Mac OS X 10.7.2, iPhoto 9.2 bring iCloud support

Not content to merely update its flagship mobile operating system, Apple on Wednesday released three significant updates for Mac users: Mac OS X 10.7.2, Lion Recovery Update, and iPhoto 9.2.

The biggest news with these updates is support for iCloud: In 10.7.2, iCloud can sync email, calendars, contacts, Safari bookmarks, and your Safari Reading List. It also adds Back to My Mac support for accessing your Mac remotely, and Find My Mac for…well, finding your Mac. (Tip: It’s right in front of you.)

The 10.7.2 update also addresses a slew of issues with 10.7.1, including networking problems after waking from sleep, a bug where screen zoom stops working, Keynote slowdowns, and issues with Google contact syncing in address book. Also included in the update are various enhancements, like the ability to reorder desktop spaces and full-screen apps in Mission Control, along with dragging files between desktop spaces and full-screen apps. Another improvement touches on Launchpad; it now better supports VoiceOver. The update also improves Active Directory integration and enables booting into Lion Recovery from a locally attached Time Machine backup drive.

In addition, 10.7.2 resolves issues with Mail that prevented sending through MobileMe and caused problems while searching email; fixes a problem where iChat unnecessarily prompted you for your password; adds RAW image compatibility for more digital cameras, and removes Disk Images (.dmg) and installer packages (.pkg) from the list of “safe” file types that applications like Safari might otherwise automatically open after downloading.

As is often the case, the latest OS X update also includes a variety of security-related fixes for everything from Apache to X11. You might even call it a veritable slew of security updates. Several of the now-patched vulnerabilities could allow arbitrary code execution.

iPhoto 9.2 made its debut Wednesday, as well. The update adds support for iCloud—specifically, for the Photo Stream feature that syncs your photos between devices. Other minor issues addressed in the update include new left- and right-swiping gestures to navigate between photos in the Magnify view; the addition of a Previously Imported Photos section; easier selection of book, calendar, and card themes; a fix for a bug that caused some photo books to print incorrectly; and resolution for an issue where rebuilding your photo library wouldn’t properly preserve saved slideshows and books. iPhoto’s big brother Aperture got similar updates, along with a few other bug fixes; it too now supports iCloud’s Photo Stream feature. That update is available through the Mac App Store.

Included in the 10.7.2 update is Safari 5.1.1, which adds the aforementioned iCloud support, along with a variety of other improvements. JavaScript performance is improved up to 13 percent over Safari 5.1, and Apple says that various hangs and excessive memory usage are addressed, too. Also addressed: stability when using Find, dragging tabs, and managing extensions; stability on netflix.com and other websites that use Silverlight; issues in full-screen mode that affected search suggestions, URL updating, window sizing, and the title bar; issues with East Asian character input into webpages with Flash content; the consistency of the pinch-to-zoom gesture; a bug where Safari would open links in windows instead of tabs; a bug that could affect cookie and data deletion; a problem that caused History items to appear incorrectly; various improvements for sites like vimeo.com with Flash video; and better webpage printing.

The update also adds a Show Downloads item to the View menu, improves PDF handling, corrects the text in application download alerts, and addresses an issue that could prevent the Google Safe Browsing Service from updating.

The Safari update sprinkles in a few security fixes of its own as well, including vulnerabilities that could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on your system. Which, we can all agree, would be bad.

Lion Recovery update includes improvements to, surprisingly, Lion Recovery, and a fix for an issue with Find My Mac when using a firmware password.

All downloads are available via Software Update.

Updated 4:17 p.m. ET with information on the security content of the Safari and OS X updates.

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