Mac customers have been painfully aware that the Bluetooth protocol is a bag of hurt. Various unreliability issues that have been plaguing owners of the new M1 Mac computers only exacerbate the underlying problem. But Apple may be fixing unreliable Bluetooth connections on Apple silicon Macs with the upcoming release of the macOS Big Sur 11.2 software update.
A magical fix or another disappointment?
M1 Mac owners won’t have to wait long because Apple just yesterday released a prerelease version (RC) of what would become the macOS Big Sur 11.2 update to developers and public beta testers. According to the company’s own release notes accompanying the forthcoming update, it would appear that macOS Big Sur 11.2 “improves Bluetooth reliability.”
As we reported recently, M1 Mac owners have been hit with Bluetooth issues ranging from intermittent disconnects to non-functional Bluetooth peripherals. This must be particularly annoying to M1 Mac mini owners who use wireless peripherals to free up available ports.
Other fixes in macOS Big Sur 11.2
Apple says that the update, aside from improving Bluetooth reliability, also fixes these issues:
- External displays may show a black screen when connected to a Mac mini (M1, 2020) using an HDMI to DVI converter
- Edits to Apple ProRAW photos in the Photos app may not save
- iCloud Drive could turn off after disabling the iCloud Drive Desktop & Documents Folders option
- System Preferences may not unlock when entering your administrator password
- Globe key may not display the Emoji & Symbols pane when pressed
As for iOS, the iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates bring the option to classify Bluetooth device type in Settings for correct identification of headphones for audio notifications. This marks the first time such a handy feature has been implemented on the iPhone and iPad. Given the problems that iOS device owners have been reporting with Bluetooth accessories for years now, this should help common audio issues with certain Bluetooth headsets and headphones.
Bluetooth: A bag of hurt
The update should release publicly next week, at which point it will show up in System Preferences → Software Update. Whether or not it will resolve the problem that M1 Macs have had with Bluetooth devices is an entirely different question. As said before, Bluetooth as a wireless protocol is ubiquitous but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of reliability.
Image credit: Apple