How to enable Intel HD4600 natively on your Hackintosh

If you’re Hackintosh has an Haswell CPU you’ll have by 70% of chances an integrated graphic card, the Intel HD4600. This GPU works perfectly with OS X because its present in some real Macs, like the MacBook Air and the entry level iMac, and you can use it with your Hackintosh without adding any modified or extra kext to the system. To use it you’ll only need to enable it with Chameleon or Chimera, that’s it.

Those two boot loaders in fact have a feature called “GraphicsEnabler” which, if enabled in your org.chameleon.Boot.plist file in your Extra folder, will automatically search and set the “Device properties” parameter for you to make your GPU recognized by OS X which will then load the proper kext according to the GPU model. But, since GraphicsEnabler is a completely automatic feature it has a few downsides. First of all GraphicsEnabler can increase boot time since it needs a few seconds to correctly identify your GPU using a few tests, second it can be wrong sometimes and/or with some particular GPU models, third your GPU could be recognized correctly but Quartz Extreme and Core Image graphics acceleration could not work.

Note: If you’re not a “pro” Hackintosh user and GraphicsEnabler correctly recognize your HD4600 already you won’t need to change anything since everything is working fine for you.

So, is there a way to enable the Intel HD4600 without using GraphicsEnabler? Yes, just follow those steps.

You will need:

  1. Download and extract all the applications
  2. Copy Chameleon Wizard and EFIStudio to your application folder
  3. Open the Terminal
  4. Paste this line in the Terminal window and press Enter
    ioreg -lw0 -p IODeviceTree -n efi -r -x | grep device-properties | sed 's/.*<//;s/>.*//;' > device-properties.hex
  5. With this terminal command a file named device-properties.hex have been created to your home folder, like in this picture:
    giuliolombardo-14
  6. Open EFIStudio and select Open Hext File… from the File menu
  7. Select the device-properties.hex and press Open
  8. Now you’ll see an “Editor” window with all the GPU informations, click on Hex String to Clipboard to copy the string, like in this picture:
    Editor_e_EFIStudio-6
  9. Open Chameleon Wizard and go to the org.chameleon.Boot tab
  10. Click on the Paste button in the Device properties section to paste the Hex string, like in the picture below:
    Chameleon_Wizard-5
    Note: EFIStudio will always copy a few spaces along with the Hex String, this isn’t always a problem for Chameleon and it should recognize your GPU anyway but, to be sure, delete all the spaces after the Hex String.
  11. Click on save to save the org.chameleon.Boot.plist file in your Extra folder.
  12. Reboot

5 real Mac serial numbers for your Hackintosh

All_Late_2013_Macs

I already showed you a few ways on how to get a working Macintosh serial number in order to fix your iCloud, iMessage and Mac App Store problems with your Hackintosh in my two previous posts (How to fix iMessage using Chameleon or Chimera and How to find a working serial number for your Hackintosh), now I will give you 5 real and tested Macintosh serial numbers.

Those serial numbers comes from real Macs and they are completely safe, and by safe I mean that Apple will recognize them correctly and iCloud and/or iMessage will work by 100%, but they will only work with Hackintoshes with similar hardware. Since those serials are from Haswells Macs you cannot use them on a PC with Core 2 Duo, Ivy Bridge or AMD CPUs, you must use them with Haswell Hackintoshes. Obviously you can try everything you want, but don’t tell me those serials doesn’t work, I already tried them and they’re fine.

1. iMac 21.5-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i5 – 2,70 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: Intel Iris Pro 1024 MB
Serial number: C02L13ECF8J2 [Verification]

2. iMac 27-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i5 – 3,50 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB
Serial number: C02LC1T5FLHH [Verification]

3. MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i5 – 2,40 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: Intel Iris Pro 1024 MB
Serial number: C02LJ41LFH00 [Verification]

4. MacBook Pro Retina 15-inch, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Core i7 – 2,0 GHz
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU: Intel Iris Pro 1024 MB
Serial number: C02LJ6QSFD56 [Verification]

5. MacPro, Late 2013
CPU: Intel Xenon E5 6-Core – 3,50 GHz
RAM: 16GB 1867 MHz DDR3
GPU: AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB
Serial number: F5KLV0H8F693 [Verification]

All you need to do is to select the proper serial number for your Hackintosh based on your hardware, for example if it’s a laptop choose one of the two MacBook Pros if it’s a desktop choose the iMac or the MacPro serial instead. The most important thing is that you choose the one with the more similarities with your system. Once you selected the right serial use Chameleon Wizard to apply it in your SMBios file, if you need help with Chameleon Wizard you can follow the guide at the bottom of this previous post.

Believe it or not, Google makes the best iOS apps available

Google_Loves_iOS

Google loves iOS, and they demonstrate this feeling making the best iOS apps available.

Actually they have more than 20 apps available for free [off course] on the App Store for the iPhone and a few less for the iPad, but those apps are not the kind of apps a company makes just to be on a platform, those are great apps. I won’t be too wrong if I say Google has the best iOS developer team available on the market, maybe at the same level Apple has, and they also keep it growing and growing by adding developers of some of the best iOS and web apps available to it. Here’s a few examples:

  • Sparrow iOS email client, acquired by Google on July 20, 2012
  • Meebo instant messaging web app, acquired by Google on June 4, 2012
  • Waze GPS navigation app, also acquired by Google on June 11, 2013

Those are only a few of the acquisitions made by Google to increase their potential and knowledge over the iOS platform. You can easily see the results of this using Google+, Hangouts and Google Maps apps. They are great, won’t crash, have fluent and consistent animations and nice and seamless integration with the OS, try by yourself if you don’t believe me.

Obviously there’s a reason behind.

Google+_iOSGoogle’s objective is to develop an iOS ecosystem inside the OS by making each app able to communicate with the others. For example if you have the Gmail app installed in your device and you also have Google Chrome and/or Google Maps, Gmail will open web links with Chrome and addresses with Google Maps, instead of using Apple’s Safari and/or stock Maps app. But that’s only a part of the story, in fact they want to make better counterparts of the Apple stocks apps so you won’t use Apple’s, in other words, they want to keep you in their ecosystem. Why? Because Google is an advertising company and they need to sell ads to make money, if you use their mobile app you’ll likely end using their web counterparts and that means more possibility for you to see their ads, that’s why.

Google_iOSAnd they’re doing a great job to make that happen since nearly all Google’s counterparts are better than Apple’s stock app, and not only for me but for many other websites. If you use Gmail address, for example, it’s impossible to receive push notifications unless you use Google’s Gmail app, if you want precise turn-by-turn directions on your iPhone you can’t use Apple maps since their inaccurate compared to Google Maps or Waze [Waze = Google, so…], and what about YouTube? Same story.

An other important thing that confirms what I have said is that Google does not give the same level of attention and quality standards to their Android apps. If you have both Android and iOS you’ll agree with me when I say that, sincerely, Google Maps on Android sucks and the Google+ app is the same. No matter what device you have, from the high-end to the 50$ Android smartphone, both of those apps are more sluggish compared to the slowest iPhone ever made. Also the iOS ones gets new features way before Android’s and they’re updated more often too.

How to update your Hackintosh to 10.9.2

Apple finally released OS X 10.9.2, the second major update to OS X Mavericks. When a new incremental update to OS X comes out, the question is still the same: How can I safely update my Hackintosh?

First, this is the official change log for 10.9.2:

  • Adds the ability to make and receive FaceTime audio calls
  • Adds call waiting support for FaceTime audio and video calls
  • Adds the ability to block incoming iMessages from individual senders
  • Improves the accuracy of unread counts in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented Mail from receiving new messages from certain providers
  • Improves AutoFill compatibility in Safari
  • Fixes an issue that may cause audio distortion on certain Macs
  • Improves reliability when connecting to a file server using SMB2
  • Fixes an issue that may cause VPN connections to disconnect
  • Improves VoiceOver navigation in Mail and Finder

If you want [or you’re really curious about 10.9.2] you can read the full change log here.

To safely install 10.9.2 on your Hackitonsh follow those steps:

  1. Repair permissions using Disk Utility [repair them twice just to be sure]
  2. Update OS X using the Mac App Store or by downloading the combo update here
  3. Once installation is completed re-install your audio drivers [only] using the latest version of MultiBeast, which you can find here
    [Note: If you’re having boot problems after the update try booting using the ” -x ” flag]
  4. Reboot
  5. Repair permissions again using Disk Utility
  6. Done.

Note: If you’re using MultiBeast 6.1.0 (or lower) do not install other drivers and/or any other thing beside audio drivers since 10.9.2 also updates graphical, storage and other drivers, replacing those drivers with MultiBeast can break your setup since the included drivers are for 10.9.1 and prior.

Note 2: If you use the Chameleon bootloader be sure MultiBeast won’t install Chimera or your Hackintosh setup will 100% break since some boot flags are different.

Note 3: You will also need to check if TRIM is still enabled as this OS X update will disable it, if you need help with TRIM follow this guide.

iPhone is too mainstream

Note to readers: I am not a hipster 😬.

By November 2013 over 421 million iPhones have been sold, with that number we can’t be wrong saying that nowadays the iPhone is in the hand of nearly everyone who have a smartphone and that’s a lot of [different] people. From the geek boy to the old woman, from the school girl to her grandma, they all have the same device. And they all keep downloading apps. In fact by October 2013 Apple announced that more than 60 billion total apps have been downloaded and there are more then 1 million different apps are in the App Store.

With so many apps we can easily imagine that while some of them are crafted with quality in mind, the majority are not. Before it wasn’t like this. I owned every single iPhone model since the original iPhone back in 2007, and I can easily remember how different the App Store was at the beginning. There were way less apps and it wasn’t full of stupid apps and games like today, and do you know what the reason of this “change in quality standards” is? People.

The biggest problem is that the most of users doesn’t even know what a quality iOS app looks like, and, since most of the people download pointless apps those are the results:

iTunes_Top_Paid

Seriously. How can an app like Pou be at the top positions of the most selled paid apps?.

We all know the only way iOS users can run third-party software on their devices is by using the App Store to search and download them, they can’t use any other store or website to do that, unlike Android. Also the App Store is totally under Apple’s control and for this reason it’s a completely closed environment, because they can decide which apps iOS devices can run or not and they can even pull them without any notice. Sure, this is made for security reasons and/or to defend already present apps from clones, but this behavior has a big downside in my opinion and I call it “software saturation“. With this term I mean that there are too many apps users can search for.

On the App Store those are confirmed facts:

  1. The most downloaded apps are the one that are more present on the top charts since they have more visibility over the others.
  2. Searching for apps doesn’t work anymore, there’s too of them.
    People doesn’t search anymore they simply download the most famous apps they find on the top 250 chart.

Mac_App_Store

On the other hand OS X, Windows and Linux [even if they now have their own stores] have an open environment  and anyone can write their own softwareIn fact, if you’re like me when you need a new software for OS X, Windows or Linux you simply search it on Google or any other search engine and then you pick the perfect one for you needs from a majority of similar apps, simple as that, no “App Store” needed. In this situation, with no “charts” or “top downloaded apps” anyone can have the visibility they deserve for their work and, even if there are tons of similar apps no one gets unnoticed [if the software is well made off course] and for this reason there are no conditioning.

Are iPhones bad for our health?

This is a very [very] delicate theme to cover.

Even after years and years of scientific researches and numerous studies about RF Exposures and the Specific absorption rate [also known as SAR] we still can’t tell for sure that radio frequencies are bad for our body and health. In fact some will prove you they are bad for our health, showing you the results of a continuos RF exposure, and some will prove you the right opposite. For anything like this you have two choices:

  1. Who cares, I didn’t even know what RF and SAR were before this post.
  2. Understand the the problem and make the possible you can to reduce or avoid exposures to preserve your health until science has the answer.

What’s the situations about RF Exposure and SAR with iPhones? In order to facilitate the comparison of SAR values [both head and body] and also to understand its trend, I decided to spend some time to make a graph with those values of every single iPhone ever made, and this the result:

Head SAR value:

Head_SAR

Body SAR Value:

Body_SAR

From the graphs we can see four things in my opinion:

  1. The models with more plastic [3G and 3GS] have lower SAR values.
    [Plastic is more efficient that metal when transmitting the antenna signal and it need less power so lower exposure]
  2. The SAR values are increasing.
  3. The maximum limit value of 2,00 W/kg hasn’t never been reached.
    [And that’s a good thing].
  4. Apple tries to keep values under half of the limit.
    [To be sure that SAR won’t be a problem for user’s health and/or limit damages I guess].

So, are iPhones bad for our health or not? Well, while they do emit more radiations than other smartphones available on the market, I think that since all iPhones SAR values are under half of the recommended value of 2,00 W/kg they are safebut keep in mind that until we have a precise answer from scientists we can’t be 100% sure about this.

If you want more informations about RF Exposure and/or SAR you can read more on Wikipedia or, limited to the iPhone or Apple devices, on the official Apple RF Exposure information page.