If you’re using a recent MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with Big Sur and a powered USB-C hub or dock, be sure to read our coverage of macOS 11.2.2, which protects those Macs from damage caused by non-compliant USB-C gear. Thinking about starting seeds soon? Josh Centers shows how you can use a smart outlet and simple HomeKit automations to give your garden a head start. Finally, faced with issues surrounding bootable duplicates in Big Sur, Adam Engst re-evaluates his longstanding advice that a bootable backup of your Mac is an essential part of a backup strategy. With Apple making it increasingly difficult to make bootable duplicates, are they still necessary in an era of cloud computing and multiple devices? Notable Mac releases this week include CleanMyMac X 4.8, Fantastical 3.3.5, Little Snitch 5.1.1, Firefox 86, Downcast 2.9.61, and GraphicConverter 11.4.
Some third-party, non-compliant, powered USB-C hubs and docks are bricking recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Apple has updated Big Sur to prevent the problem; the question is if Macs running Catalina or Mojave might still be at risk.
If you garden, it’s time to think about starting seedlings indoors in many parts of the world. “Take Control of Apple Home Automation” author Josh Centers shows how you can use HomeKit to help.
macOS 11 Big Sur has thrown a cryptographically signed monkey wrench into the inner workings of backup apps that make bootable duplicates. There are now workarounds, and Apple promises to fix the necessary underlying tool, but Adam Engst suggests that we need to rethink the role bootable duplicates play in a modern backup strategy.
Adds native support for M1-based Macs and receives a refreshed user interface. ($89.95 new, free update, 78.2 MB, macOS 10.10+)
Maintenance release for the calendar app with a variety of improvements and bug fixes. ($39.99 new, free update, 41.8 MB, macOS 10.13.2+)
Improves detection of VPNs for Automatic Profile Switching and fixes memory leaks. ($45 new, free update, 30.6 MB, macOS 10.11+)
Introduces Total Cookie Protection to prevent cookies from tracking you from site to site. (Free, 125 MB, macOS 10.12+)
Reduces the occurrence and improves resolution of the "dreaded" inaccessible resource issue. ($4.99 new, free update, 26.1 MB, macOS 10.13.2+)
Brings a variety of improvements and bug features to the Swiss Army knife of graphics programs. ($39.95 new, free update, 249 MB, macOS 10.9+)