OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 is out with full Live Photos sharing, password-protected Notes and more

By , Mar 21, 2016

OS X El Capitan Messages Live Photos Mac screenshot 001

After spending more than two months in beta, OS X 10.11.4, a fourth major update to OS X El Capitan, today released for public consumption. The software update is now available and recommended for all OS X El Capitan users.

Even though it comes with a few noticeable outward-facing changes, OS X 10.11.4 does pack in some newsworthy improvements—namely in stock Messages, Notes and Photos apps. Full sharing of Live Photos via iMessages has been implemented throughout the system, too. Like other major OS X releases, 10.11.4 includes a handful of under-the-hood changes and tons of bug fixes and performance optimizations.

But first, make sure to check out Andrew’s nicely done hands-on video to see all the new features in the OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan software update.

Share your Live Photos like a pro

OS X 10.11.4 enables viewing and sharing of Live Photos shot on the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus through Apple’s iMessage service, within the Messages app itself and through OS X’s multi-purpose Share menu in Photos and other apps.

OS X El Capitan Photos Live Photos share menu Mac screenshot 001

Before today, Mac users were presented with the still image in Messages, sans the moving part. Furthermore, users could only access full Live Photos through Photos for Mac, which limited sharing to iCloud Photo Sharing.

OS X El Capitan Photos Live Photos share menu Mac screenshot 002

In OS X 10.11.4, users can share full Live Photos via iMessage without losing their audio and video parts by selecting Messages in Photos’ Share menu. In Messages, a Live Photo can be seen in action after clicking the Live Photo icon.

Live Photos are supported in OS X’s built-in Quick Look feature, too.

OS X El Capitan Quick Look Live Photos Mac screenshot 001

Now when you select a Live Photo file in the Finder, Photos or Messages and then press Space, you’ll see a new Live Photo button in the lower left corner of the preview window, which lets you view the Live Photo in action.

While sharing via the Share menu preserves a Live Photo in its entirety, dragging it out from the Photos or Messages window splits your Live Photo out into two files: one for the still image part and the other for the video part.

Protect your notes from prying eyes

Apple’s note-taking app can now be protected with a custom passcode to prevent others from opening, viewing and editing notes that the user has locked. Protected notes are only visible on Macs running OS X 10.11.4 or later.

OS X El Capitan Notes password protection Mac screenshot 001

Accessing password-protected notes on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices requires iOS 9.3 or later. Otherwise, password-protected notes will not appear on older iOS and OS X platforms. iOS users can also protect their notes with fingerprint-based Touch ID.

OS X El Capitan Notes password protection Mac screenshot 002

In addition to elevated security, Notes in OS X 10.11.4 sneaks in a new ‘Import Note’ function for importing Evernote notes in the proprietary .ENEX file format, as well as plain text (.TXT) data and richly formatted (.RTF) files.

OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan Notes import Mac screenshot 001

At the same time, a new backend structure keeps your notes in perfect sync across devices via iCloud instead through the unreliable IMAP protocol, like before.

A message to Verizon fans: Wi-Fi Calling

This release of El Capitan includes support for the Wi-Fi Calling feature for Verizon customers. People who are on the Verizon network and run OS X 10.11.4 on their Mac can now place and receive phone calls through Verizon via a Wi-Fi network.

Safari handles ‘t.co’ links and other tidbits

Aside from new feature additions, OS X 10.11.4 packs in a bunch of under-the-hood tweaks and compatibility improvements across stock apps like iBooks, Messages, Notes and Photos. Moreover, frustrated users who were plagued with errors trying to open Twitter’s shortened “t.co” links in Safari will be delighted to know that OS X 10.11.4 a includes a fix for that issue.

Safari broken Twitter links

A “Safari can’t open the page because the server where this page is located is not responding” error should no longer show after clicking a “t.co” Twitter link with the secure HTTPS protocol in Safari and third-party apps like Tweetbot.

And last but not least, this software update improves the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac, as per Apple’s release notes.

OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 release notes

As provided by Apple:

The OS X El Capitan v10.11.4 Update improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, and is recommended for all users.

  • Adds the ability to passcode-protect notes containing personal data in Notes
  • Adds the ability to sort notes alphabetically, by date created, or date modified in Notes
  • Adds the ability to import Evernote files into Notes
  • Adds support for sharing Live Photos between iOS and OS X via AirDrop and Messages
  • Addresses an issue that may cause RAW images to open slowly in Photos
  • Adds the ability for iBooks to store PDFs in iCloud, making them available across all your devices
  • Fixes an issue that prevented loading Twitter t.co links in Safari
  • Prevents JavaScript dialogs from blocking access to other webpages in Safari
  • Fixes an issue that prevented the VIPs mailbox from working with Gmail accounts
  • Fixes an issue that caused USB audio devices to disconnect
  • Improves the compatibility and reliability of Apple USB-C Multiport Adapters

Enterprise content:

  • Fixes an issue that could cause a black screen after logging in as the root user
  • Fixes an issue that prevents using screen sharing to remotely click the Allow button or Always Allow button in Keychain Access
  • Fixes an issue that prevents Migration Assistant from opening when automatic login has been disabled using a configuration profile
  • Fixes an issue that prevents Mail from showing the date and time of certain Microsoft Exchange calendar events
  • Provides compatibility with the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client
  • Improves the reliability of connecting to a Personal Hotspot via Wi-Fi

Availability of OS X El Capitan 10.11.4

As mentioned, the OS X 10.11.4 software update is available on all Intel-based Macs that are compatible with El Capitan. To apply the update, open the Mac App Store and click the Updates tab, or use the search field to find the latest El Capitan version.

You can also get this update from the Apple Support Downloads website. For detailed information about the security content of this update, see Apple Security Updates.

If the update won’t show up yet, give it a few hours as new software typically takes some time to propagate. It’s a good idea to back up up your Mac before updating, especially if you use third-party OS X modifications.

The new El Capitan software is also available at iDownloadBlog.com/download.

Who’s updating to 10.11.4?

So, what do you think about 10.11.4 and what’s your favorite feature thus far? And, will you be installing this update anytime soon, do you think?

Sound off in the comment section.

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  • nyangejr

    How many GB?

    • Scotow

      1.44GB on 5k iMac.

  • Burge

    Doing it now. 1.44Gb on MacBook Air.

  • Wraith

    I hope fix airdrop and localization problems that I have since the first upgrade to El Capitan.

    • Kevin

      AirDrop has been good for me the past 5 months surprisingly. I use it all the time to transfer my edited DSLR photos to my iPhone

      • Wraith

        Recently I downgraded back to Yosemite and airdrop and localization are working again all the time, so for me theres a software issue with El capitan, some user experiences this with airdrop, localizacion or wireless, and all the 3 services depend on wireless card so for me this is a clear issue with software, I’m guessing that some Mac models have a driver issue with Os X 10.11.-

  • philip Mills

    love the new update

  • Sailor_V90

    Is anyone else having issues with their iMac’s Wi-Fi when waking from sleep? Every time my iMac wakes from sleep I have to turn the Wi-Fi on and off to get it to work. Any ideas?

    • Timothy

      Have you updated to 10.11.3? That fixed the source of the problem in most cases.

  • Topskittler

    I’ve just had this warning from my Mac expert!

    The update to 10.11.4. It’s causing an immediate kernel panic after installation on machines of a certain vintage: Mid-2010, Mid-2011 iMacs and Late-2012 Mac mini. I’ve also read reports of the same thing happening on other machines.

    The actual cause seems to be a process called launchd receiving an immediate instruction to quit (sigkill) at system startup. Without launchd running all the time, no other process can ever be started.

    For the curious, launchd is the second process, after kernel_task, to be invoked after boot and system initialisation. Kernel_task itself starts launchd which is then responsible for running every other process in the correct context. Without launchd, the Mac is a paperweight!

    Nothing runs without launchd’s say-so. In the present scenario launchd is starting but something is telling launchd to immediately quit, whereupon it sulks, takes its ball home and won’tI know most of you will know this anyway, but it’s for those who don’t!