Apple releases macOS 11.3 Big Sur and tvOS 14.5

Along with releasing the latest updates for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7, Apple has also released the next major update to macOS 11 and tvOS 14.

Apple on Monday released macOS 11.3 Big Sur and tvOS 14.5 to the public. These new software updates are available now, for free, and should be accessible shortly, if they aren’t already. These new updates aren’t as wide ranging as far as new features are concerned, not compared to the iOS 14.5 update anyway, but there are some new additions in the mix.

To update to macOS 11.3 Big Sur, users need to open the System Preferences app –> Software Update and follow the onscreen instructions. If you have Automatic Updates turned on, your computer will update automatically overnight.

Apple's promotional image for the macOS Big Sur software update for Mac computers

The new macOS 11.3 Big Sur features

There aren’t a lot, but there are some worthwhile features.

  • New sorting options in the stock Reminders app
  • Set stereo HomePods as the default audio output opion
  • Support for Sony’s PlayStation 5 DualSense controller and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X|S controllers
  • There is new warranty information in the About This Mac element
  • Apple Music now supports autoplay

Apple patches malware exploit

As is sometimes the case, Apple uses these software updates as a means to patch any potential security issues that might be out there. In some cases, an issue may have existed for months before Apple patched it, and that appears to be the case with this release.

As noted by TechCrunch, Apple has patched an existing malware that allowed some nefarious individuals to build a malicious app that looks like a “harmless document”. Once opened, that software could then bypass the built-in defenses Apple has installed in macOS.

From the report:

All the user would need to do is double click — and no macOS prompts or warnings are generated,’ he told TechCrunch. Owens built a proof-of-concept app disguised as a harmless document that exploits the bug to launch the Calculator app, a way of demonstrating that the bug works without dropping malware. But a malicious attacker could exploit this vulnerability to remotely access a user’s sensitive data simply by tricking a victim into opening a spoofed document, he explained.

It was a potential issue to be sure, even if it wasn’t widespread. However, Apple has indeed patched the issue with this latest release.

New tvOS 14.5 features

  • The new Color Balance feature is now available, for the Apple TV 4K (both current and new models) and the Apple TV HD. Within Settings app, locate the Calibration section and choose “Color Balance”. This feature uses the iPhone’s front facing camera to tune the TV’s color and saturation to meet “standard specifications” used by cinematographers.
  • The Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD now support Sony’s PlayStation 5 DualSense controller and Microsoft’s Xbox Series S|X controllers.

The new software updates are available now.