Category: Mac OS X Lion

Apple’s Flashback Lesson

Flashback trojan Flash installer

Flashback trojan Flash installer

Brushed under the carpet or blown out of proportion by the sensational mainstream media? However you think the coverage of the Flashback trojan played out the fact is that Apple handled the whole thing badly. But in typical Apple fashion seems to have scraped through unharmed, I suspect in future they won’t be so lucky.

It all played out much the same way that any major exploit does. For Microsoft if an exploit grabs hold and spreads to tens of millions of Windows computers then it is big news, even if that proportion of install base is relatively quite low. For Apple, who’s reputation of invisible Macs prevails, the story is much the same. The Flashback trojan was said to have spread to over 600,000 Macs worldwide-which is estimated to be about one percent of the install base.

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First Update to OS X Lion Available

Mac OS X Lion

Mac OS X Lion | Image courtesy of Apple

Apple has made the first update to OS X Lion available for download via Software Update. 10.7.1 marks the first release for OS X Lion which was released last month, notably the update is also delivered in delta form making the download significantly smaller than previous OS updates.

Apple delivers the following statement with OS X 10.7.1:

The 10.7.1 update is recommended for all users running OS X Lion and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability and compatibility of your Mac, including fixes that:

  • Address an issue that may cause the system to become unresponsive when playing a video in Safari
  • Resolve an issue that may cause system audio to stop working when using HDMI or optical audio out
  • Improve the reliability of Wi-Fi connections
  • Resolve an issue that prevents transfer of your data, settings, and compatible applications to a new Mac running OS X Lion

For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4764.

Apple offered different versions of 10.7.1 to users of its latest Macs, giving particular attention to some problems that have been causing issues on Apple’s newest MacBook Air and Mac mini products:

  • Resolve an issue where MacBook Air may boot up when MagSafe Adapter is attached
  • Resolve an issue causing intermittent display flickering on MacBook Air
  • Resolve an issue that causes the SD card slot in Mac mini to run at reduced speed with SD and SDHC media

OS X Lion Recovery Detailed

OS X Lion Recovery mode

OS X Lion Recovery mode

Leading up to the release of OS X Lion one of the most talked about features was how the OS would only be available from the Mac App Store; not only creating problems for those with slow or capped broadband but also those who like a clean install or who encounter a problem in the future.

Today with the release of OS X Lion some of these details have become clearer. Whilst Lion is currently only available as a 3.74GB download from the Mac App Store, Apple says that a USB dongle will be available to purchase in August for $69 (£55). For now Apple recommends you pop-along to an Apple store to download Lion if your internet connection doesn’t permit.

Upon installing Lion the originally downloaded installer is removed as part of the installation process. So before you run the installer if you’re so technically inclined you can delve into the dmg and burn an installation DVD or create an external boot disk.

If these tasks are too much for you then do not despair because Apple is prepared for potential computing trouble. When installing Lion creates a partition on your hard drive for the purposes of recovery, at just 650MB the new partition gives the ability to reinstall Lion or run the disk utility if there are any problems. To access the recovery partition just hold down ⌘R during system startup.

Most of this was predicted ahead of Lion’s release, what wasn’t known and is now is how Apple is coping with complete hard drive failures. So in this instance lets say your hard drive dies, losing the original installer and recovery partition and you have no other method of getting back up and running. Buy a new hard drive and put it in your Mac and the EFI firmware will kick into action and run an ‘Internet Recovery’, which in short means it’ll download the Lion installer straight onto your brand new drive and away you go.

The new Internet Recovery feature is only available on the brand new Mac mini and MacBook Air as they will contain the most up-to-date EFI firmware but it’s entirely possible that Apple could push an update for older Macs.

OS X Lion Available

MacBook Air

11- and 13-inch MacBook Air (Mid-2011) running OS X Lion

Apple has today made OS X 10.7 Lion available to download from the Mac App Store. Lion is available to download only for $29.99 (£20.99) and packs over 250 new features. Users who do not have broadband access at home, work or school can download Lion at Apple retail stores and later this August, Lion will be made available on a USB thumb drive through the Apple Store for $69 (£55).

“Lion is the best version of OS X yet, and we’re thrilled that users around the world can download it starting today,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Lion makes upgrading a Mac easier than ever before; just launch the Mac App Store, buy Lion with your iTunes account, and the download and install process will begin automatically.”

New features in Lion include: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software, built right into the OS; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

Apple Confirms OS X 10.7 Lion Available Wednesday

Mac OS X Lion

Mac OS X Lion | Image courtesy of Apple

Following a rumour earlier this week Apple has confirmed that its latest Mac operating system will be available tomorrow (Wednesday, 20). Although the company did not state a time when it announced the product release during its third fiscal quarter results, it is likely that Apple will unleash OS X Lion through the Mac App Store at 8.30am eastern (1.30PM London).

The announcement by Apple Chief Operating Office Peter Oppenheimer during the company’s financial quarterly results marks the first time that the earnings call has been used as a platform for announcing a future product release.

OS X Lion will be available to download tomorrow from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (£20.99).

Updated MacBook Airs to Drop Alongside Lion on Wednesday

Despite stepping right on the heels of Apple’s third fiscal quarter results it is looking increasingly likely that Apple will unveil the long-rumoured MacBook Air update alongside OS X Lion this coming Wednesday.

AppleInsider cites “people with proven track records” who point towards the two products being released at 8.30am eastern time (1.30pm London time).

As covered in our more detailed look at the MacBook Air rumours, the refresh is expected to change very little from an aesthetic point of view. Inside the new MacBook Air is expected to pack Intel’s ultra-low voltage Sandy Bridge processors. Consuming only 17 watts and running dual cores up to 1.8GHz the new processors from Intel are a perfect match for the MacBook Air.

Elsewhere inside the Air the internal SSD is expected to weigh in at a starting size of 128GB and of course the already present Mini DisplayPort will be changed to a ThunderBolt port.

Apple is also expected to drop OS X Lion alongside the MacBook Air refresh. As the OS will be released via the Mac App Store there is no channel inventory to be filled, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly when Apple will flick the switch.

Mac OS X Lion

Mac OS X Lion | Image courtesy of Apple

Available from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (£20.99) and packing over 250 new features some of those included are: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software, built right into the OS; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

MacBook Air Refresh Nears

Best Buy MacBook Air Listings

Best Buy MacBook Air Listings

The week has kicked off with reports that Best Buy has suspended the ordering of MacBook Airs from its online store. All MacBook Air models on the Best Buy site are now listed as “Not Available for Shipping”, Apple’s online store still lists the notebooks shipping in 24 hours.

The news today is just another nail in the coffin of the current MacBook Airs. Last week DigiTimes reported that “Makers in the upstream supply chain for Apple notebook products will run in full gear starting July preparing needed parts and components for the vendor’s new MacBook Air models”. The same sources estimate that Apple will take delivery of over eight million MacBook Airs in the third quarter, a very suspicious figure as Apple only shipped four million units across all its Macs in Q211.

As July nears, so of course does the release timeframe of Apple’s OS X Lion which will ship with over 250 new features and be a major part of Apple’s Mac sales strategy moving forward. It has been suggested from a number of sources that Apple could wait until a point where it can pre-load OS X Lion on any new Macs that it is shipping, so that the crucial upgrade comes pre-loaded on all new models.

13-inch MacBook Air (Late 2010)

13-inch MacBook Air (Late 2010)

The refreshed MacBook Airs are expected to move to Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors. Apple’s MacBook Pro models already make use of Intel’s Sandy Bridge product catalogue but they use the 25 to 25 watt variety, Intel has recently released ultra-low voltage processors that consume only 17 watts, something that is far more suitable to the ultra-thin and long battery life of the Air.

As listed by CNET earlier this month Intel’s new ULV Sandy Bridge processors come in three varieties, running at speeds from 1.7GHz to 1.8GHz and all featuring dual cores.

In addition to updating the processor speeds of the MacBook Air, Apple may also bump the size of the in-built SSD. Currently the MacBook Air’s internal storage ranges from 64GB to 256GB, it has been suggested that this could be pushed to 512GB. Apple is also likely to include ThunderBolt connectivity, the change would require very little work from Apple has the current range of MacBook Airs include a MiniDisplay Port connector.

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Release Prepares for Lion

Apple has released the eighth major update to Mac OS X Snow Leopard via Software Update. The update which will presumably be the last for Mac OS X 10.6 primarily prepares users systems for the next major Mac OS update which is due in July.

Mac OS X 10.6.8 is described by Apple to have the following improvements:

  • Enhance the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion
  • Resolve an issue that may cause Preview to unexpectedly quit
  • Improve support for IPv6
  • Improve VPN reliability
  • Identify and remove known variants of Mac Defender

Apple also offers a detailed knowledge base note on Mac OS X 10.6.8 as well as the security updates included.

Mac OS X Lion which was heavily previewed at this years WWDC earlier this month will be available in July exclusively from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (£20.99). Some 250 updates are said to be included in Lion with some of the most amazing features in Lion being: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software, built right into the OS; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

WWDC 2011 Keynote Available to Watch [U]

Steve Jobs explains iCloud during WWDC 2011 Keynote

Steve Jobs explains iCloud during WWDC 2011 Keynote

Apple has posted a stream of today’s WWDC keynote which saw Steve Jobs, Scott Forstall, Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi take the stage to show off iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion.

Lots of information was presented during today’s keynote, here are the highlights:

[Update] The WWDC 2011 Keynote is now available to download via Apple’s Keynote podcast.

iOS 5 and iTunes 10.5 Betas Available, Lion Preview 4, iCloud Live

Mac OS X Lion Mission Control running on MacBook Air

Mac OS X Lion Mission Control running on MacBook Air | Image courtesy of Apple

Following today’s WWDC keynote where Apple discussed Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud the company has now released a slew of updates for registered developers. Apple has released the first beta of iOS 5, as well as iTunes 10.5. The fourth preview of Mac OS X Lion is also available. Registered developers can also enable iCloud for testing with their own apps.

Apple has also released Xcode 4.2 developer preview.

The first build of iOS 5 is available for iPhone 4 (GSM and CDMA), iPhone 3GS, iPad, iPad 2, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation) and is labelled build 9A5220p. The beta of iOS is also accompanied by an update to iTunes which brings the extensive media software to version 10.5. iTunes 10.5 brings some minor graphical interface changes and of course adds support for iCloud, in this case Automatic Downloads of Music, Books and and Apps.

The features available in iOS 5 are covered in detail by World of Apple’s keynote coverage, over the coming days we’ll be offering a more detailed look at Apple’s brand new version of iOS.

Mac OS X Lion DP 4 is labelled build 11A480b and is available for registered Mac developers from the Developer Center. Apple today demoed many of the features we’ve already seen in Mac OS X Lion. With the release of the fourth developer preview iCloud will be the biggest changes. World of Apple will be looking in more detail at what has changed in developer preview 4 soon.

The big one for developers today is early access to iCloud. Such access will give developers time to build the services available into their apps. Apple has posted a detailed iCloud page just for developers which tells them what they need and how they get started with iCloud. Notably Apple has posted a beta of iPhoto which has Photo Stream built-in.

Finally Apple has released a beta of Safari 5.1 which includes a number of new APIs for developers, those that initially stick out are, “support for full-screen web content”, Extension Popovers API, and Extension Menus that can show a list of options from within the Safari UI.