Apple Computers release of Mac OS X 10.4.7 June 27 for both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macintosh computers resolves many networking problems, improves data syncing, offers user interaction fixes and includes previous security updates.
Improvements to the AppleShare AFP (File Protocol) should, according to Apples technical notes, prevent dropped connections and deadlocks when sharing files over a network. In addition, the “Tiger” update should fix a well-known problem that causes Adobe and Quark applications to quit when saving files over AFP-mounted volumes.
Consumer networking changes include better ability to sync addresses, bookmarks, calendar events and files to Apples paid .Mac online services, as well as cleaner iChat connections. Users behind a firewall will be able to watch streaming QuickTime media.
In addition, Apple claims that users will see improved audio playback in QuickTime, Final Cut Pro, iTunes and Soundtrack. The Automator application also received a fix for better workflow reliability, and iCal and iPhoto users will be able to incorporate PDFs into their workflows.
As for user interface and user interaction improvements, Apple said that Mac OS X 10.4.7 offers better importing and removing of fonts in Font Book. In addition, the new release will show users how much space is available on recordable CDs and DVDs when burning to them, as well as improve icon spacing and placement on the desktop.
Spotlight, Apples search technology, has also been extended with this update and is now able to search Microsoft Office and iWork 06 (Pages and Keynote) documents.
In addition, Mac OS X 10.4.7 boasts Bluetooth and Airport (802.11) connectivity improvements. For example, the update should bring stronger Airport connections, better Bluetooth file transfers, cleaner connections to Bluetooth mice and better syncing with mobile phones.
The download, free for owners of Mac OS X 10.4, ranges from 64MB for PowerPC Macs updating from Mac OS X 10.4.6 to 215MB for owners of Intel-based Macs updating from earlier versions.
In the first 24 hours of its release, the update has received overall positive reaction from Mac-savvy commentators. Posters to the “Macintosh Achaia” section of the Ars Technica bulletin boards have reported smooth updates, with only one person noting a technical issue on rebooting. Others have posted that the update provides smoother Front Row transitions and a new OpenGL extension that could speed 3-D gaming.
Posters to the MacFixIt site have also reported good experiences. More than one poster said that his 15-inch MacBook Pro gained the ability to simulate a right-click using a two-finger keypad tap, a feature previously available on the 17-inch model. However, one poster said that since installing the update, he cannot keep his computer running for more than a few minutes without an error message appearing.
Apple also posted an update for Mac OS X 10.4.7 Server. In addition to the changes listed above, this update includes the ability to reshare NFS mounts with AFP; an updated version of the virus filtering utility ClamAV; MySQL performance improvements; periodic rolling of Password Server log files; working with up to 64 NFS server daemons; the ability to reboot SAN clients without causing other clients to become unresponsive; improved support for third-party applications and devices; and previous security updates.