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OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion Fixes Nagging Bugs

With OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.3 Update and the included Safari 6.0.3, Apple has squashed numerous nagging bugs, many of which were extremely specific and were thus overlooked in the larger 10.8.2 release from nearly six months ago (see “OS X 10.8.2 Eases Notification Center, Messages Frustrations,” 19 September 2012). The free update is available via the Mac App Store, with delta (540.46 MB — from 10.8.2) and combo (793.69 MB — from any version of 10.8) updaters now ready for download from the Apple Support Downloads site. Although we haven’t noticed any problems yet, we recommend holding off on the update for at least a few days until we’ve seen if it introduces any new issues. Let’s take a look at the details.

Ding dong, the file URL bug is dead! See “A Simple Text String that Crashes Most Mac Applications” (4 February 2013). This bug was minor, but embarrassing, so it’s nice that Apple has addressed it.

The Contacts app fixes several printing-related bugs, including one that caused cards to print out of order and another that caused addresses to print in the wrong location. We still mostly print with BeLight Software’s more-capable Labels & Addresses, so we’ve not run into these problems (see “Labels & Addresses Restores Holiday Card Sanity,” 12 December 2008).

If you use Boot Camp in favor of VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop, and you want to stay up to date with the latest developments on both sides of the fence, 10.8.3 adds support both for installing Windows 8 and for Macs with 3 TB drives.

Eye candy lovers will be pleased to learn that 10.8.3 finally brings back to Mountain Lion’s Slideshow screensaver the capability to display photos from subfolders, and also fixes a bug that could cause the desktop picture to change after logging out or restarting. If you’ve noticed wackiness on the screen after waking from sleep, that should be a thing of the past too.

Listen up for two audio-related fixes, one that prevents an audio stuttering problem on 2011 Macs, and another that could cause Logic Pro to become unresponsive when using certain plug-ins.

On the networking side, 10.8.3 promises reliability enhancements when using a Microsoft Exchange account in Mail, claims improved compatibility with IMAP servers in the Notes app, prevents Messages from displaying messages out of order after waking from sleep, and includes fixes for two Active Directory bugs that could cause delays on high latency networks and lock out users after accessing the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences.

Safari 6.0.3 improves performance when scrolling on Facebook and while zoomed in on a Web page, plus while viewing Web pages with plug-in content. Also included are bug fixes for an erroneous alert claiming that bookmarks can’t be changed, duplicate bookmarks on iOS devices after editing them in Safari on the Mac, incorrect access to unfiltered search results when searching Google with Parental Controls enabled, and a problem that prevents Safari from restoring the correct page position when you navigate back to a previous page.

As always, both 10.8.3 and Safari 6.0.3 address numerous security vulnerabilities. Safari 6.0.3 fixes no less than 15 WebKit memory corruption bugs, plus a pair of cross-site scripting attacks. 10.8.3’s security fixes span the gamut, addressing components and apps such as Apache, CoreTypes, International Components for Unicode, Identity Services, ImageIO, IOAcceleratorFamily, the kernel, Login Window, Messages, PDFKit, and QuickTime. Plus, the update no longer allows incorrect SSL certificates.

There’s also mention of a malware removal tool that Apple says will run on installation and will remove most common variants of malware — you’re alerted only if malware is found.

As noted at the start, although the changes in both 10.8.3 and Safari 6.0.3 are welcome, there’s no telling if Apple has inadvertently introduced new problems, so unless you’re being vexed daily by something that these updates fix, we recommend holding off on this update until early adopters give the all clear.


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Comments about OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion Fixes Nagging Bugs
(Comments are closed.)

Pipbin  2013-03-14 17:57
The long-standing WiFi bug that affects the MacBook Pro 3,1 still hasn't been fixed. You can read all about it in this long thread:

Essentially, a bug in the IO80211Family.kext causes Airplay streaming, as well as wireless Time Machine backups, to fail after several minutes. The transmit rate will drop to 13 or less.

Currently, the only fix is to install the IO80211Family.kext from 10.6.x or 10.7.3.

Apple's poor software quality control and the many bugs that remain unfixed are making me more and more despondent about Apple.
Steve Nicholson  2013-03-15 13:17
I've frequently run into the desktop picture bug. But since it is, as you say, just eye candy, I haven't lost any sleep over it. It's certainly not enough to make me want to install the update on day 1.
Daniel  2013-03-15 23:24
HDMI out still buggy. Won't display full 1080p on my external, but works fine in Bootcamp, pointing to bad driver implementation. Really was waiting on this, but apparently I still have a very expensive Windows MBPr.
nick304  2013-03-16 07:52
FIXED: The Apple issue that stopped "Import from Device" working in Photoshop CS6. It is now possible to scan directly into Photoshop from any ImageKit supported scanners (anything that works in Image Capture). This is quite a big deal - can't understand why it hasn't been mentioned anywhere else.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-03-17 11:35
Hey, that's great to hear, thanks!
Christopher  2013-03-16 22:45
Now you see it, now you don't...

I saw the 10.8.3 update in the App Store"updates" screen, along with updates for two other applications I have installed. I downloaded the updates for the other two applications and when I went back in to look for 10.8.3 it was no longer there. I currently have "No Updates Available" and am still on 10.8.2.

I'm thinking positively and assuming that someone is making sure it's OK before I install it :)
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-03-17 11:36
That's odd - I just checked on my laptop, which is still running 10.8.2, and 10.8.3 remains available for download. But again, there's no harm in waiting a bit longer.
Christopher  2013-03-19 16:50
I saw it was available again when I got home about 18 hours ago, but I'll wait until I sort out my backup situation before downloading it.
nzapplebot  2013-03-17 16:28
I am waiting to hear if the problems with audio/video syncing in Photo Booth have been fixed yet! I know its a pretty insignificant thing for some but I love that app and since its been broken Ive been tearing my hair out waiting for a fix :)
I was preparing to switch from Safari to Firefox as my primary browser unless 10.8.3 fixed whatever was causing a major slowdown every time I switched web sites. Well, I used Safari briefly this morning and the problem appears to have gone away.
My wife encountered a problem with our wi-fi connection on her Macbook pro. Connectivity inside the LAN was always good, but internet-connection was lost from time to time and stayed on 1 to 4 kb/s. Since 10.8.3 and a cms-reset this problem is gone. (Previaous cms-resets didn't work).
Adam Bell  2013-03-18 17:39
The update doesn't fix the pollution of the Launch Services DB -- it still gets cluttered with multiple listings of your apps when you clone your drive.
Tripp Frohlichstein  2013-03-18 18:37
The update appears to have again disabled Java. I use Java on one site-but even though it is loaded (and I trashed it and reloaded the latest Java), it says Java not detected. Worked fine in 10.8.2
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-03-19 05:46
I think it's safe to assume that Apple is going to attempt to disable Java any chance it gets at this point, given Java's security problems of late. ;-)
paul Flynne  2013-03-18 18:39
I had an issue with Time Capsule and Time Machine deciding to take a holiday from working. Took me the better part of the day to get it sorted out. Pterry sure it was the update, as it affected my computers one by one as I updated them serially. You are right, Adam, it would have been better to wait a few days and to see ow things unfolded. Lesson learnt.
AN Other  2013-03-19 10:31
Still getting beachballs, and Flash Player is very choppy on YouTube, but on the whole, it's getting slightly better.
Frank Greenough  2013-03-19 21:25
It fixed the problem of "Save to iPhoto" not working in Mail.
James S  2013-03-20 11:03
Looks like the bug in Messages (appearing out of order after waking from sleep) isn't fixed with 10.8.3.
barefootguru  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2013-03-20 21:58
It fixes Nvidia-based Macs sometimes crashing when running Pixelmator:
After update, Google search in address bar stopped working. Now there is a huge long string in the address bar and Safari is unable to open
Joe Michalak  2013-04-05 13:32
I've encountered a nasty video bug with my Dell U2412M monitor running on the MacMini. Every image shakes and shimmers like Jello on a plate during an 8.9 tremor. It's awful. So far, support has only done a reset. They seem to be baffled. It's only intermittent, but it's very annoying when working in Lightroom and Photoshop. I'm considering downgrading to Snow Leopard which was solid before I upgraded. Disgusted.
D Bergmark  2013-05-08 08:58
After installing 10.8.3 update, I can no longer delete a user that I had added under 10.8.2. I have added and deleted users before 10.8.3 with no problem. I have administrative access. But when I go to Users and Groups, all accounts except for guest and the account I am logged in on are unavailable for deletion. Is this a bug introduced by 10.8.3?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-05-08 09:23
This isn't an inherent problem to 10.8.3, since I can delete users just fine. You might try repairing permissions, on the off chance that something has gone wacky there.
D Bergmark  2013-05-08 10:23
Silly me -- I forgot about making the user who is about to be deleted log out first. Sorry for polluting these waters.