Apple releases OS X 10.8.3 and firmware updates

The updates address several areas of poor performance, limitations in Boot Camp, and potential crashes.

Apple has released its third update for OS X Mountain Lion, bringing the latest version of the software to 10.8.3 after over three months of development. Along with a number of bug fixes for problems users have been experiencing in 10.8.2 and earlier, the new version adds a couple of new features.

The first is that Mac users can now redeem iTunes gift cards using an iSight camera. Now if you take a snapshot of the card in the Mac App Store you can have the system identify its number and redeem it instead of having to type the numbers yourself.

In addition, the update addresses a couple of previous limitations in Boot Camp, so that it now supports Windows 8 and drives over 3TB in size.

Beyond this, the update includes a fix for the File:/// URL bug that caused applications to crash, and some more application-specific bugs for programs like Logic that resulted in unresponsive behavior.

If you have experienced stuttering audio on some 2011 Mac models (specifically the iMac series), then this update should also address that problem.

Accompanying the OS X update, Apple has issued an SMC firmware update for its MacBook Pro with Retina Display laptops that should fix a problem in which users were experiencing slow frame rates when playing graphics-intensive games. After applying this update, the Boot ROM in the system will be version 2.3f35 (you can look this up using the System Information utility).

These updates should be available for applicable systems through Apple's Software Update service in the Apple menu, but can also be found as standalone updates on its Support Web site. These updates will require a restart of your system, and as always, be sure to fully back up your system using Time Machine or a cloning utility before applying these or any other updates to your system.



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