Buy a Mac Now and You Qualify for a Free Upgrade to Lion

Jun 9, 2011 - 11 Comments

Mac OS X Lion Icon If you buy a Mac from now until the release date of Lion in July, you qualify for a free upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 directly from Apple. This is thanks to Apple’s Up-To-Date program, which gives users 30 days from the purchase of their new Mac to request the free update.

The free upgrade expands to Macs bought through Apple and their resellers, meaning you can take advantage of discounts offered through online stores like Amazon. The announcement was largely lost in the midst of other WWDC excitement, but was included in Apple’s press release regarding Lion:

The Mac OS X Lion Up-To-Date upgrade is available at no additional charge via the Mac App Store to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-To-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchase a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and the date when Lion is available in the Mac App Store will have 30 days from Lion’s official release date to make a request.

Technically the offer expands back to June 6, the official announcement. Outside of the Up-To-Date program, Lion costs $29.99 through the Mac App Store.

Apple also released a nice video intro to Lion that is worth a view.

Update: For those wondering, you will request the free Lion update directly from Apple. With past up-to-date promotions, you entered the Macs serial number into an online form to verify eligibility. This will almost certainly work the same, and you will most likely get a promo code to redeem through the Mac App Store.

By Jeff Hurst - Mac OS X, News - 11 Comments

Mac Running Hot, Slow, & Fans Blazing After Installing OS X Lion? Here’s Why

Jun 9, 2011 - 39 Comments

We’ve received a fair share of comments and emails about Mac OS X Lion making some Macs seem sluggish, running hotter than usual, and causing the machines fans to run at full speed. This sounded concerning, but after I went about installing Lion DP4 myself and looked into this a bit further I’m here to report there’s nothing wrong, and here’s what’s going on.

Why is the Mac running hot? The explanation is simple: Spotlight. Yup, Spotlight and it’s worker modules mdworker and mds are at it again. When you update to Lion 11A480b, whether you are upgrading from 10.6 Snow Leopard or just from Lion DP3, your Spotlight index has to rebuild itself, and depending on the Lion installation volume, this can take a while.

Mac running hot because of MDS &  mdworker

After Spotlight is done indexing though, your Mac may still be blazing away and running slower than it should. This is also normal, and that’s because right after Spotlight is done indexing the drive, Mac OS X Lion will rebuild it’s system caches by running kextcache, and this is also CPU intensive activity:


You could get away with killing the Spotlight processes, but you definitely don’t want to do this with kextcache, and the Mac OS X Manual for kextcache tells us why – “Caution: Incorrect use of kextcache can render a volume incapable of startup.” Let kextcache run or you could screw up your fresh Lion installation.

It’s hard to give a time estimate for how long these two normal system functions should take, but on my MacBook Air there was a good 20 minutes of blazing fans and sluggish performance while the CPU was consistently pegged over 100%. The time for Spotlight to index may take even longer if you did a dual boot partition scheme because Lion will most likely try and index your Snow Leopard installation as well. You can always click on the Spotlight menu to get an ETA, but it’s not always accurate and it won’t include the kextcache process.

See, no big deal. Finally, you have to remember this is a developer preview and not a final release OS. It’s clear that the excitement for Lion has caused usage and installation by a wider community than developers alone – heck a handful of my non-dev friends alone shelled out the $99 to get developer access just so they could run Lion – but I think this is adding to some of the confusion about system performance. This is absolutely not a Lion system compatibility issue, it’s normal system behavior. Just let this stuff run and your Mac will be happy.

iOS 5 Brings 1080p HD Video Playback to iPad 2, Possibly iPhone & Apple TV 2

Jun 9, 2011 - 4 Comments

iOS 5 1080p HD video playback

Even more reason to get excited for iOS 5: 1080p HD video playback looks to be coming to iPad 2, iPhone 4, and quite likely Apple TV 2. Technically at least, any iOS hardware that is physically capable of playing the 1920×1080 movies could be getting 1080p playback support in the Fall.

If you’re wondering why 1080p playback matters on small screens like the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, consider iOS 5′s AirPlay video mirroring feature. Although this is said to be an iPad 2 only option, this would create an HD capable wireless media center out of nearly all the iOS devices if the feature becomes widely adopted. You can see AirPlay video mirroring from an iPad 2 to an Apple TV2 on our list of videos of iOS 5 features.

The screenshot above shows 1080p playback on an iPad 2, and 9to5mac saysplayback is very smooth and looks great“.

Yet another reason the public iOS 5 release date can’t come soon enough.

By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone - 4 Comments

165 Classic Retro PC Games for Mac OS X

Jun 9, 2011 - 16 Comments

Oregon Trail for Mac

Update: We posted the games link under the assumption that all of the titles were abandonware or freeware, but some commenters are suggesting this may not be the case. We don’t have the resources to independently verify either claim, so we have pulled down the link. That said, you can play many of the definitely abandonware games online in your web browser at Virtual Apple IIgs. Our apologies for any confusion.

Ready to get your retro game on? Don’t miss this massive collection of over 165 classic retro PC games, they’re all free to download and they all run perfectly in Mac OS X in little self-contained DOSBox emulators.

Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - Games, Mac OS X, Retro - 16 Comments

New Mac Touch Patent Surfaces, Shows User Interface Manipulation by Touch

Jun 9, 2011 - 7 Comments

A new Mac Touch Patent

A new patent for what looks like a touch screen Mac has surfaced hot off the heals of the extended Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 demos at WWDC (PS: watch the keynote if you haven’t already, it’s a great walkthrough of both new OS’s).

This patent is a clear indicator that Apple is at least exploring the possibility of bringing touch screens to the Mac platform, or at least to a desktop OS that is more advanced than iOS. The discovery was made by PatentlyApple, who suggests that “with OS X Lion slowly adding iOS features, we may one day see such a system emerge” as fully touch capable touch screen Mac.

Diagrams from the approved patent clearly show a user interface and file system similar to that in Mac OS X that is being manipulated by touch:

Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - Mac, Mac OS X - 7 Comments

iOS 5 Includes Emoji Keyboard for Everyone

Jun 9, 2011 - 6 Comments

iOS 5 Beta includes an Emoji Keyboard

iOS 5 release includes a built-in Emoji keyboard that is accessible to anyone and is not region restricted. This is a change from past iOS releases where you would either need to jailbreak or install a 3rd party application in order to use Emoji from the iPhone, iPod touch, or iOS in general.

Emoji is a Japanese reference to emoticons, which are little picture characters that have become extremely popular as an enhancement to SMS and online communication. Outside of using emoji to convey messages, you can also use the emoji icons to create customized iOS folder names, like the camera icon alongside the folder name in this screenshot:

Emoji iOS folders

Heads up to @manda907 for discovering this.

By Matt Chan - iPhone - 6 Comments

Watch Apple’s Intro to Mac OS X Lion Video

Jun 8, 2011 - 8 Comments

Who better to show off Mac OS X Lion than Apple themselves? Don’t miss the Intro to Lion video, where Apple execs Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi show you Lion’s new gestures, full screen apps, Mission Control, LaunchPad, installing Lion through the Mac App Store, auto-save files & Versions, AirDrop Peer-to-Peer file sharing, new Mail app, and remind you that it’s just $29.99.

If you somehow missed it, Mac OS X Lion will be released in July, and a single purchase covers multiple installations on all of your authorized personal Macs, making that $30 an incredible deal. Make sure you meet the system requirements and get ready!

By Paul Horowitz - Mac OS X - 8 Comments

Apple Design Award Winners for 2011

Jun 8, 2011 - 3 Comments

Apple Design Awards for WWDC 2011

The annual Apple Design Award winners from WWDC 2011 have been announced. The awards go to apps and developers that “set the standard of excellence” and excel in design, innovation, and technical excellence.

This is the full list of winning apps and their respective developers, links go to the App Store:

Student Winners

Mac Winners

iPhone Winners

iPad Winners

Apple Design Awards 2011 Lucky winners get a MacBook Air, iPad 2, iPod touch, a cube ADA 2011 trophy, plus a lot of attention and respect from Apple and developer communities.

Congratulations to them all!

By Jeff Hurst - News - 3 Comments

8 Great Videos of iOS 5′s New Features

Jun 8, 2011 - 9 Comments

iOS 5 videos

Sometimes seeing is believing. I mentioned a fair share these iOS 5 features before but videos do some more justice than screenshots, so here’s a collection of eight great (see what I did there?) videos that show the best of iOS 5′s beta features.

We’ll start it off with Apple’s official Intro to iOS 5 video which is a nice 5 minute roundup of new features and what to expect come public release this fall. Following that up is a series of amateur videos showing off more specific features like Airplay’s wireless video mirroring, the PC free setup of first boot, Notification Center and how you can customize it, iOS 5 performance on older hardware, and more.

Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - iPad, iPhone - 9 Comments

How to Create & Burn a Bootable Mac OS X Lion Install DVD

Jun 8, 2011 - 112 Comments

Make your own OS X Lion Bootable Installation DVD

Apple announced that Lion would be released exclusively through the Mac App Store for $30. This is great because the App Store policy allows a single purchase to install on all your Macs, but what if you don’t have broadband access on all your Macs, or what if you just want a bootable installation disc? Well, you can make your own bootable installation DVD.

Creating a Bootable Install Disc for Mac OS X Lion

This is pretty easy. These instructions are born from the 10.7 developer preview but should remain identical come time for the July public release:

  • Download Mac OS X Lion from the Mac App Store ($29.99)
  • From the Mac OS X Finder, locate the Mac OS X Installation file that was downloaded, right-click, and “Show Package Contents”
  • Find and open the “SharedSupport” folder and locate a disc image file called “InstallESD.dmg”
  • Copy “InstallESD.dmg” to your Mac OS X Desktop, this is the Lion disk image and what you’re going to create the bootable DVD from
  • Now launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/), pop in a blank DVD, select the “InstallESD.DMG” file, and click on “Burn”

After your disk is done burning, you’ll be able to boot from it with any Lion compatible Mac by holding down C during boot up.

Read more »

Install & Run iOS 5 on an iPhone Without a Developer Account

Jun 7, 2011 - 28 Comments

iOS 5 bug to run iOS 5 without developer account

If you want to try out iOS 5 but you don’t have a developer account, you can do so using a crafty technique that takes advantage of a very simple bug in the Voice Over system. This has been confirmed to work on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, but other iOS devices probably don’t work.

Warning: This is reposted for informational purposes only. We are not responsible for anything you do to your iOS device. There’s a reason iOS 5 beta is limited to developers, it’s buggy, it’s hard to downgrade, and it could lead to other problems. Because this is obviously a bug, future iOS 5 betas will fix this, and your iPhone could be trapped on an outdated beta. You may lose the ability to make phone calls.

None of this is recommended. Proceed at your own risk.

Read more »

By Matt Chan - iPhone - 28 Comments

iOS 5 Jailbroken Already

Jun 7, 2011 - 5 Comments

iOS 5 beta jailbroken

Update: Redsn0w 0.9.8b1 is out to jailbreak iOS 5 beta 1, it has a tethered boot and is not intended for use beyond developers.

The good old limera1n exploit works to jailbreak the first beta of iOS 5, according to renowned jailbreak dev @MuscleNerd, suggesting a public jailbreak will be available for iOS 5b1 soon.

The pictures above were tweeted by MuscleNerd and clearly show iOS 5 beta 1 with Cydia installed alongside another shot showing ssh connecting to localhost. A later picture, shown below, shows Cydia running on the jailbroken device. This jailbreak was said to require a tethered boot on an iPod touch 4th gen.

Read more »

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone - 5 Comments

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