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Update: Safari 4.0.2 [u]

Safari 4Safari 4.0.2 is “recommended for all Safari users and improves the stability of the Nitro JavaScript engine and includes the latest compatibility and security fixes.”

Security fixes involves vulnerabilities in WebKit described as:

  • An issue in WebKit’s handling of the parent and top objects may result in a cross-site scripting attack when visiting a maliciously crafted website. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of parent and top objects.
  • A memory corruption issue exists in WebKit’s handling of numeric character references. Visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of numeric character references.

Safari 4.0.2 update can be downloaded and installed via Software Update utility or downloaded directly from Apple’s Safari Download page (Leopard [40 MB], Tiger [26 MB], and Windows [47 MB]).

I was noticing some problems when I was using Safari 4.0 and then 4.0.1. I actually consider Safari 4 beta working much better than the final version. One of the issues I experienced involved having my Mac becoming really sluggish. This after having at least 20 tabs open at one time and made worse when I was on a site or sites running Adobe’s Flash.

I already updated to 4.0.2 and so far so good. But I can’t really say for sure since this version hasn’t gone through its paces yet.

Update:

An hour and a half after I published this post, I suffered my first 4.0.2 crash.  I had about 14 tabs open in three separate windows. I went Filipino Freethinkers‘ forums then opened two threads in separate tabs. Boom. This time there was no Flash to blame. Something is buggy with Safari 4. I hope this gets fixed soon. Hooray for History > Reopen All Closed Windows from Last Session. Bah.

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Filed under: Safari,

Mac OS X 10.6 upgrade to cost only $29

In a move that drew gasps and applause from the audience Apple announced that the next iteration of the Mac operating system, Mac OS X 10.6, will cost only $29 to upgrade.

Apple’s SVP of OS X Software, Bertrand Serlet, presented the mostly under the hood improvements and refinements of Mac OS X 10.6 on June 17, 2009 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco during the Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote presentation.

The two most important, in my opinion, are 64-bit native applications and Grand Central Dispatch, which is built in support for multicore processing. Serlet said that Snow Leopard installation will be 45% faster and give back 6GB of hard drive space.

45%

6GB

Here are some of the features presented:

  • Exposé in the Dock, and Stacks are able to handle large contents better and can open folders without leaving Stacks.
  • Finder’s Icon view now has a magnification slider on the bottom right corner which allows resizing of the icons. Live preview lets users browse PDF files or play videos while in Icon view.
  • Chinese characters (presumably as well as Japanese and Korean) can be inputed using the glass trackpad.
  • Trackpad
    Chinese Trackpad

  • Quicktime has been renamed to Quicktime X with the interface totally redone. The window title and on-screen controls fade away as soon as the video starts playing leaving a clean view of the video. The controls fade back in when the mouse pointer is moved over the video. Quicktime X also supports editing and trimming, and sharing of video via MobileMe or YouTube, or uploading to iTunes.

QTX2

For more screenshots of the refinements and new features in Snow Leopard, check out AppleInsider.

Pricing and availability

As previously mentioned, a single-user upgrade to Snow Leopard will just cost $29. A Family Pack is also available for a household with five Macs and will retail for $49.

Mac OS 10.6 will be released September 2009.

Filed under: OS X, Quicktime, Safari, , ,

Update Tuesday: Apple releases OS X 10.5.7, Safari 3.2.3 and 4.0 beta, and OS X 10.4 updates

Apple Tuesday released a slew of updates for their Leopard and Tiger operating systems as well as for their Safari web browser version 3 and 4 beta.

Mac OS 10.5.7

This update is recommended for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of Macs.

Here’s the partial list of updates and fixes:

  • Includes latest security fixes.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several third-party cameras.
  • Improves performance of video playback and cursor movements for recent Macs with NVIDIA graphics.
  • Improves the reliability and accuracy of Unit Converter, Stocks, Weather and Movies Dashboard widgets.
  • Addresses a situation that may cause issues when logging into Gmail.
  • Improves reliability when syncing contacts with Yahoo!.
  • Improves Finder search results for network volumes that may not support Spotlight searching, such as Mac OS X Server v10.4, Time Capsule, and third-party AFP servers.
  • Includes several improvements to Directory Service and Client Management, which are described in the About Mac OS X Server 10.5.7 Update article.


Also included are updates or fixes for iCal (improves reliability when automatically syncing with MobileMe); Mail (addresses reliability and sync issues with Notes); Parental Controls (improves consistency with Parental Controls and application restrictions); and printing.

For the complete list of updates and fixes check out the Mac OS 10.5.7 Support page.

You can update Mac OS X 10.5.7 by using your Software Update utility or by downloading the standalone installer:

  • Delta update requires you to have 10.5.6 (442MB)
  • Combo update lets you update to 10.5.7 if your operating system is from 10.5 to 10.5.6 (729MB)

Note: Software Update indicated a 286MB download for the 10.5.7 update on my Mac. Your milage may vary.

Mac OS X Server 10.5.7 update improvements include: AFP Server, Directory Services, Mail Service, RADIUS Service, Wiki Service, and more. Check out the Support page for more information.

Safari

Safari 3.2.3 is recommended for all Safari users and includes the latest security updates.

Updates are available for Leopard (40MB; requires Mac OS X 10.5.7), Tiger (26.29MB), and Windows XP/Vista (19.69MB).

Safari 4 beta 1 has been updated as well and requires 10.5.7.

Tiger Security Update

Security Update 2009-002 is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update. Update is available for Intel Mac users (165MB) and PPC Mac users (75MB).

Read before installing

Apple has some important reminders for users before installing any update, especially OS updates:

  • Back up your computer prior to installing any updates.
  • Quit any open applications before starting the installation.
  • Do not interrupt the installation process.
  • You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you’ve modified the operating system through other means. (This does not apply to normal application software installation.)
  • If issues occur during installation–for example, if Software Update quits unexpectedly–please see this article.

Filed under: OS X, Safari, , , ,

Safari 4 problems and annoyances

It’s been approximately 24 hours since Apple released the public beta of Safari 4 and reports of bugs and crashes have started appearing in various discussion forums and blogs.

One of the issues I had was losing support for 1Password, a password management tool for the Mac. Thankfully, this issue has been resolved with today’s release of 1Password version 2.9.9.

Aside from third-party apps issues, MacFixIt also lists startup fails, crashing of Mail, and Gmail, Hotmail and other web apps not working.

Safari 4 beta has also earned the ire of some Mac users especially regarding the repositioning of the tab bar and the disappearance of the blue progress bar. Turns out that some of these changes can be reversed by accessing some hidden preferences in Safari 4.

The blog, Random Genius, has posted a list of Terminal Commands that, among other things, can bring back the blue progress bar, return the tab bar to its original Safari 3 position, remove Cover flow and more. For the adventurous and truly desperate, check out Random Genius.

For me, I get queasy even just thinking about opening Terminal. Eventually, I’ll get used to Safari 4’s new interface. I hope. Change is good. Hope and change. That’s what 2009 is all about.

Filed under: Safari, ,

Safari 4 beta: my first impressions [u]

Apple has released Safari version 4 beta for both Mac and Windows.

I gave it a try today and I’m giving my impressions on some of the new features.

Tabs
One obvious change is the moving of the tabs to the top of the browser window instead of having it beneath the bookmarks bar. Kind of disorienting at first but I’m slowly getting used to it.

The currently used or active tab will have a lighter shade of gray as compared to the non-active tabs. If you have 2 to 6 tabs open, they’ll all have the same width. But once you have 7 or more tabs in the tab bar, the tab currently being used will be wider than the other tabs.

Each tab has on its left-hand side an X inside a box, clicking it closes the tab. On the right-hand portion is a triangle (called the ‘handle’) which lets you to drag the tab to a new location on the tab bar or drag it out of the tab bar to create a new window. I’m finding this a tad annoying as I have to focus my pointer one small area of that tab as compared to just clicking on any part of the tab to move or drag it. Then again, the handle does let me drag an open window with no other tabs open and move it the tab bar of another window, something I couldn’t do in Safari 3.

When it comes to opening new tabs, aside from the keyboard shortcut Command-T, in Safari 3 you can open a new tab by clicking on the empty space beside the right-most tab. This is an undocumented feature. This works as long as you only have about 10 tabs open. But once a window has more than 15 tabs (which I tend to have often), that empty space becomes inaccessible.

In Safari 4, Opening a new tab is as easy as clicking on the “+” button rightmost side of the tab bar. Very convenient.

One thing I’ve noticed is that I sometimes need to click on inactive tab twice or thrice to activate it. Not sure if it’s my mouse acting up or some bug in the beta.

Top Sites
Also new to Safari 4 is Top Sites, a visual representation of your most visited sites. This idea is nothing new. Google Chrome and a Firefox plugin has had this before Safari 4. Apple has made it look better and more useful though.


By default, Top Sites shows thumbnails of your most visited websites, arranged in a 4 x 4 grid in a pseudo-3D interface. You can adjust the size of the thumbnails by choosing Large (6 thumbnails), Medium (16 thumbnails), or Small (24 thumbnails).

The thumbnails can be rearranged by clicking on the Edit button found at the lower left corner of the screen. You can tack a website to one specific location on the grid by ‘pinning’ it to that location. When a favorite website has been updated, a star will appear on the upper right-hand corner of the thumbnail.

You can set every new tab or new window to open Top Sites in Preferences > General.

Full-Page Zoom
Sometimes, when reading a long article or blog post, I’l use the Zoom In option in Safari 3 to enlarge the text so that I can sit back on my chair and read. But this would often result to messing the webpage up with sentences overlapping images and putting things where they shouldn’t be.

The Full-Page Zoom feature lets you zoom in or out of the page, making the font size bigger or smaller while scaling images and graphics, preserving the layout of the page.

Full-Page Zoom tend to accentuate some of the low-quality images on a website. Full-Page Zoom didn’t work while I’m writing this post on WordPress. You can turn on the Zoom Text Only option under View in the menu bar.

Cover Flow

One more cool thing about Safari 4 beta is the use of Cover Flow when viewing bookmarks as well as history. Very nice eye candy and very useful. One issue I’m having is not because of Safari itself but with my Logitech VX Revolution’s scroll-whell ratchet mechanism which causes me to skip items on Cover Flow for every roll of the wheel. Not a problem for most users though.

Other features include smart address field, smart search field, and phishing and malware protection.

Update:
There are two other changes I forgot to mention. First, the refresh button has been moved into the URL address field. Second, the blue progress bar which indicates that a webpage is still loading has been changed into a spinning wheel which overlays the refresh button inside the URL address field. I’m still getting used to the relocation of the refresh button.

I find the Full-Page Zoom feature to be impractical when using a 15-inch, standard aspect ratio (4:3) monitor. The webpage becomes too large for the screen when I zoom in and I have to use the horizontal scroll bar to view the right side of an article. It would be a good idea to use the Zoom Text Only option.

One annoyance with Safari is when it comes to zooming in/out or increasing/decreasing font size. Ctrl-scroll wheel down results to zooming in or an increase in the font size while ctrl-scroll wheel up is zoom out or a decrease in the font size.

But for Firefox, Google Chrome, and IE, the exact opposite holds true: ctrl-scroll wheel up for increasing font size and ctrl-scroll wheel down for decreasing font size.

Apple is going against the grain on this one and their approach is counter-intuitive. Doesn’t it make more sense for scrolling up to zoom in and scrolling down to zoom out?

Under the Hood
Safari 4 is using the new Nitro Engine which lets it execute JavaScripts up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than three times faster than Firefox 3.

I think I’m noticing some spiffiness but not that much.

Safari 4 also adds HTML 5 media and offline support, CSS effects, CSS canvas, Acid 3 compliance and Speculative Loading.

Update:
CNET’s own tests show Safari 4 to be 42 times faster than IE7, 6 times faster than IE8, 3.5 times faster than Firefox and 1.2 times faster than Google Chrome. Check out the graphs and read more here.

AppleInsider looks into the UI changes and how that ties into the Snow Leopard.

Get to know more about all the features, old and new, at Safari 4 beta’s feature page.

Download it here.

Filed under: Safari, ,

Mac webshare almost hits double digit mark

AppleInsider reported that Net Applications’ compilation of web tracking data for January 2009 has revealed that the Mac OS has garnered 9.93% of web market share. This is an all-time high for operating system representing a 2.41% increase from last year’s 7.52%.

Data also shows that Microsoft at 88.26%, lost 0.42% as compared to last month and a more substantial 3.24% as compared to last year.

TUAW also mentioned that Internet Explorer now only represents 67.6% of the market share; an 8% decline from last year’s. Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome all gained this month with Safari representing 8.3% of traffic.

iPhone share is at 0.48%, just up slightly from December’s 0.44%.

[sources: AppleInsider and TUAW]

Filed under: iPhone, OS X, Safari,

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