“No complaint about the lack of windows”: the new era of Apple multi-platform environment

Yesterday at WWDC 16 Apple presented its new macOS Sierra – the spiritual successor of OS X 10.11 El Capitan. The era of “OS X” as part of the name has ended.

With the new name, macOS Sierra focuses mainly on cross platform experience, continuity, and iCloud.

To start with, Apple announced a new auto-lock feature which allows Apple Watch wearers to unlock their Mac simply by opening it or walking into its vicinity. The other newcomer is a universal clipboard – a shared clipboard between macOS and iOS that allows users to easily share text, images, or video between Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Apple also brings Apple Pay to the web, allowing the authentication of online payments on Mac via Apple Watch or iPhone with Touch ID.

Apple Pay

The trend is clear – Apple is trying to make the experience between devices seamless. Siri on the new macOS is the cherry on the cake. After allowing Siri to introduce herself, like it was done in the original 1984 Mac demo, Craig Federighi showed off several Siri desktop features that should look familiar to iOS users, like calling up playlists, creating tasks, or searching the Web.

Talking about iCloud, it now plays an expanded role in synchronization, making your desktop folders and files visible on other Macs and iOS devices. Another new feature called Optimized Storage can sweep through old files and move them to iCloud, thus making room on local disk space for other purposes. Moreover, it can automatically delete your trash, clear your Web history, old mail attachments, and do other behind-the-scene clean-ups.

Optimized Storage

Another feature, that wasn’t introduced on the presentation, is the new file system which is available in a pre-release macOS Sierra beta version for Apple developers and is scheduled to ship in 2017.

“Apple File System is a Next-Generation File System for Apple Products” – says the Apples guide published yesterday, – “HFS+ and it’s predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, where file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes. Today, solid-state drives store millions of files, accounting for gigabytes or terabytes of data. There is now also a greater importance being placed on keeping sensitive information secure and safe from prying eyes. A new file system is needed to meet the current needs of Apple products, and support new technologies for decades to come”.

Accordingly, Apple File System, or APFS, is a next-generation file system for Apple products based upon the iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS software platforms, ranging from the Apple Watch to a Mac Pro. It’s optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.

In conclusion, it seems like Apple is making steps to ease the multi-platform experience. However, it takes time to reach perfection and during this lengthy journey, Paragon Software products including HDM for Mac, NTFS for Mac, or EXTFS for Mac can help you to always be on the cutting edge.

Paragon NTFS for Mac Recognized as the Best of Data Management Solutions by IT Innovation 2016 at CeBIT

At CeBIT 2016 in Hanover Germany, after review of several thousands submissions, the Initiative Mittelstand awarded the utility application Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 with the Best of IT Innovation 2016 in the category “Data Management.” Impressed by the product’s capabilities, the judges bestowed this special recognition to the popular OS X utility.

Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 allows anyone to easily access and format Windows NTFS-formatted partitions, even those used to dual-boot Windows on a Mac, simplifying management of Windows-based volumes in OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Paragon NTFS for Mac allows users to check and repair the file system integrity of NTFS partitions via the app’s graphical interface, using its volume management functions, instead of using complicated command line tools, as is required by other utilities of this type.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan’s new System Integrity Protection (SIP) feature prevents the use of third-party disk utilities in OS X Disk Utility. Paragon NTFS for Mac overcomes this limitation, simplifying management of such volumes in El Capitan.

“While Mac OS X allows users to easily read from Windows NTFS formatted partitions, it doesn’t allow them to write files to such a drive without entering arcane commands into Terminal, or allow them to fix any problems that a volume’s file system might incur,” says Ivan Sidorin, Product manager at Paragon Software Group. “Paragon NTFS for Mac allows users to read, write, run diagnostics, and fix any issues with NTFS volumes directly from its graphical volume management interface, simplifying the use of NTFS formatted volumes on the Mac.”

Users can conveniently use Paragon NTFS for Mac to easily navigate the contents  of any NTFS drive, allowing them to read, edit, copy, or create files and folders on the drive. The app provides fast and transparent access to any NTFS partition while running OS X 10.11.

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Сircumventing the security challenges of OS X El Capitan

OS X El capitan may be more resistant than ever to malicious software, but its arrival means new challenges lie ahead for some third-party developers.

SIP: Forcing developers to think different

OS X El Capitan 10.11 offers serious defense against malware on a number of fronts, most notably System Integrity Protection (SIP for short). SIP removes administrative overrides for processes running in the background and disables root access to /usr, /bin, /sbin, and /System, preventing ANY user or application (with the exception of Mac-native installer software) from writing to those locations or modifying files residing there.
In doing so, Apple has for the first time rejected a key Unix principal by limiting the access privileges of a “superuser” (better known as root). Traditionally, users with administrator privileges could install software and generally access any part of the root-level system they so desire, while regular users had more limited access.
Although this approach has generally worked well since OS X debuted in 2001, there was always the potential threat of local or remote attacks from rogue Trojan horse software that gained access to root. By implementing SIP, veteran Mac power users now consider the operating system to be “rootless.”
It should be noted that Apple has provided power users with a workaround to temporarily disable SIP, simply by booting into the Recovery partition and selecting Utilities > Security Configuration from the menu. Next, uncheck Enforce System Integrity Protection, click Apply Configuration, and restart for the change to take effect. However, it’s clear that SIP is the way forward, so developers and end users will need to adapt accordingly.

Disk Utility vs. Third-Party Drivers

The El Capitan version of Disk Utility has also been through major changes — both cosmetically and under the hood. Once you get used to the glossy new user interface, veteran users might notice Apple has entirely removed the option to repair disk permissions. That’s because Apple no longer allows permissions to change in any way, with the exception of an automatic repair run during software updates.

But that’s not all: Disk Utility no longer manages disks mounted by third-party drivers, at least not through the program’s graphical user interface. The reasons for the change don’t make a whole lot of sense to outsiders, especially when disks mounted by non-native drivers can still be mounted, formatted, or repaired by using the command-line diskutil.

Making OS X more like mobile

An additional security improvement removes the possibility of using unsigned kernel extensions (kexts) which modify the core of OS X. Starting with El Capitan, developers must sign kexts with a valid Apple certificate in order for them to continue working. This means perfectly good drivers for discontinued products or expensive hardware could suddenly become unusable after upgrading to the new OS — with no easy or reliable downgrade available!

By adopting such changes, Apple aims to make OS X a more user-friendly and secure platform similar to iOS, which powers the company’s popular iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch products. Although this move will surely benefit average users and protect them from the ever-increasing threat of malicious software, the additional layers of security temporarily complicate matters for advanced power users and Mac developers whose livelihood depends upon OS X.

The challenge for developers

If you already purchase most of your software from the Mac App Store, chances are you’ll never notice (or care) about the under-the-hood changes Apple has implemented with OS X El Capitan. But there are plenty of third-party developers who will be affected, especially those who offer software outside of Apple’s walled garden ecosystem.

The makers of popular utility software like Default Folder X have already discovered solutions to work around El Capitan’s new challenges, which required a complete overhaul of the existing application in order to implement. Paragon Software faced a similar challenge with NTFS for Mac, which adds the ability to write to Windows-formatted volumes, which can’t natively be done with OS X alone.

Like many other developers, Paragon products have traditionally stored application components in the very places El Capitan no longer permits. For example, the NTFS for Mac driver would be installed in /System/Library/Filesystems, while auxiliary command-line utilities were located in /usr/sbin.

Because of SIP, NTFS for Mac 14 and higher now place this driver in /Library/Filesystems, relocating associated utilities to /usr/local/sbin/, where root still has full privileges. It’s not only a reasonable alternative, but also remains proper Unix etiquette. Likewise, the NTFS for Mac 14 driver is properly signed as a kernel extension, making it a required update for owners of earlier versions prior to upgrading to El Capitan.

Meet the new NTFS for Mac 14

In addition to the under the hood changes outlined above, the familiar NTFS for Mac preferences pane has been overhauled with version 14. Since Disk Utility can no longer be used to work with Windows-formatted volumes, NTFS for Mac 14 now includes built-in format, verify, and mount functionality.

In addition to Windows NTFS, other file systems supported by OS X can also be used with this preference pane — for example, if Paragon’s ExtFS for Mac driver is already installed on the same system, NTFS for Mac will also be able to format, verify, or mount Linux-native Ext2/3/4 disks as well.

Here’s what NTFS for Mac 14 looks like when launched:

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And here’s a look at the new way to format volumes as NTFS:

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NTFS for Mac 14 can also be used to verify a volume for possible file system errors:

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For those comfortable with Terminal, the same actions can also be performed with Paragon’s command-line utilities. Advanced users familiar with Unix will have access to additional options through this interface:

  • fsck_ufsd_NTFS finds and repairs errors on NTFS disks.

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  • fsck_ufsd_NTFS formats a volume to NTFS.

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  • mount_ufsd_NTFS mounts or unmounts NTFS disks.

Finally, support of the Windows NT file system is automatically added to the command-line diskutil during installation of the NTFS for Mac driver.

Download and try NTFS for Mac 14 for free!

5 reasons to use Paragon USB plugin to increase Android’s performance

#1 – Extra storage space instead of buying a new smartphone

The more storage space a mobile device has, the more expensive it costs. With Paragon’s USB plugin, you won’t need to spend more on storage space. Instead, just use an inexpensive portable storage device connected to your Android device using the USB OTG cable — the same way you already do it with your desktop computer or laptop. There’s no longer a need to replace your Android device when all you need is more storage space.

There are two simple ways to get extra storage space using Paragon Software:

  • SD card: Add an extra 32-128 GB for less than $25
  • USB Mass Storage Device: Use it for backup or to save multimedia no matter where you are

#2 – Connect with everything

Your boss or client uses an iPhone, but it’s too hard to transfer a presentation from your Android device. Paragon’s USB plugin supports multiple partitioning schemes and file systems, including NTFS, HFS+, and FAT32.

#3 – To be online or not to be? It’s no longer a question

You do not need to stay online all the time to work with data. Cloud storage is not yet the best way to share or work with multimedia and other common data. Even if you were in Antarctica, you can make data transfers between any device without mobile internet or Wi-Fi by using any SD card or USB Mass Storage Device you prefer.

#4 – Save & Share 4K videos and other high-resolution media

2016 will see an explosion of 4K and 8K video content, creating new storage demands for the video creation industry and tech-savvy consumers. Filming in 4K takes up about seven times more data than 1080p, so what’s the best solution for storing all of this data? You can simply use portable storage devices as a data bank, connected to your Android device using a USB OTG cable and Paragon’s USB plugin.

#5 – NTFS Support on Android without Root

Android does not yet natively support NTFS read/write capabilities (read more above). Most SD cards/pen drives arrive formatted as FAT32. Average users who prefer not to root their Android smartphones can now add NTFS support to Android from the Total Commander app and USB plugin developed by Paragon. Enjoy non-root communications!

Download and install Total Commander for Android, install Paragon USB plugin, connect NTFS, FAT32 or HFS+ formatted disks or other storage devices via USB OTG and enjoy instant, high-speed access.

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Paragon Camptune X can now add up 2 GBs to your BootCamp partition

The updated version comes with a redesigned user interface, and allows owners of the free edition to also work with Boot Camp.

New and improved features:

  • 2GB can now be reallocated between OS X and Windows absolutely free, particularly convenient for urgent, last-minute changes to available disk space.
  • The new interface design is more intuitive and user-friendly.

Ivan Sidorin, product manager: “We have improved the overall impression of working with the Camptune X application, which has been redesigned to be more convenient from the user’s perspective. We pay close attention to how the user interacts with the software. The new version also improves overall reliability. Finally, we’ve made it more convenient for users of the free edition — for example, if you’re running out of disk space on the Windows partition and urgently need to preserve system updates or other files under 2GB in size. With Paragon Camptune X 10.10, you can now do it in just one click without having to purchase the full version.”

The apps supports OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard to OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

Download yourself and try now!

Get it from CNET Download.com!

6 reasons to install the latest Paragon NTFS for Mac 14

  1. The fastest data transfer on SDDs

Paragon NTFS for Mac is the world’s fastest application, achieving speeds of native drivers, with OS X El Capitan support. Our internal tests have proven: Paragon NTFS file system driver is the fastest one on the market! The native HFS+ driver has approximately the same read performance as Paragon NTFS for Mac.

mbpro_read1mbpro_write2Please, visit product web-site for detailed comparison reports.

  1. Compatibility with SIP

OS X El Capitan 10.11 offers serious defense against malware on a number of fronts, most notably System Integrity Protection (SIP for short). SIP removes administrative overrides for processes running in the background and disables root access to /usr, /bin, /sbin, and /System, preventing ANY user or application (with the exception of Mac-native installer software) from writing to those locations or modifying files residing there.

In doing so, Apple has for the first time rejected a key Unix principal by limiting the access privileges of a “superuser” (better known as root). Traditionally, users with administrator privileges could install software and generally access any part of the root-level system they so desire, while regular users had more limited access.

Because of SIP, NTFS for Mac 14 and higher now place this driver in /Library/Filesystems, relocating associated utilities to /usr/local/sbin/, where root still has full privileges. It’s not only a reasonable alternative, but also remains proper Unix etiquette. Likewise, the NTFS for Mac 14 driver properly signed as a kernel extension, making it a required update for owners of earlier versions prior to upgrading to El Capitan. If you have already purchased NTFS for Mac 12 or earlier versions, please, check your personal upgrade offer here.

  1. Check, repair, format, mount and unmounts volumes directly in Paragon NTFS for Mac preferences pane

As Disk Utility can no longer be used with Windows-formatted volumes, ‘NTFS for Mac 14’ offers built-in “mount” functionality.  Launch the updated preferences pane of Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 and use the NTFS volume mount functionality as before with the OS X proprietary disk utility. For advanced users support of the Windows NT file system automatically added to the command-line diskutil during installation of the NTFS for Mac driver. So you can use the the “mount_ufsd_NTFS” command to perform mounting or unmounting of NTFS partitions.

Now it is possible to format Windows NTFS files to Mac & from Mac to Windows. Format NTFS utility formats any partition as NTFS under Mac OS X 10.8 and higher. Access this feature from NTFS for Mac 14 preference pane or command line with the “fsck_ufsd_NTFS” command.

Another feature of OS X disk utility, that disappeared in EL Capitan, is to check NTFS volumes integrity and fix errors. It is also available on Paragon NTFS for Mac preference pane or via the “fsck_ufsd_NTFS” command in the terminal.

  1. 10-days to try for free

You can take advantage of full commercial product features to make sure that Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 provides the best experience and highest data transfer speed for you.

  1. 100% free online support

In case of any problems, our team of top-qualified and friendly support engineers will help you out. Ask your question on MyParagon portal or visit our Knowledge Base for a quick reference. Documentation is also always available online.

  1. The best upgrade options guarantee 

We highly appreciate our customers and try to provide you with the best experience possible. To keep you satisfied and up-to-date, we introduced a special update policy for all Paragon NTFS for Mac product version. Particularly, users, who bought a full commercial Paragon NTFS for Mac 12 are eligible to get Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 free of charge. You can check It here. Those, who received versions 12 as a free upgrade from NTFS for Mac 11 can get a special 50% off upgrade offer in their personal MyParagon accounts. Users of earlier versions of Paragon NTFS for Mac can get the latest version with 30% discount.

 

 

Paragon releases the first solution to back up Windows under OS X! And it’s free!

Allows sector-level backup, incremental imaging, selective restore

Paragon Boot Camp Backup is the industry’s first and free OS X based backup solution for Windows partitions on Mac computers. The backup tools that are delivered with Apple’s operating system do not support the Windows native file system NTFS and work on the file level only which has a negative effect on computer performance. Other third-party tools either do not run in the familiar and convenient OS X environment or they are designed for disk cloning rather than ongoing backup. Paragon Boot Camp Backup comes to rescue by backing up NTFS Boot Camp partitions at the sector level. It creates incremental chains, where each new increment describes the changes between the current state of the backup object and the previous state. This saves disk space, speeds backups, and allows recovery to a particular point in time.

Paragon Boot Camp Backup is available for free at http://www.paragon-software.com/home/bootcamp-backup/ Additional free and commercial tools for Mac users can be found at the Mac ToolBox portalhttp://www.paragon-software.com/mac/

The new Paragon Mac ToolBox web portal makes it easy to find which of the company’s products can be used to solve particular Mac-related problems. Some of the tools are available free of charge, while all commercial products are available on a time-limited demo basis.

Paragon Software shares its expertise in wiping SSDs

Everything you should know about  disk sanitization techniques for HDDs and SSDs!

According to the US Department of Commerce data security breaches cost over $250 billion to US companies per year. This means providing confidentiality implies not only information to be stored properly, but also be destroyed according to certain rules. The article Why_Wipe_SSD is going to illustrate the main peculiarities of irreversible data destruction operation in order to allow a secure storage disposal.

The approach to perform this kind of operation will differ from the type of storage device: HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or SSD (Solid State Drive).  The internal architecture of an SSD is very different from that of a hard disk, and the way SSDs store data is very different as well. This means that existing disk sanitization techniques originally used for HDDs won’t work on SSDs.

After some research on the issue, our company has improved our disk wiping technology and can now guarantee irreversible secure data destruction on SSD storage devices without shortening the SSD’s service life.

Read the full article Why_Wipe_SSD to clear up the difference between data destruction on SSDs and HDDs and meet the recently updated wiping tool from Paragon Software.

A special Christmas bundle from Paragon is packed with the new product releases!

A package deal of both tools for the price of one available until December 30th, 2014!

The company is happy to announce the release of Paragon Disk Wiper 15 Professional – for the most secure data protection on hard drives and SSDs – and Paragon Backup & Recovery 15 Home – an easy-to-use data and PC system backup and recovery tool.

Paragon Disk Wiper 15 Professional accomplishes secure data wiping on hard disks. The new version is now able to sanitize SSDs without affecting their operating life. In addition to protecting sensitive personal information, Disk Wiper frees up space by clearing remnants of deleted files and directories.

Paragon Backup & Recovery 15 Home backs up not only users’ data, but also the entire operating system with all settings and installed applications. Both versions support Windows 8.1, and purchasers will receive free updates for Windows 10 support.

A bundle of Paragon Disk Wiper 15 Professional and Paragon Backup & Recovery 15 Home is available for only 39.95$ (80$ value, if purchased separately) until December 30 th, 2014.

Learn more

Don’t forget to check the Christmas Highlights page every week not to miss your deal!

Paragon Software extends alliance with Lanix to provide backup and recovery technology for popular PC and notebook offerings

Agreement Boosts Data Protection for Manufacturer’s Key Product Lines Serving Mexico and Central and South American Markets

Paragon Software is happy to announce a new technology alliance with Lanix, a multi-national system manufacturer headquartered in Mexico. The new agreement builds upon their existing partnership and calls for Lanix to license Paragon Backup & Recovery software for use in select PC and notebook devices sold to consumers, businesses, government and academic institutions throughout Mexico and Central and South America.

“We’re proud to have built a successful alliance with Lanix that has stood the test of time,” said Tom Fedro, President of Paragon Software Group Corporation. “Since 2008, we’ve been providing data protection solutions as a critical component of their popular offerings. In winning Lanix’s business once again with this new agreement, it’s clear we’ve earned their trust and delivered on the promise of our technology. We look forward to supporting their data protection needs well into the future.”

Lanix selected the award-winning Paragon Backup & Recovery offering after an extensive evaluation in which a number of leading products were considered. According to Jorge Noriega, Director of Technology for Lanix, Paragon Backup & Recovery delivered everything the manufacturer needed to ensure optimal data protection for its customers at a cost-effective price point.

Read the full story