macOS 12.1, the first major update to Monterey, went out Monday. The major new feature is SharePlay, but there are some other enhancements. But it does not include the much-anticipated Universal Control.
It comes on the same day as the release of iOS 15.2, iPadOS 15.2 and watchOS 8.3.
What’s new in macOS Monterey 12.1
The release notes for the latest Mac update state:
“macOS Monterey 12.1 adds SharePlay, an entirely new way to have shared experiences with family and friends in FaceTime. This update also includes the Apple Music Voice Plan, new safety features for children and parents in Messages, redesigned Memories in Photos, and other features and bug fixes for your Mac.”
For those who’ve somehow missed out, SharePlay allows users to enjoy music, movies, TV shows, etc. together during a FaceTime call. The feature launched for iPhone and iPad weeks ago and is finally be available for Mac, too.
The Apple Music Voice Plan announced in October makes the streaming audio service more affordable for those who agree not to use buttons.
With macoS 12.1, a Mac can detect if a user gets or sends a text with sexually explicit photos, and will notify their parents. The goal is to protect children from sexual predators. The feature also debuted for iPhone and iPad on Monday.
Universal Control delayed again
Notice the macOS Monterey 12.1 release notes make no mention of Universal Control. When it launches, the feature will enable a single keyboard to control both a Mac and an iPad, allowing users to easily jump between them.
Apple promised in October that Universal Control would be out “later this fall” but did not make that deadline. On Monday, Cupertino gave a new deadline by promising the feature will be “available this spring.” That’s nearly a year aver the initial unveiling. Comparisons to AirPower — an accessory Apple announced but never released — are starting to be raised.
How to install macOS Monterey
Anyone with a compatible Macs can download macOS Monterey now. Go to Apple menu > About This Mac. Then click Software Update. Alternatively, you can install the new version from the App Store.