O'Grady's PowerPage » OS X

Apple releases SMC firmware updates, enables Power Nap feature for mid-2011, mid-2011 MacBook Air notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 26th, 2012, 06:47
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

At long last, your mid-2011 and mid-2012 MacBook Air notebooks will be able to nap.

Per AppleInsider, a pair of firmware updates released by Apple on Wednesday enable the Power Nap in certain MacBook Air models that were promised the feature but found it missing when OS X Mountain Lion launched on Wednesday.

Apple rolled out the new firmware via Software Update in conjunction with the release of OS X Mountain Lion after the company previously noted Power Nap may not be able to work on certain Macs without such an update.

First outlined in June during Apple’s WWDC, Power Nap enables Macs to stay up to date and allows for the automatic backup of data while the machine is sleeping. The automatic refreshing of data, including Time Machine and iCloud syncing, is reportedly silent and power efficient though compatibility is limited to Macs with solid state drives like the MacBook Air.

When OS X Mountain Lion was released earlier in the day, some MacBook Air users noticed that the touted feature was missing. The problem has apparently been remedied in the Software Update which is for some “MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.6” for the mid-2011 MacBook Air and “MacBook Air SMC Firmware Update 1.5” for the mid-2012 MacBook Air.

After the firmware is download through Software Update the Power Nap feature can be found in the Energy Saver pane in System Preferences once installed.

The firmware updates can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases Safari 6.0 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 26th, 2012, 06:11
Category: News, Software


On Wednesday, Apple released Safari 6.0, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 40.2 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and new features:

– Smart Search Field: Safari now has one field for typing both searches and Web addresses.

– Offline Reading List: Safari saves entire webpages in your Reading List so you can catch up on your reading even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

– Do Not Track: Safari can send the websites you visit a request not to track you online.

– Password pane: Manage your saved website logins with the new Password pane.

– Baidu: The leading Chinese search engine Baidu is now a built-in option for Chinese users.

Safari 6 for OS X Lion also includes improvements to stability, compatibility, usability and security, including changes that:

– Make the swipe to navigate gesture work with PDFs.

– Restore the state of Reading List when Safari is launched.

– Fix an issue that affected full screen video in webpages that have positioned content.

– Restore the user’s previous cookies after Private Browsing without requiring a Safari relaunch.

Safari 6.0 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

Apple releases OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on Mac App Store

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2012, 07:27
Category: News, Software

You’ve been hankering for it.

And it’s here.

On Wednesday, Apple released its long-awaited OS X Mountain Lion upgrade through the Mac App Store. The download is 4.05GB, and retails for US$20.

The software incorporates a number of apps previously exclusive to iOS, including Notes, Reminders, Game Center, and the Notification Center. It also more deeply integrates iCloud, and introduces Gatekeeper, a new security system designed to prevent malware from being installed. In all, Apple claims that over 200 new features have been added including the following:

– Send messages from your Mac to friends with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

– With iMessage, you can start a conversation on your Mac and pick it up on your iPhone or iPad.

– Messages also supports traditional instant messaging services like AIM, Yahoo! Google Talk and Jabber.

– Documents in the Cloud lets you create and edit your documents on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

– The new Reminders app makes managing tasks easy. Jot down your thoughts with the new Notes app. And iCloud keeps your Reminders and Notes up to date across all your devices.

– Type both searches and web addresses in the new Smart Search Field.

– Pinch to see tabs with Tab View and swipe to switch between them.

– iCloud Tabs makes the last websites you looked at accessible on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.*

Notification Center:
– New notifications appear in the top right corner of your screen.

– Open Notification Center from anywhere in OS X to see recent notifications.

– Configure your notifications to receive just the ones you want.

– Share links, photos, videos, and other files right from the app you’re in.

– Share with Mail, Messages, and AirDrop.

– Sign in to Twitter, Flickr, and Vimeo once to start sharing.

– Tweet right from your apps with the Tweet sheet.

Game Center:
– Play live multiplayer and turn-based games against friends on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

– Log in to the Game Center app to see friends in your gaming network.

– Check out leaderboards and achievements.

– See what games your friends play and track your progress against them.

Other Mountain Lion features:
– Dictation lets you talk anywhere you can type–no setup or training required.

– AirPlay Mirroring shows your Mac screen on your HDTV with Apple TV.

– Power Nap keeps your Mac up to date while it sleeps so it’s instantly ready to go.

– Gatekeeper makes it safer to download apps from the Internet by giving you control over which apps can be installed on your Mac.

– New features for Chinese users include improved text input, leading search engine Baidu as an option in Safari, sharing to microblogging service Sina Weibo and video websites Youku and Tudou, eight new fonts, and a new Chinese dictionary.

OS X 10.8 requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 and access to the Mac App Store to download and install.

If you guys have downloaded, installed and played with OS X 10.8, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

iPhoto 9.3.1 updated to 9.3.2

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2012, 06:04
Category: News, Software


Late Thursday, Apple released its iPhoto 9.3.2 update. The update, a 600 megabyte download which can be found via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Supports compatibility with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

– Sharing options now include Messages and Twitter.

– Includes performance and stability improvements.

iPhoto 9.3.2 retails for US$49 as part of iLife ’11 and requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know.

Adium updated to 1.5.2

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2012, 06:17
Category: News, Software


Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.5.2.

The new version, a 23.7 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixed an issue where the log indexer would never finish.

– Fixed a number of crashes that could occur after closing the Transcript Viewer. (#15984, #15823)

– Fixed crash at startup. (#15787)

– Fixed crash upon cancelling the “Confirm quit” window. (#15900)

– Fixed crash when closing the Novell Groupwise account options. (#16041)

– Fixed a problem on retina Macbook Pros causing Adium to send too large user icons to the server, causing disconnects. (#16063)

– Updated the Ukrainian localisation. (#16062)

Adium 1.5.2 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run.

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

SpamSieve updated to 2.9.3

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 19th, 2012, 11:07
Category: News, Software


Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.9.3. The new version, a 10 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and improvements:

– Added support for the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7.5.

– Fixed a bug that could prevent SpamSieve from auto-launching on the forthcoming OS X 10.8.

– SpamSieve is now able to recover from certain unexpected system errors on OS X 10.8.

– Fixed a layout bug in the German-localized Statistics window.

– Improved the Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages instructions.

– SpamSieve now tells the system that it can use the integrated GPU, which should reduce battery use on newer MacBook Pros.

– SpamSieve’s disk image background is now displayed at Retina quality on eligible Macs running Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8. (On Mac OS X 10.6, due to an OS bug, it will incorrectly display at double size.)

– Fixed a regression where SpamSieve’s disk image icon didn’t display properly.

SpamSieve retails for US$30.00 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

VLC updated to 2.0.3

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 19th, 2012, 07:39
Category: News, Software


Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 2.0.3. The new version, a 25.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– This release mostly targets the Mac OS X platform and adds support for OS X Mountain Lion. It also fixes the Qt interface’s appearance on Windows 8 and includes improvements for the flv and ape demuxers as well as the http access module. Additionally, it includes updates for 18 translations and adds support for Uzbek and Marathi.

VLC 2.0.3 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, let us know in the comments.

Microsoft to release Windows 8 on October 26th

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 19th, 2012, 05:05
Category: News, Software

You can pick up Windows 8, then begin working on a Halloween costume this year.

Per Electronista, it was revealed during Microsot’s annual sales meeting that the company’s next-generation operating system will hit shelves on Oct. 26 meaning new hardware will shortly follow including the Surface tablet.

Microsoft’s Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky made good on a promise from Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller who said Windows 8 would see release sometime in October. A subsequent post on the company’s dedicated Windows blog detailed the meeting, describing upgrade tiers and purchasing options.

Windows 8 will debut in 231 markets covering 109 languages on launch day and existing users of the ubiquitous OS can upgrade to the revamped software online for US$40. According to Microsoft’s website, all PCs running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 qualify for the US$39.99 upgrade with the option to add on Windows Media Center for free though the operating system’s “add features” option.

Wednesday’s announcement also portends the imminent release of tablets, PCs and Ultrabooks running the one-OS-for-all software when Microsoft announced as much during the Surface unveiling in June.

Microsoft’s Surface will likely be one of the first Windows 8 examples on offer when the OS debuts as the device marks the Redmond-based company’s first foray into the tablet hardware market. Initially, a stripped-down ARM-based iteration called Surface for Windows RT will roll out before a more full-featured Intel version dubbed Surface for Windows 8 Pro hits stores later this year.

It is unclear what features are missing from Windows RT but Microsoft is claiming the new OS is meant to reflect a “PC+” era where all devices run identical operating systems. This is counter to Apple’s “post-PC” era which describes multiple devices running software tailor-made for specific tasks, an example being OS X for laptops and iOS for iDevices. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner claimed that the iPhone maker’s view future computing is incorrect and instead believes in a “ond-OS-fits-all” approach to OS coding. Interestingly it appears that Windows RT skews toward the “post-PC” model.

Apple is looking to release its own next-generation operating system with OS X 10.8 later in July, and while no specific date has been set a launch should be imminent as the company seeded the Mountain Lion gold master last week.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 1.0 for 2012 notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 15:44
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

This could be helpful.

On Wednesday, Apple released its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 1.0 for its 2012 notebooks. The update, a 76.6 megabyte download, fixes an issue that can lead to increased CPU power consumption, and it improves compatibility with some USB devices.

As always, the update can also be found and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The update requires a 2012 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro notebook and Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

Obviously, this is a significant firmware update, so please let us know how it went for you via feedback in the comments section.

HandBrake updated to 0.9.8

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012, 06:24
Category: News, Software

Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.8.

The new version, a 7.1 megabyte download, offers a list of fixes and changes available at this changelog.

HandBrake 0.9.8 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, please let us know in the comments.