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Apple working with Dropbox, Microsoft to fix macOS 12.3

Apple said it will work with Dropbox and Microsoft on the macOS 12.3 problem that prevented their file storage software from running correctly on the upcoming version of the OS.

Apple's removal of a mechanism for loading code onto the next macOS version was behind the problems beta testers had while running Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.

Apple removed kernel extensions in the beta version of macOS 12.3, causing testers running OneDrive to see the prompt "OneDrive couldn't start." Testers using Dropbox had trouble opening online-only files due to the same problem.

"The kernel extensions used by Dropbox Desktop Application and Microsoft OneDrive are no longer available," Apple said in a blog detailing the new build last week. "Both service providers have replacements for this functionality currently in beta."

People running OneDrive versions older than 22.0103 would also face issues running Files-on-Demand, a function used to open files within Apple's File Provider platform, Microsoft said. 

The kernel extension OneDrive used enabled Files-on-Demand, according to Microsoft. The company said it would adopt Apple's File Driver instead in the next OneDrive update.

"Microsoft and Apple have been working together and have a great working relationship when it comes to File Provider," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "There are changes that both teams are pursuing to improve the overall experience of OneDrive on File Provider."

An Apple spokesperson pointed out that the latest version of macOS released to the public, 12.2, does not have the Dropbox and OneDrive problems. The release in question, 12.3, is still in beta, and Apple will likely make changes before releasing it to the public.

Microsoft made it possible to run OneDrive natively on Apple's proprietary silicon M1, instead of through emulation, in a beta version of the app that the company released last December. The move won praise from people who use OneDrive on Apple computers.

Dropbox plans to release an Arm-based version of its software that will run on M1 chips later this year as well. It is also working on a version for macOS 12.3 that Apple plans to release in beta in March.

Until then, Dropbox said there is a workaround to opening online-only files on macOS 12.3. People can navigate to the Dropbox folder within Apple's Finder and launch documents from there. Until Apple fixes the kernel extension problem, macOS 12.3 testers can't open Dropbox files directly from third-party apps.

In addition to the kernel problem, virtual machines running on M1 cannot install the macOS 12.3 beta. Apple also removed Python 2.7 from the beta and said developers would need to use Python 3 or another language instead. 

Apple has been using the M1, M1 Pro and M1 Pro Max chips in most of its computers and plans to convert all of them to M1 eventually.

Maxim Tamarov is a news writer covering mobile and end-user computing. He previously wrote for The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C., and the Sun Transcript in Winthrop, Mass. He can be found on Twitter at @MaximTamarov.

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