Display Menu brings back Mountain Lion's screen resolution to your menu bar

Do you miss the menu-bar option that allows you to select a display resolution? Recently, TUAW got pitched -- rather enthusiastically -- about a utility that helps with this. I tested it and wasn't especially thrilled by either its design or functionality. So I decided to hunt down a better solution. I quickly found one in Display Menu.

A free utility on the Mac App Store, Display Menu offers what I was looking for. With full multi-monitor support, it easily adjusted my various displays with a simple drop-down menu. What's more, it did this with a clever presentation that offers aspect hints as well as resolution values.

If you've been looking for a replacement for lost system functionality now that you're on Mountain Lion, Display Menu might be that app. Developer Thorsten Karrer did a good job creating an app that's simple to use. According to the developer, while the app supports HiDPI modes, it does not support the "two small display modes" of the Retina MacBook Pro.

[Source: TUAW]

Apple releases Mountain Lion 10.8.2 build to devs, focuses on Facebook, iMessage and more

Shortly after letting the 10.8.1 Mountain Lion out of the bag, Cupertino's now released the next dotted version of its feline OS X to members of the developer community. According to the seed note, this early release will be focusing on a slew of social areas as well as other handy applications, including Facebook, Messages, Game Center, Reminders and, of course, the company's own web browser, Safari. As is usually the case with these young builds, Apple suggests you install it on a machine "you are prepared to erase if necessary," though something tells us you were already well aware of that. But in case you do want to install v10.8.2, you'll find the rest of the deets at the Apple Developer site linked below.

[Source: Engadget]

VMware intros Fusion 5 virtualization software with support for Win 8, integration with Mountain Lion

With Mountain Lion newly available and Windows 8 on the verge of shipping, now was a pretty good time for VMware to update its Fusion virtualization software, dont'cha think? The company just announced Fusion 5 with 70-plus new features, including support for Win 8 and tight integration with OS X 10.8. For instance, you can now view Windows programs in Mountain Lion's Launchpad, while VMware software updates pop up in the Notification Center. Fusion also supports AirPlay for the first time, and you can also run either Mountain Lion or Mountain Lion Server as a virtual machine. The company also added support for Retina Display MacBook Pros, so that everything looks crisp on that 2,880 x 1,880 screen. Also of note: Fusion now supports USB 3.0, and Linux users get some love in the form of Open GL 2.1 graphics support.

The standard version of Fusion 5 is available now for $49.99, but people who bought Fusion 4 since the release of Mountain Lion can upgrade for free. There's also a professional version ($100 for one license), which includes all the above features, and also lets IT departments lock down settings for employees' virtual machines.

[Source: Engdaget]

Apple seeds new OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 beta (build 12B17) to developers

Less than a week after seeding the initial build of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1 (build 12B13), Apple has followed up with a new build to developers. The beta, coming in at build number 12B17, has no known issues. Apple asks developers to focus on Active Directory, iCal, Microsoft Exchange in Mail, PAC proxies in Safari, SMB, USB, and WiFi and audio when connected to an Apple Thunderbolt Display.

10.X.1 OS X updates are usually maintenance updates released soon after the initial 10.X.0 release. The short amount of time between developer beta releases, and the small amount of builds between the earlier release and today’s release should point to that. However, the release notes are yet to be included in 10.8.1 seeds. (as shown above).

Earlier this week, Apple seeded a new beta of 10.7.5, a maintenance release for OS X Lion.

[Source: 9to5Mac]

Tests Find OS X Mountain Lion May Significantly Degrade Notebook Battery Life

Ars Technica has been doing some testing after reports emerged that some Mountain Lion early adopters were experiencing degraded battery life after upgrading to OS X 10.8. A 46-page thread with nearly 700 replies has been growing over the past several weeks on the Apple Support Forums.

Ars writer Chris Foresman, after extended testing, discovered that the battery life of his Retina MacBook Pro review unit dropped 38% from its previous 8-hours. He was unable to narrow down blame for the battery loss to any particular bit of software or system process.

Our own testing revealed similar (and significant) drops in battery runtime after installing Mountain Lion. In previous tests, we were able to regularly achieve just over 8 hours of use by relying solely on our Retina MacBook Pro's integrated Intel HD4000 GPU. Performing the same "real-world" test using the same software applications and usage pattern, we never got the Retina MacBook Pro to run for more than a few minutes past 5 hours after a full charge.

Typically, the quad-core processor wasn't taxed beyond 5 percent capacity, except for occasional 10-20 percent spikes when loading webpages, reading or writing files, or other activities. Unexpected file system or network access, or less efficient use of the GPU, could cause additional power drain without showing significant CPU use.

One poster on Apple's support forums claims a company support representative told him that "an update will be issued via the [Mac App Store] as soon as they can work a fix."

[Source: MacRumors]

Why apps in Mountain Lion might need to see your address data

In OS X Mountain Lion, Apple has added extra protection around the address book and restricted apps from gaining access to the contents without a user's permission. This added security is beneficial for users, but it poses a communication problem for developers who need to access the address book for feedback or crash reports, says Daniel Jalkut in a post on his Red Sweater blog.Developers who generate a bug report or feedback request within their app must deal with the foreboding dialog shown above when they try to populate the fields of a contact form using data contained in the "Me" card. Not only does the dialog confuse the user, it also makes it appear that the app is doing something nefarious when it's actually not.Working off a tip from Panic founder Cabel Sasser, Jalkut has devised a way to add a friendly tone to the dialog that'll explain to users why the app needs to pull information from the address book. According to Jalkut, you can modify the Info.plist file and add a string for the NSContactsUsageDescription key. This key will tell the user why the app needs the contact information and will appear the first time the app tries to gain access to the address book.

[Source: Tuaw]

Top 10 subtle Mountain Lion features (and a few more)

Lifehacker has put together a list of what they call the "top 10 secret features of Mountain Lion." That's not quite right -- these features aren't secret, because it would be pretty silly to release an OS update and not tell anyone about it. But they are subtle, and this is a nice list of features you may not have noticed yet.

For example, the fact that you can tweet right from the top of Notification Center, or that you can share photos straight from QuickLook using the Share button. You can also rename files in TextEdit (or share them to iCloud) just by clicking on the document's name at the top of the window, and you can even insert pages into PDF files in Preview through the Edit menu. Helpful tips, for sure.

We'll even add a few more features in that you may not have noticed yet: Over in Launchpad (which you can access from your dock or pressing F4 on a new Mountain Lion install, or set up a hot corner for), just typing will start you on a search for any app you've installed through the Mac App Store. And you may not have noticed, but Apple's added some brand new Screen Saver and slideshow options for when your Mac goes to sleep. Just like Apple's other OS releases lately, there's a lot of new stuff to go find and play with in Mountain Lion.

[Source: TUAW]

Get 'Save As' back on Mountain Lion's File menu easily

Much rejoicing accompanied the news that Mountain Lion brought back the "Save As..." option (which had been taken away in Lion and replaced with the not-nearly-the-same-thing "Duplicate" command). Unfortunately, Save As was relegated to a sub-menu which could only be seen if you held down the Option key, or you could use the not-very-convenient keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+Option+S.  For some reason, that keyboard shortcut never worked for me, so I decided to remap it using System Preferences.

[Source: To read the full article visit Tuaw]

Mountain Lion 101: The iCloud Document Library

One of my favorite features of Mountain Lion to demonstrate so far has been the iCloud Document Library. This is a way to store your iWork, TextEdit, and Preview documents in iCloud so that they are immediately accessible from other Macs on the same iCloud account as well as on connected iOS devices.

TUAW blogger and developer Erica Sadun told me the secret behind this on Wednesday. If you go to your Library folder and open the "Mobile Documents" folder, you'll notice that the name of the folder changes to iCloud (see screenshot below). That's where all of those documents are saved, and it's even possible to just drag items into the folder to add them to your iCloud Document Library.

In compatible apps, you'll find that selecting "Open" from the File menu displays a new Finder Open dialog with buttons for iCloud and "On My Mac". Selecting iCloud displays a very iOS-like dialog showing all compatible documents. Drag one document onto another, and you can create a folder -- another iOS feature. Likewise, selecting "Save As" from the File menu gives you the choice of saving a file to your iCloud Document Library.

[Source: TAUW - Click to read the full story]

Apple Releases Firmware to Activate PowerNap on 2011 MacBook Airs

One of the new features found in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is PowerNap. PowerNap was introduced at WWDC 2012 and allows your Mac to continue to perform tasks such as receiving email and updating software even when it's sleeping. 

Apple lists the full capabilities in this Knowledge Base document. Capabilities include getting new Mail, syncing Calendar, Contact and Reminder changes, and more. When plugged into power, your Mac can download software updates and make backups with Time Capsule. 

Apple only supports PowerNap on 2011 MacBook Airs and beyond as well as the 2012 Retina MacBook Pro. The capability should move over to more of Apple's laptops as Apple makes a full transition to SSD. Built-in flash storage is listed as one of the requirements of the technology. Apple just released a firmware update that enables this functionality in the 2011 MacBook Airs, while support for the Retina MacBook Pro is said to be "coming soon".

[Source: MacRumors]

Ten things you might not know about Mountain Lion

I've written about developer Saied Ghaffari and his company It's About Time before; well, they have another new Mac app that's pretty amazing, and the great thing is that TUAW readers can get a free sample of the app right here, right now.  The new app is called Hello Tips, Tricks & Secrets (US$1.99) and it's full of OS X tips that you might not know -- including a bunch of new tips especially for OS X Mountain Lion.  Saied made ten tips available in the sample web app that I've embedded below, but there are over a hundred tips in the Mac app, all presented in an easy-to-understand video format. Give the example below a try (click the Next button to start cycling through the tips), and then consider buying the app. It's a great way to learn some tips that you can show off to your friends and relatives, and they'll end up thinking you're an amazing Mac whiz!

[Source: Tuaw]