Apple Ships macOS Catalina 10.15.4 »

macOS 10.15.4 is rolling out now, with a bunch of updates:

Finder:

  • iCloud Drive folder sharing from Finder
  • Controls to limit access only to people you explicitly invite or grant access to anyone with the folder link
  • Permissions to choose who can make changes and upload files and who can only view and download files

Screen Time:

  • Communication limits for controlling who your children can communicate with and be contacted by throughout the day and during downtime
  • Playback control of music videos for your children

Music:

  • Time-synced lyrics view for Apple Music, including the ability to jump to your favorite part of a song by clicking a line in lyrics view

Safari:

  • Option to import Chrome passwords into your iCloud Keychain for easy AutoFill of your passwords in Safari and across all your devices
  • Controls for duplicating a tab and for closing all tabs to the right of the current tab
  • HDR playback support on compatible computers for Netflix content

App Store with Apple Arcade:

  • Universal Purchase support enables the use of a singular purchase of a participating app across iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV
  • Recently played Arcade games appear in the Arcade tab so you can continue playing on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV

Pro Display XDR:

  • Customized reference modes that you can tailor to specific workflow needs by selecting from several color gamut, white point, luminance, and transfer function options

Accessibility:

  • Head pointer preference for moving a cursor on the screen based on the precise movements of your head

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements:

  • High Dynamic Range output to HDR10-compatible third-party displays and TVs connected with DisplayPort or HDMI
  • OAuth authentication support with Outlook.com accounts for improved security
  • CalDav migration support when upgrading to iCloud reminders on a secondary device
  • Resolves an issue where text copied between apps may appear invisible when Dark Mode is active
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
  • Resolves an issue where Reminders may send notifications for completed reminders
  • Fixes an issue with screen brightness for the LG UltraFine 5K display after waking from sleep1

  1. Yeeessssssss! 

Kbase Article of the Week: iMac (USB 2.0), PowerBook G4 (12-inch), PowerBook G4 (12-inch DVI), iBook G4: Audio CD or Disc Image Does Not Appear in Mac OS X 10.3 »

Apple:

Audio CDs and disc images may not mount on a computer running a version of Mac OS X 10.3. Audio CDs do not appear when you insert them into the drive. Other CDs and DVDs seem to work normally.

You may also notice that disc images do not appear, and double-clicking the disk image results in an error code -536870208.

The solution?

Update to Mac OS X 10.3.2 or later.

And people complain about bugs in Catalina!

Mac Apps Now Included in Universal Purchases »

Apple:

The macOS version of your app can now be included in a universal purchase, allowing customers to enjoy your app and in‑app purchases across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS by purchasing only once. Get started by using a single bundle ID for your apps in Xcode and setting up your app record for universal purchase in App Store Connect.

This is great in terms of giving developers more flexibility when considering branching out onto other platforms, but it could hurt their bottom lines when users come to expect this from every app.

Update: This may not be all rainbows and sunshine:

Sponsor: Micro.blog »

Micro.blog offers blog hosting, native macOS and iOS apps, and a welcoming community built around independent microblogs that can be used for short- and long-form writing.

We wanted to do something for everyone who might feel isolated working from home, and who are looking for a new outlet to be creative and positive. We added free podcast hosting to all standard microblogs through the end of April.

You can learn more about Micro.blog here.

Mac Power Users #528: The Merlin Awakens »

This week on a very special episode of Mac Power Users:

MPU Hall of Famer Merlin Mann returns to discuss using plain text, home automation, the Apple TV and more.

It was great to catch up with Merlin on the show. My thanks to our sponsors for making it possible:

  • 1Password: Have you ever forgotten a password? You don’t have to worry about that anymore.
  • TextExpander from Smile: Get 20% off with this link and type more with less effort! Expand short abbreviations into longer bits of text, even fill-ins, with TextExpander from Smile.
  • Clean My Mac X: Your Mac. As good as new.
  • Hover: Make a name for yourself. Get 10% off any domain name.

Mac Madness 2020: Round 1 Winners & Round 2 Voting Open Now 

Voting has closed in Round 1 of Mac Madness. The first round was a huge success, with 3,495 people casting their votes for their favorite Macs.

As promised, I live streamed the results:

The raw numbers can be found at the bottom of this post, but I have to say, I was surprised by several of the totals. As I said, these matchups were selected at random, and that meant that some good machines have already been knocked out.

Also, the 15.8 percent of you who chose “Literally any Performa” are … real special to me.

Here is the bracket for Round 2:

(click bracket to see larger version)

Go vote in Round 2 now! Voting will close on Tuesday.

Raw Numbers for Round 1:

Mac Pro (2019) β€” 70.5%
PowerBook G3 β€” 29.5%

Macintosh TV β€” 10.4%
Blue and White Power Mac G3 β€” 89.6%

2012-2015 Retina MBP β€” 64.6%
Mac SE/30 β€” 35.4%

iMac G3 β€” 72.5%
12-inch Retina MacBook β€” 27.5%

20th Anniversary Mac β€” 47.2%
Original Mac mini β€” 52.8%

Macintosh Portable β€” 25%
Power Mac G5 75%

Clamshell iBook G3 71.6%
PowerBook 100 β€” 28.4%

iMac Pro β€” 53.2%
12-inch PowerBook G4 β€” 46.8%

Pre-Retina 13-inch MacBook Air (2010-2017) β€” 78.6%
Quadra 840AV β€” 21.4%

G4 Cube β€” 71.1%
11.6-inch MacBook Air β€” 28.9%

2016-2019 MacBook Pro β€” 36%
Mac IIfx β€” 64%

Titanium PowerBook G4 β€” 46.2%
2006-2012 Mac Pro β€” 53.8%

PowerBook Duo β€” 23.8%
Black MacBook β€” 76.2%

Power Mac 6100 β€” 22.3%
16-inch MacBook Pro β€” 77.7%

iMac G4 β€” 84.2%
Literally any Performa β€” 15.8%

Original Macintosh β€” 54%
2018 Mac mini β€” 46%

Go vote in Round 2 now! Voting will close on Tuesday.