With the latest update to macOS 10.15.4, Apple is closing in on cloud providers such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Folders in iCloud Drive can now be shared with others from the Finder.
Contrary to what the version number suggests, macOS 10.15.4 brings some new features that can hardly be called minor improvements. In particular, the ability to share files and folders from iCloud Drive and the Finder with others makes work in distributed teams significantly easier.
Finally: Apple allows sharing of entire folders
Apple is finally joining Dropbox, Google Drive and Box, which have been offering this option for some time. Previously, Mac users had to switch to their iCloud Drive web app to send invitations. Only individual files could be shared, but not entire folders.
All other administrative functions were also only available via iCloud.com. macOS 10.15.4 offers a real comfort boost. Very persistent contemporaries will be happy that the new folder sharing function can also be used via the web app.
Parents can set communication limits for their kids
Of particular interest to parents is the longer announced and now available option to set communication limits for the screen time. This enables further differentiation within the available time budget. For example, parents can specify who, when and how long their children can chat with. The display of music videos can also be limited.
Singers get karaoke function
Karaoke fans will be happy about the new possibility to display a synchronized lyrics view in Apple Music. Conversely, you can jump directly to the corresponding point in the song by clicking on a line of text.
Mouse control with head movement
The new head tracking represents a rather experimental functionality. It enables the mouse pointer to be controlled with the head instead of the mouse or trackpad. The integrated webcam of your Mac continuously records your head and guides the mouse pointer in sync with your movements.
Apple provides various options to trigger clicks. For example, you can define a facial expression as a click trigger. Voice input is also supported.
Buy once, use on all devices
Apple introduces the so-called universal purchase function in the app version of the new version. This initially allows developers to offer their apps for iOS 13.4, iPadOS 13.4, macOS and Apple TV as a package. The user then buys this package and can use the apps equally on all platforms.
In the Apple Arcade gaming flat rate, a new tab will in future show which games the user has played and where. A seamless continuation on the Mac is possible with just one click.
Safari is getting stricter
Apple has added new features to the Safari browser in macOS 10.15.4, which we have already reported on here. For those switching from Chrome, the option of transferring passwords from the Google browser to the iCloud keychain should also be interesting.
MacOS Mojave and High Sierra users can retrofit the updated Safari browser as a standalone download.
In addition to the new features, Apple has always fixed bugs, including over 20 security-related bugs, some of which could be exploited remotely.
To initiate the update, click on the apple logo in the top left of the menu bar. You select the system settings from the drop-down menu. There you choose software update to update your operating system.
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