OS X Mountain Lion

Everything you need to know about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: the last of Apple's "big cat" operating systems.

In 2012 Apple released the last of its "big cat" operating systems, OS X 10.8, code-named Mountain Lion. The ninth major release of OS X featured more than 200 new features, including iCloud integration' an all-new Messages app that replaced iChat; Notification Center, system wide sharing of links, photos, videos and other files with popular services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo; AirPlay mirroring through Apple TV, and much more — all this for the low price of $19.99.

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How to save disk space on your Mac by selectively syncing Dropbox folders

Like many of you, I rely on Dropbox to share files with friends, family and coworkers. When it comes to my coworkers, we have a lot of files we share, and some of them are quite sizable photos and graphics files. I use a MacBook Pro with flash storage, so space is at a premium. While having access to those shared files is helpful, I don't need all of them taking up valuable storage space locally on my Mac.

Fortunately Dropbox has considered this. There's a Selective Sync feature that enables you to specify which folders will be copied locally to your Mac. If you need access to them, you can just pull up a web browser and grab them from there instead.

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OS X Security Update addresses Safari vulnerabilities and bugs

Apple has issued an OS X security update today that should improve compatibility, stability and security. The bulk of the update is centered around Safari 7.0.3, and has the following changes, per Apple:

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What's on Richard's Mac dock right now!

Unlike my iPhone and iPad which are used a lot for leisure purposes besides work, my Mac is predominantly work focused. It's where I spend most of my working days and so many of the apps that reside on my dock are those which I use the most. I'm not one for overloading my Mac dock, so the apps that are on there are genuinely the ones I need the most throughout the day. So, following on from other members of the iMore team, here's what's on my Mac dock and why.

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What would the Mac look like with Helvetica Neue as the new OS X system font?

OS X 10.10, code-named Syrah, us currently sprinting its way towards developer beta for WWDC 2014, which kicks off June 2. Syrah is rumored to be getting a Jony Ive-led interface refresh this year, like iOS 7 got last year. That makes a lot of sense, since part of the opportunity cost of iOS 7 getting all that attention was that there wasn't much left for OS X Mavericks. It shipped with a few rough edges, like stitched leather, shaved off but others, like green felt, remaining. 2014 should see a reversal of those fortunes, with iOS 8 getting refined but Syrah getting a more significant visual upgrade. But how far will it go?

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Interested in a flatter OS X interface? Look to iCloud for clues

Based on what I posted last week, it's clear that many of you — like me — want Apple to adopt a more uniform user experience between iOS 7 and OS X — a flatter interface for OS X 10.10. Rumors have abounded since January that Apple is working on just that by creating a "flatter" interface for OS X 10.10 (code-named Syrah) that makes icons and other interface elements more consistent with their iOS 7 counterparts. We don't have to work too hard to imagine what it'll look like: Just open iCloud in a web browser.

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Having Wi-Fi problems on your Mac running OS X Mavericks? Here's a fix!

As near as I can tell, somewhere along the way after I upgraded to Mavericks, my Retina MacBook Pro stopped working right. It wouldn't reconnect to a Wi-Fi network after waking from sleep. I had to manually reconnect it; often I'd have to toggle Wi-Fi off and on again to make it work. Turns out a wonky Bluetooth preference file was the culprit. I'm still not clear on why. Here's how to fix it.

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Does OS X 10.10 need a facelift? The case for a flatter interface

I don't think iOS and OS X are headed for a singularity any time soon. But I would welcome more visual consistency between iOS and OS X. Ready to burn me at the stake? Hold your torch for just a minute and hear me out.

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Heartbleed, the new OpenSSL hack: How does it affect OS X and iOS?

OpenSSL is popular open source encryption software used all over the Internet. It's been in the news a lot lately, with a lot of dire warnings about what a newly discovered bug means for your personal data. Is it a threat to OS X security or iOS security? Do you need to be worried about your Mac, iPhone or iPad being vulnerable?

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How to set your Mac's firmware password (and why you shouldn't)

Want to keep your roommate from posting your nude selfies on Facebook? Concerned that your Mac might fall into the wrong hands? You've already got a secure password on your Mac, maybe even file encryption. What happens if someone boots off an external hard drive?

Setting a firmware password is the solution. It comes with a few consequences and drawbacks, however. Follow along to read about the risks associated with firmware passwords as well as a guide on how to set one for those that think it's still worth it.

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Sparkle Mac web page editor will seem familiar to page layout fans

Sparkle is a new web page editor for the Mac, now available in public beta form. It's still pretty raw, but the first version should give you an idea of what the developers are going for - web page design using a page layout metaphor. It's a bit like Pages for the Web.

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