Apple has released macOS 12 Monterey, iOS and iPadOS 15.1, watchOS 8.1, and tvOS 15.1. Monterey is the new version of the Mac operating system announced last June at WWDC. For the other operating systems, this is the first major update after the release which took place last September.
How To Install
All updates are available, both in OTA (Over The Air) mode from Software Update in Settings on iPhone and iPad, and through iTunes. To download it is necessary to be connected to a Wi-Fi network and it is advisable to have at least 50% of residual charge or better, to keep the device connected to the mains during the update. On iPhones and iPad Pro with 5G connectivity, it is also possible to download updates via the cellular network after having previously activated the ability to do so via network settings.
The update to watchOS 8.1 for Apple Watch requires connection to the charger and autonomy of at least 50%. To proceed with the update it is necessary to download it via the Software Update section in the General menu of the Watch application. The tvOS update will be done automatically as soon as it is made available on the servers unless manual mode has been selected in the settings. Monterey can be downloaded and installed directly from the appropriate menu in the system settings.
iOS 15 has brought many features focused more on communication. Apple has intervened with an important update that now allows FaceTime and Messages to have even more possibilities of sharing in real-time, even with those who do not use Apple products, thanks to the SharePlay function that finally arrives with this new version 15.1 of iOS.
SharePlay had been announced as part of iOS and iPadOS 15 however, during the beta testing phase, Apple had decided to remove it to continue optimizing it in order to make it available free of bugs. SharePlay wasn’t the only missed feature with the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.
There is also the Apple ProRes format for videos captured with iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, as well as a toggle to exclude the automatic macro function. One minute of 10-bit ProRes HDR video equals approximately 1.7GB in HD and 6GB in 4K. ProRes functionality is supported up to 30fps in 4K and up to 60fps at 1080p. Another novelty in iOS 15.1 is related to the Green Pass: in practice, it is possible to add your vaccination status to the Wallet once loaded through the Health app.
- SharePlay is a new way to share FaceTime-synced experiences with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, and other supported apps from the App Store.
- Shared controls allow all participants to pause, start playback, rewind, and fast-forward.
- Smart volume automatically lowers the sound of a movie, TV show or song when one of your friend’s talks.
- Apple TV supports the option to watch the shared video on a larger screen while continuing the FaceTime call on the iPhone.
- Screen sharing allows all FaceTime call participants to view photos, browse the web, or help each other during activity.
- Video recording in ProRes format with iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
- Setting to disable automatic camera switching when taking photos and videos in macro mode on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
- Support for COVID-19 vaccine cards allows you to add and show verifiable vaccination data from Apple Wallet.
- Support for Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) in the Translate app and system-wide translation.
- New automation activation options based on current measurements of humidity, air quality and brightness sensors compatible with HomeKit.
- New preset actions to superimpose text on images or GIFs.
This release also fixes the following issues:
- The Photos app could incorrectly indicate that the storage space was full when importing photos and videos.
- The Weather app may not show the current temperature for “My Location” and display the animated wallpaper colors incorrectly.
- Audio playing from an app could pause when the screen was locked.
- The wallet could unexpectedly close if using VoiceOver with multiple tickets.
- Available Wi-Fi networks might not be detected.
- Updated battery algorithms on iPhone 12 models for a more accurate estimate of battery life over time.
macOS Monterey is designed to make the most of the full power of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Development technologies like Metal allow apps to take full advantage of new chips, and optimizations in Core ML harness the power of the Neural Engine to run machine learning models even faster.
Safari comes with an important update: a simplified tab bar and effective tab organization with Tab Groups; Quick Commands arrive on the Mac allowing you to automate various daily activities, while the Concentration function helps you focus by reducing sources of distraction. macOS Monterey is compatible with the largest number of Mac models ever, including the new iMacs, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini, as well as Intel-based Macs.
As announced by Apple, the new operating system is launched without one of the most anticipated features among those announced at the last WWDC, namely Universal Control. The function, also absent from the beta program still in progress, allows you to control Mac and iPad with the same set of mouse and keyboard, switching from one device to another seamlessly.
At the moment it is not clear when it will be integrated, given that the indications on the official website suggest a generic later in autumn, for which a different reference to the one adopted for other functions postponed to autumn, such as SharePlay, is used. It, therefore, seems that Universal Control will arrive later, so we can imagine that we will have to wait a long time before we can try it for ourselves.
With Monterey, Macs can now be used as an AirPlay destination. and the Commands arrive too. Automator is still supported, but Apple has made it clear beyond reasonable doubt that it’s destined for retirement. This will be a multi-year transition.
- Spatial audio makes voices hear as if they are coming from the direction of an on-screen speaker during a Group FaceTime call
- Voice Isolation blocks out background noise so your voice is crystal clear
- Wide Spectrum brings every sound into your space in the call
- Portrait mode focuses on you by blurring the background on Mac computers with the M1 chip
- The grid view shows people in squares of the same size and highlights who is speaking
- FaceTime links to invite friends to calls on Apple, Android or Windows devices
- Shared With You displays content shared in Messages in your Mac apps
- New section Shared with you in Photos, Safari, News, Podcasts and in the TV app
- Multiple photos appear as collages or stacks in Messages
- Tab groups help you save and organize your tabs and sync them across all devices
- Intelligent Tracking Prevention prevents trackers from seeing your IP address
- The compact tab bar option allows you to see multiple web pages on the screen
- Focus allows you to automatically filter notifications based on what you’re doing
- Options to customize a focus for activities like work, play, reading and more
- Concentration is synchronized across all Apple devices
- Status lets your contacts know that notifications are turned off
Notes and quick notes
- Quick Note allows you to take notes on any app or website and easily revisit them later
- Tags help you quickly categorize your notes by subject and make them easy to find
- Mentions allow you to notify other important updates in shared notes
- The activity view shows who made recent changes in a shared note
AirPlay on Mac
- AirPlay on Mac allows you to share content from iPhone or iPad directly to your Mac
- Support for AirPlay speakers to play music through the Mac sound system
- Live Text makes the interactive text in photos system-wide
- Support for copying, translating and searching for text that appears in photos
- Visual Look Up helps you learn about art, landmarks, and other objects in photos
- The new app helps you automate daily tasks, helping you complete them faster
- Gallery with predefined links that you can add and run system-wide
- The Shortcut Editor helps you design custom shortcuts for your specific workflows
- Support for automatic conversion of Automator workflows to shortcuts
- Interactive 3D world map with enhanced details for mountains, oceans and more on Mac computers with M1 chip
- Detailed city maps show elevation, trees, buildings, landmarks, and more on Mac computers with the M1 chip
- Email privacy protection helps prevent senders from tracking your activity
- Control Center recording indicator for apps accessing the microphone
- iCloud Private Relay (beta) helps prevent businesses from creating a detailed profile of your Safari browsing activity
- Hide my email creates unique and random email addresses which forward to your inbox.
There are a few new features in watchOS 8.1 which mostly include bug fixes present in the previous version.
watchOS 8.1 includes the following improvements and bug fixes for your Apple Watch:
- Improved algorithms to detect falls during workouts and option to enable fall detection only during workouts (Apple Watch Series 4 and later)
- COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to show vaccination information verifiable by Apple Wallet
- Fitness + supports SharePlay to allow subscribers to invite up to 32 people to work out together via a FaceTime call using iPhone, iPad or Apple TV
- Fixed an Always On issue that may not display the time accurately for some users when the wrist is down (Apple Watch Series 5 and later).
The tvOS updates, as usual, do not offer much new but are mainly focused on bug fixes, performance improvements and other small changes. Apple hasn’t provided detailed tvOS 15.1 release notes but today’s update adds support for SharePlay with shared controls for content playback and smart volume that automatically mutes a movie, TV show or song when someone speaks out