What has changed in Monterey 12.1?

macOS Monterey 12.1 at last brings some more of the new features promised last June. These include:

  • SharePlay, which enhances FaceTime with content from Apple’s media apps;
  • Apple Music Voice Plan, a new subscription service centred on Siri;
  • Enhancements to the Memories features in Photos;
  • Digital Legacy for iCloud;
  • A new Store tab in TV;
  • Further improvements to Hide My Email, Stocks, Notes and Reminders.

However, there’s still no sign of Universal Control, which was one of the most attractive of Monterey’s features for many, and is now promised for Spring 2022.

Apple also lists the following bugs which are fixed in 12.1:

  • After selecting images from the Photos library, Desktop and Screen Saver shouldn’t remain blank.
  • Apple trackpads shouldn’t become unresponsive to taps.
  • External displays should now charge notebooks properly.
  • Kernel panics resulting from playing HDR video on YouTube should no longer occur.
  • The notch on the MacBook Pro 2021 display should no longer obscure menu bar extras.
  • Charging using the MagSafe adaptor shouldn’t stop on MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 models, when the lid is closed and the system shut down.

Of the reported memory leaks, quick checks here suggest that at least two have been fixed:

  • Coloured pointers – customising the pointer colours in Accessibility no longer results in any substantial memory leakage.
  • Control Centre – using the Control Center no longer results in any perceptible memory leak.

However, the Finder File/Find leak doesn’t appear to have been reduced at all. As I have been unable to reproduce the fourth claimed leak, in avconferenced (FaceTime), I haven’t tried testing for that.

This also fixes Classic screensaver mode, as implied in Apple’s list of fixes.

There are more than forty security fixes, detailed here, including five in the kernel, several Gatekeeper bypasses, and four in TCC’s privacy protection.

There are firmware updates for all models supported by Monterey. I have updated version numbers given in articles here, including this list for Macs running Monterey, and those accessed by SilentKnight. If you notice any which appear incorrect, please let me know.

Bundled apps which have significant increments in version or build numbers include:

  • App Store (build)
  • Books, version 4.1 to 4.2
  • Contacts, 2496.2 to 2498.2.1
  • Find My (build)
  • Home (build)
  • Mail (build)
  • Maps (build)
  • Music, 1.2 to 1.2.1
  • News, 7.1 to 7.2
  • Notes (build)
  • Photos (build)
  • Podcasts (build)
  • Preview (build)
  • Reminders (build)
  • Shortcuts (build)
  • Stocks, 4.1 to 4.2
  • TV, 1.2 to 1.2.1
  • Migration Assistant, 12.0 to 12.1
  • VoiceOver Utility (build).

Safari goes from 15.1 (17612. to 15.2 (17612.

Major changes noted in other components in the /System/Library folder include:

  • most of Accessibility components
  • ControlCenter.app
  • Dock.app
  • Finder.app and components
  • ManagedClient.app
  • ARDAgent, AppleVNCServer and Screensharing
  • Screen Time
  • Siri
  • Software Update
  • Spotlight
  • AMDRadeon kexts
  • AppleEmbeddedAudio kext
  • AppleIntel graphics kexts
  • AppleMultitouchDriver kext
  • Various Thunderbolt kexts
  • System kext
  • APFS components, which go from 1933.41.2 to 1933.61.1
  • AppKit, CloudKit, Metal, OpenDirectory, SwiftUI, WebKit, Virtualization and other frameworks
  • QuartzComposer.mdimporter has been removed.

That’s an extensive update which hopefully has something to please everyone.