Apple Releases iTunes 12.3.1 With Stability and Performance Improvements

Along with updates for iOS, OS X, and watchOS 2, Apple today released a new version of iTunes, iTunes 12.3.1. The update is a minor one, with the release notes only saying it improves overall stability and performance.

The iTunes update can be downloaded from the software update function in the Mac App Store.

iTunes 12.3.1 comes just over a month after the release of iTunes 12.3, which brought support for iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. iTunes 12, which brought a major redesign to the iTunes software, was initially released in 2014 alongside OS X Yosemite.



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Microsoft Releases Office for Mac 2011 Update to Fix Outlook El Capitan Bug

Microsoft today released an update for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, which fixes a significant Outlook bug that Office users ran into after upgrading to OS X El Capitan. After installing the new Apple operating system, many Outlook 2011 users found themselves unable to access their mail due to a syncing issue that caused the app to hang whenever it attempted to access the server.

Users were seeing a spinning Wait cursor whenever a sync was attempted and Outlook would become unresponsive, making it impossible to fetch new emails. The new 14.5.6 update should fix this problem for Outlook users who have installed OS X El Capitan and is a much better fix than Microsoft’s previous workaround, which simply suggested users run OS X Yosemite.

Though Microsoft has fixed one major bug OS X El Capitan users are running into, there are still problems with Office 2016. Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint 2016 are crashing for many users, preventing them from being used with OS X El Capitan.

Microsoft has said that it is working on a fix for Office 2016, but it has not given a timeline for when users can expect the issues to be solved.



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Apple Releases OS X 10.11 El Capitan With Improved Spotlight Search, Enhanced Performance, and Revamped Apps

Apple today released OS X 10.11 El Capitan to the public, making the newest Mac operating system available for free to Mac users around the world. OS X El Capitan went through eight developer betas before the golden master version of the software was released on September 9.

OS X El Capitan is still rolling out to users, but it can be downloaded using the Software Update function in the Mac App Store, and it will run on all Macs capable of running OS X Yosemite. Here is a direct link for the update: OS X El Capitan.

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As an update complementary to OS X Yosemite, as the OS X El Capitan name suggests, the new operating system builds on the features introduced last year. OS X El Capitan focuses on improving user experience and performance.

OS X El Capitan looks like OS X Yosemite, but it includes a new systemwide font, San Francisco, and it introduces a new Split View option for Mission Control, allowing two full-screen apps to be used side-by-side. El Capitan includes an improved Spotlight Search and several new app features. Safari, for example, has gained Pinned Sites and a universal mute button, while Mail has new iOS-style smart suggestions.

Photos in OS X El Capitan supports third-party photo editing extensions from Mac App Store apps, Notes has new features, and Maps includes Transit directions. Under-the-hood improvements in El Capitan also make a number of apps and processes on the Mac faster, and the introduction of Metal makes system-level graphics rendering 40 percent more efficient.

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More information on OS X El Capitan can be found in our El Capitan roundup, which includes details on major features and some little tweaks that were added throughout the beta testing period. Discussion of El Capitan’s new features is also taking place in our OS X El Capitan forum, and we encourage all of our readers to join in with questions and new discoveries.



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OS X El Capitan Reviews: ‘Solid as a Rock’ and a Worthy Update Thanks to Performance Improvements

Following the release of the golden master version of OS X 10.11 El Capitan to developers earlier in the month, the first reviews for the newest iteration on Apple’s desktop operating system have begun to hit this morning, ahead of the wide public release tomorrow, September 30. After testing El Capitan for a few weeks, most sites agree that while OS X 10.11 isn’t a massive overhaul, its performance enhancements and speed boosts make upgrading to the free new OS essentially a no-brainer.

Macworld calls El Capitan „solid as a rock,“ noting improvements to features like Mission Control and the introduction of Split View as big positives. Overall, Macworld views the upgrade as „routine“, a welcome refresh amid Apple’s continued push towards performance and security improvements.

Should you update to El Capitan? Unreservedly yes—I’ve found it to be stable, it’s free, it’ll download and install itself on your Mac with nearly no intervention, and it’ll bring with it improved security, speed, and functionality.

The days of dramatic operating-system updates are over. El Capitan is as solid as the giant granite monolith that towers over Yosemite Valley. Upgrade, and get an improved Mac. It’s really that simple.

Engadget gives El Capitan an 87/100 score, calling it a „modest update“ after Yosemite last year, but with solid new introductions like multitasking and noticeable improvements to Spotlight, Safari, and Photos. In particular, the site points out the exciting possibilities that will come from the addition of third-party extensions for Photos, allowing users to take advantage of the editing tools of other photo apps within Apple’s own Photos experience.

While Apple promised third-party extensions when it first unveiled the new Photos app earlier this year, extensions won’t actually be available to download until tomorrow. Extensions can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, either bundled with an app or distributed on their own. Although some developers, like the folks behind Pixelmator, have gotten a head start, most developers are only just getting the chance to access these tools for the first time. So, we should be seeing more extensions hit the App Store as the season wears on. Personally, as an Engadget editor posting lots of hands-on photos, I’d really like to see one for batch-watermarking.

The Verge commented on the small but noticeable improvements brought by El Capitan, such as the ability to pin tabs in Safari and even mute them from the address bar, which the site says should cause Google Chrome users to give Apple’s browser another look. Overall, The Verge views OS X 10.11 as Apple’s evolutionary in-house solution for a handful of problems and shortcomings third-party software has addressed over the years, making the update feel both minor and substantial at the same time.

El Capitan takes the sorts of things that experts have been doing with third-party apps and utilities for years on the Mac and builds them right into the OS. Spotlight is becoming more than just a simple file search box. Window management is becoming easier. Notes is more than just a raw text box. Most of it left me nonplussed because all of these things didn’t feel new and different to me — I’ve been finding ways to fix all of those problems for years with third party apps and add-ons. But with El Capitan, Apple’s made the learning curve you usually have to climb to become a „power user“ (whatever that is) much more gradual.

Everyone will be able to get in on experiencing El Capitan for themselves starting tomorrow, when the new version of OS X launches for the public. Before the update goes live, a handful of other sites have posted reviews for El Capitan, including: The Wall Street Journal, The Next Web, CNET, Ars Technica, and SlashGear.



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Apple Pulls Older Software From ‘Purchased’ Tab in Mac App Store

Apple recently removed older versions of OS X and other discontinued software from the Purchased tab of users who had previously purchased or downloaded them. With the change, it is no longer possible for users to download Aperture, iPhoto, OS X Lion, OS X Mountain Lion, and OS X Mavericks from the Mac App Store.

The decision to disallow users from downloading the older software is not going over well on reddit, where commenters are calling Apple’s decision „user-hostile.“

That’s really unfortunate and hostile by Apple. What about people who use older operating systems due to compatibility problems with specific software?

I recently had to re-install Mavericks, but didn’t keep the „Install OS X Mavericks“ app. Now my only chance of getting it again is to download it from another location, and I don’t know whether that image has been compromised.

It is not clear if Apple’s decision to prevent users from downloading older software from the Mac App Store is a temporary bug or a permanent change. The software has, however, been unavailable for several days now.

It’s possible Apple is aiming to prevent people from downloading software that is outdated and unsupported, but at least one of the now-inaccessible apps, Aperture, continues to work on OS X El Capitan.



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Apple Disables Dashboard by Default in Latest OS X El Capitan Beta

Apple has quietly disabled Dashboard by default in the seventh beta of OS X El Capitan, an unsurprising move given the ten-year-old widget feature on Mac has not been updated in over four years and looks increasingly poised for retirement. Dashboard was similarly disabled by default on OS X Yosemite.

While a few websites claim that Apple has removed Dashboard from OS X El Capitan entirely, the feature can be re-enabled by opening System Preferences > Mission Control and choosing „As Space“ from the Dashboard drop-down menu. Then, tap on the Dashboard key on your keyboard to bring up the window.

Dashboard was introduced on OS X Tiger in 2005 and acts as a secondary desktop for widgets such as a calculator, calendar, clock, weather, stocks, sticky notes, mini games, dictionary, flight tracker and more. Widgets can be added or removed from Dashboard by clicking on the plus or minus buttons in the bottom-left corner.



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Apple Releases OS X 10.10.5 With DYLD Vulnerability Patch, Bug Fixes

Apple today released OS X Yosemite 10.10.5, an under-the-hood update that introduces bug fixes, security enhancements, and performance improvements. OS X 10.10.5 is being released to the public after two developer betas and one month of testing.

The OS X 10.10.5 update can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.

Today’s update notably includes a fix for the DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE privilege escalation vulnerability that could allow malware to gain root access to a Mac. Earlier this month, a DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE exploit was found to be in use in the wild, so this is an update that all Mac users running Yosemite will want to install as soon as possible.

This update:

– Improves compatibility with certain email servers when using Mail
– Fixes an issue in Photos that prevents importing videos from GoPro cameras
– Fixes an issue in QuickTime Player that prevented playback of Windows Media files.

OS X 10.10.5 is likely to be one of the last updates to OS X Yosemite, which will soon be retired in favor of its successor, OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Currently in testing, OS X El Capitan builds on the features introduced with Yosemite, focusing on improving performance and user experience.

Once OS X El Capitan is available for download, OS X Yosemite will see only minor maintenance updates designed to fix security flaws and other major bugs. OS X El Capitan is expected to be released to the public in the fall.



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