Apple today released today:

  • macOS 11.3
  • iOS 14.5
  • iPadOS 14.5
  • tvOS 14.5
  • watchOS 7.4
  • homeOS 14.5

And because it was such a big update I decided to do a clean install on all my devices – clear off the Google cruft I had built up while I was giving Chrome one of the many second chances I tend to give Chrome in the mistaken belief that “yes, this time Google has addressed the laundry list of….nope, same problems as before”. 

The ‘delta update’ for macOS 11.3 was 5.97GB so the download size wasn’t that far off from a full install – same can be said for the download size for iOS delta update too (unfortunately on tvOS it doesn’t give the download size when you do a reset/update but I’d hazard that it would have been similarly large in size). I decided to do a full clean install which meant formatting my SSD and reinstalling it – that also updated the System Firmware version to 429. – the system firmware also includes microcode updates and given that macOS 11.2 was released a week before the latest microcode update from Intel I wouldn’t be surprised if the firmware update bundled with macOS 11.3 was the microcode dated 09/02/2021. On the iPhone the modem firmware has been updated – that’s always a good sign, improvements to the firmware, greater optimisations etc. 

Once fully installed the first thing I noticed is how smooth everything felt – the lag from opening my iPhone to put my pin in no longer occurs. Before I would wake it up and start typing only to find that 3 numbers had actually been pressed but now the phone keypad actually works responsively. On macOS 11.3 – same situation, once fully booted everything was more snappy, I installed all my usual apps such as Twitter, AdGuard for Safari, MarsEdit etc. everything was so much more smoother, applications load faster etc.

I opened up Safari and checked the version number, Safari 14.1, and went to run the HTML5test website to see what had changed – Safari had jumped from 500 to 510 points which gave me hope that maybe I could use the web based Skype rather than having to install the Skype application. I went to the Skype website and logged myself – I couldn’t believe my luck, I was able to log in and everything started to work! I don’t know what Apple and/or Microsoft did but I can now chat with my friend overseas without having to having the bloatful electron based Skype application installed. I couldn’t believe me luck when it all worked – what ever they did it certainly worked – I just hope that they need up the development and keep improving those html5test results because Safari is so much more efficient than Chrome. I hope that as Webkit improves that it is possible to use the electron kit and have it running on top of webkit instead of using Chromium which would make a huge improvement to not only macOS but also iOS and iPadOS user experience.

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