• Ar chevron_right

    Growl, once a staple of the Mac desktop experience, has been retired / ArsTechnica · Monday, 30 November, 2020 - 19:35

A Growl notification.

A Growl notification. (credit: Aurich Lawson )

Growl , a key part of the Mac desktop experience for 17 years, is being retired. Christopher Forsythe, who acted as the lead developer for the project for years, announced the retirement in a blog post on Friday.

Launched in 2004, Growl provided notifications for applications on Macs (it was also offered for Windows) before Apple introduced its own Notification Center. Notification Center was added to macOS (then styled Mac OS X) in the Mountain Lion update in 2012, but it first debuted on iOS a year earlier.

Here's a snippet of Forsythe's announcement:

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • Ar chevron_right

    Mac mini and Apple Silicon M1 review: Not so crazy after all / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 14:03

Apple is crazy, right? The Mac just had its best year of sales ever, and Cupertino is hitting the platform with a shock like it hasn’t had in nearly 15 years—back in a time when the Mac was not having such a good year. Apple is beginning the process of replacing industry-standard Intel chips with its own, custom-designed silicon.

In a way, we're not just reviewing the new Mac mini—a Mac mini is always a Mac mini, right? We're reviewing an ARM-based Mac for the first time. And this is not exactly the same story as all the other ARM machines we've looked at before, like Windows 10 on ARM—a respectable option with some serious tradeoffs.

Sure, longer battery life and quick waking from sleep are already out there on other ARM computers. But as you may have seen in our hands-on earlier this week , what we're encountering here is also a performance leap—and as you'll also see in this review, a remarkable success at making this new architecture compatible with a large library of what could now, suddenly, be called legacy Mac software.

Read 84 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • Ar chevron_right

    Apple lowers its cut of App Store revenues for some developers / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 18 November, 2020 - 17:20

Screenshot of App Store icon.

Enlarge / Apple's App Store. (credit: Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images )

In one of the biggest changes to the App Store model ever, Apple today announced that the majority of third-party developers releasing apps and games on the company's App Store will see a reduction in Apple's cut of revenues from 30% to 15%. The company calls it the App Store Small Business Program, and it aims to improve the company's standing in public perception and antitrust battles while minimally impacting its own bottom line.

The program is opt-in, and any developer whose combined revenue across all their apps was less than $1 million in the previous year (or any developers new to the App Store) can apply and be accepted. The revenue measure at play here includes not just app purchases, but in-app purchase (IAP) and subscriptions revenue.

If during the course of the year the developer surpasses the $1 million threshold, the 30% rate will kick back into effect for the remainder of that year. If the developer falls below the threshold again, they'll receive the 15% rate once more the following year.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • Ar chevron_right

    Apple lets some Big Sur network traffic bypass firewalls / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 17 November, 2020 - 20:48 · 1 minute

A somewhat cartoonish diagram illustrates issues with a firewall.

Enlarge (credit: Patrick Wardle)

Firewalls aren’t just for corporate networks. Large numbers of security- or privacy-conscious people also use them to filter or redirect traffic flowing in and out of their computers. Apple recently made a major change to macOS that frustrates these efforts.

Beginning with Big Sur released last week, some 50 Apple-specific apps and processes are no longer routed through firewalls like Little Snitch and Lulu. The undocumented exemption came to light only after Patrick Wardle, a security researcher at a Mac and iOS enterprise developer Jamf, disclosed the change over the weekend.

“100% blind”

To demonstrate the risks that come with this move, Wardle—a former hacker for the NSA—demonstrated how malware developers could exploit the change to make an end-run around a tried-and-true security measure. He set Lulu to block all outgoing traffic on a Mac running Big Sur and then ran a small programming script that interacted with one of the apps that Apple exempted. The python script had no trouble reaching a command and control server he set up to simulate one commonly used by malware to receive commands and exfiltrate sensitive data.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • Ar chevron_right

    macOS Big Sur launch appears to cause temporary slowdown in even non-Big Sur Macs / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 12 November, 2020 - 22:34

A promotional image for macOS Big Sur.

Enlarge / A promotional image for macOS Big Sur.

Mac users today began experiencing unexpected issues that included apps taking minutes to launch, stuttering and non-responsiveness throughout macOS, and other problems. The issues seemed to begin close to the time when Apple began rolling out the new version of macOS, Big Sur—but it affected users of other versions of macOS, like Catalina and Mojave.

It didn't take long for some users to note that trustd —a macOS process responsible for checking with Apple's servers to confirm that an app is notarized—was attempting to contact a host named but failing repeatedly. This resulted in systemwide slowdowns as apps attempted to launch, among other things.

Users who opened Console and filtered to find the error encountered numerous successive errors related to trustd , as pictured below.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • Ko chevron_right

    Lunar – Réglez la luminosité de vos écrans externes automatiquement (Mac) / Korben · Tuesday, 6 October, 2020 - 07:00

Si vous êtes sous Mac et que vous avez plusieurs écrans externes, il est possible grâce à l’application Lunar de synchroniser la luminosité et les contrastes de vos écrans.

Vous pouvez le faire manuellement à l’aide de l’interface (mode « Manual « ) ou de raccourcis clavier, vous pouvez également utiliser un mode « sensor » qui utilise un capteur extérieur pour mesurer le taux de lumière ambiante et ainsi régler au mieux la luminosité de vos écrans.

Un mode « Location » est également disponible pour ajuster vos écrans en fonction de la journée. Levée du jour, ensoleillement, coucher du soleil…etc. afin de ne pas vous cramer les neuneuils.

Enfin, le mode le plus cool, c’est le mode « Sync » qui permet de synchroniser vos écrans externes sur le paramétrage automatique de votre écran de MacBook ou d’iMac. Cela permet de profiter des fonctionnalités d’Apple sur la luminosité automatique et de répercuter les changements sur vos autres écrans externes.

Lunar permet également d’améliorer la visibilité en termes de contrastes et de luminosité uniquement lorsque certaines applications sont utilisées, comme VLC par exemple.

  • Ar chevron_right

    Apple releases macOS Catalina 10.15.7, possibly the last Catalina update / ArsTechnica · Friday, 25 September, 2020 - 18:45

No operating system is an island, but macOS Catalina is named after one.

Enlarge / No operating system is an island, but macOS Catalina is named after one. (credit: Apple )

Earlier this week, Apple released updates for iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS—but nothing for macOS. Usually, Cupertino updates all its operating systems at once, but we're in an odd place right now with new annual releases of the former three making their way to users' devices while macOS Big Sur still sits an indeterminate amount of days away.

However, Apple nonetheless followed up today with an update for macOS Catalina labeled 10.15.7. It's likely the last update to Catalina before Big Sur is released. The company also released new versions of Final Cut Pro X and iMovie for the Mac.

The Catalina update is a modest one that fixes three bugs: a graphics-related problem on new iMacs with Radeon Pro 5700 XT graphics cards, a bug that prevented automatic connection to WiFi networks, and an iCloud Drive syncing issue.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

  • Ar chevron_right

    Final Cut Pro 10.4.9 adds new remote workflows for a COVID-19 world / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 26 August, 2020 - 18:18

Apple has released a major new update to its Final Cut Pro X video editing application. Labeled Final Cut Pro 10.4.9, the update is focused primarily on improving workflows for proxy files to make teams working together remotely—obviously a common situation amid the COVID-19 pandemic—more efficient.

Additionally, the new update includes a machine learning-driven feature that automatically crops vertical aspect ratios (like you see in TikTok or Instagram videos on mobile phones) from widescreen footage, plus Apple has included some other improvements and features.

The company also updated iMovie, its mass-market consumer video editing software, to version 2.2.10 on iPadOS and iOS, and version 10.1.15 on macOS. These updates include stability improvements and bug fixes, as well as additional filters. The iOS and iPadOS versions get three new filters: Comic, Comic Mono, and Ink.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments