Apple releases MacOS Sonoma 14.4 with a whopping 64 bug fixes

The latest version adds podcast transcripts and new emojis, though it's the array of security patches that makes this a mandatory update.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
MacBook Pro

Apple has kicked off the latest update to MacOS Sonoma with a few new features. But it's the sheer number of bug fixes that makes this one stand out and reason enough for Mac users to update their systems.

Released on Thursday, MacOS Sonoma 14.4 carries with it three of the same features that landed on iPhones and iPads via iOS/iPadOS 17.4 earlier this week.

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One new feature lets you read a transcript of a podcast episode separately or as you listen to it. Within the text of the transcript, you can search for specific words and phrases, jump ahead or back, and tweak the text size and contrast.

Another feature unveils new emoji for those of you who like to flavor your texts. You'll find emojis for a mushroom, a phoenix, a lime, a broken chain, and shaking heads. Plus, you can maneuver 18 different people and body emojis to place them in a different direction.

And with the third feature, the Apple Messages for Business service will now offer details on order status, flight notifications, fraud alerts, and other transactions.

Now, how about those bug fixes?

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Included among the 64 recorded security patches are ones focused on flaws in such apps as Messages, Music, Notes, Photos, Safari, Shortcuts, Siri, and Apple TV. You'll also find fixes for Bluetooth, the Image Capture tool, the Dock, an Intel graphics driver, the ColorSync utility, and even Apple's old and discontinued Airport routers.

Among all the vulnerabilities revealed, two may have been actively exploited, according to Apple. Both point to flaws with memory corruption affecting the MacOS kernel, which controls the computer's hardware and software functions and resources.

Specifically, Apple said that a hacker with arbitrary kernel read and write capability might have been able to bypass kernel memory protections. This means they could have modified any part of the kernel's memory in an attempt to compromise data or perform other nasty tricks.

To update your Mac with this latest version, click the Apple icon and select System Settings. Under Settings, head to General, select Software Update, and then click the Update Now button.

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The updates for iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS aren't the only ones keeping Apple and its users busy this week. On Thursday, the company also rolled out new versions of WatchOS, tvOS, HomePod OS, and VisionOS.

Updating your Apple Watch to WatchOS 10.4 adds a few new features and some 24 bug fixes. One new feature affects the setting for Show Full Notification in that you can now double-tap to expand a particular notification. Another feature requires a passcode when you confirm an Apple Pay transaction using the AssistiveTouch option.

One fix resolves a problem experienced by some people in which false touches were activated on the watch display. Another patch clears up an issue that stopped contacts from syncing to the watch for some users.

Otherwise, the update for tvOS 17.4 provides performance and stability improvements. With HomePod OS 17.4, Siri now is able to learn your preferred media service so you no longer need to specify it by name when issuing a request. And as the first major update for Apple's Vision Pro, VisionOS 1.1 adds a slew of new and improved features, including one that lets IT people administer the headset throughout an organization.

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