Apple Begins Warning Users That ‘Legacy System Extensions’ Won’t Work With a Future Version of macOS

Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."
System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which are a kind of system extension that works using older methods that aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives. Your Mac identifies these as legacy system extensions.
Starting in macOS 10.15.4, released this week, a warning will now appear when a kernel extension first loads, and again periodically while the extension remains in use. Users began noticing the warning during beta testing.


Apple says it began informing developers that macOS Catalina will be the last macOS to fully support kernel extensions in 2019, adding that it has been working with developers to transition their software. A final transition date has not yet been set, but some developers are assuming that kernel extensions will be deprecated in macOS 10.16.

Apps with kernel extensions will continue to work in macOS Catalina.

"By moving beyond these extensions, developers are helping to further modernize the Mac, improve its security and reliability, and enable more user-friendly software distribution methods," the support document reads.

One affected app is Malwarebytes, which said that "a significant percentage of our total support case volume" was related to the new kernel extension warning less than 24 hours after the public release of macOS 10.15.4.


Malwarebytes director Thomas Reed said Apple has a new EndpointSecurity framework as a replacement for kernel extensions:
We are aware of this, and have been working on replacing our kernel extension since late last year. We plan to replace it with Apple's new EndpointSecurity framework before the release of macOS 10.16, when it is assumed that kernel extensions will no longer work, in part or in full. (We only know that Apple has said they "will not work without compromise" in "a future version of macOS." But we'd rather not find out the hard way exactly what that means.)

The kernel extension will continue to be supported for macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and earlier, but macOS 10.15 (and later) will no longer need it, once we have an update available.

So, no need to panic. We've still got your back, and won't let your protection falter. All you've got to do is make sure you're keeping Malwarebytes for Mac up-to-date. If you have updated to at least version 4.2, and have not disabled the new auto-update feature, it'll update itself in the background without you needing to do anything. To ensure you're up-to-date, just open Malwarebytes and choose Check for Updates from the Malwarebytes menu.
Technical details for developers are available in an Apple document titled "Deprecated Kernel Extensions and System Extension Alternatives."
Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.4 With Screen Time Communication Limits and Real-Time Apple Music Lyrics

Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.4, the fourth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 comes a couple of months after the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.3.


macOS Catalina 10.15.4 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free using the Update feature in the System Preferences app.

The macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update introduces Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature that was first brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update. Communication Limits allow parents to put limits on who children can contact through FaceTime, Phone, Messages, and iCloud Contacts.

There's a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the mouse cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's camera, plus real-time lyrics are included for Apple Music. Real-time lyrics allow lyrics for a song to scroll by in real-time to the music so you can follow along with what's being sung. Apple has also added iCloud Folder Sharing, which can be done from Finder.

Though not directly related to ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms. These features will be available following the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.4 and iOS 13.4. Release notes for the update are below:
macOS Catalina 10.15.4 introduces iCloud Drive folder sharing, Screen Time communications limits, Apple Music time-synced lyrics view, and more. The update also improves the stability, reliability, and security of your Mac.

Finder
- iCloud Drive folder sharing from Finder
- Controls to limit access only to people you explicitly invite or grant access to anyone with the folder link
- Permissions to choose who can make changes and upload files and who can only view and download files

Screen Time
- Communication limits for controlling who your children can communicate with and be contacted by throughout the day and during downtime
- Playback control of music videos for your children

Music
- Time-synced lyrics view for Apple Music, including the ability to jump to your favorite part of a song by clicking a line in lyrics view

Safari
- Option to import Chrome passwords into your iCloud Keychain for easy AutoFill of your passwords in Safari and across all your devices
- Controls for duplicating a tab and for closing all tabs to the right of the current tab
- HDR playback support on compatible computers for Netflix content

App Store with Apple Arcade
- Universal Purchase support enables the use of a singular purchase of a participating app across iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV
- Recently played Arcade games appear in the Arcade tab so you can continue playing on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV

Pro Display XDR
- Customized reference modes that you can tailor to specific workflow needs by selecting from several color gamut, white point, luminance, and transfer function options

Accessibility
- Head pointer preference for moving a cursor on the screen based on the precise movements of your head

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.
- High Dynamic Range output to HDR10-compatible third-party displays and TVs connected with DisplayPort or HDMI
- OAuth authentication support with Outlook.com accounts for improved security
- CalDav migration support when upgrading to iCloud reminders on a secondary device
- Resolves an issue where text copied between apps may appear invisible when Dark Mode is active
- Fixes an issue in Safari where a CAPTCHA tile may display incorrectly
- Resolves an issue where Reminders may send notifications for completed reminders
- Fixes an issue with screen brightness for the LG UltraFine 5K display after waking from sleep
macOS Catalina 10.15.4 could be one of the last updates to the macOS Catalina operating system as Apple shifts its focus to macOS 10.16, set to be released later this year.
Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming macOS 10.15.4 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fifth beta and over a month after releasing macOS Catalina 10.15.3.


The ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.

‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 includes Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature first brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update, and it brings a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's camera.

Real-time lyrics are included in macOS 10.15.4, bringing an iOS feature introduced in iOS 13 to the Mac. Real-time lyrics allow the lyrics for a song to scroll in real-time to the music so you can follow along with what's being sung.

References to AMD processors have also been discovered in the macOS 10.15.4 beta, leading to speculation that Apple is working on AMD-based Macs, but these references could simply be for internal testing rather than evidence of an AMD Mac.

Though not directly part of ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.
Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS 10.15.4 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fourth beta and over a month after releasing macOS Catalina 10.15.3.


The ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.

‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 includes Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature first brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update, and it brings a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's camera.

Real-time lyrics are included in macOS 10.15.4, bringing an iOS feature introduced in iOS 13 to the Mac. Real-time lyrics allow the lyrics for a song to scroll in real-time to the music so you can follow along with what's being sung.

References to AMD processors have also been discovered in the macOS 10.15.4 beta, leading to speculation that Apple is working on AMD-based Macs, but these references could simply be for internal testing rather than evidence of an AMD Mac.

Though not directly part of ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.
Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS 10.15.4 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the third beta and more than a month after releasing macOS Catalina 10.15.3.


The new ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.

‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 includes Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature first brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update, and it brings a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's camera.

Real-time lyrics are included in macOS 10.15.4, bringing an iOS feature introduced in iOS 13 to the Mac. Real-time lyrics allow the lyrics for a song to scroll in real-time to the music so you can follow along with what's being sung.

References to AMD processors have also been discovered in the macOS 10.15.4 beta, leading to speculation that Apple is working on AMD-based Macs, but these references could simply be for internal testing rather than evidence of an AMD Mac.

Though not directly related to ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Apple Seeds Third Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS 10.15.4 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the second beta and a month after releasing macOS Catalina 10.15.3.

The new ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.


‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 includes Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature first brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update, and it brings a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's camera.

Real-time lyrics are included in macOS 10.15.4, bringing an iOS feature introduced in iOS 13 to the Mac. Real-time lyrics allow the lyrics for a song to scroll in real-time to the music so you can follow along with what's being sung.

References to AMD processors have also been discovered in the macOS 10.15.4 beta, leading to speculation that Apple is working on AMD-based Macs, but these references could simply be for internal testing rather than evidence of an AMD Mac.

Though not directly related to ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Beta 2 Adds Support for Real-Time Lyrics in Apple Music App

The second beta of macOS Catalina 10.15.4 was released today, and the new update introduces support for time-synced lyrics in the Apple Music app.


‌Apple Music‌ for Mac previously provided access to lyrics, but they did not scroll in real-time to the music, which is a feature that's been available on iOS since iOS 13 was released. As noted by 9to5Mac, the time-synced lyric feature addition is mentioned in the ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 release notes.

Lyrics in ‌Apple Music‌ for Mac can be accessed by playing a song and then clicking on the little speech bubble that's located at the top right of the app.

Not all songs have lyrics or time-synced lyrics, but lyric information is available for most popular titles. Songs with time-synced lyrics will feature an interface that scrolls through the lyrics as they're sung.

When real-time lyrics were introduced for ‌iOS 13‌ in September 2019, ‌Apple Music‌ lead Oliver Schusser said in an interview that Apple has a team of employees that listen to songs and transcribe the lyrics to ensure their accuracy for use in the time-synced lyrics feature rather than sourcing lyrics from a third-party provider.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Apple Seeds Second Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS 10.15.4 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the first beta and two weeks after releasing macOS Catalina 10.15.3.

The new ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta can be downloaded using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper software from the Developer Center.


‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 includes Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature first brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update, and it brings a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's camera.

References to AMD processors have also been discovered in the macOS 10.15.4 beta, leading to speculation that Apple is working on AMD-based Macs, but these references could simply be for internal testing rather than evidence of an AMD Mac.

Though not directly related to ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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Apple Seeds First Beta of Upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update to its public beta testing group, with the new public beta coming five days after the release of the first developer beta.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will be able to download the new ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ beta through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile.

Catalina
Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.

The ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.4 update introduces Screen Time Communication Limits, a feature that was brought to the iPhone in the iOS 13.3 update. Screen Time Communication Limits allow parents to limit who their children contact and when communication apps are available.

The update also includes a new Head Pointer Accessibility option that allows the mouse cursor to be controlled with head movements using the Mac's built-in camera.

References to new AMD processors were discovered in the macOS 10.15.4 beta, leading to speculation that Apple is working on AMD-based Macs, but it's not clear if these references are simply for internal testing rather than evidence of an AMD Mac.

Though not directly related to ‌‌macOS Catalina‌‌ 10.15.4, Apple is adding a new universal purchase option for macOS and iOS apps, which will allow Apple device users to purchase one app that works across multiple platforms.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

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New References to AMD Processors Discovered in macOS 10.15.4 Beta

Over the last few months, an increasing number of references to AMD processors have been uncovered in macOS Catalina code, starting with the 10.15.2 beta in November and now continuing in the 10.15.4 beta.

Given that Macs currently use Intel processors, the references are naturally prompting speculation that perhaps Apple plans to release Macs with AMD processors, but this is unconfirmed as of yet. Apple does rely on AMD for graphics in select MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models.


Many of the references contain codenames of AMD APUs such as Picasso, Raven, Renoir, and Van Gogh. APU or Accelerated Processing Unit is AMD's marketing term for a CPU and GPU on a single chip.


A few months ago, an unsubstantiated report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News claimed that Apple plans to announce a high-end gaming Mac at WWDC 2020. If there is any truth to the rumor, then it is certainly possible that the Mac could be powered by an AMD APU, but many gamers are skeptical.

It's worth noting that we haven't heard any rumors about AMD-based Macs specifically, and it is also possible the references are for internal testing only, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
Tag: AMD

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