This Week in Mac News: Updates, Earnings, and Ping

This Week in Mac News is a new column we’re now publishing each Saturday, rounding up the latest Mac and Apple news. Just the fact here; no rumors. See, rumors are expensive, so we’ll stick to the facts.

Welcome to the first edition of This Week in Mac News. There’s so much going on in in the world of Apple, beyond just regular app updates, we wanted to be able to help our readers stay a bit more informed about what’s going on without having to trace down every rumor and Apple press release. That’s why we’ve started this new column, and we hope you enjoy reading. Let us know your thoughts about it and if there’s anything we’ve missed in the comments below.

With that out of the way, let’s get started with this week’s news. Briefly, Apple released a OS X 10.8.2 and 10.7.5 supplemental update with bug fixes, the company’s fourth quarter earnings will be announced on October 25, and Ping closed at 11:59 p.m. September 30. Keep reading for full coverage of these topics.

OS X 10.8.2 Supplemental Update Released with Bug Fixes

OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 received a supplemental update on Thursday, October 4. It includes fixes for an issue that prevented Japanese characters from appearing correctly in the Mail app, an issue that didn’t allow Macs with 64 GB or RAM or more to start up properly, and fixed a bug that caused the DVD Player app to crash. One major fix was for the operating system’s default Web browser: Safari now allows secure Web sites to be accessed when parental controls are enabled. The full list of changes is available on Apple’s official support page for the update.

To download the OS X 10.8.2 Supplemental Update, either click the apple in the top left of the screen and click Software Update, head to the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab, or download it directly from Apple’s support Web site. OS X 10.8.2 may also be available if you didn’t download it when it was released in the third week of September.

OS X 10.7.5 Supplemental Update Released with Two Bug Fixes

Early Thursday afternoon, Apple issued a second update to OS X, this time for the older 10.7.5 Lion. As with the Mountain Lion update, it’s supplemental and not a full incremental version increase. This update fixes a bug that hinders Time Machine backups from completing in a reasonable amount of time and fixes an issue with Gate Keeper’s Developer ID function that didn’t allow signed apps to launch. The full list of changes is available on Apple’s official support page for the update.

To download the OS X 10.7.5 Supplemental Update, either click the apple in the top left of the screen and click Software Update or download it directly from Apple’s support Web site.

Apple Inc. (APPL) Q4 Earnings to Be Announced October 25

On Monday, October 1, Apple Inc. announced that it will be announcing its fourth quarter earnings on October 25. (Apple uses a fiscal year, which means that its fourth quarter ended on September 30.) The earnings will be announced in a conference call with the CEO and other executives. It will take place at 2 p.m. Pacific time and a live webcast is available on Apple’s Web site.

After launching the iPhone 5 and subsequently selling out its initial preorders at the end of its fourth quarter, the earnings are expected to be high, if not higher than last year. Tune in at the aforementioned date and time to find out.

Ping Bids Users Farewell

September 30 marked the end of Apple’s social music network, Ping. After just over a year, the iTunes-based service was not used enough to support, so its retirement was imminent. If you ever used Ping, it was probably for sharing what you just bought. Most users didn’t even know they had it and every time they purchased or “Liked” something on the iTunes Store, it would show up as activity in Ping.

The hopes for this network were good, but Apple clearly didn’t see a future in it. The corporation’s CEO, Tim Cook, said that “the customer voted and said ‘this isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into'” during the D10 All Things Digital conference in June. With that news, the death certificate of Ping was signed, but not dated. Apple then announced that Ping would be removed from iTunes at the end of September. Interestingly, iTunes 11 is slated to include native OS X sharing, so you can share your purchases and more on Facebook and Twitter. For most of us, that’ll be much more interesting than Ping sharing.

That’s It for This Week!

With Ping out of iTunes, that marks the end of this week’s Mac news. It’s worth noting that Steve Jobs died a year age Friday (October 5). The main landing page paid its respects to the entrepreneur with a dedicated video and page in which Tim Cook memorialized his influence on Apple and all of us. If you missed getting to see Apple’s tribute video, you can watch it again in full at this link,

If you’ve found any other interesting Apple news, tell us about it in the comments. Until next week, then? See you on the 13th.