Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch get new features in OS upgrades


MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod
All these have new operating system updates ... and most of them include new features.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

If you own an Apple computer of any shape or size, odds are it just got an operating system upgrade. Monday brought the public launch of macOS Sonoma 14.2, iPadOS 17.2, iOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2 and tvOS 17.2.

And these aren’t simple bug fixes. There’s new features.

Bring on macOS Sonoma 14.2, iPadOS 17.2, iOS 17.2 and watchOS 10.2

Apple prefers to update all its operating systems simultaneously. That’s because new features in one operating system are often intended to interact with the same features on another. Hence Monday’s debut of five OS updates at once.

The release notes for each of these spell out what features Apple thinks are most important.

Apple’s description for macOS Sonoma 14.2 says, in part, “This update introduces enhanced Autofill for PDFs and improvements to Messages and Weather. This release also includes other features, bug fixes, and security updates for your Mac.”

The iPadOS 17.2 release notes are very similar to the Mac ones: “This update introduces enhanced Autofill for PDFs and enhancements to Messages and Weather. This release also includes other features, bug fixes, and security updates for your iPad.”

iPhone users get a bit more. The release notes for iOS 17.2 say, “This update introduces Journal, an all-new way to reflect on life’s moments and preserve your memories. This release also includes Action button and Camera enhancements, as well as other features, bug fixes, and security updates for your iPhone.”

For more details, read Cult of Mac‘s in-depth article on new features to your iPhone in iOS 17.2.

Apple Watch wearers can install watchOS 10.2 with a range of enhancements. They can now access and log Health app data with Siri, automatically view Now Playing when near a HomePod, swipe to change watch faces in Settings and more.

How to install new OS updates

To download the macOS Sonoma update, go to Apple menu  > About This Mac. Then click Software Update. Alternatively, you can install the new version from the App Store. (Note: At the time of this writing, Apple had not yet updated the version of macOS in the App Store. But it should happen soon.)

iPhone and iPad users can install the new iOS and iPadOS versions directly by opening the Settings app and going to General > Software Update. Alternatively, you can update your devices by connecting them to a Mac (or to a PC running iTunes).

The watchOS update can be installed directly onto an Apple Watch, as long as the wearable is connected to Wi-Fi. From the Settings app just navigate to General > Software Update. Or you can install it from an iPhone by opening the Apple Watch app and going to My Watch > General > Software Update.

Apple release notes for new operating systems:

macOS Sonoma 14.2

This update introduces enhanced Autofill for PDFs and improvements to Messages and Weather. This release also includes other features, bug fixes, and security updates for your Mac.


  • Enhanced AutoFill identifies fields in PDFs and other forms enabling you to populate them with information such as names and addresses from your contacts


  • Catch-up arrow lets you easily jump to your first unread message in a conversation by clicking the arrow visible in the top-right corner
  • Add sticker option in the context menu lets you add a sticker directly to a bubble
  • Contact Key Verification provides automatic alerts and Contact Verification Codes to help verify people facing extraordinary digital threats are messaging only with the people they intend


  • Precipitation amounts help you stay on top of rain and snow conditions for a given day over the next 10 days
  • New widgets let you choose from next-hour precipitation, daily forecast, sunrise and sunset times, and current conditions such as Air Quality, Feels Like, and wind speed
  • Wind map snapshot helps you quickly assess wind patterns and access the animated wind map overlay to prepare for forecasted wind conditions for the next 24 hours


  • Multiple timers let you run several timers simultaneously and create a name for each timer
  • Timer presets help you quickly start a timer with a range of preset options
  • Recents makes it easy to restart your recently used timers

This update also includes the following new features:

  • Favorite Songs Playlist in Apple Music lets you quickly get back to the songs you mark as favorites
  • Use Listening History in Apple Music can be disabled in a Focus so music you listen to does not appear in Recently Played or influence your recommendations
  • Shazam Music Recognition allows you to quickly identify songs playing online or around you, even when wearing AirPods
  • New keyboard layouts provide support for 7 additional Sámi languages

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices.

watchOS 10.2

watchOS 10.2 includes new features, improvements, and bug fixes, including:

  • Access and log Health app data with Siri (Available on Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2)
  • Automatically view Now Playing when in proximity of HomePod (2nd generation) or HomePod mini playing media from Music or Podcasts (Available on Apple Watch Series 6 and later and Apple Watch Ultra)
  • Enable the ability to swipe to change watch faces in Settings
  • Enable the ability to confirm ending workouts in Settings
  • Prioritize the volume of either the music or trainers’ voices in most Fitness+ workouts
  • Resolves an issue that can cause watch faces added in the Watch app on iPhone to not appear on Apple Watch


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