El Capitan, iOS9 and more
Now that El Capitan is available for the general public to install, MacNN forum-goers have been quick to begin discussing the changes in this most recent update. Along with the release of El Capitan, members continue to talk about the changes to iOS 9.
Public releases on mostly-stable El Capitan closely following dev versions
Early Thursday, Apple updated its pre-release "public" beta of OS X 10.11.1 for pre-registered testers, following on the heels of Tuesday's second beta for developers. A public release of 10.11.0, the upgrade for OS X called El Capitan, was issued on Wednesday. As with previous releases, the second public beta (build 15B22c, identical to the developer version) has no notes on known issues or what has been changed from the last beta release, or the public version of El Capitan. Release notes state only that the 10.11.1 update generally will focus on "stability, compatibility, and security."
New features, better security, smoother upgrades, more
We have, on more than a few occasions, mentioned the importance of keeping software up-to-date when you are running a Mac or iOS device. You don't necessarily or always need to be the first person to install that new beta, or the first to undergo a major upgrade like today's release of El Capitan, but when we say "stay up-to-date" we mean reasonably close to the latest version of whatever program you have that you like and use. There are many benefits and few risks in doing so, and in this Pointers we will cover how to keep all your software current.
No new details or changes listed in latest update, public release possible
Apple on Tuesday posted a second beta of OS X El Capitan (10.11.1) on the eve of the release of the 10.11 version to consumers. The new beta is currently developer-only, but may be followed up with a public beta version for pre-registered public testers. Those with developer accounts can get the new beta through Software Update or the Apple Developer Center, but no new features, changes, or specific bugs fixed from the previous beta have been listed yet. The new beta comes 11 days after the first one.
Some questions to ask yourself before upgrading to El Capitan
As a reminder, tomorrow is the day that Apple rolls out OS X 10.11 El Capitan to the masses. The day will be filled with Internet hue and cry of slammed servers, botched installs, and failed upgrades. A small quantity of the ones who succeeded will gloat about it, with the vast majority remaining silent. It's going to be a crazy day, but it doesn't have to be so painful! Join MacNN as we talk about a quick checklist to do before the upgrade process even begins, and a brief discussion if you should upgrade tomorrow at all.
New process will customize downloads for target device, slim apps
Having only just warned developers on Thursday that a marquee developer feature, "app thinning," would be suspended due to iCloud version bugs, the company on Monday revealed an update that should fix the issues. The new version of Xcode, now at 7.0.1, will allow the feature to go forward, and should prove to be a great benefit to space-strapped iOS device users, as the feature allows app downloads to consist of only the assets the app needs to run on that particular device rather than any iOS device, significantly reducing downloading time and app size.
Final round of testing once again shows no issues with Apple's Trim
Round four of MacNN's SSD testing is complete -- and this round will likely wrap up the testing, for reasons we will discuss within. In this test, we again took four SSDs requested by users to task, including an OWC model, to see how well they all did in a time-compressed environment with Apple's OS X 10.10.4 and 10.10.5 Trim implementation.
YouTube user testing shows limited water resistance for new line
A popular YouTube video producer has tested the waterproofing of the iPhone 6s series of phones. While not advertised as such, the new phones both survived an hour-long dunking in a bowl of water. Additionally, 48 hours later, both devices sunk in the shallow pool of water function near-perfectly, with a minor screen anomaly presenting itself in the iPhone 6s, but not the 6s Plus. However, a deeper dunk, made by a different tester, resulted in utter device failure.
iOS 9, "Selfies" folder and more
This week in the MacNN forums, the latest update to iOS stole the spotlight, with members discussing what they liked and disliked about the new mobile operating system. In a related thread, members talk about the new "Selfies" folder in Photos, after one Mac Elite was looking for a way to delete it.
New feature would reduce size of download depending on target device
Apple has revealed to developers that one of iOS 9's marquee developer features has been delayed due to an issue within iOS 9. The feature, "App Thinning," would have allowed for faster downloads of apps because they would be smaller in size, and more customized for the target device. Developers would be able to mark assets (such as Retina-quality graphics) in such a way that non-Retina devices would only receive the normal graphics, as an example, saving space and download time.
Only five files modified across three rigs in eight days of continuous testing
Even before Jim Dalrymple complained about iTunes tag modification, MacNN was testing corruption and alteration of user music libraries under the iTunes Music library matching service. With another iTunes update comes another round of testing to see if the problem has finally been completely dealt with. After analysis over the last eight days, we're pleased to report that the corruption issues seem to be mostly fixed, but unfortunately Apple's fixes fall just a hair-breadth short of utter resolution.
Second betas for iOS 9.1, tvOS, Xcode 7.1 issued to developer accounts
One week after it unveiled the public release of iOS 9, Apple on Wednesday issued version 9.0.1, which addresses a few security and bugfix issues. The update fixes issues where alarms and timers might not play and where some users could not complete the setup assistant after updating, among other issues. In addition, the company issued new second developer betas of iOS 9.1, tvOS, and Xcode 7.1 for testing.
smoking iMacs, iPhone folder questions and more
Today in the MacNN forums, Posting Junkie "Luminar" posted a rather alarming story about smoke suddenly pouring out of his iMac -- with plenty of pictures included -- and wondered what the odds are that it was his new hard drive. Mac Elite "jeff k" has a question about a new folder called "selfies" in the latest version of iOS, which turns out to be part of Photos.
Chinese malware was not malicious, but points out new vector of attack
Apple has now responded publicly to the XcodeGhost malware scare, explaining in a page on its Chinese website addressed to customers that even if they used apps affected by the issue, no personally-identifiable information was gathered. The company removed any affected apps, and explained the cause (iOS programs were built using compromised Chinese versions of Xcode downloaded from other sources), while offering developers a method of ensuring that their own installations of Xcode were valid.
Final public version of 10.11 expected to arrive on September 30
In a confusing move, Apple has released the first public beta version of OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan to pre-registered developer and public beta testers -- nine days ahead of the expected public release of OS X 10.11. The public beta follows the first developer version by less than a week, and includes a revamped Mission Control, support for Split View, new emoji characters (including a much-requested "middle finger" icon), a vastly-improved Notes application, and other features.
Stuck 'slide to upgrade' fix posted by Apple
Apple has posted a fix for failed iOS 9 updates, that left iPhones and iPads stuck on a "slide to update" screen. According to the Apple directions posted earlier today, users are directed to connect the afflicted iOS device to a computer, open iTunes, and select the device. Should the device not appear, it should be force restarted. If the user has a backup before updating to iOS 9, the device should be restored to that backup, otherwise, the mobile with the failed update should back up, and then restore from that backup. MacNN has confirmed that the backup post-upgrade and restore returns functionality.
iOS9 discussions and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, members began to discuss what problems -- if any -- they have had with iOS 9 after Mac Elite "Cap'n Tightpants" asked if anyone has installed it yet. One forum-goer was looking for advice for a friend about how to read an OS X GUID HFS+ formatted drive on a Windows computer, and users provided some helpful tips which could prove useful to anyone else needing to do this.
Niche appeal but very thorough temperature tool
You've been lying awake at nights wondering why your CPU Core 1 is running at 46 degrees Celsius, but CPU Core 3 is 49 degrees, haven't you? Plus, you understand why there isn't a CPU Core 2 listed, and instead you get two CPU Core 1 entries. TG Pro 2.8.5 is the tool for you, and quite possibly only for you. This is a tool for monitoring the temperature of every element of your Mac and maybe, maybe there are a few people who need this -- but there's never going to be enough of them to fill a conference. Still, if you do need it, then the odds are that you really need it, and if nothing else, TG Pro is very, very thorough.
Clear the decks, batten the hatches, its going to be a moderate-to-very bumpy ride
As it is coming round once again to the time when major OS X and iOS upgrades are due (iOS 9 out now, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan is coming at the end of the month -- watchOS 2 has been slightly delayed due to the last-minute discovery of a showstopper bug), it seems like a good time to review tips on how to smoothly transition from one version of an Apple OS to the next without undue pain and gnashing of teeth.
JAMF Casper 9.8 released today, now with iOS 9 support, new config options
Device management software developer JAMF Software today announced same-day support for iOS 9 with Casper Suite 9.8. Today's release allows IT administrators to manage rapid migration to iOS 9 performed by end users or through device-provisioning workflows. Casper Suite 9.8 provides an accurate inventory of all devices migrating to iOS 9 while ensuring that security standards are met. Additionally, the new version brings support of new settings and payloads added to iOS 9 configuration profiles, including trust profiles for in-house enterprise apps, Apple Watch pairing and security, and data security with AirDrop.
Gold Master evidently revealed problems, release 'shortly'
Apple will not release watchOS 2 today, with the company citing bugs holding up the development process. Originally expected alongside iOS 9 on Wednesday, Cupertino is delaying launch because it has "discovered a bug in development of watchOS 2 that is taking a bit longer to fix than we expected."
10.11 beta impressions, iPad Pro and more
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, members who have installed the Mac OS 10.11 beta have started discussing what they think of this version which is likely to be the one used in the final release. The long awaited, much anticipated iPad Pro was unveiled this week, and the forums are abuzz with members voicing their opinions on the latest addition to the Apple family.
First beta version of iOS 9.1 also distributed to developers
Following its media event in San Francisco, Apple also released a slew of final betas for its three leading operating systems: iOS 9, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and watchOS 2. The iOS 9 "golden master," which will be identical to the released code unless major bugs are found, also includes the first developer beta of iOS 9.1. In addition, Apple has notified developers that they may obtain the revamped Apple TV units in advance of the general public for testing the new tvOS and features of the device.
We look at past high and low points as we prepare for tomorrow's show
This week on the show, Charles and Mike (with a cameo from William) talk about, yes, the latest predictions for the Wednesday event (which is handy, since Labor Day knocked the show's debut into Tuesday!). We also discuss our recent articles "Bad Apples" and "Good Apples," which respectively talk about the so-called "failures" of Apple hardware and how the critical "fails" often turn out to be the biggest sellers; defend the iPhone 5c on every level; the latest court cases for Apple; a recent Pointers column, and William pops by with his App of the Week, which this week isn't an app, but a thing. Read on to find out what!
Company getting 'a lot of feedback' on problems, music buying 'still healthy'
Oliver Schusser, an Apple vice president for iTunes International, was recently interviewed by the UK's The Guardian newspaper and admitted that the company is getting "a lot of feedback" on issues ranging from the design of the iOS Music app to sometimes-severe problems with iTunes 12.2 on Macs, as well as both compliments and brickbats on the overall Apple Music paid subscription service and the free features that accompany it.
A simple action (and one weird old tip) work wonders for funky devices
Those of you who follow the MacNN Podcast will know that I got an Apple Watch (finally) a little over two weeks ago. I have been enjoying it, thanks, but a day or two ago it started misbehaving: specifically, the "hey Siri" function would not complete once I had told it what I wanted. It would just hang there, like a needy groupie. So I needed to figure out how to troubleshoot it.
Kernel task compressed memory, Time Capsule problems and more
Today in the MacNN Forums, one Fresh-Faced Recruit is wondering if anyone else has the same problem they have been having with kernel task compressed memory. Also today, Forum Regular "Harvey" turned to the forums after some strange issues started popping up with a three-year-old Time Capsule.
Long term work focuses on depleted, factory new 840evo SSD line
Earlier this year, there was some controversy about heat and SSD data life when left unpowered. We don't think this is a major problem for most users, as a SSD will be powered for essentially its entire operational life -- but it may be an issue going forward, as users collect older technologies for re-use, given the generally long life of Apple hardware. So, in conjunction with our SSD Trim testing, we've started real-life testing of unpowered, depleted SSDs, exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time to check on both data retention, as well as drive survivability.
Problem troublesome in data centers, other enterprise SSD deployments
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and its Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) have announced the formation of a new Data Recovery and Erase Special Interest Group (DR/E SIG) to accelerate awareness and adoption of recovery technology in the solid state storage marketplace. The first meetings, held earlier in August, brought together manufacturers as well as data recovery specialists, to hammer out a charter and a path for the group to standardize techniques, technologies, and best practices for SSD recovery and erasure, previously unique to each manufacturer.
Safari crashing, iCloud mail issues and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members troubleshoot problems ranging from Safari crashing to iCloud mail issues and more. Today, one Fresh-Faced Recruit is looking for answers as to why Safari keeps quitting unexpectedly every day at the same time, and has provided crash reports.
Small percentage of devices have component failure that results in blurry photos
Apple has posted a new repair program for owners of the iPhone 6 Plus that will replace the device's iSight (rear) camera free of charge for up to three years after the phone was purchased, regardless of warranty status. Apple said it had determined that "a small percentage" of iPhone 6 models sold primarily between September of 2014 and January of 2015 have a component in them that could fail, causing photos to look blurry.
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, members speculate on when new iPads will be coming after one Forum Regular was asking if they should expect to see a refresh in October or if there will be a longer wait. Mac Elite "jeff k" is wondering if there is yet a way to make the desktop the default location to save documents from any app, it appears the answer is still no.
Outage affecting some users of App Store, iTunes, iBooks, Mac App Store
[updated with Apple revisionism on outage time] An outage of services has affected some users, making Apple's main iTunes-oriented stores (the iTunes store, the iOS and Mac App Stores, the iBookstore, and even the corporate Volume Purchasing Program) unavailable for the past two hours or so. According to Apple's own system status page, some percentage of users have been unable to make purchases since approximately 4:20 PM Eastern, and the outage is ongoing.
At last, some other topics not related to Microsoft -- and some MS stuff too
It's August, and that means festival season, almost everywhere. MacNN Editor Charles Martin is out on the road again enjoying a big one in Edmonton, Alberta, but he's not letting that stop him from hosting this week's episode of the show. Joining him this week are staff writer Malcolm Owen in Wales, Bradley McBurney in Kelowna, BC, and William Gallagher in Birmingham (UK, not Alabama). We predict, we blame ourselves, we mention Microsoft. Show notes after the jump.
iPhone 6s, Skylake processors and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members begin to discuss what they expect with the iPhone 6s, with some expecting updates such as Force Touch, and others not much at all. Moderator OreoCookie is wondering when 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro's with Skylake processors will be available.
Deadlines and 'percussive maintenance' do not mix
Having used Macs since I was a kid with an SE/30, I have a fair share of "my stupid fault" type stories of brain slips, goofs, and outright naivety when it comes to dealing with computers, but one particular story stands out: not because of the disaster itself, but because of why I was under so much pressure as to make the bone-headed mistake that I did. Things were a bit different then, but the lessons I learned continue to be valuable today.
Quiet recall taking place now, Apple contacting affected users
Apple is issuing replacements for a "very limited" selection of recently-produced, third-generation Apple TV media streamers. The company is proactively reaching out to those it has identified as affected by the flaw, offering an overnight replacement, as well as a small-denomination iTunes gift card as a compensatory gift.
Apple does the actual repairing but you have to be brave
This is what happens when you need Apple to repair your Apple Watch: this is also the article I didn't want to write, partly because it required me to be without my Watch for a considerable time, but mostly because, oh, come on, didn't I just do this? Previously on MacNN... I took my Watch off for one week so I could write about whether I even noticed its absence, whether this device was actually useful, or just a new toy. Short version: I noticed, boy did I notice, and the Apple Watch is both useful and a permanent, constant new toy. Shortest version: I honestly suffered. You still don't look sympathetic -- but that's okay. Lets talk about what happens when the Apple Watch has to go back to the shop, and what Apple does, and what you have to do.
Latest Apple Watch beta now dependent on iOS 9 install to work
[Update: third public beta released for iOS as well] Two weeks after the previous releases, Apple on Thursday offered new, fifth betas of iOS 9 and watchOS 2 to developers. The iOS 9 beta is now required in order to use the latest watchOS 2 beta, and may address some of the long list of serious bugs developers have reported so far, such as random reboots, poor battery life, inoperative Bluetooth connections and other problems unresolved or introduced in beta 4.
Update likely to be final numbered update for Yosemite
On Wednesday, Apple released a third beta of OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 to developers, and may also do so for public testers as has been its habit. The new build, 14F25a, has no obvious changes or release notes, but continues to methodically fix bugs and tweak performance, including a patch to block a recently-published exploit that was found to have potentially-serious consequences. The optimization and improvement process is expected to continue with this fall's El Capitan 10.11 release, making it likely that 10.10.5 will be the last Yosemite update.
Malicious installer requires user password, then installs junkware
A recently-published exploit that could allow attackers to gain unchecked root-level access, following the user initially installing it, has been patched in the forthcoming OS X 10.10.5 update, and in this fall's 10.11 El Capitan upgrade. The flaw, which was introduced in Yosemite's error-logging functions. Though widely reported as hair-on-fire dangerous, the exploit merely installs adware and junkware such as Genio and MacKeeper, and requires users to actively install it before it gains root privileges.
Magic disks, missing tools, tea, and no cats
It was inevitable that I would be asked to pen the next My Stupid Fault story out of the remaining site writers. If anyone looked at our work chat room's history, they would see countless times where I would seemingly type gibberish, with a later advisement that it was one of my numerous cats stamping on the keyboard. My two stories for today have nothing to do with cats, so I can't blame the animals for the computing issues, though one does have a loose connection to a highly-active dog.
An Excel-ent episode with a literary bent whilst we wait on some downloads
If it wasn't for our new books (have we mentioned them?), this would be a strangely all-Microsoft episode of The MacNN Podcast, but luckily the Redmond giant turns out software for both Macs and Windows (who knew?), so we've set up this episode to be fun to listen to while you wait for your approval notice from Microsoft that you may obtain your copy of WindOwS X -- sorry, Windows 10. We also talk cool software, including (yes) Microsoft Excel.
Latest build may not have any notable changes beyond bug fixes
Exactly one week after the last developer beta of OS X 10.11 El Capitan, Apple has issued another update to the forthcoming OS X upgrade, which is scheduled to appear this fall, and likely to debut some time in September. The previous beta, 15A235d, did not list any significant changes or fixes, but focused primarily on small UI tweaks and bug fixes. The new beta, build 15A244d, is likely to have followed the same path.
Exploit still requires user permission to install, downplayed by experts
A new exploit has been developed that could threaten Mac security by leveraging vulnerabilities in firmware rather than software, making the worm nearly impossible to remove. While sounding more ominous than any threat since the original firmware-based Thunderstrike (which was limited to a proof-of-concept with no reported attacks), leading security experts say this new threat is also very low-risk.
A literally complete handbook on keeping your iOS devices running smoothly
Today's Pointers column was inspired by a real-life incident in which an acquaintance asked me for help in picking out a new iPad. Knowing that they had a fourth-generation iPad -- not far removed from the iPad Air 2 that I have -- I asked why. "Doesn't work anymore," they grumbled resentfully. "Lots of crashes, some apps don't even launch now." I asked if it had ever been turned off. "Every night," they said. I said, "no, not put to sleep -- turned off." "You can do that?!" they exclaimed.
21.5-inch Retina iMac?
This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss their hopes and dreams that one day we will see a , with many saying that it's probably still a long way off. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is wondering if their MacBook from 2009 can actually handle 8GB of RAM, and has a few questions about Yosemite.
Utility allows for backup of wide range of hard drive formats
Data backup and disaster recovery company Paragon Software Group has announced the release of Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac Preview -- a previously Windows-only tool to handle all disk management tasks on OS X. In closed beta testing for two months, the public preview comes with major new backup techniques, including sector and file-level backups of any partition or disk to the Paragon Virtual Hard Drive format.
Yes, William, it is a series.
Yeah, I'm the guy that both made William take off his watch for a week, and made him do this column, My Stupid Fault, first. We all have tech tales of woe for sure -- the really special ones we've done to ourselves by accident or by incompetence. Mine is something I keep coming back to, time after time, after time -- and once, it almost caused a problem with Cold War-era national defense. Today, I bring you the second installment of My Stupid Fault -- a series of three tech failures at the worst possible time, with a common solution.
Company claims up to five times faster file recovery
Long time OS X developer SubRosaSoft has announced the immediate availability of FileSalvage 9. The latest version of FileSalvage features up to five times better recovery speed, according to the company, a new user interface, and most importantly, support for OS X 10.10.