Now available: OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 beta with new Photos app

Apple released a beta version of its OS X Yosemite software on Monday, making it publicly available to all Mac hardware owners for the first time, says iMore. Aside from expected stability fixes and performance enhancements, OS X 10.10.3 provides a first look at Photos for OS X, the new app meant to replace both iPhotos and Aperture.

To get the new version of Yosemite and try Photos, which was announced last June, you’ll need to register with Apple here.

photos for OSX iOS

Last month, MacWorld took an early peek at Photos and found that the app has elements of both OS X and iOS in it, as you’d expect; [company]Apple[/company] has been merging together elements from the desktop and mobiles for some time. For example, you can view and group photos by Years, Collections, and Moments, just like you can on an iPhone or iPad. While you can save and sync photos from an iCloud account, it’s not a requirement.

Image editing appears simplified as well, combining several elements from both the old Photos app and Aperture, which has more advanced controls and features. Editing menus include Enhance, Rotate, Crop, Filters, Adjust, and Retouch; each of which having multiple methods to tweak pictures the way you want to.

 

Critical flaw leads Apple to push OS X update for first time

Apple has pushed an automatic update to Macs for the first time, in order to fix a critical vulnerability in the network time protocol (NTP), which is used to synchronize computers’ clocks.

The company typically uses its software update mechanism to issue security updates, with users consciously being involved in the process, but this one was extraordinarily urgent, and led [company]Apple[/company] to use an automatic update mechanism that it developed a couple years back but had not used until Monday.

Apple spokesman Bill Evans told Reuters that the firm wanted to protect customers as quickly as possible – and indeed, when it was first released on Monday ahead of the automated push, the update was unusually entitled: “Install this update as soon as possible.”

The flaw was discovered by [company]Google[/company] researchers and flagged up by the U.S. government on Friday – it doesn’t just affect Macs, but also systems all the way up to industrial control systems, and the government needed to warn those running critical infrastructure. According to that warning:

These vulnerabilities could be exploited remotely. Exploits that target these vulnerabilities are publicly available…
A remote attacker can send a carefully crafted packet that can overflow a stack buffer and potentially allow malicious code to be executed with the privilege level of the [NTP daemon] process.

Evans told Reuters that Apple was not aware of any exploitations of the flaw in Macs. The update, which doesn’t require a restart, was released for OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5, OS X Mavericks v10.9.5, and OS X Yosemite v10.10.1.

This article was updated a couple minutes after initial publication to change the word “forces” in the headline to “leads” — it occurred to me that “forces” sounded unnecessarily harsh, given that the company is trying to protect its users from a vulnerability that wasn’t of its own making.

The new Photos app for OS X will replace both Aperture and iPhoto

At WWDC, Apple announced a new app for the Mac called Photos, which will be part of OS X Yosemite. Many wondered what the announcement meant for Apple’s current photo library programs on Mac, which included the consumer-oriented iPhoto and the pro-oriented Aperture. According to a statement from Apple provided to Gigaom, there will be no new development of Aperture when Photos for OS X becomes available early next year. It also appears that the new Photos app, with a heavy emphasis on iCloud Photo Library integration, will replace iPhoto. This leaves Adobe’s Lightroom as the logical choice for professional photographers using a Mac.