Mac users who are looking to legitimately upgrade from 10.5.x to 10.6 (and beyond, where applicable), should be happy to know that Snow Leopard is recently available again in the Apple Store.
It’ll cost you $20 for the disk, but then you can then upgrade to later OS versions, which are available only through the Mac App Store, which was introduced with 10.6.8. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be easy to upgrade to, with a simple download-and-install. If you can only run OSX 10.7 Lion, though, you may have a little more difficulty.
Still, it’s nice to see Apple providing at least some sort of upgrade path for cautious-to-upgrade users.
It turns out that Apple wasn’t content to simply release iOS 6 yesterday; Many OS X users were treated to updates as well. Granted, many of these updates added more interoperability with iOS 6, but each of these updates also addressed ongoing problems too, so you may want to update your Mac, even if you’re not planning on moving to iOS 6.
So, let’s take a look at what was updated.
- iOS 6 – This was the biggie for the day. See yesterday’s article for more info.
- OS X 10.8.2 – A bunch of little updates, including Facebook sharing integration, Power Nap support for the Late 2010 MacBook Air, and a number of iOS 6 interoperability options.
- OS X 10.7.5 – Lion users got an actual “point” upgrade, too. The most notable upgrade here is the addition of Apple’s Gatekeeper security feature.
- Security Update 20012-004 – 10.6.x Users also got at least a little something; a general security update that covered updates for 10.7.5 and 10.8.2
- Safari 6.0.1 – This adds some security measures to protect against maliciously-coded Web pages. It’s not a separate download; it’s currently only available when updating to 10.8.2 or 10.7.5
- Aperture 3.4 - This adds Shared Photo Stream support, along with other functionality and performance updates.
- iPhoto 9.4 - adds Share Photo Stream support, enhanced Facebook capabilities, new themes, and other improvements.
- Xcode 4.5 – This added 10.8 and iOS 6 SDKs, as well as other workflow updates.
- There are also a number of firmware updates. While there’s often a list of what this firmware addresses, there are often other “undocumented bonuses” to a firmware update, so you may want to upgrade anyway. You never know what kinds of extra performance benefits Apple may unofficially add, so if you’ve got one of these machines, it’s probably in your best interest to update:
And while you’re running software updates, if you’ve got Microsoft Office 2008 or 2011, you may want to hit their updater as well, as both versions just got bumped up a little. 2008 consists mostly of stability updates, while 2011 gets Retina graphics support, as well as several updates to Outlook.
Just a quick reminder: when OS X 10.7 is released later this month, there will be no support for PowerPC applications running under Rosetta. As we’ve known for several months now, Apple has pulled support for the PPC emulation in its latest OS, so users who are using older software reliant on this technology will find that it won’t work after upgrading.
For quite some time now, Apple has been telling developers that they’d better switch over to Intel code; Power PC support (Rosetta) wasn’t going to be around forever. Apple made Snow Leopard Intel-only, but Rosetta was available as a custom-install. By that point, devs should have converted to Intel if they hadn’t already. Now, Rosetta is gone and end users need to make the choice whether to stick with the OS version and computers they have so they can run the software, or upgrading their systems and switching to another program. Article Continues…
Following hot on the heels of the 10.6.3 update, Apple has released updates to both iTunes and iPhoto ’09. In case you hadn’t heard, there’s some sort of new device being released on Saturday that just happens to work with iTunes, so you can be pretty sure that’s the main impetus behind that update.
Apple managed to slip something nice into this update for those who are happy with the iDevices we’ve got: the ability to “rename, rearrange, or remove Genius Mixes.” This is actually a pretty big deal for those with exceedingly large, diverse music collections: we had to sedate OWC Michael, just to keep him from running home to play with this new feature.
The iPhoto update seems to be related to the release, as well. Officially, the update “addresses minor issues in the area of import and syncing to iPhone, iPod or Apple TV.” Of course, there’s no mention of that new device, but… well… you know…
Bonus for those not playing in the Snow.
For those who haven’t upgraded to Snow Leopard (either because you have a PPC Mac, have software that doesn’t work in 10.6, or just because you haven’t gotten around to it), there’s an added bonus to this round of updates, in the form of QuickTime 7.6.6. All we seem to be getting with this is a somewhat vague “general reliability improvements for iMovie” and possibly some security fixes, so it’s probably a good idea to update this, too.
You can find all these updates by selecting Software Update from your Apple Menu.
For those of you who’ve been itching for the latest version of OS X to come out, your wait is over. Apple released 10.6.3 today, which includes the following fixes:
- improve the reliability and compatibility of QuickTime X
- address compatibility issues with OpenGL-based applications
- address an issue that causes background message colors to display incorrectly in Mail
- resolve an issue that prevented files with the # or & characters in their names from opening in Rosetta applications
- resolve an issue that prevented files from copying to Windows file servers
- improve performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 when running in 64-bit mode
- improve sleep and wake reliability when using Bonjour wake on demand
- address a color issue in iMovie with HD content
- improve printing reliability
- resolve issues with recurring events in iCal when connected to an Exchange server
- improve the reliability of 3rd party USB input devices
- fix glowing, stuck, or dark pixels when viewing video from the iMac (Late 2009) built-in iSight camera
You can find the full list of fixes in this Apple Knowledge Base article.
While I personally have only seen the first two issue pop up, I’ve read reports on many of the others. Let’s hope that this truly resolves those issues. You can do the incremental update by going to the “Software Update…” option in the Apple Menu, but we generally recommend using the Combo Updater, which can be found at Apple’s Web Site.