try to start Firefox using a locked profile, it will crash (see 573369).

Unresolved:
- For some users, scrolling in the main GMail window will be slower than usual (see 579260).

- Unresolved Windows: The use of Microsoft’s System Restore functionality shortly after updating Firefox may prevent future updates (see 730285).

New:
- First revision of the Social API and support for Facebook Messenger.

- Click-to-play blocklisting implemented to prevent vulnerable plugin versions from running without the user’s permission (see blog post)

Changed:
- Updated Awesome Bar experience with larger icons.

- Mac OS X 10.5 is no longer supported.

Developer:
- JavaScript Maps and Sets are now iterable.

- SVG FillPaint and StrokePaint implemented.

- Improvements that make the Web Console, Debugger and Developer Toolbar faster and easier to use.

- New Markup panel in the Page Inspector allows easy editing of the DOM.

HTML 5:
- Sandbox attribute for iframes implemented, enabling increased security.

Firefox 17.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running 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.

QuarkXPress updated to 9.5

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Date: Friday, November 30th, 2012, 09:40
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, software developer Quark released version 9.5 of its QuarkXPress design application. The 816 megabyte update, which can be downloaded here, adds the following change:

- Beginning with version 9.5, App Studio is switching from the proprietary AVE format to the industry-standard HTML5 format. For an in-depth description of the new App Studio, see A Guide to App Studio 9.5.

QuarkXPress 9.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 later to install and retails for US$799.00 for the full version.

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

How-to: How to get around “Black Screen of Death” on dual-GPU MacBook Pro notebooks

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Date: Wednesday, November 28th, 2012, 10:50
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

Ok, this could be useful.

Per the mighty Topher Kessler of CNET, a workaround has been found for MacBook users who noticed a pretty annoying black-screen bug on their systems, in which the computer would appear to be running but would not show any output on the display. To get around this issue, people were forced to restart their systems, losing any unsaved data.

The primary workaround for this problem was to use the third-party GPU manager utility gfxCardStatus to force the system to use only one of its available GPUs, to avoid the automatic switching between the graphics cards that was leading to the problem. While the increased use of the more powerful dedicated GPU drained the battery a little more, it did avoid the problem for many.

Take a gander here for the full article and if this has been driving you nuts, rest assured that it drove other MacBook Pro users up the wall as well.

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91

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Date: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, 07:11
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a bug fix.

Late Monday, Google released a beta of version Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.91 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- No audio from Flash content when speaker configuration is set to Quadraphonic (Issue: 159924).

- Aw, Snap renderer crash on Windows Server 2003 (Issue: 160559).

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.91 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 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.

Some users complain of issues after MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0, Apple pulls software from web site

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Date: Friday, November 23rd, 2012, 08:17
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Sometimes it pays to wait a few days before installing a fairly hefty firmware update…

Per the Apple Core, a number of users have reported issues with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0, which was recently offered for 2012 models. Worse, late last week, Apple pulled the support page about the update as well as the download link, indicating a recall on the software.

Some users report issues with video memory as well as with Keychain operation, while on the VMware Fusion Blog, a post warned that the update may cause virtual machines to stop working when a 3D application is run.

Users who have already applied this update and are affected by this issue can work-around it by disabling the “Accelerate 3D Graphics” option under Virtual Machine > Settings > Display.

In other news, Apple this week released a new update for Mountain Lion, OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 Supplemental Update 2.0, which may address some of the Keychain issues separately.

This update is recommended for all Mac systems introduced in 2012 and, fortunately, the issue appears to be a problem with Mountain Lion and not the hardware on the notebooks themselves.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen issues with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro and the firmware update, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases OS X 10.8.2 Supplemental Update 2.0

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Date: Wednesday, November 21st, 2012, 09:22
Category: News, Software

Sometimes a random system update is what’s needed.

On Wednesday, Apple released OS X 10.8.2 Supplemental Update 2.0, an intermediary update which addresses an issue with Keychain that can affect 2012 Mac systems.

The update, a 1.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- This update addresses an issue with Keychain that can affect 2012 Mac systems.

- This update is recommended for all Macs introduced in 2012.

The OS X 10.8.2 Supplemental Update 2.0 requires an Intel-based Mac from 2012 running OS X 10.8.2 or later to install and run and can also be located, downloaded and installed via OS X’s Software Update feature.

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