OS X El Capitan

This is a discussion on OS X El Capitan within the Mac OS X forums, part of the Mac Software category; Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan update to developers for testing purposes, just over one month after ...

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  1. #101
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    Apple Seeds First OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan Beta to Developers




    Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan update to developers for testing purposes, just over one month after releasing the second OS X El Capitan update, OS X 10.11.2. OS X 10.11.3 is also in testing and has been provided to developers and public beta testers.

    The new OS X 10.11.3 beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center.

    It is not known what improvements the fourth update to OS X El Capitan will bring, but like prior updates, it's likely to focus on security enhancements, performance improvements, and bug fixes to address issues have been discovered since the release of OS X 10.11.2 and were not able to be included in the OS X 10.11.3 beta.





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    First look: OS X 10.11.4 beta brings Live Photos to Messages




    Introduced alongside iPhone 6s and iOS 9 last year, Apple's Live Photos feature plays well with devices running iOS, but viewing the special format images on Mac has been a less than ideal experience. But that will soon change.

    When Apple released the OS X 10.11.4 beta to developers this week it quietly built in support for receiving and viewing Live Photos directly in Messages. Currently, OS X 10.11.2 strips out motion and sound data from iMessages containing Live Photo content, leaving only a single, static JPEG frame.

    With the latest El Capitan beta, Live Photos show up in a Messages timeline just as it does on a device running iOS 9. A special icon — two concentric solid circles and one dotted outer ring — in the upper-left corner distinguishes a Live Photo from a regular still image, much like a video clip is marked with a central play button overlay.








    Double clicking a Live Photo brings up a preview window like the one seen above. Alternatively, image preview can be triggered by selecting an image and tapping the space bar. Clicking on the "Live Photo" icon at the bottom left of the open window begins playback, a touchpad substitute for 3D Touch on iPhone 6s.

    The preview window also contains a button to open the image in Photos for editing, which coincidentally is the only way to properly view a Live Photo in OS X 10.11.2.

    Only iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets can capture Live Photos, though other devices running iOS 9 are capable of viewing the resulting image files, whether sent via Messages, email or AirDrop. After its initial release last year, Apple updated Live Photos to intelligently sense when an iPhone is being raised and lowered, automatically trimming out unwanted footage.

    Apple's release schedule for OS X 10.11.4 is unclear, though daring Mac owners can download the public beta that was pushed out on Thursday.





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    Apple Releases OS X 10.11.3 El Capitan With Multiple Bug Fixes




    Apple today released OS X 10.11.3 to the public, marking the launch of the third update to the El Capitan operating system that was first released on September 30. In testing since December 16, OS X 10.11.3 follows the December launch of OS X 10.11.2. Prior to release, Apple seeded three betas of OS X 10.11.3 to developers and public beta testers.

    The OS X 10.11.3 update can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store. It is available to all OS X El Capitan users.

    During the beta testing period, no significant outward-facing changes were discovered in OS X 10.11.3, with the update instead aiming to improve performance and fix bugs discovered since the launch of OS X 10.11.2. According to Apple's release notes, OS X 10.11.3 includes unspecified bug fixes and security updates.


    The OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.

    This update contains bug fixes and security updates.


    OS X 10.11.3 will be followed by OS X 10.11.4, which is already in testing and has been provided to developers. Like OS X 10.11.3, OS X 10.11.4 appears to be focused on fixing bugs and improving performance rather than introducing new features. OS X 10.11.4 will likely see a spring debut alongside iOS 9.3.





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    Apple Seeds Second OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan Beta to Developers




    Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.4 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the first OS X 10.11.4 beta and a week after releasing OS X 10.11.3.

    The second OS X 10.11.4 beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or via the Software Update Mechanism in the Mac App Store.

    OS X 10.11.4 includes a couple of new features, such as the ability to support password protected notes in the Notes app, but like the recent OS X 10.11.3 update, it appears to focus primarily on under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements with few noticeable outward-facing changes.





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    Public beta testers get Apple's second build of OS X 10.11.4


    Live Photos in Messages on OS X 10.11.4



    The second pre-release beta of OS X 10.11.4, a forthcoming minor update for the El Capitan Mac operating system, is now available to test for members of Apple's public beta program.

    OS X 10.11.4 beta 2 arrives two days after developers were issued the beta. The most noteworthy feature is the ability to view Live Photos taken with an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus in the Mac's Messages application.

    In the new El Capitan betas, Live Photos show up in the Messages timeline and can be viewed in a preview window by double clicking on the image. The pop-up window includes both sound and motion, as well as options to open the Live Photo in Photos for editing and review.

    The update also comes with secure Notes, coinciding with the same feature on iOS 9.3.

    Developers and public testers alike access OS X 10.11.4 beta 2 through the Mac App Store's Software Update mechanism.





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    The “Optimizing Your Mac” Notification in OS X Explained




    Some Mac users may see a notification alert pop-up from OS X in the corner of their display with a message stating “Optimizing Your Mac – Performance and battery life may be affected until completed.” While there aren’t any additional details offered in the notification, there is a “Close” button, which will dismiss the alert. Typically this optimizing message appears after a system software update has installed, logging in to a new user account, or if the Mac has been rebooted after a long period of not being restarted. So, if you see this alert message, what’s going on and what should you do?

    The answer is simple; do nothing, let the optimization process complete on the Mac.

    The optimizing process can take a few minutes to a few hours, depending on a variety of things, including speed of the computer and drive, and what tasks are being performed. And yes, as the notification mentions, the Mac may be running slow as a result of the tasks going on behind the scenes in OS X.

    For those that are curious about what exactly is going on when this alert message comes up, the specific processes can vary as can the functions, but often you’ll find it’s one or more of the following:

    The permissions repair process repair_packages
    Spotlight related processes indexing the drive, including index agent, mds, mdworker, or related processes indexing a drive
    iCloud Photo Library, photolibraryd, or Photos app completing a migration
    Various other system level functions or processes, whether find, makewhatis, ac, kernel_task, amongst others
    Each of these will be going in the background and you’re free to use the Mac as the task completes, but as the alert says some things may be a bit slow or battery life may be temporarily reduced as this occurs.

    If you want specifics, the easiest way to see exactly what is going on during this “optimizing your Mac” process is by going into the Activity Monitor application and sorting by CPU or by Energy usage, as long as you show processes by all users and system, you should quickly be able to see what exactly is going on. But whatever you do, don’t quit the process that is in use, you do not want to halt the optimization process mid-task as it will either just run again from the beginning, or could potentially cause a problem with whatever it is attempting to do.

    This alert dialog is visible in many modern versions of OS X though many users will never see it at all, though it seems to appear most often after updating system software to a new point release, or going to an entirely new release version (say from Mavericks to OS X El Capitan).





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    Save the Mac App Store Password for Free Downloads in OS X




    Having to constantly enter the Apple ID password to download free apps from the Mac App Store is kind of annoying, but thanks to a new settings option you can stop the authentication requirement for free apps while still maintaining it for paid app downloads and for in-app purchases in OS X.

    This works just like it does with allowing free downloads from the iOS App Store without password entry on any iPhone or iPad, so if you like that setting in the mobile world, consider enabling it on the Mac too.


    How to Allow Free Downloads from the Mac App Store Without Password Entry

    Quit the App Store on the Mac if you have it open
    Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and go to “App Store”
    Under “Password Settings” click on ‘Free Download’ and choose “Save Password”
    Under “Purchases and In-App Purchases” select either “Always Require” or “After 15 Minutes” is what the header question “Require a password for additional purchases after a purchase from the App Store with this computer?” pertains to, choose whichever is appropriate for your Mac usage
    Leave System Preferences and relaunch the Mac App Store








    Now you’re free to download any Mac app that isn’t paid, and you won’t need to login with the Apple ID each time.

    Depending on the setting you picked for purchases, you can do the same with a paid download if the purchase appears within the allotted time since authenticating.

    The ability to save the app store passwords for free downloads from the Mac App Store is included in the latest versions of OS X, anything beyond 10.11 will include the ability while prior versions will not.

    As alluded, this feature is equally as useful on the iPhone and iPad if you find yourself downloading a lot of free apps and don’t want to deal with password entry or Touch ID.





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    Show Location Usage Icon in the Menu Bar of Mac OS X




    More services and features rely on location to function properly on Mac OS X, but whereas iOS will default to showing you a little compass arrow icon when location is accessed and used, OS X doesn’t show comparable location usage by default in the latest versions.

    For users who want to know when Mac OS is requesting access and using location data, you can toggle an optional setting that, much like iOS, will display a compass location icon in the menu bar of OS X.


    How to Enable the Location Use Icon in Menu Bar of Mac OS X

    This requires modern versions of OS X, earlier releases do not have a location icon feature:

    Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
    Select “Security & Privacy” and go to the Privacy tab
    Choose “Location Services” from the left side menu and scroll down in the list to find ‘System Services’, then click on the “Details” button
    Check the box next to “Show location icon in menu bar when System Services request your location”
    Exit out of System Preferences as usual








    Now when a system function requests your location, for example to find local listings, a location reminder, getting nearby movie showtimes in Spotlight, get local weather in Spotlight, directions and locations from Maps, and more, you will see a little compass-arrow looking icon appear in the menu bar.




    The compass icon disappears automatically after the location has been pulled, and reappears again if it is requested again.

    Note this menu item actually appeared automatically in prior versions of OS X but it’s disabled by default in the latest versions. The location icon is actually interactive as well, and if you click on the location icon you will see the name of the application or service that is using and requesting location data on the Mac. You can always control what apps can use location data in OS X as well, which may be useful.

    By default the Location usage compass icon will appear on the far left of the menu bar status icons list, but you can rearrange the menu bar icons if you want it to be elsewhere, and if your menu bar is overly cluttered, don’t forget you can remove icons from the menu bar as well in OS X, sometimes by dragging them out of the menu bar, and sometimes requiring intervention through the app that is placing the status icon in the menu bar to begin with.

    Whether or not you wish to enable the location icon likely depends on how often you use location services on the Mac, whether you want to know if you’re using location services, and your opinions on privacy matters pertaining to location data. Of course,





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    Apple Seeds Third OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan Beta to Developers




    Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.4 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the second OS X 10.11.4 beta and three weeks after releasing OS X 10.11.3. OS X 10.11.4 has been in testing since January 11.

    The third OS X 10.11.4 beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or via the Software Update Mechanism in the Mac App Store.

    OS X 10.11.4 offers a couple of new features, such as the ability to support password protected notes in the Notes app, but like the recent OS X 10.11.3 update, it appears to focus primarily on under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements with few noticeable outward-facing changes. Almost all of Apple’s OS X updates to date have been smaller updates that improve performance rather than introduce new features.





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    Apple Releases Third OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan Beta to Public Beta Testers




    Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming OS X 10.11.4 update to public beta testers, just a few days after releasing the third OS X 10.11.4 beta to developers and more than two weeks after releasing OS X 10.11.3.

    The third beta is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store for those who are enrolled in Apple's beta testing program. Those wishing to join the program can sign up on Apple's beta testing website.

    OS X 10.11.4 appears to focus largely on under-the-hood bug fixes, security enhancements, and performance optimizations with few noticeable outward-facing changes. OS X 10.11.4 offers password protected notes in the Notes app, an import function for importing Evernote notes into the Notes app, and it includes Live Photos support for the Messages app.

    Apple is likely to release OS X 10.11.4 in the spring, alongside iOS 9.3, watchOS 2.2, and tvOS 9.2.





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