Apple Releases macOS 14.4, watchOS 10.4, tvOS 17.4, HomePod Software 17.4, and visionOS 1.1

Originally published at: Apple Releases macOS 14.4, watchOS 10.4, tvOS 17.4, HomePod Software 17.4, and visionOS 1.1 - TidBITS

After the release of iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 earlier in the week, there was little question that Apple would soon push out updates to the rest of its operating systems. That has now happened, and we recommend updating quickly to protect against several zero-day vulnerabilities.

I encountered an issue on my MacBookPro after upgrading to 14.4.I discovered that the TripMode app (used to monitor and restrict WifFi connections) tripped up AppleID services, email, and Safari but not other web browsers. So, if you run TripMode (it’s now an App Store app), disable it until it is updated for MacOS 14.4.

Note: I worked with Apple Support to diagnose the issue.

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I’m bemused by Apple’s description of the update.

The first ‘feature’ mentioned is new emojis whilst Security updates are the last thing mentioned (with no clarifications). Great to know we now have shaking emojis and 18 emojis which can look opposite directions. Good grief.

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Icons only in Safari’s bookmarks bar? I used to send feedback regularly asking for this, and it was the main reason why Firefox became my default browser. You can fit more in and recognise and click on the desired favicon much more quickly than you can by reading a text name.
Now if only they would bring extensions back I might try going back to Safari, but not otherwise.

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I am always cautious about Homepod updates as I have some OG Homepods and Apple’s record is not great for trouble-free updates. So I like to update them one (pair) at a time.
I therefore find it irritating that choosing to update one causes them all to update. I am currently waiting for them all to download, which has slowed my internet connection.
It looks like the only way to stop these simultaneous updates is to unplug some of the Homepods!

There is a little update that improves the TV+ experience. It is now possible to turn off autoplay of next episodes or trailers. This can be found in the app settings in the new releases of tvOS, iOS and iPadOS. (I haven’t upgraded macOS yet.)

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Something odd happened to me today - it’s never happened before so I’m beginning to suspect the various OS updates.

My phone (14 pro) rang and by extension my watch also rang. I answered the phone and started chatting to the caller. 10 or 15 seconds later and my watch is still ‘ringing’ on the same call. Even the caller said to me “do you have another call coming in?”.

I “answered” the call on the watch (it’s from the same caller I’m already talking to) as it was the only way to stop it ringing. Very weird and something I’ve never experienced before.

Has anyone else seen odd behaviour with their phone/watch calls since updating?

Yes - phone and iPad, but similar

On my Intel iMac, I no longer have sound in Safari, but works in other apps. Makes YouTube rather boring.

Found it. Seems to have randomly muted that tab. If I had less tabs then it would have appeared in the tab bar as muted.

I’ve noticed that watchOS 10.4 has changed the appearance of the timer app. Since 10.0 through 10.3, timers were listed like this: 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 1:00:00, etc. Now they are listed a little more explicitly: 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 1 hour.

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Thanks for posting this. I updated tvOS last night after reading this just to be able to turn autoplay off.

Not a biggie, but I preferred the all numeric timer display.

Also, if you display your apps in a list, single tapping the crown now remembers your last position in the list rather than always displaying the top of the list. This is convenient if you commonly access apps that start with letters other than ‘a’ and ‘b’.

I haven’t updated, but I experience this with an Intel iMac and and an iPhone in one location and an M1 Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad (in varying combinations of what rings at all and what keeps ringing) in another location.

After updating to macOS 14.4 it seems the background color of the Weather app (and its associated widget) is a much paler blue than before. The lack of contrast between background and text colors is making it a lot harder to read.

Weather’s background color is determined by the weather. And time of day. Mine is black right now because it’s 9pm here and sunset was 7:13pm.

Wow. How did I not notice that before? Apparently we were having a particularly hazy shade of winter at the moment I noticed what I thought was an update-related anomaly. Today we’re back to deep blues skies, and the Weather widget background color is similarly colored.

A few strange things have happened to an Intel MBP 15" after installing Sonoma 14.4:

  1. Printer sharing was turned off, but File Sharing remained on.
  2. The screensaver was changed to a blank light green colour. I changed it back to ‘California Dolphin pod’ which duly downloaded, but even after I still get a blank green screen on activation. Tried the ‘Alaskan Jellies’ instead and I get the same. If I switch to "Flurries’ it works. Restarted it and the dolphins are back!
  3. After each restart, the open tab in Vivaldi shows in my dock on my M2 MBA as an extra Firefox icon. If I click on it the site opens in Firefox, and on closing it the extra dock icon goes away.

Not quite sure what you mean here. Safari supports extensions and I have several running.

Am I misunderstanding your comment?

I’m referring to the old style extensions that did not require a background app from the app store. The wonderful and useful additions like uBlock Origin that make the web usable. I have installed 1Blocker, Wipr, KaBlock! and ABP into Safari as is, and don’t achieve the same effect as uBO alone in Safari or Vivaldi.

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