At last Apple has returned to providing extensive release notes to accompany the Big Sur 11.3 update. Because they’re so long and detailed, I won’t attempt to summarise them, but recommend that you read them:
- 11.3 release notes (general)
- 11.3 release notes for sysadmins
- 11.3 security release notes.
Looking through the bundled apps, almost all have been updated. Those which have changed version rather than just build number include:
- Books, to 3.2
- Music, to 1.1.4
- News, to 6.3
- Notes, to 4.8.1
- Stocks, to 3.3
- TV, to 1.1.4
- Bluetooth File Exchange, to 8.0.4
- Migration Assistant, to 11.3.
Major changes seen in the System folder include:
- Flow Delegate Plugins in /System/Library/Assistant/FlowDelegatePlugin have been increased in number.
- AppleVirtIOSound.driver has been added to /System/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL, and others have been updated.
- A few Automator actions have been updated, mainly those for PDF.
- AddPrinter in CoreServices has been updated.
- Feedback Assistant has been updated to 5.1.
- DiskImageMounter has been updated.
- The Dock has been updated.
- The Finder has been updated from 11.1 to 11.3.
- JavaLauncher has been updated to 319.
- ManagedClient has been updated to 13.2.
- Siri has been updated to 201.4.11.
- A new driver extension has been added for Apple16X50PCI
- Most AMD extensions have been updated to 4.4.17.
- AGX and AppleGraphicsControl extensions have been updated to 173.22.1.
- AppleStorageDrivers extension has been updated to 511.101.1
- A new extension, AppleVirtualPlatform, has been added.
- The HFS file system extension has been updated to 556.100.11.
- The System extension and its plugins have been updated to 20.4.0.
- APFS and its extension has been updated from 1677.81.1 to 1677.100.114.
- The SMBFS extension has been updated from 3.4.1 to 3.5.
- Many frameworks have been updated.
- Many OpenDirectory modules have been updated.
- Bluetooth, Keyboard, Localisation and Profiles panes have been updated.
- Many private frameworks, including Backup, Catalyst, components for Mail, have been updated.
- Two new private frameworks, for RealityKit_Ogma and SceneKit_Ogma, have been added.
- Spotlight mdimporters now include Mail, version 11.0, which hadn’t been included in 11.2.3, and a new build of the Rich Text mdimporter.
- Video Plug-Ins which have been updated include AppleAVEEncoder and AppleAfterburnerProResDecoder.
This is a very large update. If something hasn’t changed, that’s surprising.