Apple releases Mac OS X 10.4.3

Apple on Monday released an update for Mac OS X, bringing both the client and server versions of the operating system to 10.4.3. Among the changes in the update are improvements to Safari, Mail, iChat and Apple’s desktop searching tool, Spotlight.

Apple’s Internet Web browser Safari can now pass The Web Standards Project Acid2 test and the update has improved the compatibility of Safari with many webcams. Compatibility for OpenGL-accelerated Macromedia Shockwave 3D webpage content has also been improved.

Several networking issues with SMB volumes have been addressed fixing problems where a volume might not mount after it’s been unmounted.

Changes in the Finder include improving responsiveness during Spotlight searches and Spotlight comments entered in the Finder are now preserved when using iDisk syncing. The update also addressed an issue in which Spotlight cannot find a file after using iPhoto to rename it if the filename originally contained an ampersand, according to Apple.

With Mac OS X 10.4.3, you no longer need to store Address Book contact URLs in the Notes field when syncing with .Mac. In addition, Address Book contacts organized in subgroups can be synced to an iPod using iTunes.

Apple’s Mail application received quite a few improvements with this update. IMAP users will no longer be prompted to download attachments more than once; Smart Groups can now be dragged from Address Book to the To, Cc, or Bcc field; Smart Mailboxes that use “Entire Message Contains” and another criteria with the “any” qualifier now work as expected; and Searches of “All Mailboxes” can now, optionally, include items from Junk and Trash.

iChat, Apple’s messaging application, will now allow .Mac members to enable encrypted chat sessions. The update also resolves an issue in Activity Monitor in which you might see “iChatAgent (Not Responding)” in red text, even though iChat works just fine. Mac OS X 10.4.3 addresses a “No data has been received for the last 10 seconds” alert that could often appear when participating in a video chat in iChat with someone using AIM on a PC.

Other applications have been updated with the release including Disk Utility, which can now verify the Mac OS X 10.4 startup volume; Keychain Access searching is no longer case-sensitive; X11 windows no longer stay in the background after selecting the X11 application from the Dock or with Application Switcher; and an issue was addressed in which Preview might only print the first page of a multipage TIFF document.

More information on Mac OS X 10.4.3 will be available from Apple’s Web site. As MacCentral posted this article, the 10.4.3 update was available through the Software Update system preference pane but not from Apple’s Web site.

Mac OS X Server 10.4.3 includes improvements for AFP, SMB/CIFS, NFS and FTP file sharing protocols; file system permissions and group membership updates; NIS, Active Directory integration and home directory creation; mail services when hosting thousands of user accounts; Weblog authentication and RSS2 compatibility; Software Update server notifications and package synchronization; serving files larger than 64k with Apache; reliably starting MySQL at system startup; software RAID reliability during creation and rebuilding; Workgroup Manager, System Image Utility applications; compatibility with third party applications and devices; and previous standalone security updates.

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