Tuesday
Feb282012

Apple Releases EFI Firmware Updates for Mac Mini, iMac, MacBook Air and Pro

Apple has released new firmware updates for the full range of Macs released in 2011, which apparently all fix the same issues. 

This update improves the reliability of booting from the network, addresses an issue that can prevent HDCP authentication after a reboot, and resolves an issue with boot device selection when a USB storage device is hot-plugged.The software updates are: 


Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.6 - Mac mini (Mid 2011) 

iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.9 - iMac (Early 2011) 

MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.4 - MacBook Air (Mid 2011) 

MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.7 - MacBook Pro (Early 2011) and (Late 2011)

Tuesday
Feb282012

Apple Releases iMac Wi-Fi Update v1.0

Apple has released an update for all iMacs, Late 2009 or newer. It requires OS X Lion 10.7.3.

This update resolves an issue that may cause an iMac to not automatically connect to a known Wi-Fi network after waking from sleep. 

It is recommended for all iMac (Late 2009 or newer) users running 10.7.3.

Weighing in at 25.81MB, the update can be downloaded from Apple's software update page.

 

Tuesday
Feb282012

Inside OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: a Preview of how Apple is enhancing the file system with iCloud

 Written by Apple Insider

Preview, Apple's simple, utilitarian image and PDF viewer, offers insight into how the company plans to deeply integrate iCloud into apps and simplify and improve file management in general in this summer's release of OS X Mountain Lion.

iCloud was a top billed feature of OS X 10.7 Lion, replacing MobileMe and adding Photo Stream, Find My Mac and early support for Documents & Data

In Mountain Lion, iCloud adds new support for configured Accounts sync between systems, and enhances Back to My Mac with automated troubleshooting fixes. As pictured below, iCloud's System Preferences pane now offers to automatically enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol on your AirPort base station to make sure BTMM will work as intended. 

The evolution of iCloud 

Prerelease builds of Mountain Lion indicate Apple has been experimenting with how to add iCloud features to its own apps, including the simple Text Edit. Initially, iCloud was simply added as the default location for new files (if a user was signed into the service). When you save a Text Edit document, iCloud appears as an alternative location, despite being nowhere on the real local file system. 

 

This behavior is similar to how iDisk worked, and also similar to using a remote file server. Among other Mountain Lion apps however, support for iCloud is far more sophisticated and simplified, with a strong resemblance to iOS. A key example of how it works is visible in Preview.

Preview not only shows off how Apple is rethinking the toolbar, it also demonstrates how the company wants apps to access documents saved to iCloud. In the open file dialog below, Preview presents two options: the default, graphical iCloud window showing files in Preview's App Library of documents saved on iCloud (below top), and the standard file system available by clicking On My Mac (below bottom).

ICloud is more than remote storage 

While often compared to Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive or other cloud storage services, iCloud is a package of unique offerings that goes far beyond offering just web-based file storage. Apple introduced iDisk for Mac users back in 2000, allowing simple remote internet storage of files. There's nothing new about that.

One major new difference with iCloud it that ties documents with their application. This is similar to how iOS stores apps' files within the apps' own sandbox. When iOS or Mac apps save files to iCloud, they're similarly protected within that app's private library of documents. 

This prevents rogue apps from accessing, erasing or modifying your data. While viruses aren't a problem for Macs today, there is malware users can inadvertently install on their own or be tricked to open. Without the kind of app-level security iCloud provides, these could damage or spy on your data. 

In that sense, iCloud offers apps' documents a new level of security from other, potentially dangerous apps similar to the way file permissions work on a user level to protect all of a user's files from other, potentially dangerous users who might access the system (including a remote attacks).

Monday
Feb272012

Apple Airs New 'iCloud Harmony' Commercial

Apple today released a new iPhone 4S commercial focusing on iCloud. Entitled "iCloud Harmony", the ad offers no voiceover and instead utilizes a series of fast-paced cuts to show music, photos, calendars, apps, contacts, and books all automatically syncing among Macs, iPads, and iPhones. 
It is also being featured on Apple's main homepage, it ends with the tagline
"Automatic. Everywhere. iCloud."
Monday
Feb272012

New Apple Store In Perth

Perth is reportedly getting a second Apple Store in fall, and according to insiders the outlet is planned for construction in the affluent suburb of South Perth which is a 10 minute drive from the region's existing store.

Because the town of lacks a large mall or shopping district, it is thought that Apple will build the storefront on one of the area's main thoroughfares. 

The South Perth location is approximately 1,700 miles away from the next-nearest Australian Apple Store in Melbourne and will serve the city's 38,000 residents as well as surrounding areas.

Based on current construction plans, the store could open by September.