Adobe has acknowledged what InDesign users have been pointing out since mid-June—that versions CS5, CS5.5, and CS6 will cause a system and/or application crash on the new 2012 models of Apple’s MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and Retina MacBook Pros, under certain circumstances, such as when the program displays a warning dialog box.
"Adobe was recently informed that InDesign customers using the new Retina MacBook Pros are experiencing problems," said Chris Kitchener, InDesign product manager. "As with any software compatibility issue with brand new hardware, we are still in the process of fully understanding the problem. We are talking with Apple and working so we can resolve the matter just as soon as we can."
According to Adobe support technician Scott Worthington, who has publicly been tracking the case on the Adobe forums since June 27, “At this time it appears the update is removing an API we use to control our use of system icons. At present the solution appears to be to rollback the update for the software to continue to function as expected. Other solutions are being explored to see if we can find a simpler answer.”
Crashes traced to new hardware and software updates
The problem appears to originate with the new Retina MacBook Pros, the new non-Retina Macbook Pros, and the new MacBook Airs that feature Intel Ivy Bridge processors, and are running OS X 10.7.4.
On June 15, an Adobe InDesign forum contributor with the nickname “arminvit” reported that his copy of InDesign CS5 crashed on his 2012 MacBook Pro when he tried to delete a page with content and when packaging files. He also observed that another, older computer, running 10.7.3 did not crash under the same circumstances.
This kicked off an avalanche of forum posts spanning nearly a month that has gained some acknowledgment from Adobe about the problem, but no fix yet in sight. Similar posts also cropped up on the Apple support forums.
Adobe blames Apple OS change
For users who can roll back to OS X 7.4.3, the problem could be solved, at least for now. But those that bought their brand new systems with 10.7.4 already installed do not have that option.
Adobe technician Scott Worthington first replied to forum users on June 27, saying that Adobe is looking into the issue, but offered no further comments until July 6, when he told users, “At this time it appears the update is removing an API we use to control our use of system icons,” Worthington wrote. “At present the solution appears to be to rollback the update for the software to continue to function as expected.”
While there are always some glitches with new software versions, and how they work with the current or future operating systems, Adobe's own Known Issues page does not list this problem at this writing.
This raises the question of what that means for the impending release of Mountain Lion. While Worthington declined to speculate whether the Mountain Lion upgrade to the Apple operating system would fix the problem, he did say that, "At this time, I cannot tell if it will persist in Mountain Lion. The API's apparent removal really impacts the behavior in this situation."
Apple offered no immediate comment on the issue.