When Mac OS X 10.7 Lion leaps onto our Macs later this year, Apple's support specialists will have a new tool to use to troubleshoot those pesky Wi-Fi problems.
AppleInsider reports that a new Wi-Fi Diagnostics tool can be found in Lion's /System/Library/CoreServices folder, along with a number of other utilities and apps that are part of Mac OS X. To launch the tool in the developer beta of Lion, users Option-Click on the Wi-Fi icon in the Menu Bar, then select the Open Wi-Fi Diagnostics item from the menu.
The tool provides four major functions: Monitor Performance, Record Events, Capture Raw Frames or Turn on Debug Logs. Monitor Performance captures detailed signal and noise data over time, and the captured info can be sent to Apple for troubleshooting. Other diagnostics options will log specific events, or can capture raw data to a temporary .pcap (packet capture) file, which can also be uploaded for the benefit of Apple support professionals.
Another change discovered by AppleInsider is the addition of network configuration profiles that can be produced and delivered by network administrators. This is another iOS feature that is migrating to Mac OS X, since Apple had previously created config profiles so that admins could roll out settings and updates to iOS users. Lion Server uses the same infrastructure to deliver network config files for automating Mac management.