In its most recent product event, Apple has announced upgrades to all of its four platforms, iOS OS X, tvOS and WatchOS. All of these updates are currently ready for user download. The last OS X update, delivered in January of 2015, saw updates being made to a number of the Mac’s apps. With a new update to OS X 10.11.4 just recently being released, there are many questions surrounding it. What is new with this update? Why should you upgrade and how can you go about upgrading to OS X 10.11.4 if you decide to do so?
OS X 10.11.4 comes fitted with a number of new app updates as well as security enhancements, bug fixes and performance boosts. For instance, Safari had a tiny issue rectified which now allows it to handle Twitter’s “t.co” links properly. In addition to this, you can now share PDFs to the cloud using iBooks. However, even bigger updates have come to other apps including improvements to the Notes and Live Photos applications. So what are these new improvements to Notes and Live Photos that users can expect to find when using their updated apps?
This new version of OS X brings better support for Notes allowing users to password protect individual notes in the application. Previously anyone with access to your computer would have been able to view your notes. However, Apple now allows you to set a password to protect your personal data. Password protection is also available in the Notes app on iOS 9.3. Users can also sync notes between their Macs and iPhone and iPad devices. However, for this sync to take place, your iOS must have been upgraded to version 9.3. This new Notes update also supports Evernote’s .enex file format and allows users to import notes from Evernote into Notes. Opening up Notes to files created in Evernote may seem as an obvious move, however many consider it as Apple making a play at Evernote users. Lastly, you can gain access to your notes by using your fingerprint on devices outfitted with Touch ID.
Previous versions of Live Photos were not well supported by OS X. Live Photos, created for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, impart a bit of character to the regular old digital photos by allowing the user to record a few seconds of audio and video before and after a still photo is taken. Besides the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Live Photos are viewable on all iOS devices and on OS X El Capitan using the Photos app. Any other way stripped Live Photos of their audio and video elements turning them back into ordinary photos. Additionally users could only share Live Photos using the iCloud Photo Sharing app. In OS X 10.11.4, however, Live Photos can be sent using the Messages and AirDrop apps.
Is there a risk upgrading to OS X 10.11.4?
Some users have experienced a few issues after upgrading. Users report having issues logging into the Messages and FaceTime applications. At this time, the number of affected users is unknown, however, a fix for these issues should not be too far away. So while there are no big risks in upgrading to OS x 10.11.4, users should be aware of minor inconveniences that may pop up.
Should you still update anyway?
OS X 10.11.4 fixes a number of issues your Mac may have including WiFi. It will also address a number of performance and bug issues. Most importantly, it fixes a number of security issues found in preceding upgrades. In total, 59 vulnerabilities are mended, many of which opened up Macs to malicious code executions by remote users. However, if you choose not to upgrade you can still help to protect yourself by downloading Security Update 2016-002 which patches some (but not all) of the flaws.
How can users install OS X 10.11.4?
The update, as with many other Apple updates are free to users. It is available in Mac App store as either a fresh download or update. Of course, your Mac must have minimum performance levels in order for it to work properly. It goes without saying that users must first make sure that their computers can support this new OS X.
Users can update their operating systems to OS X 10.11.4 in one of two ways.
- If you have chosen to upgrade to OS X 10.11.4, you must first backup all of your files. It is never fun losing irreplaceable files such as photos and important documents. This is especially true if you are choosing to perform a clean install.
- Go to the OS X El Capitan page or find El Capitan in the Mac App Store. Users can access the Mac App Store in a variety of ways. You can click on the Apple icon at the top left of your screen and select the App Store. Alternatively, you can click on the Mac App Store icon in your dock.
- After opening the Mac App Store, click on Updates situated on the bar at the top of the window. You will see El Capitan available for download there.
- Users can then click the download button and follow the onscreen instructions in order to download OS X.
- However, OS X is a large download and may take hours to complete. If you do not have broadband access, you can upgrade your Mac at any of Apple’s store.
OS X 10.11.4, while not being a revolutionary upgrade, still manages to improve apps while fixing bugs and performance and security issues. After upgrading, users will discover that their apps work as intended with Live Photos enjoying better portability. Additionally, users will enjoy more privacy with the ability to password protect their Notes. Although the upgrade may come with some bugs that are sure to be fixed soon, the additional security to your files are definitely worth the upgrade. Thankfully, Apple removes the guesswork and makes upgrading a breeze.