What has changed in Catalina 10.15.5?

With only one more update expected to macOS Catalina 10.15, the 10.15.5 update is almost the last chance for Apple’s engineers to fix its bugs. Apple has continued its recent policy of providing detailed release notes, and lists the following as the changes in 10.15.5:

  • the introduction of battery health management for most more recent laptop models, detailed here;
  • an option to control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls so video tiles don’t change size when a participant speaks;
  • fine-tuning the built-in calibration of the Pro Display XDR;
  • fixes a bug which can prevent Reminders from sending notifications for recurring reminders;
  • fixes a bug which can prevent password entry on the login screen;
  • fixes a bug where System Preferences continues to show a notification badge after installing an update;
  • fixes a bug where the built-in camera may not be detected when trying to use it after using a video conferencing app;
  • fixes a bug in models with the T2 Chip where internal speakers may not appear as a sound output device in Sound preferences;
  • fixes crashing/freezing when uploading and downloading media files from iCloud Photo Library while asleep;
  • fixes a serious bug causing failure to transfer large amounts of data to RAID volumes;
  • fixes a bug where the Reduced Motion Accessibility preference didn’t reduce the speed of animations in a FaceTime group call.

There’s a long list of security fixes too, which are due to be listed here shortly. These include a denial of service to AirDrop, apps being able to use arbitrary entitlements, handling of crafted audio files, handling of crafted image files, eight kernel vulnerabilities, a SIP vulnerability, five vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi, and more.

Changes found in Apple’s bundled apps include:

  • App Store, build increment
  • Contacts, build increment
  • Home, build increment
  • Music, new version 1.0.5
  • News, new version 5.4.1
  • Notes, build increment
  • Photos, substantial build increment
  • Podcasts, build increment
  • Reminders, build increment
  • Stocks, new version 2.4.1
  • TV, new version 1.0.5
  • Bluetooth File Exchange, new version 7.0.5
  • VoiceOver Utility, build increment.

Among the very long list of changes in other components are:

  • ThunderboltAccessoryFirmwareUpdater.bundle (new) added to /System/Library/AccessoryUpdaterBundles
  • Address Book Plug-Ins, build increments
  • BluetoothAudioPlugIn.driver new version
  • BridgeAudioSP.driver, new version
  • Archive Utility, build increment
  • Screen Sharing, build increment
  • Bluetooth Setup Assistant, new version
  • BluetoothUIServer, new version
  • Dock, build increment
  • Dwell Control, build increment
  • Finder, new version 10.15.5, with build increments in components
  • ManagedClient, build increments throughout
  • RawCamera, new version 9.02.0
  • Software Update, build increment
  • Spotlight, build increment
  • Displays, build increment
  • AMD Radeon support kernel extensions, some new versions
  • AppleAfterburner kernel extension, new version 1.45
  • Intel graphics support kernel extensions, some new versions
  • AppleStorageDrivers kernel extensions, new versions
  • AppleUSBAudio kernel extension, new version 323.1
  • AppleIOBluetoothFamily kernel extension, new version 7.0.5
  • IOThunderboltFamily kernel extension, new version 7.6.1
  • System.kext, new version 19.5.0
  • APFS updated to version 1412.120.2
  • SMB file system updated to version 3.4.3
  • several public frameworks have build increments
  • SwiftUI framework, new version 42.24
  • Bluetooth preference pane, new version 7.0.5
  • Profiles preference pane, new version 7.5
  • many private frameworks updated

Most recent models, and all with T2 chips, have firmware updates too. macOS 10.15.5 is a substantial update with a lot of important fixes and improvements. Although it still may not have addressed those bugs which trouble you most, it currently looks a strongly recommended update for all running macOS 10.15.4.

The following standalone updaters are now available: