updated 08:00 am EDT, Tue May 28, 2013
May still be time for additional fixes, features in future betas
The currently-in-testing update to OS X, 10.8.4 -- thought to be on a fast track for release ahead of the upcoming Worldwide Developer's Conference in mid-June -- is expected to offer a wide range of issues fixes and general performance improvements, according to an unnamed developer. While some of the improvements were previously known, some are new -- including a Safari browser update.
MacNN had previously reported that the update will carry the first support for the emerging new 802.11ac networking protocol, which implies the possibility that Apple will release refreshed machines in the new future to be compatible. Also among the supposed changes were slight improvements to battery life, some Wi-Fi "wake from sleep" reconnection issues, and continuing to address reports of graphic glitches from some Nvidia cards when the card is placed under load.
In addition to those mentioned above, 10.8.4 will also contain fixes for issues when connecting to certain types of enterprise Wi-Fi network, better Microsoft Exchange compatibility in Calendar, improved VoiceOver compatibility with text in PDF documents and a new release of Safari, version 6.0.5. The update will also reportedly sport two fixes for issues that have plagued some users: a fix for a problem that prevented FaceTime calls to non-US style phone numbers, and another bug fix that could in some circumstances prevent scheduled sleep for the Mac after using Boot Camp to access a Windows environment.
The update is also said to have a number of improved Nvidia graphics card drivers to correct display flaws, and the current beta -- version12E55 -- also includes drivers for the Geforce GTX Titan, though it is possible some of these changes will not appear in the final release and are simply being "test bed" deployed before formal inclusion in a future build.
The 802.11ac feature mentioned above offers faster network speeds and greater range -- all while using the same 5Ghz frequencies currently employed in 802.11n. The standard, which has not yet been formally ratified but in presently in final form (so products can be made using it), is backward compatible with 802.11g and possibly earlier protocols.
Apart from the 10.8.4 update, the company also plans to show off the next major versions of OS X and iOS at the upcoming WWDC. Because the conference sold out so quickly, Apple has said they will release the keynote and other portions of this year's WWDC online and through Apple's own developer channels.