Report: Mac OS X 10.9 Taking Page From iOS
Apple's next Mac OS X update is likely to arrive this summer, with a few updates that bring it even more in line with iOS, 9to5Mac reported.
OS X 10.9, codenamed "Cabernet," will not be a complete system overhaul. According to 9to5Mac, which cited unnamed sources, new operating system subtleties include Finder tags and a tabbed browsing mode. And, to the benefit of OS X "power users," version 10.9 reportedly allows the ability to run full-screen apps on one monitor, while accessing other desktop spaces on a second screen.
Other changes include a redesigned Safari back-end, for improved page loading, speed, and efficiency, 9to5Mac said, as well as app switching and pausing tricks, which trickle down to CPU and battery-life improvements.
The OS update seems to be more about dressing up existing features than it is about introducing new ones, which TechCrunch pointed out stays in line with Apple's recent OS X development strategy. Most alterations will be reserved for under-the-hood improvements, which won't affect users in a big way.
Mountain Lion Update Adds Facebook Integration
In addition to the launch of iOS 6 today, Apple also rolled out an update for its Mountain Lion OS, which adds Facebook integration, among other things.
With Mac OS X 10.8.2, Facebook is now baked into Apple's OS. Apple announced plans to add Facebook to Mountain Lion earlier this year, but when it launched in late July, only Twitter integration was live. At the time, Apple said Facebook would be added in a later update.
That update rolled out today, and it adds several Facebook-related options, including: single sign-on for Facebook, a Facebook option when sharing links and photos, the ability to see Facebook friends' contact information and profile pictures within Contacts, and Facebook alerts within Apple's Notification Center.
Within Game Center, meanwhile, players can share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages. Facebook friends are also now included in Game Center friend recommendations, and the Facebook "Like" button is available on games. You can also challenge Facebook friends to beat your high scores.
Mountain Lion Users Report Battery Drain
Apple's latest operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, is causing a major drop in battery life on some MacBook Pros and Airs.
Users have flocked to Apple's support forums since July 25, the day Mountain Lion launched, to lament about the issues, though it appears Apple is now looking into the problems. As of Friday, one Apple Support Communities thread about Mountain Lion's adverse affects on battery life was up to 16 pages with 233 replies. A number of other similar threads have been created.
While some users have seen battery life drops of about an hour, others claim performance has been cut in half or worse.
"I can visibly see the battery draining," one user with the handle tarpus wrote. "In fact when I first started writing this post my battery was at 96% and now, three sentences later, without doing anything else, and without having any other applications running, my battery life is at 91%!"
Users have tried to remedy the issue in a variety of ways, such as reinstalling Mountain Lion and turning off some of the operating system's new features, but the battery issues remain. Some users have seen some temporary success after resetting the machine's system management controller (SMC), but the problem comes back after continued use.
Apple caught wind of the issue and has been working with some impacted users to gather information about the problem.
"They contacted me to get info to give to their engineers," a user with the handle bleavi wrote on Friday. "Thus, I think they realize the issue and are working to find a solution. Be patient and hopefully a solution will be found."
Some users have come to expect problems following new Apple releases, and choose to wait before installing upgrades or buying new products so Cupertino can iron out any kinks. Days after Apple released the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 last year, for example, users began complaining of plummeting battery life.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Already on 3.2 Percent of Macs
Mac users have been eager to upgrade to Mountain Lion. Since its Wednesday debut, the revamped OS has found its way to 3.2 percent of all Macs, according to stats from mobile ad firm Chitika.
"With 3.2 percent of all Mac users upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion in the first 48 hours, Apple's latest operating system stands to do much better than its predecessor OS X Lion, which experienced only a 14 percent market share after 3 months on the market," Chitika said in a blog post.
The relatively low $19.99 price point and impressive upgrades probably helped drive Mountain Lion sales, Chitika speculated. Mac OS X Lion was sold for $29 last year. Those who purchased a new Mac on or after June 11 can get a free copy of Mountain Lion.
More than 45 percent of Mac users are still using Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Chitika said. About 13.56 percent are running Mac OS X 10.5, while 2.75 percent are fighting the good fight on Mac OS X 10.4. Anyone using 10.6.6 and up is eligible for the Mountain Lion upgrade.
"Those who skipped the upgrade to Lion, which had mixed reviews, may be more inclined to make the jump to Mountain Lion," Chitika said.
New Mac ‘Crisis’ Trojan Taps Into Webcam, More
Security researchers have discovered a new Mac Trojan, dubbed OSX/Crisis, which eavesdrops on unsuspecting users by intercepting communications like email and IMs.
Once installed, OSX/Crisis, also known as Morcut, can affect everything from mouse coordinates and IMs to the internal webcam and address book contents, Sophos said in a blog post.
The Trojan runs on OSX versions 10.6 and 10.7 – Snow Leopard and Lion. It does not affect the new Mountain Lion 10.8 OS, and while it might run on Leopard 10.5, it has a tendency to crash, security firm Intego said in a separate post.
Neither firm has seen Crisis in the wild, so the threat remains low risk, they said.
The Trojan arrives disguised as an Adoble Flash installer, in a file named AdobeFlashPlayer.jar. No administrative password is needed for installation, so the malware, which survives reboots, can go unnoticed by the untrained eye. Those concerned about infection are encouraged to run anti-virus software.
In April, Sophos reported that one in five Macs is infectedwith some sort of malware, which is often intended for Windows machines. Cybercriminals tend to target Apple products because users believe the machines are virus-resistant, according to Sophos analyst Graham Cluley.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Now Available
The latest version of Apple's Mac OS X, dubbed Mountain Lion, hit the Mac App Store this morning.
Apple unveiled a developer preview of Mountain Lion in February, and not too much has changed since then. In fact, as PCMag noted in our review, Mountain Lion looks like an identical twin of its predecessor, OS X Lion, at first glance.
A deeper look, however, reveals some nice tieups with other Apple products currently available on iOS devices. Not surprisingly, the revamped OS focuses heavily on iCloud and integration with other iDevices. Work on a document on the Mac and it will be automatically accessible on your iPhone or iPad.
A new Messages app - like the one available on iOS 5 - replaces iChat. Messages will be pushed to all iDevices, so you can start a chat on the Mac and pick up on your iPhone.
Two other features crossing over from iOS 5 are Notes and Reminders; any updates added on the Mac will also show up on your iPhone and iPad apps.
One of the more popular additions to iOS 5, meanwhile, was the Android-esque Notification Center. That now comes to Mountain Lion. If you receive a new Mail message, Calendar invitation, or other alert, Mountain Lion will present an alert in the top-right corner of your screen. Click it for an overview of your activity.
Apple also touted the easy sharing aspects of Mountain Lion, which allow for quick sharing of photos, videos, and other files via Mail, Messages, AirDrop, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Vimeo. While Twitter will be built into Mountain Lion, Facebook will be available in an upcoming update, likely around the release of iOS 6, which also includes Facebook integration.
Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion Coming July 25
Attention Mac users: Apple has confirmed that the next major version of its Mac operating system OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will go on sale tomorrow morning.
The news was revealed Tuesday in Apple's third-fiscal-quarter earnings release, where Cupertino reported sales of 26 million iPhones and 17 million iPads.
"We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," Apple CEO Tim Cook, was quoted in the release. "We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we've got in the pipeline."
Mountain Lion will go on sale in the Mac App Store for $19.99. It will be available to Macs running Snow Leopard and Lion.
The revamped OS includes more than 200 new features, from iCloud integration to a new silent updating option known as Power Nap, as well as 1,700 new APIs. On the iCloud front, Mountain Lion will make it easier for users to sync documents between Macs and iOS devices.
Apple Releases Mountain Lion ‘Golden Master’ to Developers
Apple on Monday shipped to developers the Golden Master version of OS X Mountain Lion, indicating that the final version of the OS, expected sometime this month, is imminent.
As reported by MacRumors, the Golden Master version is likely the final version of Mountain Lion before its official consumer release.
Apple released a developer review of Mac OS X Mountain Lion in February, and tipped a July final launch at last month's Worldwide Developer Conference.
Mountain Lion includes more than 200 new features, like iCloud integration, a silent updating option, dictation, and 1,700 new APIs. An upgrade will be available to Snow Leopard and Lion users for $19.99 in Apple's App Store.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Flashback Trojan Still on 140,000 Computers
The impact of the Flashback Trojan that hit more than half a million Macs earlier this year is on the decline, but it is still present on at least 140,000 computers, according to new stats from Symantec.
"The statistics from our sinkhole are showing declining numbers on a daily basis," Symantec said in a Tuesday blog post. "However, we had originally believed that we would have seen a greater decline in infections at this point in time, but this has proven not to be the case."
The number of computers currently infected has "tapered off," but is currently hovering around the 140,000 mark, Symantec said. Given the number of tools released to fix the issue, the firm expected "a dramatic decrease."
Last week, Symantec said it had detected about 270,000 computers infected with the Flashback Trojan, down from a high of 600,000 on April 6 and 380,000 on April 10. For more, see the chart below.