Archive for May 24, 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021

macOS 11.4


macOS Big Sur 11.4 adds Apple Podcasts subscriptions and channels and includes important bug fixes.


This document describes the security content of macOS Big Sur 11.4.

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


Update (2021-06-02): Howard Oakley:

Among the significant changes in version or build number in bundled apps are[…]

Howard Oakley:

Apple has today posted standalone updaters for its Security Updates released for Catalina and Mojave over a week ago.

Apple Execs on the Mac App Store

Tim Cook, in 2015:

I think the lack of gaming (along with lack of native productivity apps) are the main reason the Mac App Store is dormant.

Phil Schiller:

The Mac App Store matters for distribution of Apple software and 3rd parties that can’t create their own download store. Other than that what should it be? I think trying to make it the same as the iOS store (the best place for all software from all developers) can’t work…


We know all the developers, we know the tools they use. We could invest more in being the go-to place for all your development needs. It isn’t a giant market, and there might not be a ton of revenue in it, but it should be growing and worth investing it for the Mac platform.

I could see focusing on a strong developer category (there already is one) and making it better known as the place for all developers to go to for everything they need and even things they didn’t know they need.

Nathan Anderson:

It “wasn’t really working” because UNlike the iOS App Store, it had to compete on its own merits. And apparently was found wanting.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

This is kinda bonkers. Ask any Mac dev and they’ll give you plenty of reasons why they’re not on the Mac App Store. Tim thinks the MAS’ problem is a lack of games. Not sandboxing. Not payment model. Not upgrade model. Not App Store restrictions defining out categories of apps

The Mac App Store is dormant because Apple built a system that excludes almost all of the existing big and indie developers from participating. I feel like if you cared about the Mac app ecosystem you would know this. And you would know this before 2015.


Remaining Issues in Big Sur

I updated my main Mac to Big Sur a month and a half ago, so I’ve been using macOS 11.2.3 through 11.3.1. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that it fixes any of the Catalina issues that I mentioned, and it introduces a variety of new ones:

See also: Big Sur 11.3 bug tracker, Multiple Issues including Kernel Panics.


Update (2021-05-24): Josh Centers:

Photos just straight up corrupted a photo in iCloud the other day. That corruption synced between devices. Thankfully I was able to restore it, but geez.

Update (2021-05-25): Rui Carmo:

I’ve only experienced some of these issues, but the interesting bit is that I have heard about most of them through complaints from my friends, so it seems pretty comprehensive.

I do have to wonder why this is still the case this far into the 11.x cycle, since Big Sur really ought to be a lot less buggy than Catalina.

See also: Hacker News, Twitter.

Update (2021-06-02): Jesse Squires:

This is the longest I have ever waited to upgrade macOS. It feels weird, considering WWDC is next week where we will see what is next for macOS. Big Sur still feels new to me, and announcing the next major release already feels too soon. I was avoiding Big Sur based on various reports about bugs and instability. There were not any ‘killer’ features I was eager to have, thus the main reason I upgraded was because Xcode 12.5 required it.


Michael Tsai and Howard Oakley have diligently documented all sorts of issues with Big Sur. I have experienced many of them. Most bugs are small, or they are “fixed” temporarily with a reboot. The last six or so years of macOS have felt like “death by 1,000 cuts” — I would love to see that change next week at WWDC.


Speaking of trash — Mac Catalyst apps. They are just terrible.