Apple updated macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS

By | 25/03/2020

Apple UpdatesAs you may noticed, I recently “stopped” blogging, because I’m severely ill (not coronavirus, but something with blood), but I will try sometimes to post something. Now, Apple updated all of its operating systems, so another classic coverage of changes. Changes are pretty huge, so, as usual, backup all your important data to at least two safe places. Make your apps’ updates, finish all finishable work, backup all your data – this is my strategy – and let’s update. Now boring list of changes with little commentary.

New macOS Catalina update includes Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature for parents to put limits on who children can contact through FaceTime, Phone, Messages, and iCloud Contacts. Mouse can be controlled by head movements using the Mac’s camera, an accessibility feature for disabled users. If you enjoy Apple Music like me, now you have real-time lyrics, if you want to better understand singed language or for another reason. I have little disadvantage, because I have some issues with understanding of reproduced foreign languages, like songs, radio, but also movies. I’m native slovak and czech speaker. Apple has also added iCloud Folder Sharing, which can be done from Finder.

Full changelog:

macOS Catalina 10.15.4 introduces iCloud Drive folder sharing, Screen Time communications limits, Apple Music time-synced lyrics view, and more. The update also improves the stability, reliability, and security of your Mac.

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 sleep

macOS Catalina 10.15.4 is one of the lasts of the updates for this release of macOS. Apple should release new major macOS release with new name later this year with demo on June WWDC.

iOS and especially iPadOS are huge updates. The iPadOS 13.4 update introduces mouse and trackpad support for the iPad to allow for greater precision and improved navigation. Mouse and trackpad support comes ahead of the May release of Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, which is a keyboard for the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro that includes a trackpad. The update adds support for Magic Mouse, Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad, Magic Trackpad 2, and third-party USB and Bluetooth mouse options, plus it introduces multi-touch gestures when using the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2.

I downloaded before few months a DOOM II game from the App Store, but no mouse support, but at least some keys on my Smart Keyboard Folio worked. It’s hard to control an FPS game via touch screen, I was barely passing game on lowest difficulty, but I would be glad if developers changed their mind and added mouse support. I asked about that on Bethesda’s official Twitter account, but I got no reply. I really want to relive this game of my childhood on my iPad Pro.

iCloud Folder Sharing, which is designed to let users share iCloud Drive folders with other people, is included in iOS 13.4. iCloud‌ Folder Sharing was initially announced at WWDC as an iOS 13 feature last year, but it has taken Apple several months to implement it. The feature shows real-time updates so file changes will sync across the devices of all people with access to a specific folder.

Apple has added nine new Memoji and Animoji stickers in the update, with the new stickers featuring emoji-style poses like shocked face, face with hearts, eyes rolling, and more.

New settings in the TV app allow users to control streaming and downloading over Wi-Fi and cellular, adding new data saving options for those who don’t have unlimited streaming plans. Controlling, if you are downloading via wi-fi or cellular network is important. When I was in hospital, we had wi-fi, but with very low signal in my hospital room, so I was downloading videos from Internet in dining room, where wi-fi signal was strong, and then I watched them in my bedroom. Cellular plans here in Slovakia are still pretty limited, though I got one as backup Internet option.

Though not an iOS specific feature, Apple with iOS 13.4, macOS 10.15.4, tvOS 13.4, and Xcode 11.4 is allowing developers to create apps with universal purchase support, which means Apple device users will be able to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms. This is interesting with Catalyst. Are ARM-based Macs behind the doors?

Full changelog:

iOS 13.4 introduces new Memoji stickers and iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app. This update also contains bug fixes and improvements.

Memoji

  • Nine new Memoji stickers, including Smiling Face with Hearts, Hands Pressed Together, and Party Face

Files

  • iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app
  • 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

Mail

  • Always-visible controls to delete, move, reply to, or compose a message in conversation view
  • Responses to encrypted emails are automatically encrypted when you have configured S/MIME

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
  • List view for See All Games

CarPlay

  • Third-party navigation app support for the CarPlay Dashboard
  • In-call information appears on the CarPlay Dashboard

Augmented Reality

  • AR Quick Look supports audio playback in USDZ files

Keyboard

  • Predictive typing support for Arabic

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements. This update:

  • Adds status bar indicator to display when VPN has disconnected on iPhone models with all-screen displays
  • Fixes an issue in Camera where the viewfinder may appear as a black screen after launch
  • Addresses an issue where Photos may appear to use excess storage
  • Resolves an issue in Photos that may prevent sharing an image to Messages if iMessage is disabled
  • Fixes an issue in Mail where messages may appear out of order
  • Addresses an issue in Mail where the conversation list may display empty rows
  • Resolves an issue where Mail may crash when tapping the Share button in Quick Look
  • Fixes an issue in Settings where cellular data may incorrectly display as off
  • Addresses an issue in Safari where webpages may not be inverted when both Dark Mode and Smart Invert are active
  • Resolves an issue where text copied from web content may appear invisible when pasted when Dark Mode is active
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
  • Addresses an issue where Reminders may not issue new notifications for an overdue recurring reminder until it is marked as completed
  • Resolves an issue where Reminders may send notifications for completed reminders
  • Fixes an issue where iCloud Drive appears to be available in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote even when not signed in
  • Addresses an issue in Apple Music where music videos may not stream in high quality
  • Resolves an issue where CarPlay may lose its connection in certain vehicles
  • Fixes an issue in CarPlay where the view in Maps may move away briefly from the current area
  • Addresses an issue in the Home app where tapping an activity notification from a security camera may open a different recording
  • Resolves an issue where Shortcuts may not appear when tapping on the Share menu from a screenshot
  • Improves the Burmese keyboard so punctuation symbols are now accessible from numbers and symbols

Apple has also provided separate release notes for the iPadOS update, which are available below and cover all of the new mouse and trackpad features.

iPadOS 13.4 introduces support for mouse and trackpad with iPad for greater precision and navigating the system with Multi-Touch gestures, and adds iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app and new Memoji stickers. This update also contains bug fixes and improvements.

Mouse and Trackpad Support

  • All-new cursor design highlights app icons on the Home Screen and Dock and buttons and controls in apps
  • Magic Keyboard for iPad support on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later) and iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation or later)
  • Magic Mouse, Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad, Magic Trackpad 2, and third-party Bluetooth and USB mouse support
  • Multi-Touch gestures on Magic Keyboard for iPad and Magic Trackpad 2 enable you to scroll, swipe between app spaces, go Home, access App Switcher, zoom in or out, tap to click, secondary click (right-click), and swipe between pages
  • Multi-Touch gestures on Magic Mouse 2 enable you to scroll, secondary click (right-click), and swipe between pages

Files

  • iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app
  • 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

Memoji

  • Nine new Memoji stickers, including Smiling Face with Hearts, Hands Pressed Together, and Party Face

Mail

  • Always-visible controls to delete, move, reply to, or compose a message in conversation view
  • Responses to encrypted emails are automatically encrypted when you have configured S/MIME

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
  • List view for See All Games

Augmented Reality

  • AR Quick Look supports audio playback in USDZ files

Keyboard

  • Live Conversion for Zhuyin automatically transforms Zhuyin into the correct characters without pressing the space bar to convert text or select candidates
  • Live Conversion for Japanese automatically transforms Hiragana into the correct characters without pressing the space bar to convert text or select candidates
  • Predictive typing support for Arabic
  • Swiss German keyboard layout supported on iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • On-screen keyboard layout for iPad Pro 12.9-inch now matches Smart Keyboard

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements. This update:

  • Fixes an issue in Camera where the viewfinder may appear as a black screen after launch
  • Addresses an issue where Photos may appear to use excess storage
  • Resolves an issue in Photos that may prevent sharing an image to Messages if iMessage is disabled
  • Fixes an issue in Mail where messages may appear out of order
  • Addresses an issue in Mail where the conversation list may display empty rows
  • Resolves an issue where Mail may crash when tapping the Share button in Quick Look
  • Fixes an issue in Settings where cellular data may incorrectly display as off
  • Addresses an issue in Safari where webpages may not be inverted when both Dark Mode and Smart Invert are active
  • Resolves an issue where text copied from web content in a third-party app may appear invisible when pasted if Dark Mode is active
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
  • Addresses an issue where Reminders may not issue new notifications for an overdue recurring reminder until it is marked as completed
  • Resolves an issue where Reminders may send notifications for completed reminders
  • Fixes an issue where iCloud Drive appears to be available in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote even when not signed in
  • Addresses an issue in Apple Music where music videos may not stream in high quality
  • Addresses an issue in the Home app where tapping an activity notification from a security camera may open a different recording
  • Resolves an issue where Shortcuts may not appear when tapping on the Share menu from a screenshot
  • Improves the Burmese keyboard so punctuation symbols are now accessible from numbers and symbols

iOS and iPadOS 13.4 is probably the last big update to this major (13) release. New iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 should be previewed at June WWDC.

Apple Watch. My healthcare wearable. Apple also updated watchOS. The watchOS 6.2 update introduces ‌Apple Watch‌ App Store support for in-app purchases, which lets developers create and sell ‌Apple Watch‌ apps that offer in-app purchase options and subscriptions. watchOS 6.2 also brings ECG support and irregular heart rhythm notifications to Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey, plus it fixes an issue that could interrupt music playback when switching from WiFi to Bluetooth connectivity.

Full changelog:

watchOS 6.2 includes new features, improvements, and bug fixes:

  • Introduces in-app purchases for ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ apps
  • Fixes an issue where music playback could pause when switching from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth connectivity
  • ECG app on ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ Series 4 or later now available in Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey
  • Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: https://www.apple.com/watchos/feature-availability

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/HT201222

To update your Apple Watch, you need your paired iPhone. Go to dedicated Apple Watch app on your iPhone by going to General -> Software Update. Your Apple Watch needs to be at least 50% of battery charge, needs to be placed on charger and in range of paired iPhone.

watchOS 6.2 is probably one of the latest updates for watchOS 6. Apple is focusing on watchOS 7, which should be previewed on June WWDC and I hope for stock sleep tracking feature, ideally with APIs for third party creators.

As for tvOS for 4th and 5th generation of Apple TVs, Apple also released small release. tvOS updates are typically minor in scale, focusing on under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements rather than major outward-facing changes. tvOS 13.4 introduces some small design changes to streamline the look of the TV app and it adds Family Sharing integration so users can access iTunes content purchased by family members without having to leave the app.

As bonus, if you have older iPhone running iOS 12, Apple releases a 12.4.6 update with security improvements. It’s a demonstration how Apple cares even for older iPhones.

New version number(s):

  • macOS – 10.15.4
  • iOS – 13.4
  • iPadOS – 13.4
  • watchOS – 6.2
  • tvOS – 13.4
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