This Week in App News

This week has been a relatively quiet one in terms of app news (if you don’t count the Apple v Samsung legal battle) but we’ve still found a couple of stories for you to mull over this Sunday.


OS X 10.8.1 released with fixes to iMessage, Migration Assistant and more

In what was probably the smallest OS X update in history, Apple pushed out the next version of Mountain Lion, version 10.8.1, to the public on Thursday afternoon after being released to developers a couple of weeks earlier.

OS X Mountain Lion 10 8 1

OS X 10.8.1 was released on Thursday with a variety of small bug fixes.

According to the changelog the update, which weighed in at a minute 7.3 MB and took less than a minute to download, install and reboot on some users machines, ironed out a few slight issues regarding Migration Assistant, audio when played through a Thunderbolt display, Messages and also improved Microsoft Exchange support.

There were reports that the beta had fixed the battery drain problem first experienced with the release of Mountain Lion – a number of users reported that their battery drained a lot quicker under the first version of OS X 10.8 when compared to the previous Lion version, 10.7.4. Although there has been no official confirmation from Apple, several MacBook Pro users have reported their battery now lasting on average around 7 hours whilst running OS X 10.8.1, unlike the previous 5 hours with the first release of Mountain Lion.

If you think that OS X 10.8.1 has solved your battery issues then go ahead and let fellow readers know in the comments section below! You can grab the update either by heading over to the App Store, where it should be waiting for you, or from Apple’s support website, where it is available as a manual download.

VMWare Fusion 5 released with full Mountain Lion support; Parallels 8 in the pipeline

On Thursday, VMWare launched the next reincarnation of its popular virtualisation software, Fusion, which boasted a total of 70 new features in its arsenal. New features included full Mountain Lion support which allows Fusion’s notifications to be shared in the Notification Centre, searching for your favourite Windows programs in the Launchpad and AirPlay Mirroring to your HDTV.

VMWare Fusion 5

VMWare Fusion 5 features full Mountain Lion support and optimisation for Windows 8.

The update also brought along optimisation for the upcoming Windows 8 and its new Metro environment, which is slated for general release on October 26, as well as performance enhancements (Windows now reboots in a matter of seconds under the new environment), retina-display optimisation and USB 3 support.

Customers who have purchased a copy of Fusion 4 after July 25, 2012 are eligible to a free upgrade online, otherwise the software is priced at $49.99 and available for purchase here (a free 30-day trial is also available).

In related VMWare news, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac has been announced and will be available on September 4th, although nothing is known at the moment regarding its features.

A First Look at Facebook integration in OS X 10.8.2

For those of who lamenting after that missing Facebook integration from the release of Mountain Lion – fear no longer. The Developer Preview of OS X 10.8.2, which was released to registered developers with Apple earlier this week, includes it and we’re going to have a quick look at it today.

Facebook Accounts

Signing into your Facebook account through the System Preferences pane.

Just like Twitter, Facebook now appears in your Mail, Contacts and Calendars pane of System Preferences and adding your account is extremely simple: just enter the e-mail address you use to sign in to Facebook and your password and hey presto – you’ve connected your Facebook account to OS X.

Facebook Permissions

OS X will then ask you to confirm the permissions on your account before proceeding.

Your Facebook contacts are automatically imported and synced with any existing contacts in your address book on your Mac (including phone numbers, birthdays and avatar pictures) and now Facebook notifications pop up in your Notification Centre.

Facebook NC

Updating my status directly from the Notification Centre.

Just like Twitter, you can update your Facebook status directly from the Notification Centre and also share images and sites directly from supported applications.

Facebook Sharing

Sharing to Facebook is easy via any supported app (in this case, Safari 6)

Although we have no official word on the release date of OS X 10.8.2, given the release of the developer version we can expect the final version around the middle of September (maybe to coincide with the release of the rumoured iPhone 5 on September 12th). We’ll keep you updated on this one.

Sketchbook Pro relaunched with new brushes and Mountain Lion support

Autodesk has released the next reincarnation of Sketchbook Pro which boasts over 100 new present tools in its brush library, including synthetic paint brushes and smudge brushes for more realistic images as well as the ability to control and adjust a variety of aspects about our image, including the brightness, hue, saturation, contrast, colour balance and so on.

SketchBook Pro 6

SketchBook Pro 6 features a wealth of new brushes (over 100 in total) and full Mountain Lion support.

Sketchbook Pro 6 also features full support for Mountain Lion and allows users to save their created documents directly to iCloud, which can then be accessed across all their devices.

The app hasn’t yet been released onto the App Store but will be available within the next week or so and Autodesk considers this a completely new application so unfortunately there’s no free upgrading from Sketchbook Pro. There will, however, be an introductory price of $30 for the new version, according to Macworld.

Heard Anything Else?

If you’ve heard anything else exciting that’s happened this week then go ahead and post a link to it in the Comments section below for the benefit of our other readers!