All about the macOS Sierra 10.12.1 update

Apple’s update to take macOS Sierra to version 10.12.1 was – at last – accompanied by some explicit release notes, as well as details of the security fixes which it included. Surprisingly, a standalone installer (valuable for anyone updating multiple Macs) still doesn’t appear to be available, but here are some more details about what the update actually does.

First, it isn’t a simple update for many Macs. Apple has included firmware updates for several models, including this iMac Retina 5K, 27″, late 2015 (iMac17,1). Let’s hope that these fix residual issues with graphics cards and the like.

The update itself includes new versions of the following apps and software:

  • App Store
  • Automator, which includes many of its modules
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • DVD Player
  • FaceTime
  • Font Book
  • Mail, which fixes issues with Microsoft Exchange accounts, and password prompts for AOL accounts
  • Maps
  • Messages
  • Mission Control
  • Notes
  • Photo Booth
  • Photos, which adds a smart album for iPhone 7 Plus Depth Effect images, and a lot more such as improved print products and themes
  • Preview
  • QuickTime Player
  • Reminders
  • Safari, updated to version 10.0.1, which fixes bugs and security issues
  • Stickies
  • System Preferences
  • TextEdit
  • Time Machine
  • Activity Monitor
  • AirPort Utility
  • Audio MIDI Setup
  • Bluetooth File Exchange
  • Boot Camp Assistant
  • ColorSync Utility
  • Console, which fixes bugs and has a couple of minor improvements, but adds little in the way of missing features
  • Disk Utility
  • Grab
  • Grapher, which fixes a problem opening its files
  • Keychain Access, which still doesn’t offer keychain repair
  • Migration Assistant
  • Script Editor
  • System Information, which still doesn’t fix the bug in the Storage view of About This Mac
  • Terminal
  • VoiceOver Utility
  • iBooks
  • Bezel Services in /Library/Application Support, which are used extensively by apps
  • iLifeMediaBrowser, used by iLife and other apps
  • Audio and CoreMedia plugins
  • Calculator, Stocks, and Translation widgets
  • RAID Utility
  • Screen Sharing
  • System Image Utility and imagetool, which work better creating network disk images
  • Various CoreServices tools, including Dock and Finder
  • Siri
  • Spotlight
  • many kernel extensions
  • most filesystem support
  • most System Preferences panes
  • QuickLook
  • QuickTime
  • many shell commands in /sbin, /usr/bin, and /usr/sbin – including log
  • emacs 22.1
  • XProtect

I suspect that the great majority of the changes in these apps and components are bug fixes which many of us will not notice, but I am equally sure that many would like to know just what has changed in Time Machine, for example.

The kernel itself is updated too: to version 16.1.0 dated 13 October 2016. Let’s hope that it is as stable as 16.0.0 was in the original release of Sierra.

Although Apple released an update to OS X Server on 20 September, to bring it to version 5.2, and rebadged it to become macOS Server, earlier practice of bringing out a major new release of Server to coincide with the major new version of OS X / macOS seems to have lapsed, which is what might be happening to macOS Server itself.