Frequently Asked Questions

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Product Update History

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6.6 - 10 NOV 2015

  • Improved stability and bug fixes.
  • Additional support for Yosemite and El Capitan.
  • 6.5.1 - 23 SEP 2015

  • Adds support for OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).
  • 6.5 - 14 FEB 2015

  • Improved compatibility with Yosemite (OS X 10.10).
  • Screen spanning now works in Mavericks (OS X 10.9) and Yosemite (OS X 10.10).
  • 6.4 - 9 JUN 2014

  • Updated city database.
  • Changes to support future Mac OS X versions.
  • 6.3 - 12 JUL 2013

  • Added a Lambert azimuthal equal-area projection.
  • Changes to support future Mac OS X versions.
  • 6.2.1 - 21 JUN 2013

  • Fixes a rare bug related to ISS tracking that caused the map to not be displayed.
  • Minor logging and performance changes.
  • 6.2 - 18 JUN 2013

  • Includes the new 2012 NASA night city lights map.
  • Fixes to better support ISS tracking with some network configurations.
  • Minor logging and performance changes.
  • 6.1.1 - 17 NOV 2012

    This update fixes a bug that caused EarthDesk to hang for one minute per screen when the website hosting the International Space Station tracking data was unreachable.

    6.1 - 1 NOV 2012

    This update improves EarthDesk's appearance plus other minor changes.

  • City names can be shown in two different sizes on the map.
  • City names can be removed from the map, leaving only colored dots.
  • Fixed several entries in the city database.
  • 6.0.2 - 16 AUG 2012

    This update brings changes and improvements to the auto-update and cloud image downloading mechanisms as well as other minor updates.

  • Fixed a bug that could cause the map to stop updating after multiple manual update checks.
  • Changes to the auto-updater to avoid performing an update from a background process.
  • When turning on clouds, an image will only be downloaded if the most recent one is stale.
  • Better support for uninstalling and updating when EarthDesk is installed for all users.
  • A reminder is now presented when a hi-res cloud license expires.
  • 6.0.1 - 6 AUG 2012

    This is an important update recommended for all users. This update fixes a bug that can cause the cloud updating mechanism to fail during a sleep/wake cycle resulting in download problems and failure to sleep.

  • Changes to the scheduling and control of cloud image downloads.
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent the system from sleeping.
  • More detailed logging of cloud download events.
  • 6.0 - 1 AUG 2012

  • All new city database with additional data.
  • Displays the current sun and moon positions.
  • Displays grid lines (graticule) on the map.
  • Creates named collections of settings (presets).
  • Adjustable slider for night shadow darkness.
  • Tracks the International Space Station.
  • New Globe and Azimuthal positioning controls.
  • Additional moonlight shading options.
  • Reorganized user interface improves usability.
  • Pinpoints user-selected cities on map.
  • Updated political map with current borders.
  • Suppors adding, editing and removing of cities.
  • Ready for Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8).
  • Faster performance and lower processor usage.
  • Up to 75% less memory than previous versions.
  • Improved appearance in Mission Control.
  • Supports modern machines with dual GPUs.
  • Supports MacBook Pro Retina Display systems.
  • 5.9.1 - 29 JUL 2012

  • Fixed a condition that could cause the screen to briefly flash when updating the map image.
  • Changed how a cloud image is verified after downloading to avoid any QuickTime calls. In rare cases, the OS QuickTime system can stop responding and thus can't give a valid response.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the background to be black when using "Existing Desktop" as the background image in the Globe and other non-rectangular projections.
  • 5.9 - 16 JUL 2012

  • The cloud data for free clouds has been increased to 2 megapixels.
  • The cloud data for paid clouds has been increased to 32 megapixels.
  • Added support for Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8).
  • 5.8.5 - 19 MAY 2012

  • Fixes a visual glitch in the Living Earth map by removing a static line in the Pacific near South America.
  • 5.8.4 - 6 MAR 2012

  • This update includes changes to ensure compatibility with future Mac OS X versions.
  • 5.8.3 - 27 JAN 2012

  • This update fixes a bug that could cause the clouds to stop updating.
  • 5.8.2 - 5 JAN 2012

  • Improves the cloud update mechanism for high-resolution cloud access.
  • 5.8.1 - 31 OCT 2011

    This update improves the cloud displays for paid (high-resolution) as well as free (low-resolution) users. All users will benefit from general fixes which include better support for OS X 10.5 and stronger error checking and robustness related to the cloud image downloading.

    Free (Low-Resolution) Users:

    • The cloud data has been increased to 1.125 megapixels (versus 0.5 in v5.8).
    • The clouds are now updated every 6 hours.

    Paid (High-Resolution) Users:

    • The cloud data has been increased to a maximum of 18 megapixels (versus a maximum of 8 in v5.8).
    • The cloud update interval remains at 3 hours.

    Note that the actual resolution used on your system will depend on your screen size and other factors.

    5.8 - 11 OCT 2011

  • Adds support for high-resolution cloud access.
  • 5.7.3 - 10 AUG 2011

  • Changes to support single or "all spaces" under Lion (OS X 10.7).
  • 5.7.2 - 18 JUL 2011

  • Minor changes to ensure compatibility with Lion (OS X 10.7).
  • 5.7.1 - 5 APR 2011

  • Fixes a bug that would prevent EarthDesk from starting up if the "Restore Background" option in the Display Tab was not checked.
  • Options in the Shading menu are now renamed so that the same text is displayed in both the Display Tab menu and the menu bar menu.
  • Minor performance and stability enhancements.
  • 5.7 - 23 MAR 2011

  • EarthDesk is now a full 64-bit app, including the background renderer.
  • Minor performance and stability enhancements.
  • 5.6 - 22 FEB 2011

  • Reduces flicker when updating the map while spanning multiple screens.
  • Merged the App Store and Retail versions into the same overall project to make updates easier.
  • 5.5.2 - 10 JAN 2011

  • Fixed a bug that could cause EarthDesk to not auto-launch.
  • Minor performance and stability enhancements.
  • 5.5.1 - 1 NOV 2010

  • Fixed a bug in the Menu Control that could cause it to not re-open at login.
  • Minor performance and stability enhancements.
  • 5.5 - 28 SEP 2010

  • Added support for auto-switching Intel/NVIDIA GPUs on i5/i7 systems.
  • Added a new projection to conform the map to the aspect ratio of the screen.
  • Minor performance and stability enhancements.
  • 5.4.1 - 20 JUL 2010

  • Fixed a bug that could cause EarthDesk to start when logging in, even if the option for this was not selected.
  • Miscellaneous internal changes.
  • 5.4 - 21 JUN 2010

  • EarthDesk can now span a single map image across all attached screens.
  • Better support for live add/remove of screens.
  • Minor performance and stability enhancements.
  • 5.3 - 15 MAR 2010

  • Fixed a situation that could cause a hang when exiting from the screen saver on 10.6.
  • Minor updates to the city database and help system.
  • 5.2 - 20 JAN 2010

  • Added a new Shaded Relief map. EarthDesk now supports four different map styles.
  • Improved the cloud updating mechanism.
  • 5.1.1 - 18 NOV 2009

  • Fixed a bug that displayed a corrupt cloud image, instead of re-downloading a fresh copy of the image.
  • 5.1 - 27 OCT 2009

  • Added a contrast control for the cloud layer.
  • EarthDesk now handles wifi spots that require a user-login before full internet access is gained.
  • 5.0.2 - 1 AUG 2009

  • Fixed a bug that could cause Earthdesk to display a partially downloaded cloud image.
  • EarthDesk now works properly even if a custom desktop picture has never been set.
  • The logging of console messages is now user-settable.
  • 5.0.1 - 5 JUL 2009

  • Fixed a permissions bug that caused the list in the Locations Tab to be blank when installed for "all users".
  • Fixed a bug that prevented clouds from working or crashed on systems with non-English date formats.
  • Fixed a bug in the "borderless window" option that caused a rare crash especially when waking from sleep.
  • 5.0 - 29 JUN 2009

  • Faster performance and lower processor usage.
  • Snow and vegetation change month-to-month.
  • Higher resolution cloud data on large displays.
  • Supports machines with dual GPUs.
  • Adjustable brightness.
  • Adjustable background color.
  • Updated political map.
  • Political map shows city lights and moonlight.
  • Centering menus are sorted alphabetically.
  • Globe can be re-positioned on the screen.
  • Simplified menu on single-display machines.
  • Checks for updates automatically.
  • Supports monitor attach/detach while running.
  • All desktop settings are now restored upon quit.
  • Existing desktop image aspect ratio is preserved.
  • Cloud capture and download times shown.
  • Easier install process for upgrades.
  • Softer evaluation watermark during trial period.
  • Rewritten from the ground up.
  • Rendering engine is now 100% Cocoa.
  • 32/64 bit application and ready for Snow Leopard.
  • No dependence on Carbon or QuickDraw.