ChronoSync

ChronoSync is a Mac app from Econ Technologies, Inc. that can synchronize and backup to almost any storage connected to a Mac, including local files (folder to folder sync), other Macs or PCs, external drives, and cloud services. You can schedule tasks, customize rules/filters, define scripts that can run multiple syncs simultaneously, automatically archive deleted or replaced files, use NFS file servers and more.

ChronoSync 4.9.10 is priced at $49.99 for OS X 10.11 and up with a 15-day trial available. (Older versions are available for earlier Macs.) The latest release has workarounds for unexpected problems Apple created in macOS 10.15.5.

TNCS-0047 – ChronoSync Bootable Backup on macOS 10.15.5 Catalina
Apple’s release of macOS 10.15.5 has broken the capability to create new Bootable Backups using ChronoSync v.4.9.9 and earlier. Whether it’s a macOS bug or a feature we have released ChronoSync 4.9.10 that implements a work-around to restore the creation of new Bootable Backups. The widely-publicized issues in macOS 10.15.5 that prevent the creation of Bootable Backups prompted this maintenance release.

ChronoAgent 1.9.7, priced starting at $14.99 per license, “is an invisible application that runs silently in the background on a Mac and provides ChronoSync or InterConneX a direct connection to a remote Mac”, protected by a login and optional encryption. ChronoSync can be used as a backup server, pushing or pulling data as required.

InterConneX 2.0.1 is a free file management app for iOS 9 and later that can consolidate mobile files in a “sharespace” container and synchronize files with Macs running ChronoSync. Version 2.0 improved robustness (in conjuction with a ChronoSync update) and brought a new “adaptive interface which allows multitasking and support for drag and drop.”

ChronoMonitor 1.1.4 is a $3.99 app for iOS 8 and up “that monitors Macs running ChronoSync or ChronoAgent.”

Thunderbird security update

Thunderbird is Mozilla Corp.’s open-source, cross-platform email, chat, calendar, contacts and newsfeed (RSS) program, which features reliable email processing, smart folders, phishing protection and spam tools, special support for large-file transfers, quick filtering, Web searching, and plug-ins/add-ons for customization. See Thunderbird help topics for more information.

Thunderbird 68.9.0 is a free download for OS X 10.9 and up, as well as Linux and Windows. (Pre-release test versions are also available.)

The latest release brings security fixes, along with a few bug fixes.

Google Chrome security patches

Google Chrome has another security update today with patches for high-priority vulnerabilities in the latest release.

The cross-platform web browser from Google Inc. utilizes a hidden auto-update daemon and agent that wrecked Mac systems and wreaked other havoc, plus other proprietary Google additions on top of its open-source platform.

Google Chrome 83.0.4103.97 is a free download for OS X 10.10 and later, as well as Linux and Windows.

Google Chrome for iOS 83.0.4103.88 is a free download for iOS 12 and up.

BBEdit

BBEdit is a professional HTML and text editor from Bare Bones Software Inc., aimed at web and software developers. Features include pattern matching (“grep”); search and replace across multiple files; the ability to edit columns (in “delimited (CSV, TSV) text files”); function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages; code folding; text and code completion; FTP and SFTP open and save; AppleScript support and a “text factory”; Unix scripting support and a complete set of HTML markup and clean-up tools.

Version 13 was a major update, first released last fall, that includes “Pattern Playgrounds … for learning, developing and testing regular expression search patterns (‘grep patterns’) in a safe environment” and “live display of both literal and regular expression matching while entering a search string in the Find window”, plus an “Apply Transform command, which provides a powerful, immediate means to apply any single text transformation to multiple files and folders”, among many other improvements.

BBEdit 13.1 is priced at $49.99 for macOS 10.14 and later. The BBEdit download runs for 30 days with all features enabled for evaluation and then continues with a reduced feature set free of charge. (The free BBEdit mode replaces BBEdit’s earlier TextWrangler app.)  The latest release “includes notable new features, visible changes to existing features, and fixes for reported issues.”

BBEdit 13.1 brings back ‘HTML Tidy’ and introduces a completely
overhauled Preview feature, a new ‘Run Unix Command’ command, and
expands the array of supported Markdown variants.

iMazing

iMazing is a cross-platform app from DigiDNA SARL for backing up, cloning and restoring all the data on iOS devices (including photos, music, videos, text messages, call history, voicemail, contacts, notes, voice memos, ringtones, etc.), transferring files between iOS devices and desktop computers (Mac and Windows), and managing music and other files. iMazing can be particularly helpful when you need to back up or clone an iPhone or iPad that iTunes refuses to back up when it’s tied to a different Mac that’s no longer available, or when there are compatibility problems among iTunes, iOS and OS X/macOS versions.

A rich set of features includes app management and download (after iTunes abandoned that), support for iOS device configuration profiles, a file/folder browser, drag-and-drop support, creation and renaming of folders, the ability to display and save detailed information about the phone (including battery info), bookmarks for files and folders, access to iCloud, HEIC file format conversion, “Time Machine-like backups of iOS devices via Wi-Fi”, compatibility with High Sierra (APFS), “a new backup archives format compatible with all kinds of portable storage, including NAS drives”, power-user features and more. (See iMazing FAQ for additional details.)

iMazing 2.11.6 is priced at $44.99 (single computer license) for OS X 10.9 and up with iTunes 12.2 and up, supporting all iPhone, iPad and iPod devices from iOS 4 up, and it offers a 30-day trial period. (There’s also a Windows version.) A Universal license for two computers (Mac and PC) is $49.99, and a 5-computer family license is $69.99. The latest release includes support for iOS 13.5:

Improvements in 2.11.6

  • iOS 13.5 is now fully supported
  • Configurator: Added a Max simultaneous downloads setting in the Preferences window, Library tab
  • Configurator: Added Manage Profiles and Manage Organizations buttons in the Preferences window, Library tab.
  • Messages: Improved support for message attachments in legacy iOS version (iOS 4)
  • Quick Transfer: improved compatibility with legacy OS versions

TenFourFox

TenFourFox is a Firefox-based web browser, reprogrammed for PowerPC-based Macs with separate downloads optimized for G3, G4 and G5 processors. Providing up-to-date security to the older Mac platform, it offers “the latest bug fixes, security improvements and all the powerful technology underlying Mozilla Firefox”, along with “AltiVec JPEG, HTML and WebM decoding acceleration for G4 and G5 Macintoshes” and JavaScript performance based on a “best-in-class, just-in-time PowerPC script compiler.”

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 23 is free and open-source software for PowerPC-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. Release 23 brings security fixes, faster performance and other improvements.

  • Improved image and CSP compatibility
  • Improved JavaScript performance
  • All relevant security and stability fixes from Firefox ESR 68.9

Firefox security fixes, QR sync

Firefox, Mozilla’s open-source, privacy-enhancing alternative to Apple’s proprietary Safari and Google Chrome web browsers, got an update today with important security fixes.

Firefox 77.0 is a free download for OS X 10.9 and up, plus Linux, and Windows.

Firefox ESR 68.9.0esr (see security notes and downloads) includes the security fixes for the Extended Support Release family for OS X 10.9 or later, Linux, or Windows. A Firefox FTP server includes all the various versions for downloading.

Firefox Quantum Developer Edition is an alternate version for desktop systems that incorporates tools such as editors, debuggers and responsive design views.

Firefox Quantum for Enterprise is a version that lets people set up policies (e.g. proxy, restrict features) with Group Policy on Windows and a JSON file on Mac and Linux.

Firefox for iOS 26 is a free mobile version for iOS 11 and up, with automatic search suggestions, a private browsing mode, tracking protection and Siri Shortcut support for iOS 12 and later. The latest update adds QR sync:

Syncing your bookmarks, logins and browsing history is easier than ever with QR code pairing. Pair Firefox for iOS with Firefox desktop using your phone’s camera for a seamless experience.

Fusion Flex J3i

Fusion Flex J3i is an upcoming adapter from Sonnet Technologies Inc. for adding SATA hard drives and/or SSDs to the empty top space of Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro. The adapter bracket offers bays and isolation mounts for two 3.5-inch drives (or 2.5-inch drives via included adapter plates), plus a third bay for a 2.5-inch SATA drive. Appropriately sized power and data cables are also included.

Fusion Flex J3i is promised for mid-June availability at $199.99 solely for Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro models.

Icy Dock SSD cards

ToughArmor MB840M2P-B is an interesting PCIe card announced by Icy Dock USA that holds an M.2 NVMe SSD in a unique slot so that it is easily removable from outside the computer.

The patent-pending M.2 adjustable locker lets you quickly place the M.2 NVMe SSD (2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110) into the drive tray and move the adjustable M.2 locker towards the M.2 NVMe SSD to lock the drive in place.

Other features include power and activity status lights, aluminum and a thermal pad for heat dissipation, “EMI grounding”, and a single-width format that fits both full-height and low-profile PCIe 3.0 slots with x4 bandwidth compatible with x4, x8, and x16 slots. (It’s also compatible with PCIe 4.0 at limited bandwidth.)

ToughArmor MB840M2P-B will be sold via third-party resellers, including Amazon, for the 2019 Mac Pro and other computers and PCIe expansion boxes with PCIe slots.

ToughArmor MB839SP-B is a 2.5-inch SATA version that’s already available (at $64.99 when checked at Amazon). The company also offers a wide variety of other storage racks, docks, enclosures, etc.

Logitech Combo Touch

Combo Touch is a combined keyboard/trackpad (and cover/stand) from Logitech for iPad Air 3, iPad Pro 10.5″ or iPad 7, attaching via Apple’s “Smart Connector” interface. Features include a full-size backlit keyboard with cursor keys and a row of iOS shortcut keys, a multi-touch trackpad, adjustable, four-mode “kickstand” positioning, auto on/off, and a stylus holder. (See TidBITS review for additional details.)

Combo Touch is priced at $149.99 either for “iPad Air (3rd gen) and iPad Pro 10.5-inch” or for “iPad 7th gen.”

Carbon Copy Cloner

Carbon Copy Cloner is an essential Mac app from Bombich Software Inc. that offers reliable backup, restore, cloning and integrity-checking capabilities for the Mac. Features include bootable backup clones, network and disk image support, incremental backups (with optional archiving), scheduling, built-in help/guidance, graceful handling of I/O errors, task history, editing of scheduled tasks, task-chaining for creating more complicated backup schemes, the ability to add a Recovery partition and much more. Version 5 brought APFS support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra and later, along with improvements to SafetyNet, scheduling, task management, restore and more.

Carbon Copy Cloner 5.1.18 is priced at $39.95 for OS X 10.10 and up, with a 30-day trial period and upgrade discounts. (Older downloads are available for earlier Macs.)

The latest release works around a nasty problem with Apple’s recent macOS 10.15.5 update, among other changes. (See also macOS Catalina Known Issues and the excellent troubleshooting tips in “Help! My clone won’t boot!“.)

A bug in macOS 10.15.5 impacts bootable backups, but we’ve got you covered
Update (May 29, 2020): This issue is now addressed in CCC 5.1.18, which is available for immediate download.
… I suppose we’ll find out in future OS releases whether this was a simple filesystem bug that slipped into a production OS release, or if Apple finds it to be an acceptable practice to blindside developers by silently removing documented functionality in the middle of a production OS release cycle.

VMware security update

VMware Fusion 11.5.5 patches a security problem in the cross-platform virtualization system from VMware Inc.

Attackers with normal user privileges can exploit this issue to escalate their privileges to root on a system where Fusion is installed. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the identifier CVE-2020-3957 to this issue. See VMSA-2020-0011 for more information.

VMware Fusion creates “virtual machines” that can run one operating system (Windows, Linux or Mac) within another operating system for testing, development, security or cross-platform capabilities (e.g. running Windows on OS X in order to use Windows applications on a Mac).

Features include shared folders, support for the latest Windows 10 releases (and a Windows Migration Assistant) and for Retina Macs (including iMac 5K), Touch Bar, Apple Metal graphics, DirectX 10, OpenGL 3.3, USB 3, 64-bit processing and more.

VMware Fusion 11.5.5 is priced at $79.99. The updated version suddenly requires macOS 10.14 or later and fails on earlier versions.

Trial versions and upgrade discounts are available. VMware Fusion Pro is priced at $159.99. See comparison tables and FAQ for more information.  (See also Known Issues for workarounds to a number of problems with macOS 10.15 Catalina and other issues.)

VMware Workstation Player and Workstation Pro host virtual machines on Linux and Windows (but Apple licenses prohibit use of macOS on non-Apple hardware).

Canon Webcam Utility

EOS Webcam Utility is pre-release (“beta”) software from Canon USA Inc. that provides limited webcam functionality for a number of the company’s EOS and PowerShot digital cameras.

Similar to the Windows operating system version released April 28, the new macOS compatible software solution requires one single USB plug (which may need to be purchased separately) to connect the compatible camera to the computer. Once the software is downloaded and the camera is configured within a video conferencing application, the user will have improved video appearance while participating in video conferencing and virtual meetings.

EOS Webcam Utility Beta 0.9.0 is available free of charge for Windows and macOS 10.13 and later, distributed as a download package that installs a launch daemon, a framework, and a CoreMedia EOSWebcam plug-in, as well as an Uninstaller app.

Caution Notes/Tips: Using EOS Webcam Utility Beta Software
When using the EOS Webcam Utility Beta software with macOS 10.14(Mojave) and 10.15(Catalina), the following applications will not list or permit EOS Webcam Utility Beta software to function on your device:

    • Safari (Use Google Chrome)
    • FaceTime
    • Skype*
    • Zoom*
    • WebEx*

*Use Web-based Skype, Zoom and WebEx in Google Chrome instead of as a native application.