June 24, 2013

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Following up on this morning’s release of iOS 7 beta 2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to developers, Apple has released the second Developer Preview of OS X 10.9 Mavericks. The new seed is available as a Software Update via the Mac App Store. The build number is 13A497d. This compares to Preview 1’s version number of 13A476u. As always, if you find something new, you can reach us at tips@9to5mac.com. Thanks, D!

We will update this post with changes tipped in.

Also available are fresh seeds of Xcode 5 and OS X Server. Below, we’ve compiled changes in the new Mavericks seed:

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Over the past few days, a notable amount of users have complained about WiFi issues plaguing the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models released during the week of WWDC. Besides less-battery-intensive chipsets, the marquee feature of the new MacBook Air revolves around faster WiFi connectivity thanks to new 802.11ac cards. As with any new product, bugs are plausible. Earlier today, we noted that new reports claim that the MacBook Air WiFi issues are due to networking issues in Apple’s OS X software. Fortunately, we have now learned that Apple is not in the dark about this issue:

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In its extensive review of the new 2013 MacBook Air, AnandTech notes an issue with the machine’s new 802.11ac WiFi capabilities that it says is limiting the faster Wi-Fi chip’s potential. While it was able to get an average of 533Mbps using the iPerf networking tool, Anand found real world file transfers would only get 21.2MB/s or 169.6Mbps:

I disabled all other wireless in my office. Still, no difference. I switched ethernet cables, I tried different Macs, I tried copying from a PC, I even tried copying smaller files – none of these changes did anything. At most, I only saw 21.2MB/s over 802.11ac. I double checked my iPerf data. 533Mbps. Something weird was going on. I plugged in Apple’s Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and saw 906Mbps, clearly the source and the MacBook Air were both capable of high speed transfers. What I tried next gave me some insight into what was going on. I setup web and FTP servers on the MacBook Air and transferred files that way. I didn’t get 533Mbps, but I broke 300Mbps. For some reason, copying over AFP or SMB shares was limited to much lower performance. This was a protocol issue.

According to the review, the problem is likely with the OS X networking stack that is for some reason artificially limiting the capabilities of 802.11ac: expand full story


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