Fifth and Likely Final Beta of MacOS 10.13.5 Release to Testers

MacOS High Sierra - iMac

Apple has released a fifth and what is likely to be the final beta build of MacOS 10.13.5 to beta testers.  The new build was released yesterday, along side the 5th beta for iOS 11.4, and should be available to everyone who has a registered device in the Apple Beta Program.

The new build is 17F70a and given the timing of the release as it relates to WWDC and the size of the update, it is likely this is the Release Candidate version of the next build of MacOS High Sierra.  WWDC kicks off at the first of June where it is expected that MacOS 10.14 will be shown for the first time publicly along with iOS 12.

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Fourth MacOS 10.13.5 Beta Build Released to Testers

MacOS High Sierra - iMac

The fourth beta of the upcoming update to MacOS High Sierra has been released to private as well as public beta testers.  The newest build of MacOS 10.13.5 doesn’t specifically call out any new updates or features and comes a week after the 3rd beta was released.  The update to the beta build coincides with the update of the beta for iOS 11.4, which released earlier today.

The timing of the fourth beta is a bit strange and suggests that perhaps Apple ran into a significant bug with the 3rd beta released last week.  That isn’t 100% certain of course as Apple is notoriously tight lipped about things like that, but the timing suggests it at least.

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Third Beta for MacOS 10.13.5 Released to Beta Program Testers

MacOS Icon

Following up the release of the third beta of iOS 11.4, Apple has also released a third, and likely final, beta build of MacOS 10.13.5 to beta testers.  The Apple Beta Program is open to anyone with an eligible device and you can sign up if you want at this site.  Remember, it is beta software so you may find the odd bug or behavior as final testing is done.

Much like the iOS 3rd beta, the MacOS 10.13.5 3rd beta more or less is a polishing and bug crushing exercise.  There aren’t any new features of note other than those which are already known about, namely Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2.

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Refreshed MacBook Air Looks to be Delayed Until Later This Year

MacBook Air

Rumors have persisted for the past several months that an updated MacBook Air is coming in 2018.  Early rumors suggested that we would see the new 13″ updated Air by mid-year, possibly as soon as WWDC in June.  But those rumors seem to have been put to bed based on a report by DigiTimes.

In that report, it is indicated that Apple’s supply chain partners have been informed that production of the new MacBook Air won’t begin until the second half of 2018, meaning July at the earliest for production to begin.  While no reason was provided, speculation is that core components like processors were in short supply for Apple’s needs.

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Apple Releases a Security Update for MacOS 10.13.4

MacOS Icon

In addition to the security update released for iOS 11.3.1 today, Apple also released a minor security update for MacOS 10.13.4.  The update to High Sierra brings two patches to two vulnerabilities on the platform in a 1GB update.  It is available to all Macs running High Sierra.

The first patch has to do with a memory corruption issue in the Crash Reporter that could allow for an application to gain elevated privileges.  This issue was found by the Google Project Zero team, Google’s security team that finds issues within Google’s products as well as Apple and Microsoft products.

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Apple Releases Second Beta of MacOS 10.13.5 to Testers

MacOS Icon

Following up on the release of the second beta of iOS 11.4, Apple has released the second beta of the next build of MacOS High Sierra, MacOS 10.13.5.  The update is available to testers who have registered their devices in the Apple beta program.  If you have a registered device, the update should be available to you through the Mac App Store.

Not much is known about what is included in this second beta as Apple tends to not release many details on it.  Given it is a “dot” release, it more-or-less focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements as well as refinements to apps on the platform.  One thing that is known is that MacOS 10.13.5 will bring Message on iCloud which is now also in the afore mentioned second beta of iOS 11.4.

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Hangouts Chat Generally Available to G Suite Subscribers

Hangouts Chat

Nearly a year after it was announced and almost all of that time in early adopter programs, Google’s Hangouts Chat is now generally available as a core service to G Suite customers.  It provides deep integration with the entire G Suite of apps for easy collaboration and sharing of files along with group and direct messaging capabilities.  There are also some 25 bots available starting today to further integrate with other solutions your organization may have in their portfolio.

The most direct comparison of Hangouts Chat in the market today is Slack and in many ways, the two messaging & collaboration solutions are equal.  But for G Suite customers, the advantage of Chat is that everything stays inter-domain which provides another layer of security.

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Google Backup & Sync Update Brings Network-Attached Storage Support

Google Backup and Sync

A new update to the Google Backup & Sync app for MacOS and Windows 10 is rolling out that brings a lot of fixes and a few new features.  The updated build is version 3.39 for those keeping score at home.  This new build was released on February 1st so it is likely that you already have it installed as Google pushes updates to Backup & Sync behind the scenes.

For those who use Network-Attached Storage (NAS), this update is an important one for you as it is finally supported.  You can now backup files and folders stored on a NAS to your Google Drive.  The folder has to be mounted and you will be able to add a NAS folder from the My Computer section of Google Backup & Sync.

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