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Apple delivers first Mac OS X Lion update

Fixes handful of bugs with small-sized 10.7.1 update (See image below)

Apple today issued the first update for OS X Lion, the new operating system it launched four weeks ago.

Mac OS X 10.7.1 comes in two versions for client systems: One for the new MacBook Air and Mac Mini that Apple refreshed last month , another for all other machines running the new operating system.

Apple said both updates fix problems users have encountered while playing video in Safari, improves the reliability of Wi-Fi connections, and quashes a bug that silenced audio when using routing data from a Mac via optical or HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) adaptors.

Several MacBook Air- and Mac Mini-specific problems were dealt with the update targeting those new systems, including one that supposedly deals with display flickering on the Air and another that is supposed to boost the speed of data transfers from the SD card slot on the Mini.

Users who quickly grabbed 10.7.1 reported different results for other problems that have garnered attention on Apple's support forum. In a very long and popular thread -- viewed over 46,000 times -- with the title "Lion randomly crashes - black screen" some users said that 10.7.1 had eliminated their BSODs (Black Screen of Death) while others said theirs persisted.

What's notable about 10.7.1 is its small size relative to typical Apple updates: 10.7.1 weighed in at just 17.4MB on several iMacs, compared with as much as 453MB for Mac OS X 10.6.8, the update to Snow Leopard Apple shipped in late June .

Lion is the first Mac OS X edition that deals out smaller "delta" updates, ones which deliver only changes. The change to delta updates will most affect Mac owners with slow or heavily-metered connections to the Internet.

By shifting to delta updates, Apple is following in the footsteps of its OS rival Microsoft , which has long shipped smaller patches and bug fixes. Microsoft's most recent Patch Tuesday, for instance, included eight updates to Windows XP that added up to 15.9MB worth of downloads.

There are apparently no security patches included with the 10.7.1 update.

The version of 10.7.1 for new MacBook Airs and Mac Minis is available from this page on Apple's website, while 10.7.1 for other machines can be found here .

Apple listed a small number of bugs that Mac OS X 10.7.1 tackles, but some users reported that it fixed other flaws as well.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer , on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com .

See more articles by Gregg Keizer .

Read more about mac os in Computerworld's Mac OS Topic Center.


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