Tuesday, October 29, 2019

macOS 10.15.1

Juli Clover:

macOS Catalina 10.15.1 is a fairly significant update, introducing new emoji characters that were added in iOS 13.2 earlier this week, adding support for the AirPods Pro that are launching tomorrow, and bringing Siri privacy controls to the Mac to allow users to opt out of sharing their Siri recordings with Apple.

HomeKit Secure Video support is included, as is support for adding AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in scenes and automations in the Home app. There are also quite a few bug fixes for Photos, Messages, Contacts, and more.

The standalone download isn’t yet available, but it should eventually show up here.

There are no documented fixes for Mail, and I’ve not heard any reports that the data loss bugs are fixed, so I’m assuming they are not. I expect that macOS 10.15.1 is mostly stuff that was in the works before 10.15.0 shipped.

Oluseyi Sonaiya:

Random consideration/thought/question: when (if ever) will Apple let us create our own time-of-day-responsive desktop/lock screen/home screen background bundles? I enjoy the transitions in the image through the course of the day each time I wake my Mac.

I’d love to have that live on my Mac desktop, and be able to randomly/programmatically change it each day. It’s whimsical and non-essential, and the sort of thing Apple should let third parties in on.

Indeed, at first I discounted that feature as a sort of gimmick to go along with auto Dark Mode, which I don’t use, but it turns out that it makes me happy.


Update (2019-10-31): Adam Engst:

Once you have your 16 images, open GraphicConverter 10.6.5, choose File > Browse, and navigate to the folder that contains your images.

Select all the images, Control- or right-click one of them, and in the large contextual menu that appears, scroll way down and choose Export > Dynamic Desktops. Name your file, navigate to /Library/Desktop Pictures as the destination folder, click OK, and wait a bit, since it takes GraphicConverter some time to convert all the images to HEIC and assemble them into the container file.

See also: Mr. Macintosh, Apple, Howard Oakley.

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Regarding rolling one's own dynamic desktop image: I haven't tried it, but there's this: https://dynamicwallpaper.club and it purports to be free of charge.

Hm, I was hoping that 15.1 fixes the mail data loss bug. I would like to install Catalina but I do not want lose e-mails …

There's also this (with great deep dives in the linked blog posts):


"macOS Catalina 10.15.1 is a fairly significant update, introducing new emoji characters.. support for the AirPods Pro"

How many apples do you have to smoke to think that's "significant"?

To me, a significant update would be one that fixes the hundreds of user-facing bugs in Mail, Music, Safari, Messages, News, Photos, Finder (to name a few).

Yet Apple seems to be adding new features a LOT faster than they are fixing bugs. And while I was initially hopeful when they started making changes to Bug Reporter, I kinda wish we still had the old system because Feedback Assistant SUCKS. I suspect they are getting a couple orders of magnitude more "bug reports" now, because I have not gotten a single reply to any of the bugs I've filed using the new system, where with the old janky Bug Reporter I would at the very least get a "Marked as Duplicate" notice within a week or two (which at least told me someone looked at it and verified it as a legit bug). Now I get nothing at all, so I've stopped filing reports.

(and as an aside, when will this emoji madness end? the whole original point of emoji was to convey emotions through a few simple smiley faces and now it's basically turned into a collection of hundreds of clip art. are they seriously going to keep adding emoji until there's one for every single object and living creature in the real world? serious question.)

@Ben I find the Feedback Assistant app much more convenient for filing bugs.

Definitely more convenient. More effective? I'm not so sure.

Keyboard Maestro will let you set a desktop image, so you can more or less animate desktop images however you like using it. I've got mine downloading a satellite earth image every fifteen minutes and setting it as the desktop for my second monitor.

There were no pubicly mentioned fixes for Mail, but it was revised in 10.15.1. The version (13.0) did not change, but the build was bumped to 3601.0.10 from 3596.something.

One of the more intriguing undocumented changes is to System Preferences' Security & Privacy pane. Under the Privacy tab there's new category, Developer Tools, which says: "Allow the apps below to run software locally that does not meet the system's security policy." A sign of hope for utilities and such?

In an German forum there are hints that the problem is solved ...

In 10.15 Mail was not displaying the 22,000+ emails in my Gmail Sent box. With the 10.15.1 they are now all there, so that bug seems to be fixed.

This trend of hiding embarrassing fixes behind "supplemental updates" and undocumented build bumps that don't change the version number is great.

Messages is still broken if you sync years of chat history via iCloud -- it stores the messages in ~/Library/Messages/chat.db and does not reliably generate Chat Transcript files in the Archive for every conversation. Since Spotlight can only index Chat Transcript files, and not chat.db (why not?!?) the result is that completely random conversations (or even just snippets of conversations) will be searchable via Spotlight, but not all of them. It even finds conversation snippets for chats which I closed/deleted long ago on all of my devices. There is no such issue on iOS, the chat search there works flawlessly as far as I can tell.

Does no one at Apple test this stuff? It seems fairly rudimentary to set up a new Mac, turn on Messages iCloud Sync, then check if it generates the Chat Transcripts for everything so that it can be indexed by Spotlight. Basic!

One other thing that got fixed but didn’t make it to the release notes: Kernel cache updates work again, i.e. this problem here is fixed: https://mjtsai.com/blog/2019/10/21/how-kernel-prelinking-works-on-macos-catalina-or-not/

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