Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0.2 -- If you’re considering moving your photos from iPhoto into the recently released Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 (or rather, Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 Organizer, which is the separate organizer application that comes with Photoshop Elements), you’ll want to snag version 9.0.2 of Adobe’s slimmed-down version of Photoshop. Adobe is saying only that the update “provides fixes for Import from iPhoto,” but that’s sufficient, given that in our testing of the previous version, the feature didn’t work at all with iPhoto ’11. ($99 new, free update, 2.9 MB)
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Apple Remote Desktop 3.4 -- Apple has released Apple Remote Desktop 3.4, its tool for managing networked Macs remotely. Apple Remote Desktop Client updates Remote Management (in System Preferences > Sharing), and Apple Remote Desktop Admin updates the tool for remote administration itself. New in this release is support for the Mac App Store and a Dashboard widget that gives you an at-a-glance view of the remote Macs that you manage; click any one to start working with it in Remote Desktop Admin. (If the Dashboard widget says “Missing Plugin” when you install it in Dashboard, try restarting your Mac.) The software requires Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server 10.4.11 or 10.5.7, or any later version. It also updates only specific versions of Apple Remote Desktop 3.x, meaning that it’s probably easiest to let Software Update download it for you. ($79.99 new, free update, 4.25 MB)
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cf/x alpha 1.2 -- For those who like to arrange and tweak images without the effort of learning Photoshop, cf/x Software’s image composition tool cf/x alpha just received a notable update. cf/x alpha 1.2 gains a new Arrange by Shape feature that creates a collage from user-specified images based on any user-definable shape. It also features four new collage generators that can turn hundreds of images into a heap, scatter them across the canvas, sweep them toward a corner, or assemble them in a grid—all of which are easy to envision but tedious to carry out manually. Other changes include support for irregularly sized and placed images in the Mosaic generator and various interface tweaks. ($229 new, free update, 91.8 MB)
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Mac OS X 10.6.6 -- Apple has bumped Snow Leopard, the latest version of Mac OS X, to version 10.6.6. The hallmark feature of the latest OS update is of course support for the new Mac App Store (see “Peering Behind the Mac App Store Counter,” 6 January 2011). Upgrading to 10.6.6 places the Mac App Store’s icon in your Dock, adds a link to the store in the Apple menu, and prompts you to visit the store if you attempt to open a file that existing software on your Mac can’t read. Also included in the 10.6.6 update is a single security fix, addressing a potential vulnerability in PackageKit that could allow an attacker to run code on your Mac. Finally, the update addresses two bugs: a cropping issue with PostScript printing in landscape orientation, and an issue with erratic mouse pointer movement on Macs with ATI graphics cards when an external DVI display is connected.
With updates to Mac OS X, it’s usually easiest to let Software Update download just the code that applies to your specific Mac and version of Mac OS X. But you can download delta installers to update 10.6.5 to 10.6.6 (for both Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Server, each about 143 MB) and much larger combo installers to update any version of 10.6 to 10.6.6 (again, for both Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Server, each weighing in at a bit over 1 GB in size). As always, make sure you have a current backup before you update, and don’t interrupt the upgrade process once it has started.
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iWork 9.0.5 -- If you work with iWork, you’ll want to update to Apple’s latest version of the office productivity suite, iWork 9.0.5. The update introduces several new features for Keynote, including support for playback of Keynote presentations on the still-in-beta iWork.com with animations and effects when using Safari, support for the new 1.2 version of the Keynote Remote iOS app, and fixes for various bugs. Also improved is the readability of EPUB documents exported from Pages, and more iWork.com sharing options for all three iWork applications. Apple also released a Pages EndNote Plug-in, which is necessary if you downloaded Pages ’09 from the Mac App Store and want to insert EndNote citations into Pages (you have to buy EndNote separately). (iWork: $79 new, free update, 67.06 MB; EndNote Plug-in: free, 270 KB)
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GarageBand 6.0.1 -- Apple has bumped GarageBand to version 6.0.1. In addition to improving the software’s overall stability, the update addresses an issue with undoing Flex Time edits, removes occasional latency on guitar tracks, and restores the ability to use Quantize Notes Timing for tracks with Groove Matching. (Free update, $49 as part of iLife ’11, 47.5 MB)
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iMovie 9.0.1 -- Apple is making life a bit easier for amateur Spielbergs with the release of iMovie 9.0.1. Beyond the ever-present “improves stability” descriptor, Apple says this update fixes a problem where stabilizing certain video clips shot with an iPhone or iPod touch wouldn’t work properly, and addresses issues with certain Facebook passwords, camera compatibility, and Project Library scrolling performance. (Free update, $49 as part of iLife ’11, 27.52 MB)
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