Reading Roundup: Everything to know (so far) about iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve published several articles detailing the future of iOS (the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch’s operating system), OS X (the Mac’s operating system), and Watch OS (the software that runs on the Apple Watch). Here’s a list of links to the stories we’ve written thus far about the new operating systems, and we’ll keep updating this page as we publish new and relevant details.

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Apple drops discoveryd in latest OS X beta following months of network issues

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After many complaints from the developer community about poor networking performance on Yosemite, the latest beta of OS X 10.10.4 has dropped discoveryd in favor of the old process used by previous versions of the Mac operating system. This should address many of the network stability issues introduced with Yosemite and its new networking stack.

The discoveryd process has been subject to much criticism in recent months as it causes users to regularly drop WiFi access and causes network shares to list many times over, due to bugs. Many developers, such as Craig Hockenberry, have complained about the buggy software and workarounds have been found to include substituting the older system (called mDNSResponder) back into Yosemite.

discoveryd would cause random crashes, duplicate names on the network and many other WiFi-relate bugs. In the latest beta, Apple appears to have applied the same fix as the enthusiasts by axing discoveryd completely.

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Apple releases new OS X 10.10.4 betas to developers and AppleSeed participants

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Apple has just released a new beta seed of the upcoming OS X 10.10.4 update. Users who are part of the company’s AppleSeed beta program and registered Mac developers can download the operating system from the Updates tab of the App Store or the Mac Developer Center.

This is the fourth developer seed that has been released. It comes with a build number of 14E26a. The previous build was released on May 11th with a build number of 14E17e.

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Designer shows why Apple is adopting San Francisco as its new system font

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When Apple launched the Watch, it also designed a new system font to go with it: San Francisco. The typeface was specifically designed to combine a clean look with readability on the small display of the Apple Watch.

We exclusively revealed last week that Apple doesn’t intend to limit San Francisco to the watch: it instead plans to adopt the new typeface for Macs, iPhones and iPads. San Francisco is expected to replace Helvetica Neue as part of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. Designer Wenting Zhang features the font in a look at “the beautiful details of the type forms that often get overlooked” …  Read more

Apple plans to refresh iOS 9, OS X 10.11 using new Apple Watch font

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Apple is currently planning to use the new system font developed for the Apple Watch to refresh the looks of iPads, iPhones, and Macs running iOS 9 “Monarch” and OS X 10.11 “Gala,” according to sources with knowledge of the preparations. Current plans call for the Apple-designed San Francisco font to replace Helvetica Neue, which came to iOS 7 in 2013 and OS X Yosemite just last year, beginning with a June debut at WWDC…

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Apple releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 beta build 14E17e to developers

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Alongside today’s new iOS 8.4 beta, Apple has released yet another beta build of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 to developers. Today’s build is labeled as build number 14E17e, and it is available via Software Update in the Mac App Store for developers running earlier versions of the beta. A new Public Beta for AppleSeed users is available as well. It is possible that 10.10.4 will be released in June alongside iTunes 12.2 (with the new Apple streaming music service). For the focus areas, Apple tells developers to pay special attention to the Photos application, the Migration Assistant, and Arabic and Hebrew language support.

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How-To: Safely shrink your Mac’s giant photo library, deleting duplicate images to save space

I’ve focused a lot over the last few months on helping readers to speed up and optimize Apple’s Macs — everything from adding RAM to recovering hard drive space and upgrading old hard drives to faster SSDs. Today’s How-To is focused on something very specific but with a lot of optimization potential: trimming down your Mac’s photo library.

Particularly after installing OS X 10.10.3 with Apple’s new Photos app, you might be surprised to learn that you’ve lost a lot of hard drive space, and that there are suddenly tons of duplicate photos on your Mac. After installing OS X 10.10.3, the new Photos app converted my 90GB Aperture library into a 126GB Photos library, and left both on my hard drive. That’s an incredible amount of wasted space attributable to duplicates, so it’s no surprise that a $1 utility called Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro has recently become the #1 paid Mac App Store app, while a superior alternative called PhotoSweeper ($10) is in the top 50. I’ve used both apps, as well as many others, and can help you choose the one that’s best for your needs…

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How-To: Clean and speed up your Mac with free, trustworthy downloads

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“My Mac used to be fast, but now it’s running so slow.” I’ve heard many versions of this complaint, and they’re always factually true, not just opinions: Macs do become sluggish over time, even if all of their chips and hard drives are working like new.

I’ve devoted several columns to hardware solutions — replacing old hard drives with fast new SSDs, adding more RAM, and increasing storage capacity using an external drive — but there are software solutions, too. Even die-hard Apple fans will admit that Macs typically run new OS X versions better (faster, and with fewer bugs) if you start with a clean slate: completely wipe your hard drive, do a fresh install of the latest OS X release, and restore only the files you need. That’s not as hard as it sounds, but it’s a radical and fairly time-consuming solution.

This How-To article offers a simpler alternative. First, find and delete enough files to leave your Mac at least 50GB of free storage capacity — enough room for the Mac to work without pausing to manage its hard drive space. Next, cleanse the cruft OS X builds up in the background as you use your computer. Below, I’ll show you how two completely free Mac programs, GrandPerspective and OnyX, will do all the heavy lifting for you. GrandPerspective offers a highly visual display of what’s taking up space on your Mac; Onyx cleans up the Mac files you’d be afraid to touch yourself…

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OS X 10.10.3 update failed to fix Rootpipe vulnerability, says former NSA staffer

A former NSA staffer says that the OS X 10.10.3 update which Apple claims fixed a significant security vulnerability has failed to do so, reports Forbes. Patrick Wardle, who now heads up research at security firm Synack, demonstrated the vulnerability in a video (without revealing exactly how it was done) to allow Apple time to issue a further fix.

The Rootpipe vulnerability allows an attacker with local access to a Mac to escalate their privileges to root – allowing them full control of the machine – without further authentication. A second security researcher confirmed the flaw …  Read more

WWDC 2015 announced for June 8-12 to unveil “the future of iOS and OS X”

WWDC 2015

Apple has just officially announced its annual Worldwide Developers Conference for this year. The conference will take place in San Francisco as usual in early June. WWDC will officially kick off on June 8th and run through June 12th. Developers interested in attending the conference can apply for tickets starting today with applications open through Friday at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.

Like last year, available tickets will be distributed at random to a portion of applicants due to size constraints of the venue, Moscone West, although Apple says select sessions will actually be streamed live while most sessions will be available online after each day. Apple will announce ticket availability after the random selection process on Monday, April 20th, at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET.

Apple’s WWDC opening keynote serves as the unveiling stage for the next versions of iOS and OS X. Apple’s press release for the conference (below) teases the announcement of “the future of iOS and OS X” as we would expect. Read more

Flashlight, the utility that puts Spotlight on steroids, out of beta as Apple hires developer

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Command-line fans will be happy today, as Nate Parrot’s Flashlight utility comes out of beta. Flashlight is a utility that enables you to carry out more than 160 different tasks just by typing commands into Spotlight – a kind of command-line Siri for the Mac. Functions include checking the weather, creating notes, adding calendar appointments, translating words, emailing files, sending messages, moving files, ejecting drives and performing image searches.

Apple seems impressed too: it has hired Parrot as an intern on its Spotlight team …  Read more