Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021, 08:36 Mac: Software

Updates To macOS Big Sur (11.2.1), Catalina, & Mojave

macOS 11.2.1 was just released. It's just a small update, as suggested by the .1 addition to "macOS version 11.2". Coming one week after the release of the former most recent update to Big Sur, 11.2.1 targets bugs and issues encountered by specific hardware. The update's description states that the update is intended to fix issues on the 2016-17 MacBook Pros (the first MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar and its 2017 successor). The release notes specify the fix to a major bug that impeded battery charging.

No Further Information Disclosed
Other than the information from the aforementioned release notes, Apple's remained pretty silent on the update. Given that Cupertino has been known to under exaggerate software and hardware problems with the use of phrases such as "some" or "in very rare cases" – and the fact that this update comes only a week after the first major update to macOS Big Sur in 2021 – it's likely that these bugs (that have now been fixed) arose from changes made to the OS by the last update – and did occur quite frequently. The 2.4-3.5GB update can be downloaded as normal with Software Update in the System Settings.

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The new update is also available for devices unaffected by the battery charging bug. The reason for this is quite simply because macOS 11.2.1 also contains security improvements detailed here. Next to macOS 11.2.1, updates to older versions of macOS were released in the form of a "Supplemental Update" (Catalina 10.15.7) and "Security Update 2021-002" (Mojave 10.14.6).

Effects Of The Charging Issue
According to comments on support forums, the issue with charging in macOS 11.2 for affected devices was as follows: The charger was indeed in use and capable of supplying power but devices simply did not start charging. Other users also reported that the battery indicator suddenly switched to 0% and that the machine would suddenly deactivate – then, after plugging the device back into the charger, the computer jumped back up to 100% and work flawlessly. It's unclear as to whether or not every MacBook Pro released between 2016 and 2017 was affected or only a specific batch of computers from each year.

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