Tuesday, December 12, 2023

macOS 14.2

Juli Clover (release notes, security, developer, full installer, IPSW):

macOS Sonoma 14.2 introduces an Enhanced AutoFill feature for PDFs, which Apple announced earlier this year. It automatically identifies common fields like name and address, allowing them to be autofilled similar to a website.

In the Messages app, stickers can be added directly to chat bubbles with a tapback reply feature, and the catch-up arrow now jumps to the first unread message in a conversation. There are new Weather and Clock widgets, and a favorite songs playlist in Apple Music.

There are no longer separate builds for M3 Macs. It does not include the Journal app that was introduced in iOS 17.2.

See also: Howard Oakley, Mr. Macintosh.


Update (2023-12-19): Howard Oakley:

Rather than trying to catalogue every codewart and cause for infuriation, this article attempts to identify bugs in macOS that are real showstoppers.


However, there are two reproducible memory leaks in user space, both affecting the Finder, and possibly arising from the same underlying bug. One affects Finder Icon views, the other Gallery views. As there are only four different Finder Views, and those are the two used to browse QuickLook thumbnails, these combine to impose serious limitations on the usefulness of the Finder in macOS 14.2.


I’m grateful to Adam Engst for pointing out a reproducible crash when trying to print lists in the Contacts app. This is described in detail here, and still hasn’t been fixed in Sonoma 14.2.

Matthias Gansrigler:

We have macOS 14.2 now, and that bug that’s been around since macOS 14.0, where screencapture won’t add any dpi info to the files it creates, is still around.

Update (2023-12-21): Howard Oakley (tweet):

Over the last month or so, we have been looking at what appear to be large memory leaks in the Finder, specifically in its Icon and Gallery views. While I still await responses to my two Feedback reports detailing these, Neal has received a response to his earlier report, stating that this is intentional behaviour. This article considers the implications of that response:

We believe this behavior is as designed, and is not a memory leak or abandoned memory. Instead, we expect we are caching the (large) thumbnails for the items selected in gallery view. We purge such cached thumbnails from memory periodically if they haven’t been used in the last two or three days, and we also perform more aggressive purges if the system is under memory pressure.


Memory is a resource shared between all processes. What if other apps decided that they too would pursue aggressive caching policies as the Finder does?

I don’t think this approach scales. As he says, letting the user choose the maximum cache size is a sensible approach that some other apps use, though I can’t imagine Apple adding such a setting. To me the question is why the thumbnail caching is done in RAM instead of on disk, as photo apps, including Apple’s, do. Is this a privacy issue because the content might be coming from an encrypted volume?

Update (2024-01-23): Mario Guzmán:

macOS 14.2 brings back the way you can peek into a collapsed sidebar that uses NSSplitViewController.

You just need to move your cursor close to a collapsed split view item and wait a second.

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