Apple has just released Big Sur update to version 11.2, which is available now for both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.
Its headline improvements, according to Apple, are in the reliability of Bluetooth, at which I hear a loud if conditional cheer. Additional fixes include black screens on external displays connected to the M1 Mac mini using an HDMI to DVI converter, saving edits to Apple ProRAW images in Photos, and iCloud Drive, which could be disabled altogether after disabling the Desktop & Documents option in iCloud. There’s also a fix for System Preferences failing to unlock with an admin password, and the Globe key not displaying the Emoji & Symbols pane.
Details of security fixes included in this and the concomitant Security Updates are here. They include a fix to a bug in APFS in Big Sur found by Thomas Tempelmann, 2-3 bugs in Crash Reporter, nine bugs in ImageIO and still more in Model I/O, and three in the Big Sur kernel. However, there’s no mention that I can see of the old bug which might still be lurking in
This is a substantial update at around 3.25 GB or as much as 4.2 GB for an M1 model, and is thought to bring firmware updates for most models.
Alongside this update, Apple has also released Security Updates 2021-001 for Catalina and Mojave, which contain many important security fixes.
I will post further news as I receive it. It seems unlikely that Apple will release standalone installers for the Big Sur update, but may well do for any Security Updates. When I know the links for those, I will add them here.
At some time after 2300 UTC on 8 February 2021, Apple finally made available a standalone updater for Catalina Security Update 2021-001. You can obtain it from here. There are some remaining oddities about that, though: the date given on that webpage is 5 February 2021, although the page wasn’t made available for 3-4 days after that date. What’s more, the Installer package containing that update is dated 15 January 2021, two weeks before that urgent security update was released via Software Update on 1 February 2021, and three weeks before its release as a standalone installer package. Doesn’t time seem to fly?
I’ve completed my analysis of the changes in apps and other system software in 11.2, which you can read here.