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.

Top Rated Comments

Freida Avatar
16 months 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 :)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MikhailT Avatar
16 months 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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
katewes Avatar
16 months 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*$%&&^W#)_$(
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Max T Avatar
16 months 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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
luvbug Avatar
16 months 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
benshive Avatar
16 months 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?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...
3d printed airtag case siri remote

3D-Printed Case Lets You Attach an AirTag to Your Apple TV Remote

Monday May 10, 2021 8:11 am PDT by
Apple recently released a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, but if you have an original Siri Remote laying around that you still plan on using, you may be interested in getting an AirTag case for the remote. Etsy user PrintSpiredDesigns has capitalized on the opportunity with a new 3D printed, made-to-order AirTag case for the original Siri Remote. The remote slides into the...
airtag hacked

AirTag Successfully Hacked to Show Custom URL in Lost Mode

Monday May 10, 2021 1:52 am PDT by
The inevitable race to hack Apple's AirTag item tracker has reportedly been won by a German security researcher, who managed to break into the device's microcontroller and successfully modify its firmware. Yesss!!! After hours of trying (and bricking 2 AirTags) I managed to break into the microcontroller of the AirTag! 🥳🥳🥳/cc @colinoflynn @LennertWo pic.twitter.com/zGALc2S2Ph— stacksmashing ...
zoom app icon

Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Sunday May 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode. This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the...
tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
Top Stories 59 Feature

Top Stories: Epic Games vs. Apple, Hidden AirTag Mode, Apple Music Hi-Fi, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 8, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
While we wait for the newly introduced iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV models to launch later this month, this week saw the kickoff of the big Epic Games v. Apple trial, with lots of juicy tidbits coming out as the two sides make their arguments. This week also saw some rumors about a Hi-Fi tier for Apple Music, more biometric sensing capabilities for Apple Watch, and timing for the...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Kuo: Apple-Designed 5G Modem May Debut in iPhones as Early as 2023

Sunday May 9, 2021 10:02 pm PDT by
Apple plans to adopt its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the 2023 iPhones, meaning it'll no longer need to rely on Qualcomm to supply the 5G cellular modem for the iPhone, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple plans to include its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the launch of the 2023...
maxresdefault

Video: Make Your iPhone Last Longer With These Battery Preserving Tips

Monday May 10, 2021 1:23 pm PDT by
Maximizing battery life is something that many iPhone users deal with on a regular basis as we all want our iPhones to last as long as possible. Sometimes there are bugs in iOS that make the battery drain faster, and sometimes we just need to eke out as much as possible on a long day out and about. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, MacRumo...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...