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Want to leave the MacOS beta program and stop getting beta software updates on a Mac? This is a fairly common occurrence for many Mac users who either initially joined a beta and then later downgraded, Mac users who had beta software but now want to be on the regular stable software update channel, or even for those who were curious about installing macOS Mojave public beta but decided against it.

If you have run the MacOS beta access utility then a macOS beta profile is installed on the Mac, meaning the Mac will continue to get beta software updates pushed to it until that has been changed.

This guide will show you how to change your Mac settings so that the computer stops getting MacOS beta system software updates.

Note: this is for older Macs running earlier versions of Mac OS system software delivered through App Store. If you are using MacOS Catalina 10.15 or later, go here to opt out of macOS beta system software updates from System Preferences instead.

Note that stopping the MacOS beta software updates from appearing on the Mac is not the same as downgrading. Stopping beta software updates from appearing on the Mac does not remove any software, nor does it remove the beta software, or downgrade to a different operating system. If you’d like to downgrade from macOS Mojave beta you can learn how to do that here.

How to Leave the MacOS Beta & Stop Getting Beta Software Updates in Mac App Store

Decided you want to leave the MacOS beta and stop getting MacOS beta software updates? Here is what you need to do to change the software update settings:

Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”

Select “App Store” from the preference options

Quit out of System Preferences when finished

After you have made this change, future beta updates to MacOS system software will no longer appear on the Mac, and instead only final builds of MacOS system software will appear as software updates.

Note this setting option will not be visible by default on a Mac unless the beta profile was installed to begin with, either through the public beta or developer beta testing programs for Mac OS.

As mentioned before but it’s important to reiterate; stopping beta software from showing up on the Mac does not remove the beta software. It does not revert the software version or anything else, for that you would need to manually downgrade from macOS Mojave beta to revert to a prior MacOS release preserved from a backup.

How to Change Back to Receive Beta MacOS Software Updates Again

You can reverse course if you’d like and then opt to receive beta updates again if you decide to do so.

If you have already chose to stop receiving beta software updates, you will need to run through the MacOS Beta Software Access Utility again, either downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or the Apple Public Beta enrollment site.

Running the MacOS Beta Access Utility will reinstall the macOS beta profile and allow beta updates to arrive again, either through the Mac App Store, or the Software Update system preference panel, depending on the version of MacOS.


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Apple Updates App Store Guidelines In Response To Class

Apple is announcing a trio of updates to the App Store Guidelines today that focuses on giving developers more flexibility for communicating with their customers. One of the changes specifically comes to address Apple’s settlement in a class-action lawsuit from small developers in the US, first announced back in August.

As background, Apple promised a handful of small App Store changes back in August as part of its settlement with small developers in the United States. One of the most notable changes announced at the time was that developers would be able to communicate outside of their applications about alternatives to Apple’s in-app purchase system.

In line with this settlement, Apple says that it is updating guideline 3.1.3 to remove its previous restriction on using customer communication information obtained with an application to communicate outside the application about payment methods other than in-app purchase. Apple says this update satisfies the terms of the settlement.

Here is the wording of guideline 3.1.3 prior to today’s update (emphasis ours):

The following apps may use purchase methods other than in-app purchase. Apps in this section cannot, within the app, encourage users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase. Developers cannot use information obtained within the app to target individual users outside of the app to use purchasing methods other than in-app purchase (such as sending an individual user an email about other purchasing methods after that individual signs up for an account within the app). Developers can send communications outside of the app to their user base about purchasing methods other than in-app purchase.

And here is the wording of guideline 3.1.3 following today’s revision:

The following apps may use purchase methods other than in-app purchase. Apps in this section cannot, within the app, encourage users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase. Developers can send communications outside of the app to their user base about purchasing methods other than in-app purchase.

To go along with this update, Apple is also adding a new guideline saying that apps may request basic contact information from users, with some restrictions:

Apps may request basic contact information (such as name and email address) so long as the request is optional for the user, features and services are not conditional on providing the information, and it complies with other provisions of these guidelines, including limitations on collecting information from kids.

In practice, this means that developers will be able to collect contact information from users (as long as it’s not required), then use that contact information to communicate outside of their application (such as with email), about more purchase and payment options that are perhaps cheaper than in-app options.

It’s important to keep in mind that changes are solely in response to the class-action lawsuit from US developers that Apple settled in August. These changes do not put Apple in compliance with the Epic Games ruling or the ruling from the Japan Fair Trade Commission. While the Epic Games case is being appealed, Apple says that it will update its App Store guidelines to accommodate the JFTC ruling in early 2023.

Apple is also making tweaks to the App Store guidelines to accommodate In-App Events, as we reported earlier this week. You can read the full App Store Review Guidelines on Apple’s Developer website here.

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How To Adjust Notifications For New App Store Features, Recommendations, Offers And More

Learn how to adjust whether to receive notifications from App Store on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for new features, app updates, recommendations and special offers.

Does the App Store let you manage notifications?

App Store may send you notifications from time to time regarding special offers, recommended apps, new features and so on. The good news is, Apple allows you to switch those notifications on or off. Follow along with us as we show you how to configure notifications for new App Store features, updates, recommendations and offers. Read: How to hide or unhide your purchases made in App Store on iPhone, iPad and Mac

How to configure notifications for the App Store

Access your account information in the App Store app on iPhone or iPad to manage notifications for new store features, updates, recommendations and offers.

Open the App Store app on your iPhone (iOS 15.4+) or iPad (iPadOS 15.4+)

Touch your profile name and image in the top-right corner of the App Store app

Choose “Notifications” from the root list

Select which notifications you’d like to receive from the App Store, then hit “Done”:

New Features & Updates: Toggle this switch to optionally receive or stop receiving notifications from the App Store regarding new store features and app updates.

Recommendations & Offers: Control whether the App Store will send you notifications for special offers and recommended apps that might interest you.

Apple notes that your notifications viewing and interaction data is associated with your Apple ID, which means the company is using this data for product improvement.

System requirements for managing App Store notifications

The only requirement is that your devices run the iOS 15.4 or iPadOS 15.4 software.

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 were being tested with Apple’s registered developers and public beta testers at the time of this writing. All users will be able to access the new toggles for App Store notifications when Apple releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 to the public in a few weeks. If your device is not running iOS 15.4 or iPadOS 15.4, you will only be able to allow or disallow notifications for the store in Settings → Notifications → App Store.

To see the currently installed version of iOS or iPadOS operating system software powering your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings → General → About on the device. A support document on the Apple website provides a list of all the improvements, new features, enhancements and fixes available with the various iOS 15 versions.

Wrap up: Tame those notifications!

iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 at long last give people much-needed controls to control whether to receive notifications from the App Store. Not only that, but you can turn notifications on or off separately for things that matter (new features and updates) from those for marketing purposes (content recommendations and special offers).

Now, Apple has been accused before of sending unsolicited notifications via App Store to promote its own products. The new toggles available in iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 help put an end to that practice. Even if Apple continues using these notifications as a marketing vehicle, you can just opt-out of notifications for recommendations and offers.

How To Prepare For Macos Catalina

Are you ready to install MacOS Catalina on your Mac? Now that MacOS Catalina 10.15 is now available to download, you may be wondering whether or not you’re ready to update to the latest system software release, and perhaps you’re looking for some guidance on how to get ready for the MacOS 10.15 update.

This article will walk through some important steps to prepare a Mac for updating to MacOS Catalina. We’ll also discuss some other options, like dual booting, or holding off on installing the update for a while.

How to Get Ready for MacOS Catalina in 5 Easy Steps

We’ll run through checking system compatibility, looking for incompatible apps, updating apps, backing up the Mac, and installing MacOS Catalina 10.15.

1: Check System Compatibility

You’ll want to be sure your Mac supports MacOS Catalina, as not all hardware does.

From the list of MacOS Catalina supported Macs here, you can see that for the most part any Mac built after 2012 supports MacOS Catalina.

You’ll also want to be sure you have at least 15GB of free storage space available on the drive to be able to download and install the MacOS Catalina update.

2: Check for 32-bit Apps

MacOS Catalina will only run 64-bit applications, meaning any 32-bit apps on the Mac will no longer run.

If you have a critical 32-bit app, either find out if a new 64-bit version is available, or consider delaying the update to Catalina. This can include many important major apps that some users rely on, like Adobe Photoshop CS6, and some older versions of Microsoft Office and other older significant apps.

You can easily find all 32-bit apps on a Mac with the System Information tool if you aren’t sure.

You can also use a free third party app called Go64 to check for Mac apps that are not entirely 64-bit.

Be aware that some apps may report they are 64-bit yet they still have 32-bit components and thus won’t work in Catalina (like Adobe Photoshop CS6).

3: Update Your Apps

You’ll want to make sure you update your apps before (and after) installing MacOS Catalina. This is always a good idea in general, but it’s particularly true since 32-bit applications are no longer supported by MacOS Catalina.

You can update apps from the Mac App Store by opening the App Store application and going to the “Updates” tab.

Updating apps obtained elsewhere often require updating through the app itself, or through the developer or manufacturers website.

4: Backup the Mac

Backing up your Mac is essential before installing any system software update, but having sufficient backups is particularly important if you’re planning on installing a new major version of macOS. Backups make sure you can roll back if something goes wrong, and help to prevent permanent data loss.

You can learn how to setup Time Machine for Mac backups here.

Time Machine requires an external hard drive to be connected to the Mac to backup on a regular schedule, so if you don’t have one yet then you might want to go

5: All Ready? Install MacOS Catalina!

Time Machine requires an external hard drive to be connected to the Mac to backup on a regular schedule, so if you don’t have one yet then you might want to go shopping for an external hard drive on Amazon or your favorite retailer.

Have you checked compatibility of your Mac and critical apps? Backed up your Mac? Updated your apps? Then you’re ready to update to MacOS Catalina!

MacOS Catalina is available as a free download, you can find it in the Software Update control panel and from the Mac App Store.

Note that some features in MacOS Catalina like Sidecar rely on an iPad running iPadOS 13 or later, and some older iPad and Mac models don’t support that feature at all.

Also… Consider Downloading a Spare Copy of MacOS Mojave Installer


How To Install Android 14 Beta

One of the nice things when it comes to the Android 14 Beta is that you don’t need to wipe your phone completely. However, we still recommend that you back up all of your important files. Beta software usually works better than the Developer Preview, but some bugs can still render your phone unusable. Backing everything up ensures that your most important files aren’t lost in the event of something bad happening.

Unlike the Android Developer Preview, which are limited to Google’s own Pixel smartphones, the Beta Program is usually expanded to include phones from various partners. This trend is continuing in 2023, as Google confirmed that you can install Android 14 on several non-Pixel devices.

Here’s the full list of phones and tablets that are currently compatible with the Android 14 Beta:

There’s a chance that this list could expand in the coming weeks, as Samsung is noticeably missing from the list here. However, unlike Google’s easy-to-use tool if you want to install Android 14, the instructions for the various phones will vary. But again, no matter what phone you are using, we strongly recommend making sure the data on your phone or tablet is backed up before trying to install the Android 14 Beta.

What’s New in Android 14

First up, we have AI-generated wallpapers: Android 14 is set to give users the power to create their own wallpapers using Google’s text-to-image diffusion model. This cool feature is all about creating unique and personalized wallpapers that perfectly match the users’ interests.

The next big thing is improved location privacy. Android 14 is taking a step forward in making it easier for users to control how apps access their location data. It’s a transparency move – users will be able to see exactly which apps are using their location data and can revoke access for any app they feel uncomfortable with.

Moving on to the new notification features, Android 14 is introducing a host of new elements in this area. You’ll find options to turn on camera flashes and screen flashes for incoming notifications. Plus, you’ll be able to see which apps use your location data for notifications and create custom notification sounds.

On the security front, Android 14 is set to include numerous new features. Among them is improved support for passkeys, which provide a more secure way to sign into apps and websites.

Last but not least, developers have something to look forward to as well. Android 14 will roll out a variety of new features for developers, including fresh APIs to improve their apps, and new tools to aid in debugging.

That’s just a snapshot of what’s expected to come with Android 14. Google is still working on the new version, so it’s possible that we’ll see even more features added before the final release.

When is Android 14 Being Released?

Google has not yet announced an official release date for Android 14. However, based on the release schedule for previous Android versions, we can expect Android 14 to be released in August 2023. Google released the first Android 14 developer preview in February, followed by a second developer preview in March. The first public beta of the new version was then released in April, followed by a second public beta in May shortly after the Google I/O 2023 Keynote concluded.

Of course, it’s important to remember that while Google does provide an outline and has largely followed a schedule in recent years, there’s a chance that the final version is slightly delayed. A new version of Android might face delays due to several reasons. The development process for a new operating system is intricate and complex, involving a multitude of elements such as designing new features, improving existing ones, fixing bugs, and ensuring optimal performance across a vast array of devices. Unforeseen technical challenges can often arise during this process, requiring additional time to resolve.

Microsoft President Expressed ‘Concerns About App Store’ To House Antitrust Committee

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently agreed to testify to the House antitrust committee, alongside the chief execs of other tech giants, but it appears it has already heard from Microsoft’s president – who reportedly expressed concerns about the App Store.

The committee has a wide-ranging remit to see whether tech giants are guilty of anti-competitive behaviors, with Apple coming under the most scrutiny for the way it operates the App Store …

A paywalled report in The Information says that the Microsoft interview took place a few weeks ago.

Several weeks ago, the subcommittee interviewed Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer of Microsoft, via videoconference, according to people with knowledge of the meeting. While the committee invited Smith primarily so he could provide Microsoft’s perspective as a big tech company that has previously faced antitrust regulation, during the session the Microsoft executive also discussed his company’s concerns about the way Apple operates its App Store. That issue is at the heart of regulators’ scrutiny of Apple in the U.S. and Europe […]

Smith expressed concerns about what Microsoft and others have viewed as the arbitrariness of Apple’s practices around approving apps, while also criticizing Apple’s requirement that developers use the company’s payment mechanism through their apps. Spotify and others have complained that Apple’s payment requirement allows the company to take a burdensome cut of developers’ app revenue—as much as 30%.

Cook was the last of the big four tech CEOs to agree to testify, with some suggesting that he agreed only when it was clear that he couldn’t afford to be the only one unwilling to do so.

Smith has previously steered clear of attacking Apple by name, but his references to app stores clearly refer both the Cupertino company and Google.

“I do believe the time has come, whether we’re talking about Washington, D.C., or Brussels, for a much more focused conversation about the nature of app stores, the rules that are being put in place, the prices and the tolls that are being extracted and whether there is really a justification in antitrust law for everything that has been created,” Smith said during a POLITICO Live interview […]

“If you look at the industry today, I think what you’ll find is increasingly you’re seeing app stores that have created higher walls and far more formidable gates … than anything that existed in the industry 20 years ago,” Smith said […]

“They impose requirements that increasingly say there’s only one way to get onto our platform, and that is to go through the gate that we ourselves have created. In some cases, they create a very high price or toll.”

The House antitrust committee is just one of the entities carrying out investigations into App Store practices, as we’ve previously noted.

I’ve argued that Apple’s antitrust issues aren’t going to go away, and that the company needs to take control by acting voluntarily before it is compelled to do so.

Once upon a time, Apple could have said ‘We’re just one company, this is how we operate, go elsewhere if you don’t like it.’ But that’s not a reasonable stance now that it is the gatekeeper to one-and-a-half billion iOS devices. We don’t know how many individuals own those devices, but let’s just say ‘about a billion people’ in round numbers. You can’t control access to a billion people and say it’s nobody’s business but your own what rules you make up and how you choose to interpret and enforce them.

Sooner or later, Apple is going to lose this battle. It’s going to have to be more equitable in the way it competes with third-party services. It’s going to have to revisit its commission rates to ensure they are fair to all concerned. And it’s going to have to come up with a method of setting and enforcing rules which are both just and applied equally to all.

The company does, however, have a choice: it can wait for the law to intervene, and be seen as the bad guy who only does the right thing when forced to do so, or it can take voluntary action, and be seen as the good guy. I urge it to take the latter course while there is still time.

Apple did take some steps in this direction by quietly tackling five antitrust issues in changes introduced by iOS 14.

Photo: Alex Brandon/AP Photo

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