Sprint SmartView works in 64-bit mode on Mac OS X Lion
Not the most exciting of topics to resurrect this blog, but I hope this is helpful.
I’ve been a Sprint mobile broadband customer for many years. Mobile broadband on my laptop is a godsend – flaky cafe wifi, Caltrain, airports, buses, roadside or camping emergency bug fixes, remote areas, hotels, new apartments – there are many situations where either wifi is unavailable, inconvenient, or expensive.
Some time last year, Sprint partnered with Clear and began offering WiMAX higher speed mobile broadband under the overloaded “4G” moniker. I’ll spare you the story here, but I ended up with a heavily discounted 3G/4G package, so I now have a U301 device and use both networks. Unfortunately, the 4G network has serious shortcomings – it takes several minutes to get a signal and connect, and isn’t as fast as it should be. That said, my plan has unlimited 4G and it is faster when it works, though too often it doesn’t and coverage is spotty.
TLDR: Mac OS X Lion boots in 64 bit mode by default, rendering the Sprint SmartView crapware necessary to use the Sprint network inoperable. By various reports, Sprint estimates it will be SIX MONTHS before they release a compatible version.
As many Sprint customers who purchased new Macs or upgraded to Mac OS X Lion have noticed, the classic Sprint crapware called SmartView that powers their devices only runs in 32-bit mode. Starting it in 64-bit mode gives the error message “This application has not yet been tested on 64-bit systems. Reboot in 32-bit mode for best results” and you can’t connect.
Since February, all new Macs have booted in 64-bit mode by default, so this has been a problem for some people since then. Beta Lion releases have been available since February. Despite almost every other application vendor timely accommodating the OS upgrade, a Sprint CSR recently complained that they only received 1 day’s heads up about Lion’s release, referring to the official final release announcement. Apparently, Sprint relies on press releases and customer outrage instead of Apple’s excellent developer programs to learn of upgrade incompatibilities, otherwise they would have fixed this 4 months ago.
For reasons unclear to me the “Run in 32 bit mode” checkbox is not available in the Get Info for SmartView. It’s possible to get a 3G connection by dumping SmartView (ahhh) and using #777 as a phone number in your connection settings, but I’m going for a full on 4G connection.
Despite Sprint’s insistance that they need 6 months to release a solution, all you need to do is upgrade a single library. Thanks to n6mod in EVDOForums for uncovering this solution.
1) Download the Clear Beta Driver for Lion. not the “Mac Driver” – download the “Beta” for Lion. And don’t install.:
2) Install Pacifist, which will make accessing and installing the necessary files easy.
3) Right/control click the Clear driver file and choose Open With > Pacifist.
4) When the Clear driver opens, drill down to Contents of CLEAR Connection Manager.pkg > System > Library > Extensions
5) Right click on BeceemAppleWiMAXAdapter.kext and choose Install to Default Location. Approve any overwrites of installed files.
6) Restart and you should be good to go. Although you will still get the warning, SmartView should work with 4G. Be patient, crapware needs time to think.
It’s going to take six months for Sprint to update this library in their software, so get used to it.