Monday, March 25, 2024

macOS 14.4.1

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

According to Apple’s release notes, the macOS Sonoma 14.4.1 update fixes an issue that could cause USB hubs connected to external displays not to be recognized. It also addresses an issue that could cause apps with Java to quit unexpectedly, and it fixes an issue that could cause Audio Unit plug-ins for professional music apps not to open.

macOS 14.4 was an unusually bad update that perhaps should have been pulled, but it’s good to see reasonably quick fixes. The release notes do not mention a fix for the iCloud Drive versions data loss bug. It does include the security fixes from last week’s iOS 17.4.1 and iPadOS 17.4.1, which didn’t have a corresponding macOS update.

Hopefully an Xcode update is on the way, too.

See also: Howard Oakley and Mr. Macintsoh.


Update (2024-03-26): Mario Guzmán:

So can they just not be bothered with adding release notes anymore?

Also minimalism/clean UI is just awful. They’ve reduced it so much that this view just looks like its still in development and there is so much duplicate info.

Howard Oakley:

This Sonoma update also fixes the bug that stripped saved versions from files in iCloud Drive that had been evicted. I have now tested this on three different Macs (Intel T2 and Apple silicon) and confirmed that handling of saved versions in 14.4.1 has now returned to that expected.

Barry Collins (via Ric Ford):

Although the patch does appear to have fixed those issues for some customers, others are now complaining of fresh problems.

On Reddit, Mac owners are reporting that the update has effectively bricked their Mac. “I installed 14.4.1 on my M1 Mac mini and the opening screen is all I get. No login. I’ve tried restarting and starting in recovery mode, to no avail.” Another Mac owner reports seeing the same problem in the Reddit thread.


Others are seeing ongoing problems with hubs, which the patch was designed to fix.

For example, one Mac owner claims that a Thunderbolt 4 dock that was working normally in macOS 14.4 stopped working once the 14.4.1 update was applied.


Others are discovering fresh problems that seem to have resulted from this update. “I just updated while at work and I was connected to an external monitor,” writes a MacBook Pro owner on “Now after the update it no longer recognizes the external monitor.”

Update (2024-04-01): Howard Oakley:

Two of the serious bugs fixed in macOS 14.4.1 last week were completely unexpected, and only discovered by chance. Here I’ll explain how one of them came to light, and what had gone wrong.

Update (2024-06-12): Craig Hockenberry:

It’s taken me months to figure this out, but I finally found the cause for my M2 MacBook Air doing a kernel panic every other day.

A sleep power management API broke in macOS 14.4.1.

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Part of the reason I'm annoyed that Apple decided to start jettisoning ports from most of their mac models is because hubs just don't work as well. In my experience they're a bit janky and sometimes have very strange issues. This 14.4 update is one example of that.

Another example is that my OWC Thunderbolt 3 hub keeps losing it's connection if I bump its cable, and it happens no matter what cable I use. You don't have to worry about defects like that with internal ports!

And another good example is that I have a USB audio device that, if I plug it into one specific USB-A port on my CalDigit Thunderbolt hub, will cause the entire hub to start power cycling repeatedly over and over! The hub is otherwise not defective. And the only thing I've found that does it is plugging in that one specific device into that one specific port. It works fine on all of the other ports.

I have other examples, but the purpose of me pointing them out is to illustrate that making a USB / Thunderbolt hub that works as consistently as using an internal port is obviously very difficult, if not outright impossible.

Of course your mileage may vary -- I'm sure there are people out there that just *never* have these sorts of problems, especially given that I'm a magnet for them for some reason. But they pretty much just don't happen when you use the built-in USB ports on your mac, at least in my experience. Those generally "just work" -- you know, that thing macs *used* to do.

I suppose nowadays if you want enough ports that you probably don't need a hub or dock, then you have to spring for the absurdly overpriced Mac Pro, or perhaps a Mac Studio. (Though honestly I would run out of ports on a Mac Studio.) There's no good option for portable macs.

My reasonably priced 2009 Mac Pro didn't need any hubs or docks. I could even add an expansion card to give it more and higher speed USB ports (though admittedly it didn't work 100% either). I wish Apple still sold a mac like that.

@Bri Yes, my experience is that internal ports are always better, even when using an expensive Thunderbolt dock/hub.



* for a while, I was on a Belkin Tb 2 dock, through a 3 to 2 adapter. This worked fine, except 1) there’s no power delivery that way, and 2) the monitor connected through the dock took 20-30 seconds to wake up; the one connected directly to the building-in HDMI port < 3 seconds. But other than that, it only flaked once or twice a year. USB, Ethernet, etc. all right there.

* mainly to simplify power, I got a Dell dock. It even supports connecting both displays, and of course power delivery. But, 1) almost every single time, my Magic Trackpad (connected by a chain of laptop → dock → USB hub; no different than with the Belkin) refuses to wake up until I disconnect and reconnect Lightning, and 2) in about two and a half months, I’ve already had two kernel panics.

It invariably introduces complexity and points of failure. Still, being able to connect literally one cable and having everything right there is nice.

Daniël de Kok

I have similar experiences. One StarTech dock that we have in the house worked great. Then after one macOS update (I think 13.0.0) it started having issues waking the external DisplayPort display after sleep. Since then it was never fixed. It's all the more surprising when you consider that many Thunderbolt docks are based on the same reference designs. So Apple would only have to test a handful of docks.

Of course, Apple's stuff (MacBook ports and Studio Display ports) works flawless.

@Daniël I found that, even when plugged directly into the MacBook Pro, the Studio Display hub is unreliable.

Mac Folklore Radio

USB-C connectivity to my Dell U3818W would flake out once or twice a year on a 2018 Mac Mini and a 2020 MacBook Air. No big deal.

However, since moving to a 16-inch M3 MacBook Pro I have to unplug/replug the darned thing up to 10 times before it gets a signal. :\ So at least to me this isn't an entirely new problem.

I'm not installing any more updates until I buy a new machine, though. Just kidding! ... sort of. At least my audio software works again.

It's not you or your gear.

The other day, a USB C cable plugged into the front of my Mac Studio fell on the floor and I didn't notice until my chair was about to roll over it. I picked up the cable and inadvertently tugged on the Studio ever so slightly. The Studio moved like 2mm, which was enough to spontaneously eject all the hard drives on the one USB A cable that moved.

It gets worse. When I am going to be away from my Mac for more than an hour, I always lock it with control + command + q. This works great in the daytime—it works exactly how it has always worked since the day that keyboard shortcut was added. However, if my focus mode is on Sleep when I do this, Ventura ejects all external storage, but not by actually ejecting it or unmounting it (to, you know, prevent damage and shit), nope, Ventura cycles the power on all the USB ports (just guessing, it's not a bug, it's a feature!) which causes all the external storage to get disconnected suddenly (and I get a notification for every drive accusing me of improper removal, thanks Apple).

Mac Folklore Radio

Ah, USB-C. I can't wait for USB-D which will purportedly solve these problems and create even more.

Since I'm never updating again until I buy new hardware, let it be known that 14.4.1 still has text drawing bugs. If you write long e-mails (I do) it's difficult to miss. Whole paragraphs jump around while others disappear. Mac OS X—oh well, it was good while it lasted. :\

Even more annoying, I've never had my cursor disappear altogether, and so frequently, as I have in 14.4.1. I wanted to blame Electron before it started happening in the Finder, too. Killing the WindowServer and logging back in helps for a while.

@Mac Folklore Radio Now if you don’t update quickly enough they penalize you by turning off Apple Pay.

Mac Folklore Radio

jfc. Wow! Good to know.

Of all the things Apple offers, I only care about macOS and iMessage. I wonder how long it'll be before I'm locked out of those, too.

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