Apple Seeds First Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update to its public beta testing group, with the new public beta coming five days after the release of the first developer beta.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will be able to download the new ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile.

Catalina
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 iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.

The ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 update introduces Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature that was brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update. Screen Time Communication Limits allow parents to limit who their children contact and when communication apps are available.

The update also includes a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the mouse cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's built-in camera.

References to new AMD processors were discovered in the macOS 10.15.4 beta, leading to speculation that Apple is working on AMD-based Macs, but it's not clear if these references are simply for internal testing rather than evidence of an AMD Mac.

Though not directly related to ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

Top Rated Comments

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1 week ago
Catalina is the first macOS that I'm completely skipping. I'll wait for WWDC and see what gets introduced there but I really hope they will focus on performance, stability etc. We need another snow leopard :)
Rating: 11 Votes
1 week ago


Catalina is the first macOS that I'm completely skipping. I'll wait for WWDC and see what gets introduced there but I really hope they will focus on performance, stability etc. We need another snow leopard :)


What we need is a longer release cycle where Apple developers can spend several months optimizing and debugging like in Snow Leopard and previous releases with 18-36 month release schedule.

Snow Leopard wasn't that good the first year, it was buggy and has some really bad bugs like the guest account deleting data. It was only the second year where they managed to make it work. The second year part is what we're missing badly, they're just shipping too fast and not spending enough time fixing their bugs.
Rating: 7 Votes
1 week ago
The one year release cycle, introduced by Tim Cook, is the hallmark of Apple being now controlled by a bean-counter rather than someone driven by the engineering. Apple literally cannot care a stuff about perfecting their macOS software. One year is not enough to get it rock stable.

I used to remember how horrific each new OSX was at launch that I used to postpone upgrading, such as with Snow Leopard, until around version .7. That is laughable now since it never gets to version 7.

The thing I hate about the one year release cycle is that major software gets incompatible with each macOS, and many software developers charge big money to upgrade every year.

e.g.
Microsoft - previous versions not compatible.
VMWare Fusion - every version is not compatible, and they charge lots of money for upgrades
Phase One - Capture One - every version is not compatible, and they charge lots of money for upgrades

Virtually every software developer has to update their software. (Do Windows developers have to do this with every annual update?)

If the features of each upgrade were worth it, I would sort of not mind. But most macOS updates are irrelevant to me. I just use basic features. So each cycle of macOS every year, even if Apple does not charge money, is a major expense for me because software vendors do charge for the upgrades!@()(*W*$%&&^W#)_$(
Rating: 6 Votes
1 week ago
I hope the urgently needed bug fixes are finally coming.
Since I updated my iMac to Catalina, Bluetooth devices like mouse and keyboard, as well as the Wifi connection are extremely unstable.
I would have no problem with an update cycle of 24-36 months as long as the system is stable.
Rating: 5 Votes
1 week ago
Given the number of issues that seem to touch an iCloud-related-dependent function, I'd suggest that not all these issues may be Catalina. Keep in mind that Apple, in a much less transparent way (is that possible?), is updating the iCloud infrastructure and software on an ongoing, virtually continuous, basis. There are so many moving parts to the OS/App/Cloud/Network entity that is getting "really complicated" to keep it all running perfectly. This all supports the notion that a one-year update cycle is just crazy. Meanwhile, Apple can't manage to update TimeMachine to support its OS migration to APFS, go figure.
Rating: 4 Votes
1 week ago


The update also includes a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the mouse cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's built-in camera.


Oh that's pretty cool. I hadn't heard of this feature. Has anyone tried this out yet and know how well it works?
Rating: 4 Votes
1 week ago
For anyone testing, please be on the lookout for AMD 5XXX series driver updates. This SHOULD be coming soon with the expected W5700X release for MP7,1.
Rating: 4 Votes
1 week ago


The underlying issue is that they have too many OS's to manage - iOS, tvOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS...


All of the more reasons to not do annual releases, they clearly can't sustain it. iOS 12/Mojave shows that they can in fact focus on stability. They just decided to do too much and lost their focus last year, that's why many iCloud features were pulled like folder sharing.

Also, all of these OSes all share the same core; iPadOS is not that different from iOS and iOS just have a different front-end to the same core that macOS is built on. They're not doing 5 separate OSes, it's all on top on the same core with multiple reused subsystems but 5 separate front ends.

In addition, they also have iCloud, app stores, services, several first-party apps, etc, drivers for their hardware, Swift, etc.

There was a rumor a few months ago saying they've decided to redo their entire software release pipeline for this year using feature flags.
Rating: 3 Votes
1 week ago
i was going to install Catalina today, then bottled out LOL.
Rating: 2 Votes
1 week ago

Apple is adding a new universal purchase option ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/02/05/ios-macos-universal-purchases/') for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.

It's about time! I'm tired of re-paying for an app on my Mac that I already have on my iPhone. That never made sense to me. After all, it's supposed to be based on the same underlying OS X coding.
Rating: 2 Votes

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