On the 26th of May this year, Apple officially released its latest update for MacOS Catalina – MacOS Catalina 10.15.5. This OS update primarily focuses on security updates as well as on battery life improvements.
The release of 10.15.5 comes as a surprise considering its date was so close to the Virtual WWDC, that would take place later in June, which is when it is expected for the MacOS 10.16 to be announced.
Another surprise from Apple that came two days ago (on the 2nd of June) is the beta release of yet another update for Catalina – 10.15.6, which would be available for downloading to beta testers and developers. All in all, it seems that Apple is not yet done with Catalina.
During the upcoming Virtual WWDC, it is expected that more information will be revealed about the new features that 10.15.6 will bring. However, it’s also possible that this update will be mostly focused on allowing MacOS to run ARM processors that will soon be included on Mac platforms.
MacOS Catalina 10.15.5 issues
Some time after 10.15.5 got released, Mac users have started reporting issues with installing the latest update on their computers. Among the reported problems are very long installation times for the update, screen flashes, and frequent system crashes after the update gets installed.
If you are a Mac user that has not yet updated to Catalina 10.15.5, we strongly advise you to back up your Mac before trying to install the new update. This should be a general rule of thumb whenever a new update comes up but, in the current case, it is even more important to not forget this simple, yet extremely important, precaution measure. If you don’t back up, you risk losing important data after you install the update if the installation doesn’t go smoothly and causes any of the aforementioned issues.
Addressing security issues
The changes introduced to the kernel with the Catalina 10.15.5 update are also available to High Sierra 10.13.6, which is to suggest that there may have been a more serious underlying issue that expands beyond Catalina. It’s also possible that a significant MacOS exploit has been detected by Apple and now is being patched out by the latest update.
Some speculate that the security changes coming with the new patch are there to address the flaw related to the “Sign in with Apple” feature.
Other changes on MacOS Catalina 10.15.5
One of the main other changes that comes with Catalina 10.15.5 is a battery health feature that is supposed to improve the battery life by monitoring the way the battery is used and charged, figuring out common battery use patterns, and then controlling the charging of the battery based on the collected usage info. For example, if the batter is almost fully charged, this feature may prevent it from charging any further as it is generally not good for the battery to charge it up to 100% and keep it at that level. Of course, users will be given the option to choose whether or not they wish to keep this feature enabled. You could turn it on and off by going to System Preferences > Battery Saver and adjusting the options there.