Category Archives: Mac

macOS 10.14 Mojave: The Ars Technica review

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I ended last year’s review of macOS High Sierra by lamenting its invisibility but praising the much-needed work it did on the macOS foundation. There weren’t a lot of ways to tell that a Mac was running High Sierra instead of Low Sierra, but Apple quietly replaced the file system and the system’s window server and added (and later finalized) official support for external graphics, among a bunch of other tweaks. The yearly release cycle just kept Apple from actually building a whole lot of new features on top of that foundation.

Mojave, macOS version 10.14, takes the opposite approach. It still does some foundation-laying, especially around iOS apps, and it finishes up a few things that didn’t quite get finished in High Sierra. But it also includes the biggest and most consequential changes to the Mac’s user interface, the desktop, and Finder that we’ve seen in years; some brand-new apps ported over from iOS; new automation features; an overhauled App Store; and significant improvements to small but frequently-used actions like taking screenshots or using Quick Look.

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Telltale’s final ‘The Walking Dead’ season continues September 25th

We hope you've steeled yourself for the next installment of Telltale's final The Walking Dead season, because it's almost here. The developer plans to release the second episode on September 25th for PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One players. You can buy…

Apple takes down Trend Micro Mac apps that collected, stored user data

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Apple removed several anti-malware apps from its Mac App Store after the apps were found to export users’ browser histories. All of the apps in question are made by the cyber-security company Trend Micro, which initially denied the allegations but has since issued an apology to its users.

“Reports that Trend Micro is ‘stealing user data’ and sending it to an unidentified server in China are absolutely false,” the initial statement says.

The statement also details what Trend Micro found in its investigation: the company claims that some of its apps, including Dr. Cleaner, Dr. Antivirus, and Dr. Unarchiver, uploaded a “small snapshot” of users’ browser histories that covered the 24 hours before installation. The company claims this was done for “security purposes,” particularly to see if users had recently come into contact with adware or other threats. The collected user data was uploaded to a US-based server hosted by Amazon Web Services and managed by Trend Micro.

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Skype’s podcast-friendly call recording is now available

The Skype team is acting on its promise to make life easier for podcasters and other content creators. Call recording is now available in the latest version of Skype except for Windows 10, which will see an upgrade in the "coming weeks." The clips…

Skype drops Snapchat-like feature since people weren’t using it

Microsoft's about-face on Skype now extends to one of its not-so-subtle attempts to ride the social media bandwagon. As part of a broader app update, Microsoft has revealed that it's axing its Snapchat-like Highlights feature for mobile users in a b…

Blackmagic external GPU review: A very Apple graphics solution

Samuel Axon

Is the eGPU the future of Mac graphics? Apple wants you to think so, and, for the first time, it has worked with an outside firm (Blackmagic Design) to produce a sanctioned eGPU solution for the Mac. Simply titled the Blackmagic Design eGPU, it’s available for $699 exclusively through the Apple Store.

It includes a Radeon Pro 580 GPU with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB-3 ports, and one HDMI 2.0 port—and it’s only compatible with Macs with Thunderbolt 3 ports. When Apple first mentioned this product, it claimed that it’s easier to set up, quieter, and smaller than most existing external GPU enclosures.

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Square finally has a Lightning card reader for newer iPhones

If you have a newer iPhone, it's been a pain to take payments from magstripe cards using a Square reader — without a native headphone jack, you've had to plug in a dongle and hold it steady while you serve a customer. Isn't Square overdue for a mor…

Apple teaches photo editing with over-the-phone classes

Many device makers give you the tools to capture and edit great photos, but they seldom teach you how to make the most of those tools. Apple thinks it can — and unlike in the past, you don't need to show up in person to develop your skills. The comp…

Parallels Desktop 14 is available now for Mac, and it includes Mojave support

Enlarge / Parallels Desktop 14 running Windows 10 in macOS High Sierra. (credit: Samuel Axon)

A new version of Mac-based virtualization software Parallels Desktop was released today. Parallels Desktop 14 offers disk space efficiency improvements, faster application-launch speeds, macOS Mojave support, expanded Touch Bar support, better OpenGL graphics performance, and several other improvements.

Most people who use Parallels use it to run Windows within macOS, and the updates focus on that by improving performance and adding new features to make the two operating systems work more seamlessly together.

The key feature the Parallels team is pushing for this release is storage optimization. Virtual machines can take up a lot of space, and that can be a problem when you’re working with limited solid-state storage in modern MacBooks. This release claims to free up significant disk space in most (but not all) cases—up to 20GB in some situations. There’s also a “Free Up Disk Space” feature that will, in some cases, make it easier to pinpoint where you can achieve some savings. Some of the general space savings come from more efficient compression for states saved with the Snapshots feature.

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Skype launches end-to-end encryption for calls and texts

After months of work, Skype's Private Conversations are now a practical reality. Users on Android, iOS and desktop platforms can now switch on end-to-end encryption for both calls and text chats. If your intended recipient accepts your invitation, t…