What’s changed in Big Sur 11.1?

The macOS 11.1 update is substantial, but by no means as extensive as some of its x.1 predecessors. Oddly, Intel Macs only seem to need an update of about 3.2 GB, while M1 Macs require almost a gigabyte more, at nearly 4.2 GB.

There appear to be firmware updates for all compatible Macs, and with concurrent security updates to Catalina and Mojave, this looks to have brought these versions in line for all models which have been updated in this round. However, Macs still running High Sierra and earlier, which are no longer supported by Apple, will remain on their existing firmware.

Improvements listed by Apple include:

  • support for AirPods Max,
  • Apple TV gains a TV+ tab and more,
  • adds privacy information to items in the App Store,
  • new options for running iOS and iPadOS apps on M1 Macs,
  • supports editing of Apple ProRAW images in Photos,
  • adds the Ecosia search engine to Safari’s choices.

Apple reports that bugs are fixed in:

  • QuickTime Player,
  • Bluetooth connection status display,
  • unlocking with Apple Watch,
  • trackpad scrolling speed,
  • use of LG UltraFine 5K displays with M1 Macs.

There’s a long list of security fixes, over 50 in total, with audio, FontParser, and ImageIO bugs particularly numerous, although there are only two kernel vulnerabilities which have been fixed.

Apps which have changed version number include:

  • Bluetooth File Exchange, 8.0.1 to 8.0.2
  • Books, 3.0 to 3.1
  • Migration Assistant, 11.0 to 11.1
  • Music, 1.1.1 to 1.1.2
  • News, 6.1 to 6.2
  • Safari, 14.0.1 to 14.0.2
  • Stocks, 3.1 to 3.2
  • TV, 1.1.1 to 1.1.2.

Apps which have significantly incremented build numbers include:

  • App Store
  • Boot Camp Assistant
  • Calendar
  • Console
  • Find My
  • Font Book
  • Home
  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Photos
  • Podcasts
  • QuickTime Player
  • VoiceOver Utility.

Among the other system files which have significant changes in build and/or version number are:

  • several notification plugins
  • multiple components of Mail
  • Bluetooth Audio components
  • Dock components
  • The Finder and its supporting components
  • ManagedClient (CoreServices), which goes from version 13.0 to 13.1
  • SetupAssistant
  • Siri
  • Software Update
  • Spotlight
  • AMD graphics drivers
  • several M1 driver kexts
  • AppleIntel graphics drivers
  • Apple Storage Drivers
  • HFS file system kext (after all these years!)
  • APFS, which goes from version 1677.50.1 to 1677.60.23
  • corecrypto kext, which goes from version 1.0 to 11.1
  • many public and private frameworks.