Google Chrome security update

Google Chrome is the cross-platform web browser from Google Inc. with a hidden auto-update daemon and agent that has wrecked Mac systems and wreaked other havoc, and it has other proprietary Google additions on top of its open-source platform. The latest release includes critical patches for severe security flaws.

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Google Chrome, the most severe of which could allow for arbitrary code execution. Google Chrome is a web browser used to access the Internet. Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the browser. Depending on the privileges associated with the application, an attacker could view, change, or delete data.

Google Chrome 80.0.3987.163 is a free download for OS X 10.10 and up, as well as Linux and Windows.

Google Chrome for iOS 80.0.3987.95 is a free download for iOS 12 and up.

EpocCam

EpocCam is an iOS app from Kinoni that “transforms your iOS device into webcam for Windows and macOS, completely replacing USB-webcam or integrated camera.” Features include wireless connection (or connection via USB cable), compatibility with FaceTime, Skype, Chrome, QuickTime, Streamlabs OBS, etc., and more, such as:

• High quality realtime video streaming to computer – quality comparable to most expensive USB-webcams
• Support both cameras – use device back camera for best quality and front-facing camera for easy self-portraits
• Fully replaces USB webcam or integrated webcam – works with all webcam-enabled applications
• Use the flashlight in dark environment (EpocCam HD)
• Tap to focus and autofocus modes (EpocCam HD)
• Audio support, use your phone as a wireless microphone (EpocCam HD)
• Manually choose connection between WiFi, USB and NDI (EpocCam HD)
• Publish video to Syphon framework on Mac – use EpocCam as source to Isadora, Modul8, GrandVJ and other applications

EpocCam 2019.5 is a limited free app for iOS 10.3 and later, as well as Android.

EpocCam Webcamera for Computer 2019.9 for iOS 10.3 and later adds more capabilities, such as 1080p quality, telephoto camera and green screen support, etc., at $7.99.

EpocCam MultiCam 2018.2 for iOS 10.3 and later, priced at $19.99, lets you connect up to four iOS devices to a Mac with support for both front and back cameras and 1080p video at 30 fps, as well as “flashlight” illumination, and more.

EpocCam iPhone Webcam Viewer 1.1 is a free download for OS X 10.7 and later.

Kinoni’s driver software 1.7 is available as a plug-in installer package for macOS 10.12 and later, as well as Windows.

(A Macworld article has more information about setup and operation.)

iMovie

iMovie, Apple’s basic video editing app, with 4K support, titles, effects/filters, etc., runs on both macOS and iOS.

iMovie 10.1.14 is a free download for macOS 10.14.6 or later with bug fixes in the most recent Apple update.

iMovie 2.2.9 is a free download for iOS 13.4 with some additional capabilities and bug fixes in a new release:

• Use iMovie on iPad with Magic Keyboard, a mouse, or a trackpad for a new way to create movies and trailers (requires iPadOS 13.4)
• Use keyboard shortcuts to toggle between the five inspector modes when a clip is selected: Action, Speed adjustments, Volume, Titles, and Filters
• Use keyboard shortcuts to quickly rotate video 90-degrees clockwise or counterclockwise
• Tap the Download All button at the top of the soundtracks list to download all bundled soundtracks at once
• Add PNG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP files to your movie
• Performance and stability improvements

iWork

iWork is Apple’s app suite for macOS, iOS and iCloud, comprising Numbers, Pages and Keynote for spreadsheet, word processing and presentations, respectively. iCloud requires an Apple ID account and certain system requirements. (See also: iCloud Help and Web-only access.)

Apple’s latest updates include iCloud Drive folder sharing, which requires macOS 10.15.4 and iOS/iPadOS 13.4, plus keyboard/mouse/trackpad support for iPadOS/iOS 13.4.

macOS 10.14 and up:
Pages 10.0
Numbers 10.0
Keynote 10.0

iOS 12 and up:
Pages 10.0
Keynote 10.0
Numbers 10.0

iCloud:
iWork for iCloud [requires Apple ID login]

Mountain Duck

Mountain Duck is a cross-platform utility from David Kocher (Iterate GmbH) that “lets you mount any remote FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3 and OpenStack Swift server storage as a local disk in the Finder. Open remote files with any application and work like on a local volume. Transfer files using Finder to remote servers, fast.” Among many MountainDuck features is support for Cryptomator interoperable secure vaults (like cross-platform, cloud-friendly versions of Apple’s FileVault-encrypted Mac disk images).

Mountain Duck 3.3.6 is priced at $39 for OS X 10.11 and later with a trial version available for downloading (and also is available for Windows). The latest release has some bug fixes, after the previous release added support for TLS 1.3 networking and for Cryptomator Version 7 vaults. While Version 4.0.0 is in beta testing with some new features, Version 3 already added a smart synchronization feature for offline support:

Like Dropbox for any cloud storage with smart synchronization. Files are synchronized to your local disk when opened to allow offline usage and changes are uploaded in the background as soon as a connection is available. You can also explicitly select files and folders available for offline use.

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 5.1.16 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 addresses some problems with Apple’s macOS 10.15.4 update, among other changes. (See also macOS Catalina Known Issues.)

EtreCheckPro

EtreCheckPro is an essential Mac troubleshooting and security app from Etresoft (John Daniel) that analyzes many hardware and software details and prepares a report (with personal information removed) detailing configuration information and potential problem areas, such as adware infections (which it can remove), potential malware, third-party kernel extensions and launch daemons; Internet plug-ins; processor and memory hogs; virtual memory usage and more.

Features include specific problem reports, categorized as serious or minor, plus extensive information grouped into multiple categories, including things like software installs, Safari extensions, launch agents and daemons, software crashes, etc., plus a report to flag 32-bit apps that will not run in macOS 10.15 Catalina (including Apple’s own QuickTime Player 7 and DVD Player, for example, among many other Mac apps).

EtreCheckPro 6.2.3 is a free download for OS X 10.9 and up. An optional Power User package is available for $14.99, providing richer reports and built-in troubleshooting aids (see below). The latest release includes more macOS Catalina accomodations and other changes.

EtreCheck also provides a Power User in-app purchase that goes beyond the text-based report. It displays a rich, interactive interface that provides links to additional information, charts and graphs, and information to help you learn more about the details of your computer. If you don’t want to post your EtreCheck report publicly, the Power User package can also generate solutions to your computer problems using our AI-driven diagnostic engine. A Solution will include solutions for each major and minor issue, and, in most cases, one or more step-by-step instructions to help you fix your computer problems yourself.

Little Snitch

Little Snitch is privacy/firewall software for the Mac from Objective Development Software GmbH that monitors network activity and gives you control and visibility for data leaving your computer via network connections. Features include connection alerts with flexible blocking of outgoing traffic, including on-the-fly control, rules-based configuration (with several aids) and configuration profiles (e.g. for different locations or networks); DNS name based traffic filtering; network monitoring displays and snapshots (with details about traffic, history, hostnames, ports, geographic locations, etc., plus packet capture in PCAP format); an inbound firewall; a “research assistant” database to help identify networks and activities; and much more.

Little Snitch 4.5 is priced at $45 for OS X 10.11 and up. A demo mode functions for three hours at a time, for 30 days. (Little Snitch legacy versions support Mac OS X 10.2 and up.) The most recent release “brings new features and improvements requested by users, after a few months of focussing on compatibility with macOS Catalina.” (Install the current version before updating to Catalina.)

Redesigned Research Assistant in Connection Alert …
Improvements in Network Monitor …
Improvements in Little Snitch Configuration …
General improvements and fixes …

Jitsi

Jitsi is open-source, cross-platform video conferencing software from 8×8 Inc. that offers an alternative to Zoom, Skype, etc. Features include encryption, password protection, chat, desktop sharing, simple meeting invitations, telephone dial-in/dial-out, recording, simulcasting, WebRTC support, plus “lower latency, better quality and, if you are running your own service, a much more scalable and inexpensive solution” and more. (See Jitsi FAQ, Jitsi Projects, a news post and an installation guide for more details.)

Jitsi is free, open-source software with a Jitsi Meet online service that supports Chromium-based browsers (e.g. Google Chrome), as well as clients for macOS, iOS, Linux, Windows, and Android.

Jitsi Meet server software is available in open-source downloads for Debian/Ubuntu systems and also for Docker.

 

Cyberduck

Cyberduck is a cross-platform file transfer program from David Kocher with support for FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Rackspace and Google clouds, OpenStack Swift, and more. Features include resumable uploads and downloads, file deletion and renaming, permission setting, Cryptomator vault support, Quick Look previews, external editor support, file synchronization, bookmarking, international language support, SSH features, OS X Keychain support, Gzip compression and more. A Transcript window lets you select a previous operation and easily repeat it (e.g. synchronizing local and remote folders), which can save time and trouble.

CyberDuck 7.3.0 is freely downloadable, open-source donationware for OS X 10.8 and up, as well as Windows, supported by donations and a $23.99 Mac App Store version. (See also: Mountain Duck, a product for mounting server and cloud storage as a virtual disk in the Finder.)

The latest version of Cyberduck brings support for Cryptomator Vault 7 format and for TLS 1.3, bookmark labels and other improvements.

macOS Catalina Patcher

macOS Catalina Patcher is a Mac app from Collin Mistr (dosdude1) that makes it possible to run macOS Catalina 10.15 on some older Macs that Apple does not support for its new operating system: Early-2008 or newer Mac Pro and Xserve, iMac, or MacBook Pro; Late-2008 or newer MacBook Air or Aluminum Unibody MacBook; and Early-2009 or newer Mac Mini or MacBook.

The app needs an Apple macOS Catalina installer (about 7 Gbytes) to start, which it can download, then it offers to install directly on a Mac drive or create a bootable installer (on a USB flash drive, DVD-R or as an ISO image for a virtual machine), and it automatically patches the installer to work on the Apple-abandoned hardware. (See tutorial video for more details.)

macOS Catalina Patcher 1.3.5 is freely downloadable donationware for the specified hardware, with certain caveats.

AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5xxx and 6xxx series graphics acceleration: Currently, it is not possible to achieve full graphics acceleration under Catalina on any machines that use a Radeon HD 5xxx or 6xxx series GPU. If you have a machine with one of these GPUs installed, I’d advise upgrading it if possible (can be done in 2010/2011 iMacs, iMac11,x-12,x), disabling the dedicated GPU if using a 2011 15″ or 17″ MacBook Pro (MacBookPro8,2/8,3, instructions to do so can be found here), or not installing Catalina. Running Catalina without full graphics acceleration will result in extremely poor system performance.

QEMU

QEMU is a high-performance, cross-platform “machine emulator and virtualizer” that can emulate PowerPC systems, among others, launch a variety of operating systems (including classic Mac OS and modern OS X), emulate FPU and MMU hardware, as well as multiprocessors, and take advantage of in-kernal accelerators (e.g. KVM in Linux). (See QEMU documentation and links plus OSX-KVM for more details.)

QEMU 4.2.0 is open-source software, freely downloadable for OS X 10.7 and up, Linux, or Windows. (Version 5 is also available in “release candidate” status.)

When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance. When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performance by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. QEMU supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, QEMU can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, 64-bit POWER, S390, 32-bit and 64-bit ARM, and MIPS guests.

BitLocker Anywhere & NTFS for Mac

BitLocker Anywhere For Mac, from China-based Hasleo Software (née “EasyUEFI”) promises to “encrypt drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption, decrypt BitLocker-encrypted drives, change password for BitLocker-encrypted drives, export BitLocker Recovery Key & Startup Key, mount and unmount BitLocker encrypted drive, open, read and write BitLocker-encrypted drives or BitLocker To Go drives in macOS & OS X.”

BitLocker Anywhere For Mac is priced at $39.95 (currently $29.95) for OS X 10.7 and later, with an unsigned installer offered as a free 15-day trial.

Hasleo NTFS for Mac is software for full access to the standard Windows filesystem to “mount, unmount, read and write NTFS drives easily, safely and seamlessly in macOS & OS X.” (Apple only offers read access to NTFS volumes.)

Hasleo NTFS for Mac 3.4 is a free download for OS X 10.7 and later.

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X is Apple’s professional music production app, which includes multiple recording tracks with a mixer and automation and punch in/out; collections of instruments, effects and loops; pitch and tempo manipulation; iPad remote control; a score editor; MIDI support; virtual drummers; sampling; arpeggiation; a guitar/bass amp designer; Audio Unit plug-in support; XML import/export to Final Cut X; export to Sound Cloud; and more.

Logic Pro X 10.4.8 is priced at $199.99 and requires macOS 10.13 or later. The latest release brings more bug fixes, and Apple is currently offering a free 90-day trial period in return for your name and email address.