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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Apple surprises with Mac App Store update for OS X 10.6.8

Apple surprises with Mac App Store update for OS X 10.6.8
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Jan 27, 2016, 04:12 PM
 
In addition to recent second betas of OS X 10.11.4 and iOS 9.3, Apple has quietly issued an unprecedented update for a no-longer-supported release, OS X 10.6.8 -- which was originally released in 2009. The update, available from Apple's support website "ensures future compatibility of the Mac App Store included with OS X Snow Leopard, and is recommended for all Snow Leopard users." While the percentage of users still on the outdated system is small -- around four percent of active Mac users -- this still could amount to as many as 3.6 million users worldwide. Apple has not otherwise updated Snow Leopard since the 10.6.8 release in June of 2011, with the last security update having been issued September of 2013.

Recently, a number of Mac support forums -- including our own MacNN Forums -- have seen a flood of 10.6.8 users who are having to upgrade for the first time due to their machine failing or due to increasing security concerns and escalating incompatibility with videos, web technologies, and software. Apple continues to sell 10.6.8 on DVD (for $20) to aid users on even older Intel-based systems who need Mac App Store compatibility in order to upgrade beyond that point, but could drop that service at any time as the years roll by and fewer users continue to use it.

The Mac App Store, now the principle distribution point for software updates, was introduced with OS X 10.6.6. Apple's habit of making previous versions of the OS unavailable once the new version is out (except for customers who "purchased" previous versions through the Mac App Store; those purchases can still be re-downloaded), makes it important that the Mac App Store remains compatible for users who finally decide to upgrade.

Due to security and compatibility concerns, Apple and its developers strongly prefer for users to be on one of the still-supported OS X versions, which generally go back three versions. Currently, this means that means that only systems 10.11 (El Capitan), 10.10 (Yosemite), and 10.9 (Mavericks) still receive routine compatibility and security updates, with El Capitan still in active development. It is presently unclear if OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) still receives silent XProtect anti-malware updates, but the last official compatibility and/or security update that extended to 10.8 was in September of last year.
     
coffeetime
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Jan 27, 2016, 07:53 PM
 
I am one of them. 3 Macs running in my house.
     
bobolicious
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Jan 27, 2016, 09:24 PM
 
...I literally found relief in Snow today trying to clear a PC SD card partition mess that could not be solved by El, W7bc, W7/10 Parallels...

It was like visiting a long missed, reliable, trusted world...

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205702

"El Capitan still in active development" yep - new macs ship & only support software under development, every year. Call it what you will - I say beta...
     
Charles Martin
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Jan 27, 2016, 09:43 PM
 
Yes, 10.11.4 is in beta, that's true. That's what we mean by "active development" -- updates are still be tested and development for it.

I should also note -- something Snow Leopard romantics always seem to conveniently forget -- that 10.6 required EIGHT updates to fix its bugs.
Charles Martin
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ADeweyan
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Jan 27, 2016, 09:49 PM
 
Man, I wish I could go back to Snow Leopard. I know there have been a lot of worthy under-the-hood improvements to OSX since then, but the interface has been straight downhill (with the exception of the banishment of skeumorphism).

I find myself struggling to work around the features added since then rather than benefiting from them.
     
bobolicious
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Jan 27, 2016, 10:01 PM
 
" that 10.6 required EIGHT updates to fix its bugs..."

Indeed I concur - and it seemed pretty bulletproof once finished, as was 10.4.11, taking a little longer (over 2.5 years!) - why annual forced new hardware beta conscription cycles and an inability to use an OS of choice may keep many (oh say the 85% potential windows users market growth potential) at bay... If it only 'just worked', and OS could be chosen by need or merit...
( Last edited by bobolicious; Jan 27, 2016 at 10:12 PM. )
     
Charles Martin
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Jan 27, 2016, 10:04 PM
 
It's funny you should bring up forced fragmentation -- one of the reasons Microsoft is in so much trouble today is due to the fact that it can't get its customer base to "sync" on a single OS version, leaving its developers and customer-support people with nightmares of compatibility. Back when EVERYONE was on XP, things were great ... for Microsoft ... for the virus- and bug-infested users, not so much ...
Charles Martin
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revco
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Jan 27, 2016, 10:07 PM
 
>>10.6 required EIGHT updates to fix its bugs.
     
revco
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Jan 27, 2016, 10:09 PM
 
>10.6 required EIGHT updates to fix its bugs.

Yeah but SL was out for two years. The Mac OS is now "updated" yearly. Lion, ML and Mavericks each had 5 updates. So that would make it 10 updates if we go by SL's life cycle.

(Don't know what happened to my previous post. Only partly sent).
     
bobolicious
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Jan 27, 2016, 11:54 PM
 
"one of the reasons Microsoft is in so much trouble today"
I'm no fan of the MS interface, but are they really in so much trouble @ 80%+ market share?
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AAPL&t=2y&l=off&z=l&q=l&c=MSFT
     
Steve Wilkinson
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Jan 28, 2016, 12:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Charles Martin View Post
Yes, 10.11.4 is in beta, that's true. That's what we mean by "active development" -- updates are still be tested and development for it.

I should also note -- something Snow Leopard romantics always seem to conveniently forget -- that 10.6 required EIGHT updates to fix its bugs.
Yea, but they eventually got most of them fixed. How many more *major* OS X updates will it take since SL, especially since they seem to be breaking it more with each release? (While, yes, adding some useful stuff that I'd miss in SL if I were still running it.)

Originally Posted by ADeweyan View Post
Man, I wish I could go back to Snow Leopard. I know there have been a lot of worthy under-the-hood improvements to OSX since then, but the interface has been straight downhill (with the exception of the banishment of skeumorphism).

I find myself struggling to work around the features added since then rather than benefiting from them.
For me, it's mostly integration with iOS. There have also been some useful features. I'm not all that convinced that it's much better under the hood, maybe some improvement in stuff like memory management or sand-boxing, etc. But, they actually broke a lot of core stuff, and AFIK, they've lost a lot of that core UNIX talent they once had, so it's likely not to improve unless they get serious about it again.

And, yea, it's become a UI/UX nightmare compared to where it once was. Heck, I'll take back skeumorphism any day, so long as it's well thought out. I wonder if they even have anyone thinking about UX anymore.
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Charles Martin
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Jan 28, 2016, 12:38 PM
 
"10.6 required EIGHT updates to fix its bugs. Yeah but SL was out for two years. The Mac OS is now "updated" yearly. Lion, ML and Mavericks each had 5 updates. So that would make it 10 updates if we go by SL's life cycle."

Well, that presumes that there's been no progress or change in the way bugs are caught over the years, which I think is mistaken. The addition of public beta testing, for example -- which I doubt our Snow Leopard lovers are actually participating in, despite complaining about bugs -- has made a huge difference. More bugs get exposed this way, as we have access to early betas, but more bugs also get fixed earlier in the process.

However, if one prefers to think of it that way, just do your OS X upgrades every other year and enjoy the benefits of those who do the work to fix bugs. Apple has never, and will never, release a totally bug-free OS, nor will any other company ever, so understanding that might be a big part of understanding how the process actually works, and how Apple manages to retain a 96 percent-plus customer sat rating despite the fact that Appleworks doesn't work anymore.
Charles Martin
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bobolicious
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Jan 28, 2016, 04:32 PM
 
"just do your OS X upgrades every other year"

...and if software stability & Applecare user software support is of interest, restrict new Apple hardware purchases to the month or two every two years late in the development cycle...?

As a business? Really...?
     
Steve Wilkinson
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Jan 28, 2016, 08:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Charles Martin View Post
Well, that presumes that there's been no progress or change in the way bugs are caught over the years, which I think is mistaken. The addition of public beta testing
...
Apple has never, and will never, release a totally bug-free OS ... and how Apple manages to retain a 96 percent-plus customer sat rating despite the fact that Appleworks doesn't work anymore.
The problem isn't so much bugs that are caught/not-caught, as it is the actual DESIGN quality of the software itself. How do you 'bug report' software that has a poor UI and is missing core features?

Aside from the Appleworks jab (I wonder if you'll think it's funny when Apple starts to decline?), we're not arguing that the general experience for a typical user without much frame of reference, or coming from a worse platform, won't still be fairly happy with Apple.

The problem is that I know a different Apple, and I'm seeing them start to slip, and I understand what is different or missing. And, if it isn't corrected, you'll start to see that customer sat rating fall as well, especially if the competition ever starts to step up their game (or someone new comes along).

Yes, I'm also bemoaning Apple's exit from serving 'pro' customers, but if they have forgotten good user-experience, it won't much matter if they are serving pros or the average consumer. Fashion is fickle. Apple could quickly become yesterday's flavor.
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revco
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Jan 29, 2016, 03:44 AM
 
>The problem isn't so much bugs that are caught/not-caught, as it is the actual DESIGN quality of the software itself. How do you 'bug report' software that has a poor UI and is missing core features?<

Yeah, "it's a feature not a flaw" is wearing thin with me. It's almost 30 years since I started working with Macs and for me the last 2 to 3 years have been the most frustrating.

And CharlesM, have a nice weekend!
     
Steve Wilkinson
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Jan 30, 2016, 02:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by revco View Post
Yeah, "it's a feature not a flaw" is wearing thin with me. It's almost 30 years since I started working with Macs and for me the last 2 to 3 years have been the most frustrating.
Very well put, and same here. And, as I've said in other threads, it's the first time in 30 years that I've been worried about Apple's future and am starting to panic a bit myself as to what I'll switch to if I leave the Apple eco-system.
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