It’s new software day for Apple products, with iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4 leading the way. But Apple isn’t skipping the Apple TV or the Mac.

About the updates

After weeks of beta seeding the latest software update for tvOS 13 and macOS Catalina. Apple has finally released the new software to the public. As is par for the course for new software updates, the latest versions of Apple’s popular operating systems are free to download and install. You can find installation instructions for each platform just below.

Unlike iOS 13.4 and iPadOS 13.4, both of which saw a healthy dose of new features added to the mix, tvOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4 are minor in scale. However, the new software will certainly make some behind the scenes changes, tweaks, and other improvements to squash any bugs and boost usability in general, so you should certainly update when you get the chance.

macOS Catalina 10.15.4 does include an update to Screen Time. With the new software, the feature now comes equipped with Communication Limits as well. With this in place, parents/guardians can quickly and easily dictate who their kids can talk to throughout the day and during downtime. The new software also features real-time lyrics for Apple Music subscribers, and iCloud Drive folder sharing.

macOS Catalina 10.15.4 release notes

macOS Catalina 10.15.4 introduces iCloud Drive folder sharing, Screen Time communication limits, Apple Music time-synced lyrics view, and more. The update also improves the stability, reliability, and security of your Mac.

Finder

  • iCloud Drive folder sharing from Finder
  • Controls to limit access only to people you explicitly invite, or to grant access to anyone with the folder link
  • Permissions to choose who can make changes and upload files, and who can only view and download files

Screen Time

  • Communication limits for controlling who your children can communicate with and be contacted by throughout the day and during downtime
  • Playback control of music videos for your children

Music

  • Time-synced lyrics view for Apple Music, including the ability to jump to your favorite part of a song by clicking a line in lyrics view

Safari

  • Option to import Chrome passwords into your iCloud Keychain for easy AutoFill of your passwords in Safari and across all your devices
  • Controls for duplicating a tab and for closing all tabs to the right of the current tab
  • HDR playback support on compatible computers for Netflix content

App Store with Apple Arcade

  • Universal Purchase support enables the use of a singular purchase of a participating app across iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV

Pro Display XDR

  • Customized reference modes that you can tailor to specific workflow needs by selecting from several color gamut, white point, luminance and transfer function options

Accessibility

  • Head pointer preference for moving a cursor on the screen based on the precise movements of your head

Bug fixes

  • High Dynamic Range output to HDR10-compatible third-party displays and TVs connected with DisplayPort or HDMI
  • OAuth authentication support with Outlook.com accounts for improved security
  • CalDav migration support when upgrading to iCloud reminders on a secondary device
  • Addresses an issue where text copied between apps may appear invisible when Dark Mode is active
  • Resolves an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
  • Fixes an issue where you may receive notifications for updated or completed reminders
  • Fixes an issue with screen brightness for the LG UltraFine 5K display after waking from sleep

Enterprise content

  • Apple Push Notification Service traffic now uses a web proxy when specified in a PAC file
  • Resolves an issue where updating the login keychain password after resetting a user password would cause a new keychain to be created
  • After enabling ”Search directory services for certificates” in Keychain Access preferences, searching by email address in Keychain Access or Mail now locates a user certificate stored in directory services
  • When setting the DisableFDEAutoLogin key in com.apple.loginwindow, you can now sync your FileVault password with the Active Directory user password after updating the user password
  • Reinstates the ability to update or restore iOS, iPadOS, or tvOS devices by dragging .ipsw files to the device in an Apple Configurator 2 window
  • Addresses an issue where sending the EraseDevice MDM command might not cause the device to be erased
  • When logging in as an Active Directory user after using deferred FileVault enablement, the user is now prompted for their password to enable FileVault
  • Some features may not be available for all regions, or on all Apple devices.

tvOS 13.4 release notes

Apple’s release notes for the tvOS 13.4 update don’t mention any new outward-facing user features. “This update includes general performance and stability improvements” is all that’s in the tvOS 13.4 changelog.

Automatic updates

macOS Catalina 10.15.4 and tvOS 13.4 are now available to download and install.

Each of the platforms feature the ability to handle software updates automatically, and in the background, so you don’t have to manually update on your own. For Apple TV owners you can turn this feature on by heading into the Settings app –> System –> Software Updates and then switching on Automatically Update. With this activated, the Apple TV will update on its own.

The same process is available for macOS Catalina. For macOS Catalina users, open System Preferences –> Software Update and then choose the “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” option near the bottom of the panel.

Automatic updates can make it easy to stay up-to-date with the latest software, but the installation process will happen on its own, which does take some of the control out of the user’s hands. So if you prefer a manual process, we’ve got you covered.

Updating manually

If you prefer to go the manual route and handle the updating process directly, here’s what to do for each.

macOS Catalina 10.15.4

  • Open System Preferences
  • Choose Software Update
  • Follow on the onscreen instructions to download and install the new software

Updating macOS usually takes some time, and it can require several different restarts during the process. With that in mind, make sure you carve out plenty of time to update before you get started.

tvOS 13.4

  • Open the Settings app
  • Choose System
  • Select Software Update
  • Follow the instructions to finalize the installation and download the new software

Your Apple TV will download the new software first and then go through with the installation process. The set-top box will more than likely restart at least one time during the process, including one final restart before the Apple TV boots back up with the new software successfully installed.

So, there you have it. The latest versions of Apple’s other popular operating systems. Are you already updating your equipment, or do you typically wait a little while after the new software arrives before you update, just in case?