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Apple's Leopard Gets Third Big Update

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the operating system that Apple shipped last fall, got its third major update on Wednesday. Mac OS X 10.5.3, like the earlier 10.5.1 and 10.5.2 patches, combines numerous bug fixes with small feature improvements in one very large download -- as much as 420 megabytes, though the customized downloads automatically fetched by Apple's Software Update mechanism can be much smaller (just 198 MB, in one case).

The company's release notes detail fixes and improvements to such Mac OS X components as Address Book, iCal, Mail and Time Machine. This update also includes numerous security fixes -- some months overdue, my fellow blogger Brian Krebs notes.

But Apple's documentation doesn't even mention 10.5.3's most intriguing and, perhaps, annoying feature: You can now sync Address Book with your Gmail contacts, as Google noted on its Mac blog on Wednesday -- but only if you've synced an iPhone or iPod touch to your computer, as users realized not long after.

That's an odd restriction, considering that Address Book syncs to Yahoo's contacts manager without any extra effort. Unfortunately, the workaround outlined by the Lifehacker blog to enable this feature on iPhone-free Macs seems to have issues of its own.

Since Google has already released the framework necessary for other programs to read and edit a Google address book, presumably some enterprising third-party developer will fix this flaw soon enough. (Now if only Address Book could also update its records when friends edit their contact info on Facebook or LinkedIn...)

So far, I've installed 10.5.3 on two review Macs without any problems -- and readers of the Mac-news site MacInTouch seem generally pleased with it as well -- so I plan on loading it on my own iMac this weekend.

Have you put 10.5.3 on your Mac yet? Please share your experiences in the comments!

By Rob Pegoraro  |  May 30, 2008; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  Mac  
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Upgraded to 10.5.3 last night. Unlike my initial upgrade to Leopard, which blue-screened my Mac, the 10.5.3 update went off without a hitch...

Posted by: Steve | May 30, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I updated to 10.5.3 on both an Intel based iMac and my 15 in. PowerBook. It took a very long time (compared to previous updates), but went smoothly on both machines. No problems encountered...but also no new features yet found. Leopard's biggest nuisance (the lack of a SIZE column in Spotlight search windows -- even when your search criterea includes file size) has still not been corrected. We'll have to wait for 10.5.4 to have this feature (that has been available since Mac OS System 3.0) reinstated, I guess.

Posted by: Peter Weisz | May 30, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I was prompted to install 10.5.3 after I received the US-CERT advisory that there were significant security fixes.

So far no issues in the 22 hours that I have had it installed.

Posted by: Jeff G. | May 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Upgrade went smoothly but another problem has popped up: Suddenly Apple Mail will no longer sync with my Hotmail Account. It had been synching seamlessly until just after this upgrade. Coincidence? Anybody else see this?

Posted by: Foster Braun | May 30, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I updated two iMacs to 10.5.3 and, as has always been the case with my Macs, the process was completely uneventful. What surprised me was the speed of the update---once downloaded, it was over and done in about 5 minutes.

Contrast this with the 2+ hours it took me to update Vista to SP1 and it's no wonder I'm a fan of Macs!

Posted by: David Ross | May 30, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I had the same problem with not being able to use Mail to read my looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet and change email providers if I want Mail to read it. Hotmail after June 30, is apparently going to some sort of proprietary format. I've been hoping it wouldn't come to this, but I love apple Mail, so I think switching to gmail might be the way to go.

Nonetheless...the update is a good one.

Posted by: Kyle | May 30, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I upgraded to 10.5.3 on my MacBook (2.0ghz)and the fan hasn't stopped, since.

With nothing running beyond the basics that load at startup, the CPU reports 155 or higher and the fan ranges from 5100 to well over 6000rpm. But the processors show practically no load.

Initially, I thought it was indexing the machine but it's now been over a full day and night and no sign of abating (and MDS, while high in processor suck initially, drops off the map quite quickly).

Anyone else have similar problem?

Posted by: Bush -- not related | May 30, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I've had the same well documented problem with 10.5.3 as I had with the 10.5.2 and 10.5 which is this constant "Airport: Scanning".

no one seems to know how to fix it without going back to 10.4.

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT TO DO? I love Apple, but they've really screwed this up.

Posted by: marc | May 30, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I have the same fan problem, and I've read similar reports on apple's forum. Since I went to 10.5.3 the fan hasn't stopped. Finder shows up to 99% usage a few minutes after reboot and the fan runs constantly.

Posted by: GP | May 31, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I updated to Leopard 10.5 and it blue screened my mac mini. I am having the hard drive replaced, and I think I will just reinstall 10.4.9. It's not worth it to go through all that again.

Posted by: susancpv | May 31, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Hi, I have recently updated to 10.5.3, however this hasn't touch much on the underlaying security issues specifically the firewall. I have set "Allow only essential services" but my Windows PC still able to locate my mac. Furthermore, my windows PC was able to do packet sniffing/reroute the packets from the routers to mac. I was able to steal Gmail and pop3 password and hijack some website for mac. This is quite bad especially in networking environment like college.
Please advise apple. I have use Little Snitch, but still no hopes.

Posted by: Andy | May 31, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

I have had a lot of failed Time Machine backups since the update.

Posted by: JimR | May 31, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Bought a new Time Machine and Intel iMac recently shipped with OS 10.5.2. Had a lot of trouble getting Time Machine connected and working; a very painful experience. Downloaded and installed 10.5.3 and on my old PPC iMac with no problems. Everything went well. The old PPC was running very slow on the network with Time Machine, but after upgrade to 10.5.3 it is now humming along. So far, no problems. Backups working fine.

Posted by: Mike J. | May 31, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Really? I've had NO luck finding others with the fan problem. I feel both better and worse.

Something else to note: apparently, the security certificates needed for WPA2-encrypted sites (like my college's secured wireless network) do not work under 10.5.3.

As a longtime Apple cheerleader, I'm a bit distressed by their last couple of update releases: they've had more, and more significant, problems associated with them than ever before.

It's hard to tell people how great the hardware/software is when your machine sounds like an F-14 trying to take off...

Posted by: Bush -- not related | May 31, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting to update to Leopard...I heard about the problem with Print to PDF and I refuse to update until that is fixed. I rely on Print to PDF on a regular basis. (Yeah, I could set up a watched folder in Acrobat, but with the volume of PDFs I create, it would be a daily chore to sort all the PDFs every day.)

Is it worth it to upgrade?!

Posted by: sjkrup | May 31, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I installed this easily enough. It has slowed my computer considerably. As a comparison, boot camp windows can download at 12 mps, my safari is 4. While 4 would still seem fast, this represents the proportional slowness of my computer. The fan now runs much more and the computer is running much hotter. I am very disappointed. I have another machine with an extended warranty, which I'll update when I can spend the time on the phone trying to straighten this out.

Posted by: w | May 31, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Another big change is to Spaces. It previously worked differently from virtual-monitors in various versions of Linux. Now, there is an option to make it work like users of those systems would expect.

More details here:

Posted by: Jeff | May 31, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Downloaded Leopard 10.5.3 easily, but on two attempted installs my Intel iMac freezes. Computer starts to configure installation and stops. Will not force quit - I have to shut computer down to get out of install. Anybody with similar problems/solutions?

Posted by: Dale | May 31, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Downloaded Leopard 10.5.3 easily, but on two attempted installs my Intel iMac freezes. Computer starts to configure installation and stops. Will not force quit - I have to shut computer down to get out of install. Anybody with similar problems/solutions?

Posted by: Dale | May 31, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Foster and Kyle, I also have problems with Mail not synching the hotmail account. It does however work when sending mail using the hotmail account. The problem is that I did not relate the upgrading with this situation and tried to add a new account in Mail using the same hotmail address; when I noticed that it duplicated the number of mails I had in the mailboxes, I deleted the new account, but to my surprise and horror it also deleted all the saved mail in the mailboxes (except for the sent mail).

Posted by: Manuel Martín Fernández | June 1, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Downloaded the update via Software Update. After the reboot, it hung at the preparing to install point. Seems I was not alone with that problem. Had to give the system the vulcan nerve pinch after it had been sitting there for 20+ hours, boot into safe mode, remove the download and do it again.

The second time did not hang, although I seem to have lost my desktop background setting, which makes me wonder what else I may have lost.

Posted by: rick jones | June 1, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I just installed the update, seemingly with no problems. THEN I got a message that the connection with was blocked. What's THAT about? I have all my other mail coming through Apple mail, but Apple's OWN program is stuck. I hate trying to get help to correct something that never should have gone wrong. I will advise my husband NOT to upgrade, since he has already had huge problems with his Hotmail account, was thinking of switching to gmail, but with what others said above, maybe that is a bad idea. I'll keep checking back here to see what others experience.
Thanks for this thread.

Posted by: Katherine Jones | June 2, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

All your posts really cheered me up ! One of Europe's poor retired huddled masses still running OS 8.6 on a 1959 rebuilt twice iMac. Born 12/07/31, I have been saving up for the latest macbook for ages - whilst still coping with daughters' latest cashflow problems :)

But all websites are apparently STILL happy to convert their gizmo loaded sites into html for me and that's all the world and US newspapers including My email always works instantly and there's always an alternative route thought Google -PLUS the fact that viruses and hacks are always designed for you guys, not my ancient software which splats them all :)

Now the pressure to upgrade-upgrade-upgrade can be borne more easily by me...So thanks to ALL of you for such a reassuring pleasant read!!

Posted by: Garry Nash | June 3, 2008 5:07 AM | Report abuse

yeah, sorry re my previous- it is of course 'a 1989 twice rebuilt iMac' and it should have read ' through Google' not "thought Google" - it's an age thing, typos...:)

Posted by: Garry Nash | June 3, 2008 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Dale, I have the same problem. Software downloads and then hangs on Configuring installation. I have tried it on two different computers.

Posted by: Susan | June 3, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

here! i also have the fan problem!
mbp 2,33ghz, late 2006, 4gb
cpu near idle, fans at 6k rpm - very annoying!

Posted by: amok_san | June 3, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

my hotmail does n't work either
it was working before with the plugin workaround until the update
anyone any ideas?

Posted by: ian redmond | June 3, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the reports. I can only guess what might be screwing up this update on your Macs (FWIW, it installed without any issues on my own iMac). But in general, if a Software Update download doesn't work, you're often better off going to Apple's Web site, downloading the larger "combo update," and using that to update your machine instead. You can get the combo-update download for 10.5.3 here.

- Rob

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | June 4, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I downloaded the Leopard update - and all seemed well - however I noticed today all my sent emails (.Mac) prior to update have disappeared !! Help ??? Like others when I go to restart I have to Force Quit Mail ......
It has slowed things down - graphics work is snail's pace - and I can't seem work in more than 2 programs without everything hanging - has anyone found the same, and importantly a way round it? And yes my MacBookPro gets really hot ......... I will hang on till there are a few more updates before I update my iMac.

Posted by: Jo O | June 4, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Justin | June 5, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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