Category Archives: os x

Apple releases second OS X 10.10.3 pre-release w/ latest Photos app version, new Emoji, more

Photos for Mac iCloud Photo Library

Earlier this month, Apple released the first OS X 10.10.3 pre-release update to testers with a beta version of the iPhoto replacement app called Photos. Today an updated build is rolling out to testers through the Mac App Store. Apple has also released a new beta of iOS 8.3 for testers. We’ll dig in.

The build number in the latest release has raised to 14D87h from 14D72i in the initial release. OS X 10.10.3, which is expected to become available to all users later this spring, also includes changes to how and which special Emoji characters are presented. Google services users will also notice an improved sign in process.

With the new pre-release version of OS X 10.10.3 comes a newer build of the bundled Photos app as well. The first version that shipped to testers carried the build number 203.38.0 while the latest version comes in at 205.34.0 with a more streamlined experience for adding new Faces.

A new bar along the bottom of the window presents recommendations of new people to add to your Faces albums which you can vertically scroll through or minimize altogether. Previously, the process was a bit slower as it meant going through a separate window.

Photos Mac Beta

Today’s release also includes Xcode 6.3 beta 2 with Swift 1.2 (build 6D532l) and OS X Server 4.1 Developer Preview (14S1050d).

Emoji 10.10.3 Emoji 10.10.3

While we saw a preview of the changes coming to the Emoji character set in the last build, the current build includes the racially diverse character set which allows users to pick from various skin tones on several different characters.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.53.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.51.46 PM

The technology category of Emoji also sports updated iOS devices and a fancy new Apple Watch:

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 1.14.39 PM

The latest build also highlights WiFi and Screen Sharing as focus areas for testing improvements.


Filed under: Developers, Mac Tagged: emoji, icloud, Mac, OS X, OS X 10.10.3, photos, yosemite

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Rumor says Touch ID coming to MacBooks and Magic Mouse/Trackpad for Apple Pay, but there are roadblocks

Screenshot 2015-02-17 10.53.37

When Apple develops a new technology or feature for its hardware, it typically rolls it out on one product then expands it to the rest of the line. For example, Touch ID launched for the iPhone in 2013 and made its way to the iPad with the iPad Air 2 in 2014. For 2015, Touch ID may make its debut on the Mac, according to a rumor from website apple.club.tw. According to the blog, which published legitimate photos of iPad Air 2 Touch ID and A8X chip components last fall, Touch ID will come to Macs this year to enable Apple Pay functionality…

Screenshot 2015-02-17 11.03.50

The website says that the upcoming 12-inch Retina MacBook Air and a future MacBook Pro model will (curiously) integrate the Touch ID fingerprint scanner into a component above the standard trackpad. Because of a lack of space on Apple’s laptops for a dedicated Touch ID sensor, perhaps Apple is actually working on integrating the scanner into the trackpad itself. Apple has patents for integrating Touch ID into Multi-Touch displays, so perhaps this technology can expand to the Multi-Touch trackpads.

As for desktop Macs, like the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and iMac, the new report says Touch ID will be enabled for those machines by way of an upgraded Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. Because Touch ID and Apple Pay are typically tied to the main device hardware, it seems likely that new desktop hardware, in addition to the new mouse or trackpad, will be required to enable functionality.

Screenshot 2015-02-17 11.04.22

Integrating Touch ID into the Mac would bring a moderate boost to the Apple Pay market, presumably allowing users to use one-touch purchasing to buy products online. While Apple, based on its integrated approach, could launch Touch ID for Macs with Apple Pay support in iTunes, the Mac App Store, and its own online store, Apple will have to release a new Apple Pay API to enable various website-based online stores to support the feature. Touch ID’s functionality is based on a secure element component within the A-series chips in iPhones and iPads, so Apple will need to integrate such a component in future Macs and input devices to make Touch ID on the Mac possible.

Because of the roadblocks involved with bringing Touch ID to the Mac, and the lack of Touch ID references for the upcoming MacBook Air as of January, Touch ID soon coming to the Mac does not seem like a sure thing. But based on Apple’s tactics and history, it seems likely that Apple is considering bringing Touch ID to the Mac while working on technological solutions to make a rollout happen at some point in the future. Besides Apple Pay support, Touch ID would replace the standard password lock screen on the Macs, which should spur usage of security on the Mac.While today’s rumor says that the Touch ID sensor on the Mac is positioned for Apple Pay, it’s more likely that scanning to unlock the computer will arrive first.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Mac Tagged: 2015, Apple pay, Future Product, iOS, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5s, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, OS X, Touch ID, Trackpad

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Long-time NeXT/Apple Developer exalts Swift after 1.2 update

Wil Shipley, a developer whose association with Apple began with a contract for NeXT, has posted two tweets in praise of Swift shortly after Apple’s “significant update” to the programming language.

Shipley says he feels the same way about Swift that he did when he first saw Cocoa on the NeXT platform, and that Objective-C is a “crapshack” of a language in comparison.

The developer co-founded The Omni Group in 1991, one of the few companies to create apps for NeXT and eventually OS X. He won a record five Apple Design Awards while at Omni, winning three more at the second company he founded, Delicious Monster. All of Delicious Monster’s other staff were later hired by Apple.

Shipley spoke at WWDC in 2005 and 2007, and was listed as one of the most influential members of the Mac community by MacTech Magazine for two years running.

While Swift has been very well received by other developers, its rapidly-changing nature does pose some challenges. New versions are backwards-compatible, but developers have to make changes to code in order to fully support new versions of iOS.

Grab a $29 Swift Assets+ Tutorial Here or jump on Stanford’s iTunes Swift Course for free.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.32.52 AM


Filed under: AAPL Company, Developers Tagged: Apple Inc, iOS, Objective-C, OS X, programming language, Swift, The Omni Group

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OS X 10.10.3 makes it easier to login to Google accounts with two-factor authentication

OS X 10.10.3 Google 2-step

Upcoming changes to OS X will soon make setting up Google accounts that use 2-step verification with the Mac much simpler. Added in the developer beta of OS X 10.10.3 released yesterday, setting up a Google account in the Internet Accounts section of the System Preferences app now supports 2-step verification just like the web.

Prior versions of OS X including the public version available now currently require using an app specific password to set up a Google account with OS X.

The new process is much simpler as it simply requires submitting a code sent over text message or Google Authenticator rather than having to go through multiple steps to authorize OS X as an app. The change impacts setting up Google services like Gmail with the system and using apps like Calendar, Contacts, Messages, and Notes.

Support for logging in with a Google account on iOS still requires an app specific password. (Update: iOS 8.3 changes this to align with OS X 10.10.3.)

Google app passwords

The first beta release of OS X 10.10.3 for developers was released yesterday including the all-new Photos app which replaces iPhoto as well as changes to the Emoji character picker and place holders for future characters. The software update to OS X Yosemite is expected to ship to everyone later this spring.


Filed under: Mac Tagged: 10.10.3, 2 step, Google accounts, OS X, OS X 10.10.3, os x yosemite, Security

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UIKit-like framework called UXKit used in Photos for Mac

Apple released a preview version of its new Photos for Mac app to testers today, and some developers noticed a new private framework used to build the iPhoto replacement called UXKit. While Apple often uses private frameworks that never become accessible to developers, the UXKit framework is notable as it appears to be a version of […]

Apple releases OS X 10.10.3 pre-release seed to testers with all-new Photos app

Apple is rolling out the first pre-release seed of OS X 10.10.3 to testers and developers today including the all-new Photos app with support for iCloud Photo Library beta. Previously, iCloud Photo Library was only available for desktop users through iCloud.com using a web app. The new Photos app replaces iPhoto while Aperture is also no longer […]