Apple is now working on the next version of macOS, which following WWDC at the beginning of June we now know will be called macOS Monterey, but that doesn't mean that Apple's finished with Big Sur yet. Apple has just released a new update to Big Sur: Big Sur 11.5.

Work on the Big Sur 11.5 beta began towards the end of May. The six and final pre-release version of macOS Big Sur 11.5 arrived with registered developers and other beta testers on Tuesday 14 July and on Wednesday 21 July Big Sur 11.5 arrived for everyone else.

But Apple wasn't done with macOS 11.5 - a  few days later Apple issued another update! Version  11.5.1. This is a security update that closes a gap in the IOMobileFrameBuffer system component.

This gap made it possible for malware to run with kernel rights. According to Apple, the gap may already have been actively exploited. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you install the approximately 2.2GB security update via Software Update  as soon as possible.

macOS 11.5 release date

macOS 11.5 arrived on 21 July almost two months after macOS 11.4 arrived at the end of May.

What's in macOS 11.5?

There are only a few changes in macOS 11.5. This update  focuses more on bug fixes and closing security vulnerabilities:

Change include: 

Changes to the display of broadcasts in the Podcasts app (also changed in iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7).

A bug in the Music app has been fixed so that the number of plays and the date of last playback after the update are displayed correctly.

Macs with M1 chips should now cope with smart cards without any problems.

The list of vulnerabilities that have been addressed is much more extensive. There are 35 highlighted by Apple in its notes including security flaws that affected the kernel, AppKit and WebKit, CoreAudio, CoreGraphics, CoreStorage, CoreText and CoreServices as well as the sandbox.

A further update, macOS 11.5.1 (mentioned above) addresses an additional vulnerability in macOS Big Sur.

Should I install macOS 11.5.1?

It is recommended to install the update because it addresses so many vulnerabilities.

How to get the beta

If you would like to join Apple's beta program to get an insight into the new features and change that are coming read: How to become an Apple beta tester.

Before you install a beta you should be aware that beta versions usually contain a lot of bugs, so the installation is at your own risk.

If you are interested in participating in testing the new updates, you can go to the sign up for Apple's beta software programme.

Apple also runs beta programs for iPadOS, tvOS, WatchOS, and iOS.

For more information read: How to get the macOS beta.