Technologizer posts about Apple OS X

Here’s More Evidence Why Mac OS Means Less to Apple

By  |  Posted at 4:57 pm on Friday, February 10, 2012

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The anti-Apple crowd loves to point out that Apple’s Mac market share, while up dramatically over the past few years, still pales in comparison to the overall PC business. What many of them miss is the simple fact that the Mac platform is less and less important to Apple as it continues to post strong sales of iOS devices.

iOS is the future, and that future is now if you believe statistics released by advertising analytics company Chitika Insights on Friday. Its data shows that for the first time, Web market share for iOS surpassed that of Mac OS. This shouldn’t be surprising considering the 133 million-plus iOS devices sold during the year.

Since September of last year, Mac share has fallen about 25 percent to 7.96 percent of Web traffic, while iOS has exploded 50 percent in the same period to 8.15 percent of the market. Where did that growth come from?

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Pauli Olavi Ojala does a good job of making the case against upcoming Apple rules–similar to those already in place for iOS–which will greatly restrict the capabilities of OS X programs that are sold through the Mac App Store:

Need to access hardware using something else than USB, for example Thunderbolt, FireWire or Bluetooth? Tough luck. (Just because these interfaces are on your Mac doesn’t mean Apple wants anyone to use them via 3rd party software.)

Need to communicate with processes that your app didn’t directly start, or perhaps take screenshots? Not going to happen.

Maybe you’d like to read and write files in a known location on a network disk? Not possible, unless you pop up the Open/Save dialog for every file.

There are two reasons not to get too worked up over the new regulations. One is that software developers don’t have to use the App Store–and software distributed through other channels doesn’t have to hew to the new policies. The other is that the sandboxing that Apple is enforcing has real benefits. (The company may say that Macs “just work,” but its sandboxed OS-based products are far more reliable than a Mac or any other old-school PC.)

If Apple ever starts to make it difficult to avoid the Mac App Store, I’ll get alarmed. (I’m already worried about Microsoft’s apparent plans to permit distribution of new-style Windows 8 software only through its app store.) But as long as the App Store is avoidable, I think we’re okay. Think of buying non-App Store apps for your Mac as being like jailbreaking your computer–except you don’t actually have to jailbreak anything.

Posted by Harry at 9:48 am

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As major operating-system upgrades go, I’ve found Apple’s OS X 10.7 to be smoother sailing than most. But Apple has released 10.7.1, an update with the sort of minor fixes that usually show up in the first update to an upgrade. The Loop’s Peter Cohen has some details.

Posted by Harry at 10:46 pm

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Apple says that a million copies of OS X 10.7 Lion were downloaded on its first day in the Mac App Store. I asked my Twitter pals who’d downloaded and installed it how the process went, and heard mostly positive reports. (And a couple of horror stories–I don’t think there was ever a new operating system that installed successfully on 100% of computers.)

Posted by Harry at 1:51 pm

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Over at TIME.com, my weekly Technologizer column is up a day early–because I decided to write about Apple’s OS X 10.7 Lion, which is now available on the Mac App Store. (Executive summary: I like it, and I love the price, a mere $29.99.)

Posted by Harry at 11:19 am

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For some folks–developers, especially–this is great news: Apple says you can run virtualized copies of OS X 10.7 Lion, as long as you’re doing it on a Mac with a paid-for copy of the operating system.

Posted by Harry at 5:04 pm

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Between Windows 8, OS X 10.7 Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud, we’ve been inundated with previews of new operating-system stuff over the last week or so–and the one thing they all have in common is that they look beyond the era of the PC as we knew it. (Even Windows 8–when Microsoft seems to be thinking in post-PC terms, you know something’s afoot.) That’s what I wrote about for my Technologizer column for TIME.com this week.

Posted by Harry at 4:15 pm

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Ten Questions About Today’s Apple News

By  |  Posted at 6:02 pm on Monday, June 6, 2011

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Almost 38,000 folks turned out for Technologizer’s live coverage of Apple’s WWDC keynote this morning. We had a good time. But as the comments came in from attendees, there was clearly a serious contingent of folks who still held out hope that Apple was going to announce a new iPhone today–and who just didn’t care that much about software and services. For them, no new hardware meant that the event was a letdown.

On Twitter, I responded this way:

This was among the most news-packed Apple events I can recall, and in its own way it was one of the most wildly ambitious ones. Apple is finally making the iPhone and iPad into autonomous devices that don’t rely on a Mac or Windows PC. It wants to store vast quantities of data for us and be responsible for safeguarding it and getting it to the right place. It’s making iOS look more like OS X and OS X look more like iOS. It’s not yet clear whether all of this stuff will pan out, and people who already bristle at Apple’s approach to the world will like this new, more fully Apple-centric version less than ever. But if you think the event was a big yawn because there wasn’t a new iPhone that was a bit thinner and a bit faster, you live in a different world than I do.

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My TIME.com Technologizer column this week is a look at the recent Mac Defender trojan attacks, and how Mac users should respond to the first really meaningful security issue in OS X history.

Posted by Harry at 11:05 am

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Coming on Monday: WWDC 2011 Live Blog Coverage

By  |  Posted at 6:29 pm on Thursday, June 2, 2011

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On Monday June 6th at 10am PT, I’ll be at San Francisco’s Moscone West for Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote. It sounds packed, packed, packed–we’ll get our last big look at OS X 10.7 Lion before it ships, and our first big looks at the next version of iOS, and the long-rumored service now known as iCloud. And rumor has it that there are occasionally surprise announcements at these events. (I’m told Jobs likes to keep them until the end.)

I’ll blog the keynote news as it happens, with color commentary from special guest Doug Aamoth of Techland. Tens of thousands of folks attended our last Apple live coverage (the iPad 2 announcement), but we’ll save room for you. Join us at technologizer.com/wwdc11–and go there now to sign up for an e-mail reminder if you like.



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The WWDC Keynote is a Go–and It’s About Software

By  |  Posted at 11:04 am on Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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We pretty much knew this already, but now it’s official: Apple’s WWDC event next week will begin with a keynote on Monday. The big news at the keynote will be OS X 10.7 Lion. And the next version of iOS. “And iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.” Steve Jobs will host the keynote. (Okay, that part we didn’t know.)

Last week, one site said that it had learned that Apple’s UK PR team was urging journalists over there to make the trek to San Francisco for the event. That site came to the “obvious conclusion” that Apple must have been planning to announce the next iPhone at the keynote. I never understood what was so obvious about that conclusion. New hardware is neat, but the biggest opportunity for any phone or tablet platform to make great leaps forward lies in in its software and services. So WWDC has the opportunity to be a huge deal even if not a single new device is announced.

I’ll have more thoughts between now and Monday morning, but in the meantime: What features would you like to see in Lion, the next iOS, and/or iCloud?



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The Mac’s Malware Problem Just Got A Lot Worse

By  |  Posted at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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Apple may have thought that its statement yesterday would get the Mac Defender mess under control. But the malware is back under a new name–MacGuard–and in a more dangerous form.

ZDNet blogger Ed Bott, who’s known more for his reporting on Microsoft than on anything Apple, has been hot on this story since the get go. He reported Wednesday that as if on cue the Mac Defender creators have released a new version of the malware application that requires no password at all to install.

See, Mac users -including myself–have accurately pointed out that basically all attempted malware for the Mac required the user to enter the administrative password. If you did that, it was your own stupid fault for getting infected. With MacGuard, it’s completely different.

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Apple has published instructions for removing Mac Defender–the malware I encountered yesterday in its Mac Protector variant–and says that it’s working on an OS X update that will detect and remove it automatically.

Posted by Harry at 4:51 pm

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Okay, Maybe This Mac Security Problem is Real

By  |  Posted at 12:36 pm on Monday, May 23, 2011

27 Comments

“A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.” I thought of that old wisecrack this morning when I encountered something I’d never seen before: a serious trojan attack on my Mac.

The attack in question was an instance of Mac Protector, a variant of the Mac Defender attack that’s been in the news this month  (my friend Ed Bott has written about it repeatedly). I was browsing in Safari and suddenly got this window, looking a bit like OS X’s Finder and a bit like iTunes (click on it to see it at a larger size):

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