What has changed in macOS 11.5?

Apple’s detailed release notes on changes in macOS 11.5 are a bit thin on the ground, listing only minor improvements and fixes in Podcasts, Music, and support for Smart cards for logging in to M1 Macs. It’s still a substantial update though: on an M1 Mac, it comes to around 3.8 GB in all, although at first Software Update may promise you that it’s just under 3 GB.

Apple’s security release notes detail another long list of fixes, only one of which is in the kernel. But there are over 35 in total, with several in FontParser and in WebKit.

Looking broadly at what has changed, the pattern is of a wide range of smaller fixes and tweaks, particularly to the support files for Mail, and in Music, News, Photos, Podcasts, Siri, Stocks and TV. As you’ll see from the lists below, there are quite a few changes throughout infrastructure, including file access and management.

Many models have firmware updates: those known so far are:

  • T2 Macs go to 1554. (iBridge: 18.16.14759.0.1,0)
  • M1 Macs go to 6723.140.2.

Bundled apps which have changed version numbers, or which have substantial increments in build number, include:

  • App Store, incremented build number
  • FindMy, incremented build number
  • Home, incremented build number
  • Mail, incremented build number
  • Maps, incremented build number
  • Music, version changed from 1.1.5 to 1.1.6
  • News, version changed from 6.4 to 6.4.1
  • Photos, incremented build number
  • Podcasts, incremented build number
  • Stocks, version changed from 3.4 to 3.4.1
  • TV, version changed from 1.1.5 to 1.1.6
  • Boot Camp Assistant, incremented build number
  • Migration Assistant, version number changed from 11.4 to 11.5.

Safari has also been updated to version 14.1.2, together with its supporting components, including WebKit, some of which addresses security issues detailed by Apple.

System components which have undergone significant version or build changes include:

  • Mail.assistantBundle, in /System/Library/Assistant/Plugins, where Stocks and WebSearch have also increased version numbers
  • Several siriUIBundles in /System/Library/Assistant/UIPlugins have increased version numbers
  • ClimateProxy app in CoreServices has increased version number
  • DiskImageMounter app in CoreServices has had a substantial increment in build number
  • Finder goes from version 11.4 to 11.5, as expected
  • ManagedClient app in CoreServices increases version from 13.2 to 13.3
  • Paired Devices app in CoreServices increases version from 2.5.0 to 2.6.0
  • Siri goes from version 3005.3.1 to 3006.2.1
  • Several AMD Radeon kext updates to new versions
  • AppleGraphicsControl kext goes from version 6.3.3 to 6.3.5
  • Several AppleIntel graphics kexts are updated to new versions
  • AppleStorageDrivers kext goes from version 511.120.2 to 511.141.1
  • CoreStorage kext goes from version 554 to 554.140.2
  • System kext goes from version 20.5.0 to 20.6.0
  • APFS, including its kext, is updated from 1677.120.9 to 1677.141.1
  • Many frameworks are updated, including Ruby which goes from version 11.4 to 11.5
  • Several OpenDirectory modules are updated from version 11.4 to 11.5
  • The Profiles pane is updated from version 8.4 to 8.5
  • Many PrivateFrameworks are updated, including Backup from version 1.17 to 1.18, many Mail components
  • A new XPC service has appeared in RecoveryOS.framework (itself a recent addition to macOS), named recoveryos_lockout_service.

Last updated 2030 UTC 21 July 2021.