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macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra Offers Minor Fixes and More Emoji

Along with updates to iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, and tvOS 11.1, Apple has released macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra. It’s a surprisingly minor update that adds support for 70 new emoji to stay in sync with iOS 11.1 (see “iOS 11.1 Brings Bug Fixes and New Emoji,” 31 October 2017), fixes three bugs, and addresses nine security vulnerabilities. The download is 2.11 GB in size.

The bugs fixed could have caused Bluetooth to be unavailable during Apple Pay transactions, caused problems when syncing Microsoft Exchange messages in Mail, and prevented Spotlight from accepting keyboard input at times.

Perhaps the main reason to update from 10.13.0 to 10.13.1 is its inclusion of fixes for the KRACK exploits (see “Wi-Fi Security Flaw Not As Bad As It’s KRACKed Up To Be,” 17 October 2017). We recommend waiting a day or two to be safe and then updating. Be sure to make a full backup before updating because on one of our machines, login items and a variety of other settings seem to have been lost in the update process.

That leaves the question of whether now is the time to upgrade to High Sierra from an earlier version of macOS. Our take is that 10.13.1 doesn’t change enough to affect your previous decision — if you weren’t comfortable upgrading to High Sierra before 10.13.1 shipped, its existence doesn’t add much new information. At best, it’s a sign that Apple doesn’t feel there are many problems in High Sierra.

 

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So Apple appears to be updating the client side in terms of KRACK, but what about the base station side? I'm still waiting for an update for the AP Extreme.

AFAIU updating the base station is the only way to fix the situation if you have clients that cannot be patched (e.g. OS X < El Cap, iOS < 11.1, etc.).
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Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-11-02 09:34
I believe your understanding is correct, and as far as I'm aware, Apple has said absolutely nothing about updates to the AirPort line. :-(
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Bruce Van Allen  2017-11-07 00:44
Any more news about High Sierra's compatibility issues with Adobe products, especially InDesign? I have not upgraded from Sierra on my main machine because of warnings that InDesign and Illustrator both were having problems with High Sierra. I still depend on those applications. Adobe now says that the latest High Sierra Security Update fixes one of the problems (fuzzy cursor) - but is that it?

Thanks,
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joestoner  2017-11-07 06:51
I've got a Hybrid start-up drive and don't want it corrupted/messed up; does this update address this problem?
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Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-11-07 09:49
High Sierra won’t convert your drive to APFS since it’s not an SSD. It wouldn’t have messed that up in 10.13.0 and nothing has changed in that area in 10.13.1.
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joestoner  2017-11-08 13:33
Thanks Adam. I hope that all is well with you and yours.
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B. Jefferson Le Blanc  2017-11-07 15:22
I recommend you take a look at the video at https://blog.macsales.com/42819-video-presentation-taking-a-deep-dive-into-apples-apfs,s"Watch Tim Standing, VP of Software Engineering for OWC Holdings Inc., talk about APFS at the Mac Sys Admin conference in Sweden—including why APFS was needed, how it works and what you should (and shouldn’t) be using it for." I found this far more informative than anything I've yet read about APFS—perhaps because it's a deep dive. Among other things, he suggests that you never (not yet, anyway) upgrade a mechanical hard drive to APSF for, among other reasons, it is actually far slower than a regular HFS+ volume. It remains to be seen if this is anything Apple can fix. It may explain as well why Fusion Drives are incompatible with APSF in the release version of High Sierra. This is no problem for SSD equipped Macs, but since all their desktop Macs now come with Fusion Drives (not counting the SSD BTO option), Apple may (should) have a fix for this issue in the works. A way to format the SSD as APSF while leaving the HDD in HFS+, for instance. This may be critical since Mr. Standing forecasts that within a year or so APSF may be mandatory—say for macOS 10.14, which will be 64 bit only.

Which begs the question, why did you update, against your own advice, at least one of your machines to High Sierra? Hopefully it was only a test platform and the rest of your office remained at Sierra.

Normally you are a savvy Mac user, but If you watch Mr. Standing's video I suspect you will be less sanguine about Apple having little to fix in High Sierra. For one very important thing, Apple has yet to release documentation on APSF. Which means that third party utility developers cannot update their software. Most are to a limited extent compatible with High Sierra. But not with APSF. Nor are they likely to be within the foreseeable future. In other words, if you (or I) is called upon to maintain a new Apple laptop, we will be limited to Disk Utility. No DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro, iDefrag, SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner, to name only the most popular (nor, on a side note, have they fully repaired PDF kit). It's been a long time since versions of these apps were not ready for an OS X/macOS update/upgrade. Yes, they all work in High Sierra—on a Fusion Drive or HDD equipped Mac formatted in HFS+. But the vast majority of Macs these days are laptops equipped with SSDs. Those laptops are automatically converted to APFS when High Sierra is applied. So prey nothing serious goes wrong with those you are responsible for—or that there is an Apple Store within spitting distance, though I suspect their hands will be just as tied as yours and mine.
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Mark Bolzan  2017-11-10 13:26
it takes effort but you can use HFS+ on a mac with an SSD. being somewhat conservative about this kind of stuff, i am presently running high sierra on an hfs+ disk on a late 2016 macbook pro touchbar. basically--

1) clone to external. also backup
2) upgrade to high sierra on internal. this gets the firmware update applied. internal is now APFS.
3) upgrade to high sierra on external. external remains hfs+
4) boot to something, maybe the external.
5) erase the internal. reformat to hfs+
6) clone the external to internal.
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