MacOS Big Sur 11.4 is the latest version of the MacOS operating system developed and released by Apple, Inc. It is distinguishable from previous versions due to several new features, improvements and fixes which are designed to make the user experience better than ever before. This guide will provide a brief overview of the features and improvements in MacOS Big Sur 11.4 so that users can better evaluate whether or not it’s likely to benefit them for their particular use cases.
The most notable additions to the MacOS software include:
- A significant design overhaul and UI refinements;
- Apple Silicon support;
- Support for AirPlay to share music, movies, TV shows and more from apps like Apple Music, Apple TV Plus and more;
- Handoff support on iCloud messages;
- New bug fixes that resolve privacy issues involving certain device settings such as iCloud keychain;
- Improved graphics performance on Macs with dedicated graphics cards thanks to Metal optimisations;
- Further refinements including new emojis and expanded language support.
These are just some of the notable changes that could benefit users after upgrading to MacOS Big Sur 11.4 – although as with any upgrade it may still carry some risks that users will want to weigh up carefully before deciding if they should go ahead with the update or wait for further development changes from Apple in later releases.
About the security content of macOS Big Sur 11.4
Security is an important consideration when using any technology, and macOS 11.4 Big Sur is no exception. Apple has added several new features and improvements that help enhance IT security and user privacy. This section will take a look at some of the new security content of macOS Big Sur 11.4, such as:
- Improved authentication
- Enhanced encryption
- And more
Apple Security Updates
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 offers improved security for users through its website and platform and advancements on its iPhones.
Apple has introduced a new WebKit feature in this version of MacOS to ensure efficient browser performance and reduce data usage. In addition, WebKit also provides new privacy features such as automatic detection of cross-site trackers and stronger password protections. These feature improvements allow users to better control how their data is used and shared across sites.
Apple devices now have an improved security architecture that protects against malicious code running on the device, along with new App Sandboxing technology to keep fragile device data safe even when connected to malicious networks or websites. Improved features on Mac devices also make it harder for attackers who manage to breach the system, making it more difficult to access user data or other critical information in Apple’s system environment.
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 includes additional updates that address previous security vulnerabilities including:
- Updated software updates for Macintoshes, iPhones and iPads.
- Improved TLS 1.2 support for email clients.
- Hardening of object type information within QuickLook.
- Further strengthening of keychain data protection tools like Icloud Keychain Sync.
- An adjustable option for higher privilege access support in Apple Messages.
- Enhanced protection by requiring that apps validate the integrity of disk images before allowing file system changes.
- Vulnerability reduction by allowing end-users an option to remove old kernels from system memory at boot time.
- Browser update improvements with better bottom-up implementation techniques result in faster page downloads than ever.
- Robust hardware controller guard implementations are designed specifically to prevent unauthorised applications from controlling other hardware components in the system environment.
- McAfee MAC MDR enabled along with NTFS read/write support enabling third party antivirus app use & scanning on macOS devices thus heightening your defence against external threats & malware attacks.
Apple’s Safari 14.1, included in macOS Big Sur 11.4, introduces various security features to protect users from malicious modems and other threats. In addition, it helps prevent data theft and fraudulent activities on the web, while keeping your passwords safe from hackers and other cyber criminals.
Safari 14.1 also includes improved automatic detection of malicious websites, so you can avoid harmful sites before they load.
Safari 14.1 also has enhanced Privacy Reports to quickly review how websites handle your privacy settings, as well as Intelligent Tracking Prevention which detects & blocks cross-site tracking to help improve user privacy without getting in the way of browsing speed or efficiency.
Additionally, with the inclusion of Security-Checked DuckDuckGo as the default search engine in Safari 14.1, users can enjoy an even more secure web-browsing experience thanks to stronger encryption & greater privacy protection measures when using certain features such as Smart Protection Search & Universal Form Filler.
iCloud for Windows 11.4
To improve the overall security and privacy of Mac users, one of the major features in the new update is iCloud for Windows 11.4. This feature allows users to access their files securely on either platform. In addition, whether on a Mac or a Windows PC, users can set up two-factor authentication for their iCloud accounts and store their passwords in an encrypted format.
Since all data is stored in Apple’s secure iCloud servers, user information is always encrypted and never sent to other devices for access or sharing. In addition, all synchronisation data (such as photos, contacts and calendar entries) remain secure and protected by Apple’s security protocols. For added protection, Apple also requires regular password changes for users who log in from a different location than previously used.
Using iCloud for Windows 11.4, users can check on up-to-date information from wherever they are located; documents that have been updated while away can be quickly accessed once they are back at home or work with no need to re authenticate the device used previously.
In addition, increased security changes have been added to better protect against phishing attacks, which have become increasingly common with social media platforms used on Mac and Windows computers worldwide. These safety features provide an additional layer of protection every time you log onto your computer or mobile device through your iCloud account with enhanced password guidelines and other improved authentication measures being utilised as well.
Apple Pay is a feature available to Mac users running the latest macOS Big Sur 11.4 update. With Apple Pay, users can use their Mac to make secure payments online, in stores, or within apps using their Apple ID and a connected card.
When making an online purchase with Apple Pay, the user’s credit card information provides an extra layer of protection coded using chip-enabled technology that displays as a set of random numbers to help keep customers safe while paying online. In addition, they can authorise a payment with biometric authentication such as Face ID or Touch ID depending on their device and system settings.
When making a payment in-store or within an app with Apple Pay users will tap their device against supported contactless readers like cards do. The transaction is completed securely requiring no signature at the point of purchase. The process takes only seconds to complete and can be done from any iOS or macOS device (iPhone or Mac computer) that supports the feature and is properly configured for payments.
Other Security Improvements
Besides expanded transparency around security features, MacOS Big Sur 11.4 added some other features and improvements to help protect your privacy and data. For example, Apple has enhanced the secure enclave processor of their devices and improved the use of end-to-end encryption throughout iCloud services. This will give users more control over who gets to access sensitive data, increasing the security of stored personal information and passwords.
Additionally, MacOS Big Sur 11.4 includes an antivirus feature that notifies users when malicious software is detected so that they can take steps to protect their device.
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 also adds privacy features such as Private Relay which will help ensure your browsing is kept private by obscuring connection information between websites you visit and the IP address of your computer or other device used for browsing those sites. It further ensures there isn’t any tracking of what you do on the web through Intelligent Tracking Prevention which helps reduce cross-site tracking put in place by trackers sometimes operating without your knowledge or consent, as well as a feature that prevents sharing cookies across websites without your consent when possible. Further improvements have been made to Safari Extensions upon their authorization and installation to prevent malware from infiltrating any user’s system through extension downloads from untrusted sources on the web.
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 has brought many improvements to the table. Among them are performance improvements that allow your Mac to run faster and more efficiently. These improvements include
- faster app launch times,
- faster file copy and transfer, and
- improved energy efficiency.
In addition, the update also included new security features such as
- enhanced system integrity protection
- additional checks for software updates.
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 has significantly changed battery life, especially for Mac laptops and notebooks. From improved sleep time, to reduced CPU usage when idle, Apple has managed to squeeze even more performance out of its Mac products.
Sleep time is substantially increased with many MacBooks being able to last up to 8 hours without needing to be charged. The CPU also utilises less power when idle thanks partly to Apple’s intelligent power management solutions that consider the current system load and state when determining how much power should be used.
Battery charging times are also decreased in larger scenarios, giving users a better overall experience during those times they need their battery life the most. Additionally, adding Optimised Battery Charging allows additional boosts in charging times while maintaining optimal battery health over time and preventing any degradation due to overcharging or extended periods on the charger beyond what’s necessary for a full charge.
Apple has extensively worked on optimising the performance of their platform since releasing MacOS Big Sur. As a result, this version brings a lot of amazing new features and significant performance tweaks.
The primary aims of these improvements is to enhance the system responsiveness, reduce power usage, and increase overall performance. With the system improvements in MacOS Big Sur 11.4, users are guaranteed a better system experience with much smoother navigation across all levels of complexity.
The main changes in terms of system performance are:
- Enhanced memory management by restructuring the logic behind how storage is used within the Operating System.
- Improved networking code to ensure more reliable connections and quicker response times.
- Introduced warm restarts which make users benefit from faster restart times when rebooting their devices.
- Optimizations on launching commonly used applications so that they open up significantly faster than before.
- A redesigned Safari browser which optimises page loading speeds across all websites resulting in a faster user experience overall.
Graphics and Video
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 includes significant improvements to graphics and video performance. The Metal framework, which allows apps to tap into the compute power of the new graphics chips in Macs, has been enhanced with support for shaders that can be used while rendering graphics in games and other apps. This improved graphical support also improves video performance in devices such as digital cameras and camcorders.
The 4K video streaming experience across multiple devices using AirPlay has improved significantly due to the support for Adobe Universal Media Server (UMS) protocol. This allows users to stream 4K videos from their Mac or iPhone to Apple TV much more efficiently than before. Furthermore, encoding and playback HDR content with Apple ProRes RAW codecs has now been enabled, allowing professional videographers better control over resolution and bit rate of their workflows.
The longings for AirPlay display mirroring have finally been fulfilled as users can now stream content from an iOS 14 device or a Mac straight to an Apple TV of choice with AirPlay 2 support enabled.
The storage optimization feature of MacOS Big Sur 11.4 offers users improved performance through a streamlined and optimised storage solution. This means that MacOS can now more efficiently store files, reducing the burden on system resources and improving overall system performance. In addition, by optimising the hard drive, MacOS Big Sur can accelerate load times and increase hw responsiveness, allowing you to enjoy faster boot up speeds and smoother overall operation.
On top of that, users can also reclaim disk space with the new Optimise Storage option in System Preferences. This tool allows users to easily identify redundant or outdated files to delete or relocate to an external drive for archiving purposes like photos or movies. In addition, iCloud optimised storage allows certain files to reside in the cloud rather than on your local machine for fast and easy access when needed.
User Experience Improvements
macOS Big Sur 11.4 brings many new features to improve the user experience. These include improved performance, battery life, web browsing, security, and a range of new features designed to make your Mac run faster and smoother.
We’ll discuss all these changes in detail in this article and take a look at the security content of macOS Big Sur 11.4.
The ultimate goal of the Control Center in MacOS Big Sur 11.4 is to provide users with a set of intuitive tools that allow them to easily monitor and manage their system. In this update, you’ll find a redesigned interface for your Control Center, which includes the ability to customise its appearance within the System Preferences window.
You’ll also have improved access to system controls such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb mode and more. With one click from the Control Center, you can quickly view your system’s status, adjust your settings and check for updates.
A bonus is that you can now run multiple instances of Control Center in side by side tabs so that you can conveniently manage different tasks simultaneously:
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 improves the user experience by making notifications more organised, efficient, and informative. On Big Sur, users can now easily take action from notification banners with important shortcuts such as Reply Messages or Play a song from Apple Music.
Additionally, banners are now grouped by app to allow users to view multiple notifications for the same app at a glance. Notifications have received some aesthetic updates as well. Instead of banners appearing from the top-right corner of your display, they now appear in the centre with rounded edges and a larger font for easier readability. With an improved notification summary view, users can scroll through previous missed notifications on their Macs without needing to open each application individually.
Overall MacOS Big Sur 11.4 has made users’ experiences much smoother with improved notifications that enable better access to this integral feature of any operating system.
Apple’s MacOS Big Sur 11.4 has various features and enhancements designed to improve the user experience. One of these features is the introduction of widgets, which offer quick access to content from various apps across your Mac, iPhone and iPad. Widgets come in all shapes and sizes, including small, medium and large ones, with content such as date or time pickers and previews for websites or videos.
Users can quickly access relevant information by placing these widgets on the Home Screen without opening a dedicated app. To access widgets in Big Sur 11.4, head to the Notifications menu at the top right corner of your Mac’s screen and select the “Today” tab at the top centre of the window. This will bring up a list of available widgets you can drag onto your Home Screen to customise according to your preferences.
Moreover, by clicking on each widget there is also an “Edit” button that allows you to modify specific details such as updating calendar events or switching between different news sources.
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 introduces several new privacy controls to make it easier for users to protect their data. In addition, the update adds several new Privacy Report features that allow you to easily monitor which apps and websites are accessing your health, location, device, photos, microphone and other data. You can also identify any third-party trackers that may be using your data.
The latest MacOS Big Sur 11.4 also includes updates to App Store privacy labels so you can learn more about how developers handle your data when using the app.
The update includes Safari privacy enhancements with improvements in track prevention technology, Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.0 support and an updated list of known trackers in the web browser. A secondary layer of protection is also designed to detect and prevent malicious websites from compromising user security and privacy.
Finally, MacOS Big Sur 11.4 introduces a new system-level opt-in for sharing diagnostics with Apple for improved reliability and accuracy when diagnosing performance issues with the operating system or individual components like MacBook’s battery or screen resolution.
One of the most highly anticipated features in Mac OS Big Sur 11.4 is the integration of Messages into the operating system. This means you don’t have to open a separate app for messaging friends and family, since messages can be sent and received within a streamlined experience in the main interface.
In Mac OS Big Sur 11.4, Messages allows for improved group conversations, which can include:
- Improved inline replies allow users to easily track and navigate conversations and mention individuals to bring them into conversations or alert them about new updates.
- It is also possible to access message conversations from any device with iCloud enabled when logged in, making it easy to catch up on current conversations regardless of which device one uses.
Messages also include improvements such as support for Emoji customization with thousands of hairstyles and more options when creating one’s personalised Emoji character. Additionally, options are now available for changing skin tones and headwear within the same conversation thread, making customization easier than ever before without having to switch back and forth between characters or apps.
Users have greater control over who they speak with via end-to-end encryption, meaning all personal information shared through messages will remain private from outside sources or data snoopers. In addition, the focus on user privacy will help ensure secure communications regardless of how many devices are being used simultaneously across multiple platforms.
MacOS Big Sur 11.4 features a new Photos update that allows users to take their photography and editing capabilities beyond the basics. In addition to customising photos with filters, effects and other tools, you can now experience an all-new interface that makes finding the right editing advice easily accessible.
The new Photos tab helps users with tips on capturing their moment and provides quick access to top-of-the-line editing tools. The advanced editing options include spot healing for enhancing certain spots in photos, brightness adjustment for setting contrast in specific areas, selective colour adjustment for adding vibrance and saturation to select parts of an image, sharpness filter for crisply pixelated elements within an image, etc.
The Unified Library also introduces a new way of organising pictures. Hence, you no longer need to rummage through folder after folder – now all your content (photos or videos) is organised around specific dates or locations so you’ll always know where it is. Additionally, long gone are the days of going through hundreds of picture sizes – everything will auto-resize. Hence, each photo fits perfectly into the library without having to do any extra work.
With these features and more, MacOS Big Sur 11.4 ensures that you no longer have to settle when editing your photos – now you can open up a whole world of possibilities just waiting at your fingertips!
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