Apple’s confirmed a new macOS Big Sur 11.4 update for Mac and put it into testing ahead of a release later this year.
Unlike macOS Big Sur 11.3.1, macOS Big Sur 11.4 is a milestone release which means it will likely carry a mix of new features, bug fixes, and security patches.
We don’t have a release date yet, but Mac users who don’t want to wait for the official macOS Big Sur 11.4 release can download a pre-release version of the software right now via Apple’s beta program.
With macOS Big Sur 11.4 in the works, we want to take you through everything there is to know about the firmware.
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 Beta
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 Beta Problems
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 Release Date
- macOS Big Sur 11.4 Release Time
- macOS Big Sur 11.4: What’s New
In this guide to macOS Big Sur 11.4 we’ll take you through the update’s known changes, what you can expect from the macOS Big Sur 11.4 release date and release time, information about the macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta, and more.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Beta
Apple’s pushed the macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta to developers and those enrolled in the Beta Software Program.
While a developer account requires you to pay Apple an annual fee, the Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and working Apple ID. Most people should download the public macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta.
Before you download the beta onto your Mac, note that pre-release software is almost always plagued with bugs and performance issues. These issues could impact the performance of your core apps, your device’s battery life, and its overall speed. Most people shouldn’t use the beta as a daily driver.
While you might be able to fix some issues on your own, other bugs and performance issues will probably require a fix from Apple down the road.
If you can’t stand the macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta’s performance on your Mac, you can always downgrade back to stable macOS software.
Apple is currently on macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta 2.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Beta Problems
If you decide to download the macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta, and you run into bugs or performance issues, here are a few resources that could help.
Before you get in touch with Apple, have a look at our list of fixes for the most common macOS Big Sur problems. We’ve also released a guide that shows you how to fix macOS Big Sur battery life problems.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our guides, head over to Apple’s discussion forums. If they can’t help you, you might want to get in contact with Apple Support via Twitter or with customer support via Apple’s website.
If you still can’t fix your issue(s), you might want to schedule an appointment to see a Genius at your local Apple Store if it’s open.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Release Date
Apple hasn’t confirmed the macOS Big Sur 11.4 release date and it could be awhile before the software touches down.
We expect macOS Big Sur 11.4 to spend several weeks in beta testing while Apple and testers poke and prod it for issues. At this point we expect a release in late May or June
We’ll let you know when we learn more.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Release Time
We don’t have an official macOS Big Sur 11.4 release date, but we know exactly when Apple will roll the software out on whatever date it chooses.
The official version of macOS Big Sur 11.4 will probably become available to download on your Mac around 10AM Pacific.
Apple will also release macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta updates for developers, and those enrolled in the Beta Software Program, around 10AM Pacific as well. The company typically releases new betas every 1-2 weeks.
Keep this timeline in mind if you plan to install macOS Big Sur 11.4 betas, or the official version of macOS Big Sur 11.4, right away.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 Update: What’s New
Apple’s milestone (x.x) updates typically bring a mix of features, security patches, and under-the-hood improvements and that’s what you can expect from macOS Big Sur 11.4.
Developers are currently digging through the macOS Big Sur 11.4 beta and it looks like the biggest change on board (for the moment) is support for AMD’s 6000-Series Navi GPUs.
Apple could add, or subtract, from the macOS Big Sur 11.4 change log as the beta progresses so keep an eye out for changes as the software makes progress behind the scenes.
Install macOS Big Sur 11.3.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, you should think about installing the macOS Big Sur 11.3.1 update right now.
Again, the macOS Big Sur 11.3.1 update has two crucial security patches on board, both related to WebKit. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple's website.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.3, you get its security patches with your upgrade. The list includes one for a vulnerability that escaped built-in malware protections. For more on macOS Big Sur 11.3's patches, head on over to Apple's security site.
If you missed earlier versions of macOS, you should get the security patches from the updates you skipped with your upgrade to macOS Big Sur 11.3.1.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.2.3, you get its security patch with your upgrade. You can read more about it on Apple's website.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 had three security patches on board. You can read about them over on its security website.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.2, you'll get its patches with your upgrade to macOS Big Sur 11.3.1.
macOS Big Sur 11.2 included 50+ security patches. You can learn more about these patches over on the company's website. These patches will help protect your computer from harm.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.1, you'll get its 51 security patches with your upgrade. You can read about them right here.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you're moving up from macOS Catalina, you'll also get macOS Big Sur 11.0.1's 50+ security patches. If you're interested these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, macOS Big Sur comes with additional security and privacy upgrades including improvements to the App Store and Safari.
In Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With macOS Big Sur on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to macOS Big Sur, iOS 14, and iPadOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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