iPad and Paper, iPhone, iPhoto and more
This week in the MacNN forums, members discussed topics ranging from using the iPad with the Paper app to problems importing photos to an iPhone. This week the conversation continued in a thread titled "How to use Paper on iPad" which delves into the topic of using the iPad to create digital art.
Hand-crafted with rich Corinthian voices for extreme effect
Episode 42 is, first and foremost, a gorgeous-sounding episode. It features Mike and Charles, a good connection, and a fair amount to talk about even in a slow news week. As is the norm with these two, they wander around to various topics, but among the things that are for sure discussed in the repairability (or rather, the lack of it) in the Apple Pencil (and whether anyone should care), what's up with MacUpdate.com, and more.
Some units become unresponsive after full charge, require restart to work
Following reports earlier this week that some iPad Pro units have a tendency to become unresponsive after charging -- requiring a hard restart to overcome -- Apple has issued a statement saying it is investigating the issue, and suggesting the force-restart procedure as a temporary workaround for the problem. Reports have indicated the issue happens on all models of iPad Pro running iOS 9.1, with the software now becoming the lead suspect as the root of the issue.
Hints of long-awaited support for 'app folders' seen in 9.1 beta code
In addition to today's update of the iOS 9.2 beta, Apple has also released a developer-only third tvOS 9.1 beta. The upcoming update, expected to be released early next year, will add promised but thus far missing features such as Siri control of Apple Music (Apple has already added Siri control of general searches and iTunes Match support). Also found in testing was some support for "app folders" as seen in iCloud.
No new features uncovered as of yet, more fixes instead
A day "late" compared to last week's beta, Apple has launched a fourth developer and public beta of iOS 9.2. The new beta does not come with release notes indicating any new significant changes, but small incremental improvements have been implemented in previous betas of 9.2, including a change to the Safari View Controller for third-party apps, user interface tweaks to Apple Music, and other small changes.
Explanation for security certificate-related errors provided in email to developers
Apple has sent an email to developers affected by an expired security certificate issue with the Mac App Store last week, apologizing and offering an explanation for what caused the problem. According to the email, a caching problem within the Mac App Store interfered with Apple's issuing of a new security certificate, one which caused a number of users to see a "damaged" error when using some of their apps, forcing a reinstallation in a number of instances.
Apple Maps, App Stores, iTunes affected by brief outage
Apple's online services endured another outage overnight, with a number of services becoming unusable for over an hour. Apple's system status page advises some users were affected by downtime for "multiple store services" and "multiple iCloud services" at around 10pm EST for just over an hour, with all users affected by a slightly briefer Maps issue for approximately half an hour at roughly the same time.
busted graphics, trackpad pains and more
Today in the MacNN forums, members try to assist Junior Member "Sebastian" with figuring out what to do with a busted graphics card in his 2009 iMac. Senior User "RobOnTheCape" has reported a strange fingertip pain and has determined that the cause must be the MacBook Air he is using, but wonders if anyone else has had a similar experience.
App Store searches get smarter, go beyond metadata or strict spellings
Developers over the last week have reported that the algorithm that powers App Store searches is evolving, now offering suggestions that go beyond simple title or keyword identification. The biggest changes appear to have debuted on November 12, but tweaks and other noticeable (to developers) differences in results have been happening all during November, and are continuing. The overall effect appears to be that searches are more intelligent, with for example "Tweetbot" turning up in a search for "Twitter" when it didn't previously.
Not all users affected by iPad Pro charging bug, root cause not yet determined
Some Uuers of Apple's new iPad Pro are taking to the Apple community support forum to report an anomaly with their devices. A small number of users, after charging their iPads to full, are returning to find an unresponsive device with a black screen. The fix, a hard reset, returns functionality to the iPads affected by the flaw.
Apple has issued new certificate that expires in 2035
Over the last few days, heavy users of the Mac App Store have been reporting that applications that have been purchased as recently as November 10 are failing to open, or reinstall. While the commonality of the apps affected has yet to be identified, Tweetbot developer Paul Haddad has determined the problem to be an expired security certificate.
Follows on heels of developer release with same build number
As expected, Apple has now made the third beta of OS X El Capitan 10.11.2 available for registered public beta testers. The release follows the developer version issued on Tuesday, and offers the same build number and minor bug fixes and performance improvements found there. Testers have been asked to focus on Wi-Fi, USB, Mail, Calendar, Notes, Photos, USB, graphics, networking, and Spotlight. The download is now available through Software Update in the Mac App Store.
fast user switching, forced kernel panics and more
In the MacNN forums, members discuss a wide range of topics including fast user switching, forcing kernel panics and more. Today Fresh-Faced Recruit "B3NN3TT" turned to the forums hoping someone would be able to help figure out why fast user switching is randomly unresponsive, and had yet to find a solution. Yesterday "TheGreatButcher" turned to the forums looking for a way to force a kernel panic.
We also return to normal and rant about Star Trek among other things
The MacNN Podcast road trip continues, with host and Editor Charles Martin bringing the discussion to you live from Pine Mountain, Georgia. Joining him is Malcolm Owen in Wales and William Gallagher in Birmingham (but on his way to Paris), so the gallivanting continues unabated (but this week with much better sound). On the 40th episode, we talk about changes -- from El Capitan to Star Trek -- and some of the Mac apps we can't live without, as well as a discussion on how to determine if its time to replace -- or just repair -- your older Mac. All this plus "App of the Week" in just a hair over 60 minutes.
Latest iOS beta gives testers on AT&T ability to try out NumberSync feature
Following the developer release of second betas for OS X 10.11.2 and iOS 9.2, Apple on Wednesday (for iOS) and Thursday (for OS X) made public versions with the same build numbers available to pre-registered testers. Both releases are now available to registered accounts through either the App Store or the Mac App Store. The OS X beta, build 15C31f, does not mark any changes but continues to ask developers to focus on several key areas. The iOS 9.2 beta, however, introduces the ability to test AT&T's forthcoming NumberSync technology.
Utility eschews advanced RAID modes for basic need reimplementation
SoftRAID announced yesterday the release of SoftRAID Lite, a software RAID utility powered by the SoftRAID 5 engine. SoftRAID Lite replaces Apple RAID functionality, which is no longer supported in El Capitan, with the new software once again allowing Mac users to create and manage software RAID 0 and RAID 1 arrays.
Threat is greatly reduced, but still present through variant versions
Although Apple "quickly reacted" to a threat emanating from China last month where altered, pirated versions of Xcode found to contain non-threatening spyware were in use that could have been used to launch a greater attack, variant versions of the XcodeGhost malware are still present, and have been found on servers in the US in the enterprise sector. The actual danger is greatly reduced, as the command-and-control networks have mostly been disabled, but there is still some potential risk.
accidental hard drive wipe, mail problems and more
This week in the MacNN forums, one Fresh-Faced Recruit was looking for advice on what to do with an iMac that accidentally had it's hard drive wiped while using Boot Camp. One Professional Poster today asks "where are my old emails?" after not being able to find things in Apple Mail.
Beta version for new Apple TV requires USB-C to USB-A adapter
On Tuesday, Apple released new developer betas of OS X 10.11.2 and iOS 9.2 (both the second betas to be released), as well as a first beta of tvOS, which is presumably numbered v9.1. The new iOS beta comes two weeks after the initial public release of iOS 9.1, and one week after the first beta. The OS X beta, build 15C31f does not mark any changes but continues to ask developers to focus on several key areas. The tvOS beta will require developers to have a new Apple TV as well as USB-C to USB-A adapter in order to install it from a Mac -- the Apple TV itself has no downloading capability for beta releases.
Your old GarageBand install is gone -- time to fix the problem
So, something has happened. You're staring down a nearly empty drive on your computer for one reason or another, and you're assessing which Apps to reinstall. If you're a podcaster, the older version of GarageBand is a pretty obvious choice -- after a simple "trust this (expired) certificate" dialog box click-through, you're good to go. Until, you want to patch the program to the last iteration of version 6, and it tells you that you can't, because the app has been modified, when it clearly has not. In today's Pointers Extra, MacNN will get you through this awkward, and poorly documented, problem.
weeding out old contacts, hidden tool bars, more
This week in the MacNN forums, members discuss a wide range of topics including ways to weed out old contacts, and how to find hidden tool bars. Administrator "ghporter" noticed that he had a "eleventy billion" contacts on his iPhone and was wondering how to batch delete them.
Showing off your screen to a slightly wider audience
As I type this, I am working on a 13-inch MacBook Pro in a room with a 100-inch HDTV and killer sound system just over there. The screen is so big I could still see my desktop with the same clarity from the 12 or so feet away I am from it, as I can with the built-in screen here on my lap. I also use this computer to give presentations a lot, and often need to hook it up to projectors for demos. I also have a need to demo iOS software, so I could use a way to show that off as well. In this Pointers, we'll show you various ways of accomplishing these and related goals.
exporting contacts, iOS 10 dreams and more
Today in the MacNN forums, Mac Enthusiast "jszrules" was asking what the difference was between exporting contacts as an .abbu backup or a single .vcf file and has yet to get a response. Members indulge in a little fantasy in the "iOS 10 Feature Requests" thread with a variety of different suggestions that our readers dream of having.
You can shut the security feature down, but should you?
Most of the Pointers we write three times a week have wide appeal. Even if you don't need to do that particular thing at that particular moment, we try to advise users as best as we can on care and feeding of your Apple-related device. However, this Pointers is a little different. Do not do this, unless you absolutely have to. Do not even think you need this information in the front of your brain for general day-to-day OS X use. Read it, store it, remember where you found it, and come back if you need to. Today, we're going to talk about how to disable Apple's new System Integrity Protection (SIP), and why you should or shouldn't do it.
New emoji, Live Photos, lots of bug fixes included in first '.1' update
On Wednesday, Apple released significant updates to both its OS X and iOS platforms with the first major update for each, now at iOS 9.1 and OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan. The two releases focus mostly on squashing bugs large and small found in the first release of El Capitan and iOS 9, ranging from VoiceOver reliability issues to a fix to improve El Capitan's reliability with Microsoft Office 2016, along with notable bugs in Mail. In addition, iTunes has been bumped to v12.3.1, support for Live Photos has been updated, and over 150 new emoji characters have been added.
MacBooks with anti-reflective coating problems will be fixed by Apple
Apple has launched a new Quality Program that will help owners of the MacBook and MacBook Pro affected with a display issue, according to a report. Following complaints from earlier in the year where the anti-reflective protective coating on some Retina displays started to delaminate or wear off on MacBooks, Apple is said to now have an official process to address the problem, by taking in affected systems for repair.
When you can, and when you can't, teach an old Mac new tricks
Today's Pointers is sort of a two-fer on the broad topic of using new gear with older Macs (and by "older," we mean four years or older). We'll talk specifically about the inspiration for this column, the new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 -- but we'll also talk about other types of things you may want to connect to an older Mac, such as new iPhones or iPads, printers, scanners, and other gadgets. Broadly, our advice is "approach with caution," but it can often be done -- with a little bit of important prep work.
new iMacs, hard drive cloning and more
This week in the MacNN forums, the big talk has been about the new iMacs with members discussing what the new models offer and when they expect to be getting one. One Forum Regular was asking about cloning a MacBook hard drive and putting it on his Mac Mini and wonders what the downsides might be.
Exploit effective against all versions of Flash for OS X, Windows, Linux
A critical vulnerability has been identified in Adobe Flash Player by security researchers at Trend Micro. All versions for Windows, Macintosh and Linux of the problematic plugin, including this week's release, are all affected by the vulnerability. Targets of the attack can have the flaw exploited to induce a system crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected computer.
Store services down currently, no cause of downtime offered
[Update: outage has ended] Some of Apple's online services are down, for at least some users, in a prolonged attack that started around 8:30PM Pacific Time on Wednesday and is currently ongoing. Prior to that, 0.6 percent of iCloud users were cut off from iCloud Tabs and iCloud Keychain services for about an hour and 45 minutes, beginning around 7PM PT. At the time of writing, Apple's System Status page shows the App Store, Apple TV, the iBookstore, iTunes Store, Mac App Store and Volume Purchase Program are either slow or down entirely for some percentage of users.
Company also asks developer, public testers to focus on Mail
Late on Wednesday, Apple issued a fourth OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan beta to both developers and pre-registered public beta testers with the usual mix of undocumented bug fixes and tweaks, but specifically noted that testers should run the latest beta to test both Apple's own Mail program and Microsoft Office 2016, just days after Microsoft issued its own patch and a fix for Microsoft Office 2011 installs (which helped some users but did not resolve all problems) running on El Capitan.
Patch may not fix all users' problems with the productivity suite
Microsoft has issued an update to Office 2016, that appears to fix most users' crashing problems -- but not quite all. The MS15-110 security update also patches an exploit allowing for remote code execution, and a host of other fixes and improvements to the application suite.
new iMacs, El Capitan comments and more
Today with the updates to the iMac lineup and highly anticipated Retina 21.5-inch iMac, MacNN forum goers are quick to start discussing the changes to both the 21 and 27-inch models in the thread titled "New iMacs." Forum members are still talking about the latest update to Mac OS X that has been dubbed El Capitan.
A special guest, then back to two old guys complaining about things
Well, no less than 36 episodes in and someone finally agreed to come talk to us! But seriously we were delighted to welcome Macphun's Kevin LaRue, who told us about the company's photo-effects products and their exciting new abilities with Apple's Photos, becoming one of the first programs to work as "Extensions" that add abilities to Photos. Really kicks the program up a notch, and that's after the notch it got kicked up in El Capitan. We also do the usual roundup of tech news for the week, and more.
New beta is broken out with slightly different build for iPhone 6s line
On Monday, Apple seeded a new fifth beta of the forthcoming iOS 9.1 to both developers and beta testers, but with a small twist: the build number for the version for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is slightly different (13B5139) than the build for other devices (13B5137). The new update comes one week after the last one, and two weeks after the public release of iOS 9.0.2. It's not yet known if the new beta fixes issues many users with POP email accounts have been reporting about attachment downloading.
New official Apple channels on Google-owned service offer videos in local languages
Following some localized YouTube channels for Apple's videos in South Korea and Japan over the summer, four new official Apple channels -- for Spain, France, Germany, and Italy -- now offer local-language versions of Apple's recent and older videos for new products and services. Not counting the US-based "original" channel, the Japanese version has thus far proven the most popular, attracting more than 10,000 subscribers after less than three months. Of the four new European channels, France has about half as many subscribers as the others.
Testers impressed, not that screen has a textured feel to assist drawing
Artists and animators at Walt Disney's Feature Animation Studio have taken the iPad Pro for a spin, with one of them posting an account on Twitter and others broadcasting the event on Periscope. From the reports, the animators appeared to be very impressed with the iPad Pro as a drawing tool, noting that the surface has "tooth," or a bit of roughness on the surface, to aid in the tactile feedback of a traditional drawing tablet -- and that the Apple Pencil and palm rejection technology worked exceptionally well.
Forums: iPhone 6s, Apple TV and more.
With more iPhone 6s models in the hands of our forum goers, the discussion continues this week in the MacNN forums about this most recent update to the iPhone. Mac Elite "SierraDragon" asked earlier this week if there are "any expectations as to when we may be able to purchase the new Apple TV" with some saying possibly as early as the end of the month.
Company says difference is between two and three percent, disputes Geekbench tests
Apple has opted to comment on unscientific and unrealistic test results floating around that purport to show serious differences between iPhone 6s model phones using chips made by Samsung versus those made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Apple, which uses both companies to make its A9 processor that powers both the 6s and 6s Plus, says that there is very little real-world difference between the two chips, which are slightly different sizes depending on manufacturer.
New version compatible with OS X System Integrity Protection
Developer BinaryFruithas announced announce the release of DriveDx 1.4.1, its solution for SSD and hard drive health diagnostics and monitoring. The new version brings external drive enclosure SMART diagnostic testing on OS X El Capitan (10.11) -- all previous solutions are incompatible with new OS X System Integrity Protection (SIP) functionality.
Server connection issues resolved, OS X 10.11.1 beta doesn't help 2016
A bit earlier today, Microsoft issued the first of what is likely to be a series of updates to fix its products under OS X 10.11 El Capitan. First on the block is a patch for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, repairing the Outlook bug which caused crashes and the spinning beachball on connection attempts.
We call it – but the decision is close
It's been a week since OS X El Capitan was released, and still we're arguing over whether to upgrade or not. We're not saying it's the Jets and the Sharks here, not exactly, but opinions are strong -- and if voices aren't raised, then it's because we're chiefly typing at each other. Still, it's seven days in, and we've got some staff proposing Five Reasons to Upgrade while others stand behind Five Reasons to Skip El Capitan for Now. It's time to call it before Apple announces OS X Alcatraz.
App slicing issue with iCloud backups resolved
Apple has fixed an issue that prevented developers from taking advantage of "App Thinning" in iOS 9. Introduced in the latest version of the mobile operating system, the feature now allows for developers to produce apps for Apple's mobile devices that are custom for each hardware version, with applications downloading only the resources it requires and therefore using only a minimal amount of storage on the host device.
Reasons to embrace or avoid upgrading, hacks and scams, and all for science
It's now October, and all the big Apple gifts we're going to get for Xmas this year are (probably) behind us. There's just one more to open: OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Should you jump to the latest and greatest? There are reasons to do so, and there are reasons to wait, depending on your situation. MacNN Editor Charles Martin and Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele discuss the pros and cons, talk about the real differences between the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, argue whether 16GB can work on an iOS device for storage without much pain, and more.
Timetable for fix not clear. Problems span 2011 and 2016 versions
In the wake of escalating user reports over the weekend, Microsoft has issued a terse acknowledgement of problems with its software and OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Once thought to only affect Microsoft Outlook, the problems span all of Office 2011 and 2016 for OS X and range from minor graphical corruption not affecting a document, to the inability of the Office suite, as well as Outlook, to launch at all.
Teething problems abound, like any new major OS release
As predicted, every release of Apple's mac operating system brings user trials and tribulations. El Capitan has its share. While overall we're very pleased with the update here at MacNN, and have already discussed five reasons to jump to El Capitan, there are nonetheless perfectly good reasons to wait for the imminent ".1" update (which is already in beta testing). As a partial counterpoint to our five reasons to immediately jump to El Capitan, here are five reasons to wait.
El Capitan, iOS9 and more
Now that OS X 10.11 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.