Archive for the ‘MacOS’ Category

Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac moves to Metal for DirectX 11 and more

August 13th, 2019

Today, popular virtualization software Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac becomes available to new and current users. The flagship feature is support for DirectX in virtual Windows machines via Apple's proprietary Metal graphics API. Other additions include a handful of new macOS Catalina-related features and improvements to transitions between Mac and Windows software running on the same machine.

When we wrote about Parallels Desktop 14 around this time last year, we asked about Metal support. The application then still relied entirely on OpenGL in macOS, and Apple had already announced that continued support for OpenGL would end. We were told it was coming, and we were not misled: the new version of Parallels Desktop now supports DirectX 9, 10, and 11 via Metal. Previously, DirectX 9 and 10 were supported via OpenGL and DirectX 11 was not supported at all. Parallels' rep noted to us that "Metal and DirectX work best in Catalina."

Apple's new macOS Catalina software for Macs launches this fall, and Parallels Desktop 15 supports a few of the key features of that new release. That includes Sign In with Apple, which can now be used to authenticate with a Parallels account. Catalina also means you can use your iPad as an external display alongside a Mac via Apple's new Sidecar feature—and Parallels makes this work not just for macOS applications but for Windows as well. Apple Pencil support is included for both environments.

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Posted in DirectX 11, Mac, MacOS, macOS Catalina, metal, parallels, Parallels Desktop, Parallels Desktop 15, Tech, Virtualization | Comments (0)

Apple releases macOS 10.14.6 Supplemental Update to fix sleeping Macs

August 1st, 2019
The 2018 MacBook Pro.

Enlarge / The 2018 MacBook Pro.

It was just over a week ago that Apple released macOS 10.14.6, but the company has already pushed out a Supplemental Update. Released today, the update fixes a heretofore not-widely-known issue involving sleep mode on Macs.

It seems at least some Macs have failed to wake up after going into sleep mode. The update doesn't seem to change much else. Apple's complete notes are as follows:

The macOS Mojave 10.14.6 Supplemental Update fixes an issue that may prevent certain Macs from waking from sleep properly.

While this bug did not attract widespread press or community attention, forums like MacRumors have seen some posts from users claiming they've had this issue and are hopeful this update will fix it.

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Posted in apple, Mac, MacOS, macOS 10.14.6, macOS Mojave, Tech | Comments (0)

Silent Mac update nukes dangerous webserver installed by Zoom

July 10th, 2019
Pedestrians use crosswalk in large metropolis.

Enlarge (credit: Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Apple said it has pushed a silent macOS update that removes the undocumented webserver that was installed by the Zoom conferencing app for Mac.

The webserver accepts connections from any device connected to the same local network, a security researcher disclosed on Monday. The server continues to run even when a Mac user uninstalls Zoom. The researcher showed how the webserver can be abused by people on the same network to force Macs to reinstall the conferencing app. Zoom issued an emergency patch on Tuesday in response to blistering criticism from security researchers and end users.

Apple on Wednesday issued an update of its own, a company representative speaking on background told Ars. The update ensures the webserver is removed—even if users have uninstalled Zoom or haven’t installed Tuesday’s update. Apple delivered the silent update automatically, meaning there was no notification or action required of end users.

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Posted in apple, Biz & IT, MacOS, Macs, Privacy, security, zoom | Comments (0)

Catalyst deep dive: The future of Mac software according to Apple and devs

July 1st, 2019
Twitter returns to the Mac via Apple's Project Catalyst.

Enlarge / Twitter returns to the Mac via Apple's Project Catalyst. (credit: Apple)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—When Apple revealed macOS Catalina at WWDC this month, one related announcement drew considerable interest from Mac users and developers alike: a new way to turn iPad apps into fully native Mac apps.

Dubbed Project Catalyst, it promised to increase the number of quality native apps on the Mac platform by leveraging developers' existing work in the arguably more robust iOS (and now, iPadOS) app ecosystem. But it does raise questions: what does this mean for Mac users' future experiences? Will this change the type of software made for Macs? Is Apple's ecosystem a mobile-first one?

Then there are developer concerns: is Catalyst just a stepping stone to SwiftUI? What challenges can devs expect when adapting their iPad apps for the Mac?

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Posted in apple, Apple App Store, arkit, Features, iOS, iPadOS, Mac, Mac App Store, MacOS, Project Catalyst, software development, Swift, SwiftUI, Tech, UIKit, WWDC 2019, Xcode | Comments (0)

In-the-wild Mac malware kept busy in June—here’s a rundown

June 29th, 2019
In-the-wild Mac malware kept busy in June—here’s a rundown

June was a busy month for Mac malware with the active circulation of at least six threats, several of which were able to bypass security protections Apple has built into modern versions of its macOS.

The latest discovery was published Friday by Mac antivirus provider Intego, which disclosed malware dubbed OSX/CrescentCore that's available through Google search results and other mainstream channels. It masquerades as an updater or installer for Adobe’s Flash media player, but it's in fact just a persistent means for its operators to install malicious Safari extensions, rogue disk cleaners, and potentially other unwanted software.

“The team at Intego has observed OSX/CrescentCore in the wild being distributed via numerous sites,” Intego’s Joshua Long wrote of two separate versions of the malware his company has found. “Mac users should beware that they may encounter it, even via seemingly innocuous sources such as Google search results.”

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Posted in apple, Biz & IT, exploits, MacOS, Macs, malware, social engineering, vulnerabilities | Comments (0)

If you haven’t patched Vim or NeoVim text editors, you really, really should

June 13th, 2019
If you haven’t patched Vim or NeoVim text editors, you really, really should

Enlarge (credit: unknown)

A recently patched vulnerability in text editors preinstalled in a variety of Linux distributions allows hackers to take control of computers when users open a malicious text file. The latest version of Apple’s macOS is continuing to use a vulnerable version, although attacks only work when users have changed a default setting that enables a feature called modelines.

Vim and its forked derivative, NeoVim, contained a flaw that resided in modelines. This feature lets users specify window dimensions and other custom options near the start or end of a text file. While modelines restricts the commands available and runs them inside a sandbox that’s cordoned off from the operating system, researcher Armin Razmjou noticed the source! command (including the bang on the end) bypassed that protection.

“It reads and executes commands from a given file as if typed manually, running them after the sandbox has been left,” the researcher wrote in a post earlier this month.

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Posted in Biz & IT, exploits, linux, MacOS, neovim, text editors, vim, vulnerabilities | Comments (0)

Our first-look photos of the Apple’s new Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR

June 4th, 2019
Another view of the Mac Pro

Enlarge / Okay, from this angle, it really does look like an ultra-shiny cheese grater. (credit: Samuel Axon)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Today, Apple introduced two very expensive pieces of pro-targeted hardware: the Mac Pro, and the Pro Display XDR. While we were not offered an opportunity to get any hands-on time with them, we did see behind-closed-doors live demonstrations and get an opportunity to photograph them both.

Apple is positioning these as direct competitors to the sort of video editing bay hardware that costs tens of thousands of dollars, not as mass-market consumer products. Judged on that scale, these seem like great bargains, albeit only for a few people in specialized fields.

The big surprise is the modular Mac Pro, so let's start there.

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Posted in apple, Mac, Mac Pro, MacOS, Pro Display XDR, Tech, WWDC, WWDC 2019 | Comments (0)

Apple will soon kill off iTunes and, with it, an entire era of music history

June 3rd, 2019
The new Apple Podcasts app for Mac, showing a list of available podcasts.

Enlarge / The new Apple Podcasts app for Mac. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—As part of a slate of upcoming software updates, Apple will close the door on one of its most iconic pieces of software: iTunes. The company will split the application up into multiple, more-focused apps on the Mac: Apple Music for music, Apple TV for TV and movies, and Apple Podcasts for podcasts.

iTunes—a program for managing your media library, listening to songs, and buying new content—played a key part in the digital revolution of the 2000s after it first launched in 2001. Its impact started with music. iTunes was partly credited with slowing the severe bleeding to piracy the recording industry faced amid the popularity of the MP3 boom on peer-to-peer file-sharing applications like Napster. And the program was also the home base for the iPod, one of the first of many products CEO Steve Jobs oversaw when steering the company back to success after he returned to his leadership position in 1998.

It was lauded as a powerful tool for managing your music library in that it allowed you to not only sort, manage, and play music you bought from Apple's online store, but it also let you import music files acquired from other sources and even sync them to your cloud-based library. Apple later introduced new media types to iTunes as it expanded its services and content offerings: movies, TV, podcasts, books, and audiobooks. iTunes was also the primary method for backing up, updating, and managing iOS devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad before iCloud took center stage in recent years.

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Posted in apple, Apple Books, apple music, Apple Podcasts, Apple TV, Gaming & Culture, iTunes, Mac, MacOS, macOS 10.15, MP3, Streaming music, Tech, WWDC, WWDC 2019 | Comments (0)

Apple shares its vision for macOS 10.15 Catalina: Cross-platform apps are key

June 3rd, 2019

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The next major operating system update for Apple's Mac computers will bring new apps, and a handful of quality life improvements, and most importantly, a far-reaching initiative to (at least partially) unify the app-development process across devices running iOS and macOS. This new initiative is at the heart of Apple's future macOS strategy and is a cornerstone of the newly announced macOS 10.15 Catalina update.

Here's what we learned at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference today.

Apple hopes the initiative will rejuvenate a slow-moving Mac app store and native software ecosystem. The initiative will do so by making it easier for developers for the iPhone and iPad App Store—one of the most robust software platforms in the world—to release their iOS applications on the Mac with minimal additional development time. Currently, developers have to put valuable resources into developing their successful applications for the Mac, which has a much smaller install base than iOS. It doesn't help that they then must support two completely different codebases for the entire lifespan of both applications.

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Posted in apple, Mac, MacOS, macOS 10.15, Marzipan, Tech, WWDC, WWDC 2019 | Comments (0)

The WWDC Liveblog: All the OS details from Apple’s annual keynote

June 2nd, 2019
Neon emoji and animoji images accompanied the invites to press.

Enlarge / Neon emoji and animoji images accompanied the invites to press. (credit: Apple)

At 10am PDT (1pm EDT, 5pm GMT) on Monday, June 3, 2019, Apple will host its "special event"—or as we've long called it, the keynote—to kick off the 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference. In front of an audience of press and developers, the company is expected to share details about its upcoming major annual operating system updates for iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and other products.

Ars will once again be on the scene at WWDC in San Jose, and on Monday we'll be sharing live updates throughout keynote in our liveblog—just come back here a few minutes before the event starts to follow along.

The main focus is expected to be iOS 13, the new version of Apple's software for iPhones. Previous leaks and reports have suggested a number of totally overhauled apps, significant iPad interface changes, and a Mojave-like Dark Mode. Apple will also discuss macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13. The Mac updates may focus on Marzipan, which is the codename for an Apple project to make it easier to develop apps that can be deployed to iPhones, iPads, and Mac with minimal additional work for developers for each platform. Apple introduced the concept at last year's WWDC, but we expect the big rollout to happen in some form or another this year.

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Posted in apple, iOS, live, liveblog, Mac Pro, MacOS, Tech, watchos, WWDC 2019 | Comments (0)