Announcements

Apple releases OS X 10.8.3 and firmware updates

Apple has released its third update for OS X Mountain Lion, bringing the latest version of the software to 10.8.3 after over three months of development. Along with a number of bug fixes for problems users have been experiencing in 10.8.2 and earlier, the new version adds a couple of new features.

The first is that Mac users can now redeem iTunes gift cards using an iSight camera. Now if you take a snapshot of the card in the Mac App Store you can have the system identify its number and redeem it instead of having … Read more

Apple joins hybrid-storage market with Fusion Drive

Apple announced at its October 23 event its first hybrid drive, called Fusion Drive, initially available as an option in its new iMac and Mac Mini.

Apple's Fusion Drive combines 120GB of solid-state storage and a regular platter-based hard drive of either 1TB or 3TB. Apple says the operating system and software will be installed on the flash memory part while all other data, such as media and documents, stays on the hard-drive part. However, users can move apps and files between the two sides of the drive to improve performance.

Apple claims that the Fusion Drive will offer … Read more

MacBook Pro 13 with Retina, Mac Mini specs leak online

Some last-minute leaks are making the rounds ahead of Apple's event today, and these involve the expected updates to the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro 13 with Retina.

9 To 5 Mac is reporting that Apple's refreshed Mac Mini models will have upgraded RAM options, as well as updated processors and storage capacity.

Here's the rundown of configurations, according to the site:

2.5 GHz dual-core, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard drive 2.3 GHz quad-core, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard drive Server: 2.3 GHz quad-core 4GB of RAM, 2TB Hard drive

The site also had some detailsRead more

iPhoto 1.1 for iOS now handles 36-megapixel images

Good news for all you Nikon D800 owners who have a third-generation iPad or are about to buy an iPhone 5: the new iPhoto 1.1 iOS app now can handle your 36.3-megapixel images.

iPhoto 1.0 for iOS, or version 1.1 on earlier iPhones and iPods, could handle only 19-megapixel images, which ruled out its use on photos from higher-end cameras such as Canon's 5D Mark II and Mark III and Sony's NEX-7.

The support for images up to 36.5 megapixels is one of a slew of features and fixes in the iPhoto 1.1 updateRead more

Mac OS X gets ZFS after all--but not from Apple

Apple may have given up on the idea of building Sun Microsystems' ZFS file system into Mac OS X, but one of its engineers has picked up where Apple left off.

Don Brady, a former Apple engineer and current ZFS enthusiast, now is leading a small team at start-up Ten's Complement that's been commercializing the software since its 2010 founding. They have released their first product, the $19.95 Zevo Silver Edition, the first version of a product formerly called Z410.

ZFS was a spotlight feature of the Solaris operating system, which Sun released as open-source software and … Read more

Apple recalls some iMac 1TB Hard Drives

Apparently a batch of the 1TB Seagate hard drives that shipped with iMac systems between May and July of 2011 may fail under certain conditions, and as a precaution Apple has started up a replacement program for the affected iMac systems. The Macs will be either the 21.5-inch or 27-inch models, provided they have been configured with the 1TB drives; other drive configurations such as the 2TB or SSD options are not affected.

If you have purchased one of these iMac configurations, Apple will likely contact you regarding the drive replacement, provided you gave a valid e-mail address when … Read more

Apple launches Apple Support Communities

Apple's support discussion forum has been a popular location for Mac users to interact with and get help from other Mac users. Last year, Apple announced that the forums would be evolving into a new social-based site called Apple Support Communities, but for the past seven months there has been no further information about the changes, until yesterday when new the Communities site went live.

The new support site is now very user-centric and has a different layout and feel to it, so if you have frequently used the Apple discussions you might initially be confused by the changes. … Read more

Microsoft to release Office for Mac 2011 Service Pack 1 next Wednesday

Bumping up security, stability, and adding a few new features, Microsoft's Mac Team announced on their blog today that the first major update for Office for Mac 2011, dubbed Service Pack 1, will be available for download next Wednesday. The major new feature will enable syncing from Microsoft's Outlook to Apple's Sync Services.

Calendars, contacts, notes, and tasks will all be available for syncing to any Apple device, including iPads, iPhones, and iPods. One limitation to be aware of, according to the announcement on the Microsoft Mac Team blog:

"MobileMe will no longer sync with MacOS … Read more

Safari 5.0.4 update addresses plug-in compatibility, more

Apple has released an update for Safari for both OS X and Windows operating systems that addresses a number of outstanding bugs with the Web browser. These include stability and page rendering problems with sites that load browser plug-ins, implementations of VoiceOver text-to-speech technologies, image effects, and other visual options. The update is recommended for all systems (Mac and Windows) that have Safari 5 installed, but be sure to back up your system before updating.

Specifically, the update fixes the following issues:

Mac OS X

Improved stability for webpages with multiple instances of plug-in content Improved compatibility with Web pages … Read more

Apple releases iTunes and Java updates

Apple has released updates for iTunes as well as its in-house developed Java runtime environment for OS X. The iTunes updates bring the version to 10.2.1, and come only a few days after the initial release of iTunes 10.2.

Apple offers no details on what is changed between iTunes 10.2 and 10.2.1, and the description of the update is the same as the initial 10.2 release. While there have been a few reports on Apple's iTunes discussion boards of bugs such as Home Sharing not working in iTunes 10.2, these are … Read more