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Posts tagged with "lion"

Firefox 9 Beta Released with “New Look” To Match OS X Lion

Two days after the release of Firefox 8, Mozilla has made available a first public beta of the next major Firefox update, Firefox 9. As expected due to the company’s fast release cycle, Firefox 9 will follow Firefox 8 in a few weeks, with Firefox 10 likely entering initial alpha testing soon.

For the first time since the release of OS X Lion in July, Mozilla says they have included “a new look that matches the Mac OS X Lion application toolbar and icon styles”. In the release notes, Mozilla refers to these changes as “improved theme integration for Mac OS X Lion”. For comparison, we have grabbed a series of screenshots to show the differences the “new look” brings between Firefox 8 and Firefox 9 beta. It is, however, possible that haven’t spotted all the differences between the two versions yet – MacStories readers are welcome to leave us a comment if they find more visual cues to the “new look” in Firefox 9 for Lion.

Mozilla mocked up some big Lion changes a few months back, and notably Firefox still hasn’t implemented several native Lion functionalities, like natural scrolling and full-screen mode.

Firefox 9 comes with other improvements for developers:

  • Type Inference: Firefox Beta adds Type Inference to make JavaScript significantly faster. To learn more about how rich websites and Web apps with lots of pictures, videos and 3D graphics will load faster in Firefox, check out this blog post.
  • Do Not Track JavaScript Detection: Firefox Beta enables JavaScript to show developers when users choose to opt-out of behavioral tracking with the Do Not Track privacy feature.
  • Chunked XHR Support: Firefox Beta supports chunking for XHR requests so websites can receive data that’s part of a large XHR download in progress. This helps developers make websites and Web apps faster, especially those that download large sets of data or via AJAX.

You can download Firefox 9 beta over at Mozilla’s website.

Customize The Launchpad, Mission Control And Login Screen Backgrounds With Lion Designer

Since Lion launched we’ve covered a few hacks that describe how you can change Mission Control’s and Dashboard’s background, as well as how to change the background of folders in Launchpad - but most of them have required some level of manual file editing and replacement. Fortunately, developer Moritz Wette has made it a whole lot simpler to customize the look of Lion with his app, Lion Designer.

Lion Designer lets you customize the Mission Control, Dashboard, Launchpad folder and the login screen background as well as the Launchpad folder icon. The developer suggests using PNG images that are at the resolution of your screen or are images that can tile - otherwise you’ll end up with something that looks messy. Though if you don’t like how something looks after you’ve changed it, or something has gone wrong, you can easily click the reset button and Lion Designer will return it to the stock look. I gave the app a quick spin and found it worked fine, with my Dashboard now displaying the familiar and soothing linen pattern. Lion Designer is available for free, but be sure to send over a small donation to Wette if you find the app useful to you.

If you’re looking for some other apps to tweak and customise OS X Lion, have a look at these apps that we have covered in the past:

  • Lion Tweaks - Lets you turn various features in Lion on or off, examples include removing the system Window animation, disable spelling correction, enable permanent scrollbars and many more.
  • Launchpad-Control - Hide any app you want from being displayed in Launchpad
  • LaunchpadCleaner 2 - Also allows you to hide apps from Launchpad as well as some more in-depth features.

[Via TUAW]

Apple Pushes Back Mac App Store Sandboxing Requirement To March 2012

In an email to developers today obtained by iClarified, Apple has informed them that all apps submitted to the Mac App Store must implement sandboxing by March 1st, 2012. Originally Apple had told developers that the sandboxing requirement would take place this month. It isn’t entirely clear why Apple has delayed the introduction of this requirement but it does give developers a few more precious months to implement the restriction and resolve all issues that it might cause for their app.

In the email Apple notes; “Sandboxing your app is a great way to protect systems and users by limiting the resources apps can access and making it more difficult for malicious software to compromise users’ systems”. For those who aren’t familiar with the technical ‘feature’, John Siracusa has a great (and in-depth) discussion of the feature in his Mac OS X 10.7 Lion review on Ars Technica. In short, sandboxing restricts the number of actions that an app can do so that if the software is compromised, the amount of damage it can do is greatly minimised.

In Lion, the sandbox security model has been greatly enhanced, and Apple is finally promoting it for use by third-party applications. A sandboxed application must now include a list of “entitlements” describing exactly what resources it needs in order to do its job. Lion supports about 30 different entitlements which range from basic things like the ability to create a network connection or to listen for incoming network connections (two separate entitlements) to sophisticated tasks like capturing video or still images from a built-in camera.

In its email to developers, Apple also notes that if an app requires access to “sandboxed system resources”, the developer must also include justification for why it needs those entitlements when submitting the app to the Mac App Store. Finally, Apple notes that it is willing to offer developers additional, temporary, entitlements if the app is being re-engineered for sandboxing - but only on a short-term basis.

[Via iClarified, Image via Apple]

Apple Releases OS X 10.7.2

As part of this week’s iOS 5 and iCloud rollout, Apple has released OS X 10.7.2, an update for OS X Lion users that brings full iCloud compatibility to the Mac, as well as various new features and bug fixes.

From the changelog:

The 10.7.2 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. It also includes support for iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that automatically and wirelessly store your content on iCloud and push it to all of your devices.

Getting started with iCloud is easy. After installing the update, OS X will automatically present an iCloud setup panel. Simply enter an existing Apple ID or create a new one and then follow the on screen instructions. To learn more about iCloud visit

With 10.7.2, Apple is now allowing Lion machines to integrate with iCloud for email, calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks and Reading List; these items will automatically be stored in the cloud, and pushed across all your devices. As Apple previous detailed in the iCloud transition Q&A, some features of the old MobileMe service have been maintained in iCloud, such as Back to My Mac (remote access to a Mac from another Mac on the Internet) and Find My Mac, a new feature integrated with Find My iPhone that will allow Mac users to find a missing Mac by locating it on a map through or the Find My iPhone app. Find My Mac works similarly to its iOS counterpart in that owners of a stolen or missing Mac can locate it, track it, and send messages to the Mac’s screen remotely. It’s also possible to lock a Mac and remotely wipe it. Read more

AirServer 3.0 Brings AirPlay to the Mac With Full iOS 5, Lion Support

When I first reviewed AirServer for Mac back in May, what I saw was a very simple and fairly stable utility that allowed users to transmit audio, photos and videos from an iOS device to a Mac’s screen on a local network. Since the launch of AirPlay in November 2010, a number of unofficial apps and hacks have surfaced enabling users to enjoy Apple’s streaming technology on otherwise unsupported devices: AirServer aside, we’ve seen other apps to turn iOS devices into AirPlay receivers and even popular apps for the Mac adopt AirPlay’s streaming for music.

AirServer, initially released as a simple menubar app, has always been the app that aimed at bringing “AirPlay for everything” to the Mac since its first version. Whereas similar hacks from other developers focused on turning the Mac into a receiver for photos or video, AirServer has been improving on the concept of a standalone solution for sending anything via AirPlay from iOS to OS X. The app eventually made the leap to iOS for jailbroken devices, and gained initial iOS 5 and Lion support earlier this year.

With AirServer 3.0, released yesterday, the developers have completely re-engineered AirServer to fully take advantage of iOS 5’s AirPlay and Lion compatibility. I’ve tested the app last night, and it’s already working fine on the Golden Master releases of iOS 5 and OS X 10.7.2. Once you’ve installed AirServer 3.0 as a preference pane (it’s also got a new iCloud-like icon) and assigned a name to your Mac (the one that will show up in the list of AirPlay devices on iOS), you’ll be able to send music, photos and videos to your Mac. Unlike the previous versions of the app, however, support for AirPlay streaming has been dramatically improved: music never dropped on my connection, not even once, and it’s possible to send photos and music at the same time. Thanks to iOS 5, AirServer has integrated seamless streaming transitions between photos, slideshows and videos – the app supports AirPlay slideshows from the Photos app on iOS, including animations that will be displayed on your Mac’s screen as AirPlay switches between photos. The transition between songs, photos and slideshows is smooth and much more natural than AirServer 2.

The big change in AirServer 3.0 is video streaming. With the new version the developers have replaced QuickTime Player with their own video player based off Perian, which is optimized for network streaming and multiple displays. I have tried the new AirPlay video streaming with several videos from my Camera Roll, YouTube and Safari, and it’s incredibly better than the old QuickTime-based streaming. The player looks nice, but more importantly it’s fast and loads videos coming from an iPhone or iPad much quicker than before. You can use the video player in full-screen mode, or resize its window to fill a portion of the screen.

At $7.99, AirServer is a complete solution to turn your Mac into an AirPlay receiver for music, photos and videos. Get it here.

OS X Lion: 6 Million Downloads So Far, Apple Approaching 60 Million Mac Users

At Apple’s media event in Cupertino, CEO Tim Cook just announced that OS X Lion, released on July 20th, gained 6 million downloads so far on the Mac App Store, a 80% growth over the previous version, Snow Leopard. Tim Cook has also reported the iMac and MacBook Pro are the #1 desktop and notebook in the US, best representing the Mac’s 23% growth over the last year.

With the fast adoption of OS X Lion, which is sold at $29.99 on the App Store, and the popularity of the MacBook Air, Tim Cook announced Apple is nearing 60 million Mac users worldwide.

[image via]

Control Multiple Macs with Teleport

I don’t always use two Macs simultaneously, but when I do, either there’s an Apple keynote or I’m trying new apps.

That’s how I stumbled upon Teleport, a free OS X utility, last year when I needed to switch back and forth between MacBooks during an Apple keynote, and why I decided to take the app for a spin again now that’s been updated for Lion. Teleport isn’t new to Mac users – in fact, it’s been around since Tiger and it’s probably the most popular app to control two Macs on the same local network. Now that version 1.1 is out with support for Lion and multi-touch gestures, I thought a fresh mention would be appropriate.

Teleport is extremely simple in what it does, although it uses some advanced technology to accomplish it: once installed in System Preferences, Teleport allows you to move your cursor (and keyboard) between multiple Macs. Teleport recognizes Macs “shared” on the same network, and through a system similar to Apple’s “hot corners” and based on Bonjour, it lets you “teleport” the mouse across screens.

Shared Macs that have Teleport activated in the settings will show up with their respective desktops in the app’s panel; you can arrange Macs placing them next to a main computer’s screen so you’ll remember how to switch displays, and configure options in a dedicated sub-menu. These options include handy things like “switch only if key is pressed” or “share pasteboard”. In this latest version of Teleport you can assign a keyboard shortcut to switch to another Mac, and Lion’s gestures are fully supported so you’ll be able to perform three-finger swipes and other Mission Control trickery on a Mac running Lion.

When controlling my iMac through my MacBook Air’s trackpad and keyboard, I was able to drag & drop files using Teleport, and have the contents of the pasteboard from my MacBook Air automatically synced on my iMac. There are several utilities to control how the pasteboard is shared and synced across local Macs, but Teleport manages to make the whole process “invisible” in a package that also happens to do much more.

For instance, Teleport supports encryption for file transfers, and you can read more about it on Abyssoft’s website and the ReadMe file included in the download. Long story short: you can generate your own certificate to activate encryption and it’s even easier if you already have a .Mac account. Also in Teleport’s settings, you can enable a menubar item, bezel, and sound notifications. The sound effect is particularly neat when you switch between Macs, as it really gives you the sense of something “travelling” between two spaces (Teleport also displays a quick animation at the side of your screen). Control requests are also handled well between shared Macs, with options to “ask me if host can be trusted”, “reject if host not already trusted” and “automatically accept”. If you leave Teleport always running, when a shared Mac comes back online a red indicator will flash on the previously configured side of the screen.

Version 1.1 includes a few more features like:

  • Host specific options: you can define the switching and sharing options per host, to have different settings.
  • Propagated options: the options you set for a host also apply when coming back from it.
  • Full multi-screens support: all screens of shared Macs are now visible, so pairing a secondary screen is much easier than before.

Teleport isn’t new, but it’s nice to see the app working well on Lion with gestures and multiple displays. If you happen to control multiple Macs every once in a while, give Teleport a try. It’s a free download (and make sure to donate if you really like it).

RestoreMeNot Disables Lion’s Resume For Individual Apps

One of Lion’s biggest changes for geeks and average OS X users alike has been its Resume functionality, which combined with Auto-Save ensures your documents are always saved in the background, and their application windows restored after you reboot your Mac, or quit an app. Whilst Lion’s window restoration may come in handy if you don’t want to lose your Safari browsing session or writing point in TextEdit, the opposite can also be true: automatic window restoration can be annoying for scratch documents that you don’t want to see again, in apps that perhaps you think should always start up fresh and uncluttered.

In our OS X Lion review, we detailed how it’s possible to decide to “quit and discard windows” every time by pressing the Option key alongside the usual CMD+Q combination – but wouldn’t it be nice to automatically disable window restoration forever in a specific app? In the days following Lion’s release, a number of Terminal hacks surfaced indicating that it was indeed possible to disable window restoration on an app-by-app basis. RestoreMeNot, a free System Preferences panel covered by Lifehacker earlier today, gives these Terminal hacks a graphical user interface that lets you choose apps you don’t want to restore windows with.

The app is extremely simple. Once installed, it’ll ask you for apps from your Finder. In my workflow, I always find myself hitting Command+Option+Q to quit and discard windows in Preview and OmniOutliner, so I might as well add them and go back to my usual Command+Q shortcut. RestoreMeNot does exactly this – it basically overrides the standard “Quit” command with “Quit and Discard Windows” and it’ll make sure your selected apps will launch window-free when possible (TextEdit, for instance, will create an “Untitled” document every time). Don’t worry though – this won’t disable auto-save: I tried with TextEdit, and whilst its windows wouldn’t be restored, the contents of a modified document were still correctly saved by Lion.

If you’re looking for a more advanced way to tweak your OS X Lion’s behavior, TinkerTool recently added an option to individually control Resume for apps as well. You can download RestoreMeNot for free here.

DaisyDisk Gets Lion Update with Full-Screen, FileVault 2 Support

DaisyDisk is a beautiful Mac app to monitor available space on your computer’s internal and external drives, allowing you to see what’s eating up your drive’s GBs (or TBs) and easily remove it. I’ve taken a look at how DaisyDisk fits in my backup workflow before, as well as the new features and design changes introduced in version 2.0, a major update released earlier this year.

With version 2.1 released today, DaisyDisk gets more Lion-friendly with support for full-screen mode, and FileVault 2. For those unaware of Apple’s new whole-disk encryption system for OS X Lion, you can read more in my review of the 13-inch MacBook Air, where I also ran some tests to compare a FileVault-less OS X installation versus one with encryption enabled. With FileVault 2 support, DaisyDisk is now capable of scanning and deleting files off encrypted drives, such as the one on my personal iMac. As you can see in the screenshots, my Mac HD shows up as “encrypted startup disk” in the main list of available drives, yet scanning it doesn’t reveal any difference from external, non-encrypted drives as far as the user experience goes. I was able to navigate between folders and drives, delete files, and rescan as administrator, although I haven’t been able to verify the “basic support for Resume” mentioned in this update’s changelog. The release notes also indicates a few bugs have been fixed, and graphical elements tweaked to make navigation more intuitive.

DaisyDisk 2.1 is available on the developers’ website both as $19.95 purchase and free trial. The DaisyDisk team, however, is running a limited-time 50% off promotion on the Mac App Store, where you can get the app at $9.99. Read more