Apple Releases Second macOS Sierra 10.12.4 Public Beta for Public Beta Testers

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Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.4 update to public beta testers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the first public beta and one day after releasing the second 10.12.4 beta to developers.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the second 10.12.4 macOS Sierra beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.

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Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and macOS Sierra betas. Betas should not be installed on a primary machine due to the potential for instability.

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 brings iOS's popular Night Shift mode to the Mac, allowing users to cut down on blue light exposure in the evening. Believed to affect sleep by upsetting the body's circadian rhythm, blue light is thought to be more harmful than yellow light.

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With Night Shift, the Mac's display automatically shifts from cool to warm at sunset and then shifts back at sunrise. Users can also set custom times for the display's colors to shift, or toggle the effect on manually. A Toggle to turn Night Shift on is available in the Notification Center, and Siri can also be used to activate the feature.

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 also includes Shanghainese dictation support, cricket scores for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and iCloud Analytics options.

Top Rated Comments

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46 months ago

.....I still stand by what I said before: if Apple addresses a bug that only affects vintage/near-obsolete and near-vintage machines, even if already belatedly and only on 10.12.5, they will absolutely regain my full respect.

I wouldn't hold my breath for that, they would like you to purchase new equipment. I'm still peeved that my older, brick-style AirportExpress won't work reliably with the post-iTunes10 versions of iTunes. And since I also have a TimeCapsule, my only intended use for the Express is AirPlay. Technical reasons, or planned obsolescence?

In keeping with Tim's obsession with profits, Apple is concentrating on the big moneymakers, and the Pro market being so small compared to the revenue generated by the iPhone and iOS ecosystem, only seems to get sporadic love nowadays. Even the consumer Mac lines, both desktops and laptops, sometimes seem to be treated like 'the ugly stepchild'.

And one cannot any longer blame this on Apple's earlier mantra of only doing updates when warranted by significant improvements, rather than upgrading for upgrade's sake. That model appears to have long since been abandoned, and Apple now claims they depend totally on the availability of new chips or suitable graphics cards, while we all know these parts are sometimes available months before being introduced in Apple products, and in some cases skipped altogether for the next gen.

Judging from the frequent comments on sites like these, many Mac users would like more frequent Mac updates, at the very least with the latest processors and graphics (so that if and when a user does decide to purchase new equipment, he/she doesn't have to choose between waiting and waiting and waiting, or paying premium prices for 6mos old tech), a return to post-purchase upgradeability, and minimized obsolescence, but none of the above is likely to happen. The industry trend is in the opposite direction.

In spite of employing thousands upon thousands of employees (well over 100,000 if AppleStore employees are included), could it be that with the existing product line-up, the various Stores, the health initiative, HomeKit, Maps, AppleMusic, AI, AR, their TV ambitions, the Car initiative, self-driving Tech, and the new, nearly completed campus, Apple is just spreading itself too thin?

I realize Apple can not be all things to all people, but sometimes I secretly miss the old Apple.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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46 months ago

You get nothing for Night Shift on the late 2011 MBP 17", someone needs to release a hack to enable it!!! ;)

I've been using f.lux for a while which does the same thing.

You could say Apple "sherlocked" f.lux.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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46 months ago

Now, now, Henrik, what is it, then? Either Apple puts too much new features in an haphazard fashion and ends up dealing with tons of bugs and bloat, and people complain about it, or… they don't put that many, refine their operative systems instead, and you people still complain?

I am the first to criticise Apple for their egregious disregard for professionals and the products targeted at them, such as the Mac Pro or *even* the blatantly abandoned Aperture or the less than essential but nice-to-have Cinema Displays (yes, that whole EMI-shielding – or lack thereof – debacle on the 5K UltraFine displays caused by LG's incompetence is a damn shame, but I see it more as part of growing pains in a transition towards a consumer-geared business model – which I still hope won't be total – than anything else) but you should know that you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Seeing that you're a newbie here, I'm almost guessing that you never used them nor know that some of the most loved (and kept running way past their “expiry date” on many machines to this day) Mac OS X / OS X / macOS versions are precisely the least feature-rich and most refined ones, Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion.

For me, Sierra, which really only adds Siri, this newfangled Night Shift thing (which I unfortunately won't be using, as my Macs are too old for it, but I would otherwise, as I was already running f.lux even before it was booted from iOS – I guess I'll have to keep using it on macOS for a while – and now use Night Shift on my 5S) and that nifty window snapping feature, seems to be a serious candidate for a “refined macOS version” that I may even be forced to keep running for a while on my near-obsolete Late 2009 iMac, with no ill effects (apart from forcing me to buy a brand-new or newer second-hand machine in the long run, that is).

Let me guess, once Apple gets macOS 10.13 / 11.0 (I'm betting on the latter, as iOS *and* macOS may finally converge in version number *and* numbering scheme after converging in naming scheme) out of the door and makes the switch from HFS+ to APFS by default, half of you newbies (and veterans alike!!) will extoll its virtues while the other half will scream bloody murder because some inevitable bug caused you data loss, while complaining about feature bloat/feature scarcity… :rolleyes:

Look at the big picture, you people! Don't mistake the forest for the trees. ;) Yes, this whole 12-month cycle thing was probably a bad idea (or badly-executed) in the beginning for macOS development, as it probably forced Apple devs to rush things and cut corners (if not entire features) and iOS for both iPhones and iPads also sucked up a lot of resources in the olden days [*cough* Leopard delays *cough*], but seeing that Apple is now adding and testing features mid-cycle, with a sustained support by both developer *and* public betas instead of just developer previews given out at WWDC and that iOS is now extremely mature, I am figuring that macOS development can only improve again once they get (or regain?) the hang of it.

I still stand by what I said before: if Apple addresses a bug that only affects vintage/near-obsolete and near-vintage machines, even if already belatedly and only on 10.12.5, they will absolutely regain my full respect.

I fully agree with you. Apart from the newbie statement :). I am new as a contributing member here, but have been a Mac user ever since the G3 days and OS 9, so I too have several pieces of 'vintage hardware' lurking around. I was also disappointed with the latest MacBook Pro's, since I hoped for a new powerfull workhorse for my everyday work as a developer, capable of running several virtual machines, database servers app servers and the like. Stuff that so far has killed many a Windows machine, but never a Mac.

My hope for Sierra was, since it didn't have that many features, that it would be a new Snow Leopard. Focus on smashing bugs, getting rid of excess fat and making it into a worthy competitor for Snow Leopard, IMO, the best OS X version yet.

It seems to me that Sierra has many under the hood changes, for the purpose of aligning the code base between IOS and MacOS, and Apple is keeping the goodies for when the merge/alignment has been completed. Fingers crossed :D

Now that you mention APFS. I am looking forward to see how it will play out. Do we really need machines with 32GB's of RAM if we can get Optane "harddrives" and a filesystem that is built for Flash storage. A filesystem that makes the old divide between super fast RAM and super slow spinning disks a thing of the past?

Good things are surely coming our way ;)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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46 months ago

Is Sierra like the worst Mac OS ever?

Don't think it's the worst ever, but I never thought that the limited number of improvements justified a new major release. It just show the lack of focus Apple is putting in the Mac line.

I really hope that Apple is going all in on 10.13 or 11.00.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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46 months ago
MacOS 10.12.4 public beta 2 build 16E154a causes panic on start... then reboots on my early 2011 MB Pro. Had to reinstall 10.12.3.

Update: This turned out to be a problem with Kaspersky for Mac. After removing it, MacOS came up just fine.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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46 months ago
This is the same build as the developer one, 16E154a.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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