It must be almost two months since Apple last unleashed a fleet of updates, so perhaps we should have guessed that they would arrive about now.
OS X 10.11.4 update – even the minimal delta version – is a large package, around 1.3 GB, but will take longer to install than it does to download, even if your Internet connection is a length of wet string. The older your Mac, and the longer since it had a completely fresh install of OS X, the longer that it is likely to take.
It also involves at least two restarts in the middle of the update process, although as ever different Macs may perform differently. And don’t be surprised when you think it is restarting normally after that second restart: chances are that it has another ten minutes or more of updating to do before you will be invited back onto your Mac.
Be aware that this is also not the only OS X update, in addition to iOS 9.3, watchOS 2.2, and so on.
You will also need to install iTunes 12.3.3, although its major change is the addition of support for the new iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7″. If you have OS X Server, then you will also need version 5.1, which includes support for TLS 1.2 and new Education features in iOS 9.3, which sounds exciting for those in education.
If you have Xcode, you will also need to update that to version 7.3, which includes updated support for OS X 10.11.4, iOS 9.3, and the rest of the bunch of updates.
Is El Capitan 10.11.4 worth the long slow process?
The security updates are certainly important, and justification alone. Beyond that most of the bugs fixed seem unlikely to have been troubling many people anyway, and I have yet to notice any remarkable new features. I have, though, already discovered that my long-standing bug with incorrect column widths in the Finder has definitely not been fixed in 10.11.4. I get the feeling that Apple is just studiously ignoring this bug, in the hope that we will forget about it. Yet every day I see the same glitch, reminding me how the mighty Apple, once proud of its human interface, has been reduced to cosmetic fiddling instead of getting to grips with its usability.
I will update this if and when I notice anything else in 10.11.4 which merits comment.