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10.9.3 Restores Local Contact/Calendar Sync, Improves 4K Support

Apple has released OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 Update, which brings a pixel-doubled Retina mode to external 4K displays connected to compatible Macs and restores contact and calendar syncing between Macs and iOS devices in iTunes (for full details, read “Local Contact/Calendar Syncing Returns in iTunes 11.2,” 15 May 2014). The Retina mode makes content much sharper, rather than just using all the pixels to create a truly huge desktop.

You can grab the update via Software Update (461 MB) or from Apple’s Support Downloads site (461.7 MB). If you skipped any previous Mavericks updates, you can download a combo update (947.2 MB) to upgrade directly from any earlier version of 10.9 to 10.9.3.

The 10.9.3 update improves the reliability of a variety of networking activities, including IPsec VPN connections; network home directories; and copying, editing and inspecting file permissions on an SMB file server. Also enhanced is stability when installing configuration profiles and login speed for users in Active Directory groups. In addition, 10.9.3 resolves an issue that prevented installing PostScript Type 1 fonts in Font Book.

On the security front, 10.9.3 includes a number of changes, but nothing new, just the same things that were released last month as part of “Security Update 2014-002 (Mavericks, Mountain Lion, and Lion)” (22 April 2014). Similarly, 10.9.3 includes Safari 7.0.3 in case you hadn’t yet installed it (see “Safari 7.0.3 and 6.1.3,” 3 April 2014).

Previously, it was thought that 10.9.3 might be hiding the /Users folder, but sleuthing by Dave Hamilton at The Mac Observer revealed that the /Users/ folder in fact disappears after installing iTunes 11.2 and turning on Find My Mac in the iCloud pane of System Preferences. Bug or feature? Turns out that it was a bug, and Apple released iTunes 11.2.1 to resolve the problem (see “iTunes 11.2.1 Fixes /Users Folder Bug, Improves Podcasts Library,” 19 May 2014).

As always, we recommend holding off on installing 10.9.3 unless you’re experiencing specific problems that it claims to resolve. Let others discover if it causes any unanticipated issues and upgrade in a few days if you don’t see concerning reports online.


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Comments about 10.9.3 Restores Local Contact/Calendar Sync, Improves 4K Support
(Comments are closed.)

Hamish  2014-05-15 15:51
Will this allow a non-retina macbook pro to use a 4k display in this new retina mode?
David Empson  2014-05-15 18:34
4K display support requires three things: a GPU which supports this feature, a physical interface with the necessary bandwidth, and driver support.

10.9.3 improves 4K display support just for the Mac Pro (Late 2013) and the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15", Late 2013).

According to Apple's specs, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 13", Late 2013) also supports 4K displays, but that support apparently wasn't improved, in particular these models still don't support 4K @ 60 Hz.

Older MacBook Pro models (including the 2012 retina models) don't have the necessary driver support, even if the GPU and/or display interface is capable of driving a 4K display.
Nick Fabry  2014-05-15 19:35
Actually, their support for 4K displays on 13" Retina MacBook Pros was improved. Whilst they still do not support 4K @ 60 Hz, they do now support more scaled and a few new HiDPI modes on such displays, the largest being 1920x1080 (which doubles to precisely the 3840 x 2160 of most 4K computer monitors).
Bette Piacente  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2014-05-15 16:18
I just installed the 9.3 update on my test computer and the /User directory is not hidden at all. Do you know under which circumstances the upgrade decides to hide the /User directory?
Steve Werner  2014-05-16 05:33
I also have no problem seeing my /User folder on my MacBook Pro.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-05-16 08:04
I think it's a bug, as it doesn't affect everyone.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-05-16 09:07
And yet, mine is hidden. YMMV.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-05-16 09:11
Some Twitter folks are saying that Apple support has said the hidden users folder is intended behavior. In any case, it's not working correctly.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-05-16 11:57
I've updated the article - Dave Hamilton of The Mac Observer tracked it down to the combination of iTunes 11.2 and Find My Mac. Freaky.
Bette Piacente  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2014-05-16 15:16
I thought I had dodged this bullet as I could clearly see my Users folder listed in the root directory yesterday after installing. I had first installed 10.9.3 on a test computer and did not see a problem with the Users folder at all. I had also installed iTunes update on that machine.
I then installed the iTunes 11.2 update BEFORE I installed the OS update to my production Mac. I don't remember having an issue with the /Users folder yesterday on the production Mac either.

Yet today after using iCloud to edit Find My Phone devices, my User folder is hidden. In all honesty, I must confess, that it might have been hidden right after the upgrade, but I did not notice at that time.

However, my work around is to use the Go to Folder command and then just drag the User Folder icon from the Finder window ToolBar to the SideBar.

Weird behavior! If it is intended, someone MUST explain their logic on this one!
David Empson  2014-05-17 01:56
The hiding and permissions change on /Users and /Users/Shared was happening every time the computer restarted, if you were running Mavericks (at least 10.9.2 and 10.9.3 were affected but I couldn't repeat it on 10.8.5), and you had installed iTunes 11.2, and you had Find my Mac enabled.

iTunes 11.2.1 has now been released, which fixes the bug. Its installer makes those two folders visible again and reinstates the correct permissions, as well as replacing whichever component of iTunes 11.2 was responsible for the problem.
Moe Better 11  2014-05-21 22:42
The glitch is apparently resolved by the iTunes 11.2.1 update … not sure how many or why systems were affected.
Matthew Stevens  2014-05-19 01:06
The 10.9.3 updater appears to have broken both Dropbox and Default Folder. In Activity Monitor, both processes are marked "Not Responding". Force-quitting them and restarting them doesn't help. I've reported both to the publishers. Any ideas?

Addendum: After noticing that even on a Mac Pro 5,1 with an SSD programs were taking up to 15 seconds to load, I've reinstalled 10.9.2 for a return to "normality". Both programs have returned to normal, and load speeds are back to lightning fast.