This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2015-12-08 at 2:44 p.m.
The permanent URL for this article is: http://tidbits.com/article/16135
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OS X 10.11.2 Focuses on Improving Reliability and Security

by Josh Centers

Apple has released OS X El Capitan Update 10.11.2 [1] with a number of reliability improvements. You can install the update via Software Update, or via either a 1.4 GB delta updater [2] or a 1.4 GB combo updater [3] available as standalone downloads. Also available via Software Update is OS X El Capitan Recovery Update 1.0, which presumably updates the OS X Recovery partition and tools; Apple recommends it for all users of El Capitan.

Apple claims that 10.11.2 improves the reliability of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as that of Handoff and AirDrop. This is all good news. Although we’ve had no issues with Wi-Fi in El Capitan, Bluetooth is universally flaky and any improvements will be welcome. With both Handoff and AirDrop, improvements in reliability might increase usage — with AirDrop in particular, we don’t think to use it because it works so sporadically.

The 10.11.2 update fixes two issues in Mail: one that prevented Mail from deleting messages in an offline Exchange account and another that prevented Mail from “completing the upgrade,” presumably from a previous version, although Apple doesn’t explain further. Apple’s release notes also say that the update addresses an issue that prevented users from signing into FaceTime and Messages.

Photos gets some attention in 10.11.2 as well, with changes that fix a bug that prevented importing photos from an iPhone via USB and improve the sharing of Live Photos via iCloud Photo Sharing.

For enterprise users, 10.11.2 addresses “an issue where reinstalling a configuration profile containing a certificate payload causes the certificates to be removed instead of updated” and “an issue that caused multiple authentication prompts in Safari when using NTLM authentication.” The update also allows for deferred enablement when using fdesetup to enable FileVault on mobile accounts.

On the security side, 10.11.2 rolls in 39 security fixes [4], none of which are out of the ordinary.

Unless you’ve been experiencing problems with something that 10.11.2 explicitly addresses, we advise waiting a few days before updating in case any issues crop up. However, in our testing so far, the update seems to be stable and hasn’t introduced any new problems, and given the number of security fixes, you will want to install it relatively soon. Regardless, make sure you have a good backup before updating.

[1]: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205579
[2]: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1849
[3]: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1850
[4]: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205637