Apple Discontinuing Messages Beta for Lion on December 14th

This Friday, Apple notified customers that the company will be  discontinuing the Messages Beta program for Lion on December 14th, 2012:

Dear [User],

The Messages Beta program for Lion will end on Friday, December 14, 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to preview Messages.

If you’d like to continue using Messages, upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store. Messages is one of many great new apps and features built right into OS X Mountain Lion. Learn More.

Thank you for your participation in the Messages Beta program.

The email also mentions that in order to continue to use Messages,users must upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion. OS X Mountain Lion is available for $19.99 on the Mac App Store  [Direct Link].

Messages app is Apple’s iMessage client for the Mac. The client also replaces iChat in OS X Mountain Lion.

Apple Removes Links to Messages Beta for OS X Lion

Earlier this year, we reported that a public iMessage beta for OS X Lion was made available. Today, Cult of Mac notes that Apple has now removed references for Messages for Mac beta. However, Apple has removed the download entirely. It is still available for download via this link.

The company hasn’t specified how long it will be available for download, but text strings within the app earlier have suggested that the app won’t expire once OS X Mountain Lion is released and Messages will be a Mountain Lion exclusive. Users of Messages beta for Lion have reported of many bugs and issues, but it seems that Apple is working on to fix that in the final version as it plans to include the app with OS X Mountain Lion. I have personally experienced many issues with the beta too.

OS X Mountain Lion will be available later next month and is priced at $19.99 through the Mac App Store. Users of Snow Leopard and Lion will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion for the same price.

Apple Releases OS X Lion 10.7.4

Today, Apple has released OS X Lion 10.7.4, the fourth maintenance update for OS X Lion. The update is available via Software Update and Apple’s download pages.

The 10.7.4 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac including fixes that:

– Resolve an issue where the “Reopen windows when logging back in” setting is always enabled
– Improve compatibility with certain British third-party USB keyboards
– Address an issue that may prevent files from being saved to a server
– Improve the reliability of copying files to an SMB server

More information regarding the update can be found here. The update also includes a fix the password security hole detailed earlier this week.

An issue existed in the handling of network account logins. The login process recorded sensitive information in the system log, where other users of the system could read it. The sensitive information may persist in saved logs after installation of this update. See for more information about how to securely remove any remaining records. This issue only affects systems running OS X Lion v10.7.3 with users of Legacy File Vault and/or networked home directories.

The versions include:

– OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Client) (692.68 MB)
– OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Client Combo) (1.4 GB)

– OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Server) Client (738.71 MB)
– OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 (Server) Combo (1.49 GB)
– Server Admin Tools 10.7.4 (212.4 MB)

In addition, Apple has also released a Security Update 2012-002 to bring security fixes to users running systems with Mac OS X Snow Leopard:

– Security Update 2012-002 (Snow Leopard) (238.73 MB)
– Security Update 2012-001 Server (Snow Leopard) (258.11 MB)

The company also has released a Safari 5.1.7 update containing several improvements including disabling out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player for security reasons.

Apple Working on Software to Detect and Remove Flashback Trojan

Mac OS X is known to be repellent from viruses and Trojans for a long time now, but since the popularity of Mac has grown, virus creators have started to target the OS with new viruses. Just last week it was reported that a Flashback Trojan had infected 600,000 Macs.

Today, Apple has published a support document regarding the Flashback trojan that affects OS X computers, as noted by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop. Last week, a Java update was released to fix the security flaw that the virus was attacking. While 3rd party tools have been developed to test for the infection, Apple reveals they are working on their own tool to detect and remove the software.

In addition, Apple is working with ISPs worldwide to disable the servers that send commands to the malware. Apple also advises Macs running OS X 10.5 or earlier to disable Java in their browser preferences.

Apple Releases Public iMessage Beta for OS X

I love using iMessage and one functionality that it lacked was the ability to sync with your Mac, but now Apple has changed that. In addition to today’s OS X Mountain Lion news, Apple has released a public beta version of its new Messages app for OS X for existing users. About time, don’t you think? iMessage was one of the biggest features of iOS 5, and it allows users to chat across multiple devices using the same interface that’s used for SMSes. Something which Android still lacks till this day. The best part? While SMS costs additional money, iMessage does not. It is offered for free!

OS X Messages

The new Messages app includes the features of iChat and FaceTime and adds compatibility with the features of iMessage introduced for iOS last year. You can download Apple’s iMessage beta for free via their download page. It should be noted that you need to make sure the latest version of OS X is running on your Mac. The app also supports AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.

Download Messages Beta and get a taste of what’s coming in OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work. And Messages brings iMessage to the Mac — just like on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 5. Here are the features you can expect with Messages:

– Send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
– Start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
– Send photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations, and more.
– Launch a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation face-to-face.
– Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.

I have been using the app for a few hours now and it is incredibly simple to use and simply awesome. Like I said, about time!

Apple Releases First Developer Preview of OS X Mountain Lion

OS X Mountain Lion Macs

Whoa! That was a bit unexpected from Apple. Today, the company has announced that it has released the first developer preview of the company’s next-generation operating system, called OS X Mountain Lion. Surprisingly, OS X Lion was only released less than a year ago. This release will bring over a 100 new features, including many that already exist in iOS. For example, features such as Messages, Notes, Reminders, Game Center, Notification Center, Twitter integration, and AirPlay Mirroring. If we take a look into this further, it really is brilliant on what the company is doing with their ecosystem. They are combining iOS and Mac into one OS. No more fragmented OSes and versions like Windows!

“The Mac is on a roll, growing faster than the PC for 23 straight quarters, and with Mountain Lion things get even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The developer preview of Mountain Lion comes just seven months after the incredibly successful release of Lion and sets a rapid pace of development for the world’s most advanced personal computer operating system.”

In addition, OS X Mountain Lion offers deeper integration with iCloud  to automatically configure services like Mail, FaceTime, and Find My Mac, while iCloud Documents handles automatic push syncing of documents across devices. Yup, this is also brilliant. Why? Because Apple has essentially made cloud computing popular among average consumers without them actually realizing it. Also, The Verge points out that the company has officially dropped “Mac” name from OS X Mountain Lion.

OS X Mountain Lion will be made available to the public in late summer.


Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.7.2 Update with iCloud Support

Lion 10.7.2

Earlier today, Apple released iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. In addition, Apple has also released  Mac OS X 10.7.2 with iCloud support. The update is available via Software Update and  is labeled version 11C74, and is a 435.5MB download.

Apple has said that  the 10.7.2 update is recommended for all users of OS X Lion, and includes general operating system fixes designed to improve the stability, compatibility and security of their Mac.  The 10.7.2 update also includes Safari 5.1.1. In addition, other operating system fixes and improvements detailed below:

  • Allow reordering of desktop spaces and full screen apps in Mission Control.
  • Enable dragging files between desktop spaces and full screen apps.
  • Improve the compatibility of Google contact syncing in Address Book.
  • Address an issue that causes Keynote to become temporarily unresponsive.
  • Improve VoiceOver compatibility with Launchpad.
  • Address an issue that causes a delay in accessing the network after waking from sleep.
  • Enable booting in to Lion Recover from a locally attached Time Machine backup drive.
  • Resolve an issue that causes screen zoom to stop working.
  • Improve Active Directory integration.
The release notes also declare that    iCloud is “a breakthrough set of free cloud services that automatically and wirelessly store your content on iCloud and push it to all of your devices.” Apple also released  Lion Recovery Update 1.0 which addresses an issue with Find My Mac when using a firmware password.

Rumor: Apple is Building iMessage into OS X Lion’s iChat

iOS iMessageThis year at WWDC, Apple unveiled a new service called “iMessage”. iMessage is a a unified messaging service for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that allows users to send text and multimedia messages over Wi-Fi and 3G with read and delivery receipts and real-time typing indication. It is also  one of the major new features of the upcoming iOS 5 update. Currently, iMessage is not integrated into iChat.

A developer has discovered strings of code for “timeDelivered” and “timeRead”, which has led MacRumors to speculate that Apple could eventually bring support for its iMessage protocol to iChat.

Buried in the framework of OS X Lion’s iChat, are two new properties (highlighted below):

@interface IMMessage : NSObject
IMHandle *_sender;
IMHandle *_subject;
NSAttributedString *_text;
NSString *_plainBody;
NSDate *_time;
NSDate  *_timeDelivered;
NSDate  *_timeRead;

According to MacRumors, the “timeDelivered” and “timeRead’ fields indicate the tracking of delivery and read receipts for instant messages. Currently, these  features are not supported in any of iChat’s native messaging protocols, while the same features are offered in Apple’s iMessage protocol. In addition, these properties were not present in  previous versions of iChat prior to OS X Lion.

We believe the only reason Apple would have added these properties was to build in cross compatibility with their new iMessage protocol.

Apple is expected to release iOS 5 this fall. In addition, Apple is expected to send out invites for an upcoming fall event soon.

Mac OS X Install Base Grows to over 6% Worldwide, 13% in the US

New data from NetMarketShare reveals that Mac OS X has been steadily growing the global charge. In May, OS X’s share rose from 5.6% to 5.67% and 5.96% in June and July, separately. By the end of the last month, it had reached 6.03% worldwide and 13.42% in the US.

In the meantime, combined versions of Microsoft’s Windows OS continued to lead the worldwide market with a 92.90% share at the end of August. Linux had 1.07% putting it in third place.

Apple’s latest desktop operating system, OS X Lion, already accounts for 1.03% share  of the overall market compared to 1.17% for Leopard and 3.46% for Snow Leopard. These figures are based on a sample of 160 million internet visitors that Net Applications says it tracks. In addition, Leopard and Snow Leopard’s marketshare dropped from 1.24% and 4% as users upgraded to Lion. Mac OS X’s combined share still rose still rose from 5.96% to 6.03% due to the sales of the new Mac models.

NetMarketShare Mac 3

Lion’s adoption among consumers has significantly improved when compared with the Snow Leopard upgrade.  The latter claimed just 0.78% share after its first month and passed 1% only during its second month of sales, despite being priced, like Lion, at $29.99.

A day after Apple released OS X Lion, the company announced that it had sold 1 million copies of the software,  making it the most successful operating system launch in its history.

Apple Begins Selling $69 OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive

After many rumors and speculation, Apple has finally released its OS X Lion USB thumb drive. Since OS X Lion is only available via the Mac App Store, the thumb drive is intended for users without a broadband connection.

OS X Lion Thumb Drive

9To5Mac reports that the thumb drive is available for purchase via Apple’s online store for $69. Apple had pre-annnouced that they would be making the USB stick available for purchase back in July. The USB stick comes loaded with the OS X Lion installation without any need to download it over the internet.

OS X Lion is available on a USB thumb drive for installation without the need for a broadband Internet connection. Just plug the drive into your USB port and follow the instructions to install. OS X Lion is also available for a lower price as a digital download from the Mac App Store.

For $69,00, the  USB thumb drive costs $39.01 more than the version through the Mac App Store. OS X Lion is still available through the    Mac App Store for $29.99.