Apple on Thursday released versions 4.1.3 and 5.0.3, respectively, for Windows, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard operating systems.
Safari 5.0.3 is available direct from Apple for Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later and Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Tiger users must be running Mac oS X 10.4.11 for Safari 4.1.2.
For both Mac and Windows users, the update fixes an issue that could prevent users from submitting web forms. It also establishes an encrypted, authenticated connection to the Safari Extensions Gallery.
The latest version of Safari 5 for Mac also fixes an issue that could cause Web content to display incorrectly when viewing a Google Image result with Flash 10.1 installed.
Other fixes and changes include the following:
- More accurate Top Hit results in the Address Field
- More accurate results in Top Sites
- More reliable pop-up blocking
- Improved stability when typing into search and text input fields on www.netflix.com and www.facebook.com
- Improved stability when using VoiceOver with Safari
The updates, as usual, can be snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update utility. If you’ve tried the new versions and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.
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 1.1.5. The new version, a 40.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
Late Wednesday, Apple released a software update that allows the Windows operating systems to use its new Magic Trackpad input device. The update, which is available as a 7 megabyte download for the 32-bit version and a 4 megabyte download for the 64-bit version, adds the driver where needed.
The update requires Windows XP, Vista or 7 to install and run.
If you’ve tried the driver and have any feedback (positive or negative) to offer, please let us know.
On Monday, virtualization software maker Parallels released Parallels Desktop 6.0 for Mac OS X. The software allows Mac users to run Windows within Mac OS X. The company says that Parallels Desktop 6 has over 80 new features and improvements, the most prominent being an increased speed in addition to faster performance when handling files over USB or on a network. Per Macworld, the developer says that the new software can boot Windows 41% faster than the previous version, and 3D graphics performance gets a 40% increase. Parallels Desktop 6 also has full 64-bit support.
“With Parallels Desktop 6, gaming and graphics was a priority,” said Jack Zubarev, President of Marketing and Alliances for Parallels in a press conference. In addition to the graphics enhancements, Parallels Desktop 6 now supports 5.1 surround sound.
Parallels Desktop 6 also has new security features. Parental controls now work so that the setting you apply on your Mac are also carried over to Windows. The virtual machine encryption feature helps maintain the privacy of your data. Parallels also provides the Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 (Windows) and Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Mac software packages, as well as the Acronis True Image Home 2010 backup and file recovery program, and Acronis Disk Director 2011 Home hard drive utility (both for Windows).
Other new features include the ability to use Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts in Windows and the ability to use Spotlight to find Windows programs.
Parallels Desktop 6 retails for US$80 while a student version is available for US$40. Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac will also be packaged in a US$100 Switch to Mac bundle targeted at new Mac users who are switching from a Windows PC computer. The Switch to Mac bundle includes a USB cable for transferring files between a Mac and PC.
Existing Parallels users can upgrade to version 6 for US$50. If you bought Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac after August 15 from an authorized dealer, you will be able to upgrade to version 6 at no additional cost.
A direct download of the new version is available here.
If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback about it, 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.
CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 9.1. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Improved installation of Office 2007 service packs.
- Fixed product registration of Office 2007 and Office 2003.
- Fixed some unimportant errors during installation of some versions of Office 2003.
- Improved several connection and importation issues with Quicken 2010.
- Fixed product registration of Project and Visio 2003.
- Fixed Excel 2007 hyperlinks.
- Fixed document saving in Publisher 2003.
- Fixed playing of mp3 files in Media Player 9.
- Fixed custom installs of Office 2007.
- Improved print to PDF in Office 2007.
- Some minor improvements to IE6 and IE7.
- Improved proxy handling on the Gnome desktop.
- Fixed a Mac upgrade problem related to the CD-helper being in use.
- Fixed full-screen mode for Macs with auto-switching GPUs.
- Fixed Menus and Associations for Pardus Linux.
- Updated Dutch and French localizations.
- Made several application profile tune-ups.
- Merged with Wine version 1.2. Many improvements and bug fixes.
CrossOver 9.1 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.
Parallels Desktop, the popular virtualization application that allows users to run the Windows and Linux operating systems simultaneously alongside Mac OS X, reached version 5.0.9370 over the weekend. The new version, available here, sports the following fixes and changes:
- Mac folders shared with Windows now work correctly with MS Outlook, Lotus, Quicken and other Windows applications.
- Support for Autodesk Revit 2011 was fixed.
- MS Office 2010 activation is preserved in Boot Camp virtual machines.
- OpenGL now works correctly in Ubuntu 10.04 virtual machines.
- Virtual machines using Boot Camp partitions on 512 GB solid-state disks (SSDs) now work correctly.
- The problem with invisible virtual machines list on new MacBook Pros (released in early 2010) was fixed.
- A rare problem with Windows virtual machine’s screen turning black after upgrading to Mac OS X v10.6.3 was fixed.
- Problems with Parallels Service stopping to respond when the Parallels Desktop settings file is corrupt were fixed.
- Problems with screen resolution in Mac OS X Server v10.6.3 virtual machines were fixed.
Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac retails for US$79.99, requires Mac OS X 10.4 later to install and run.
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 1.1.1. The new version, a 39.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Multiple libVLC improvements and fixes.
- Windows video output fixes.
- DxVA2 decoding on ATI GPU, with Catalyst 10.7.
- Multiple fixes for interfaces.
- Various decoders and demuxers fixes.
- Updated translations.
- Various crashes and errors fixed.
VLC 1.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback about it, please let us know.
The long-awaited Portal 2 was demoed at this year’s E3 and the included gameplay footage aside, the following facts were garnered during the presentation:
- The new title is wrapped around story, gameplay (fans wanted to be surprised again) and music (the Jonathan Coulton track “Still Alive” took off and became a calling card with fans were demanding music have practically a starring role in the title).
- A lot of time has passed within the story between Portal 1 and 2 and the GLaDOS test computer is putting the labs back together, as it only knows how to have a relationship through testing, which was the premise of the original title).
- Throughout the demo, there’s an amazing combination of imagery with the charred/destroyed labs repairing themselves. A mix of wreckage, clean room/tech lab and jungle footage environments mix together to create a surreal but effective new world to play in.
- New character: A small personality sphere named Wheatley (complete with a British accent) surfaces as a guide/counterpart within the game. This character has been trapped in the Aperture labs for a long time and looks to escape along with you.
- The GLaDOS computer returns, embodying an enraged, insane and passive/aggressive cleverness in its interactions with your character.
- Throughout the demonstration, the game retains its dark but irreverent sense of humor.
- Certain environments are now destructible, which adds a new dimension to the gameplay.
- Repulsion Gel: Pour it on a surface and you can sort of use it as a trampoline (blue).
- Propulsion Gel: Allows for a “fling” effect. (orange)
- The developers commented that they’re looking to work off the same skill set as Portal 1 without forcing the players to relearn too many basics.
- Portal 2 itself is that much bigger and more involved than the original (no final level count has been released).
- Portal 2 can be worked through via a two-player co-op mode, this mode offering a different set of levels.
- The title will ship next year on Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.