What has changed in Monterey 12.5?

Today’s update to Monterey 12.5 build 21G72 is expected to be the last general update before this version of macOS enters its two years of security updates only. When Ventura is released in the autumn/fall, the next round of updates should include:

  • Monterey 12.6, its first security update;
  • Big Sur 11.6.9, its next security update.

Catalina Security Update 2022-005 is expected to be the last such update that version of macOS will receive.

According to Apple’s release notes, 12.5 brings the following changes:

  • the bundled TV app adds an option to restart live sports games already in progress, and pause/rewind/fast-forward;
  • it fixes a bug in Safari where tabs could revert to previous pages;
  • “enhancements, bug fixes and security updates” unspecified.

There are about 50 security fixes for Monterey, including three in the kernel, detailed in this article. Apple doesn’t advise that it’s aware of any of those being actively exploited.

There are firmware updates for some Macs, at least. For Apple silicon models, iBoot is updated to 7459.141.1, and for T2 Intel Macs you should see 1731. (iBridge: 19.16.16064.0.0,0). I have updated those in the database used by SilentKnight, and pages accessed from LockRattler. Over the next week or so I will check and update any firmware changes for Intel Macs without T2 chips. There doesn’t appear to be any firmware update for Apple Studio Displays, though, and no security data updates accompany this.

Looking through the system files that have changed, the following appear to be the most significant. In bundled apps:

  • App Store, build increment
  • Home, build increment
  • Mail, build increment
  • Maps, build increment
  • Migration Assistant, to version 12.5
  • Music, to version 1.2.5
  • News, to version 7.3.2
  • Photos, build increment
  • Podcasts, build increment
  • Safari, to version 15.6 (17613.
  • TV, to version 1.2.5.

Significant changes seen in files in the /System/Library folder include:

  • AirPlay components, build increment
  • Finder, from version 12.3 to 12.5
  • RawCamera support, version increment
  • Screen Time, build increment
  • Software Update, build increment
  • AGX kernel extensions, to version 190.22
  • AMD kexts, version increments
  • ANE Load Balancer kext, version increment
  • AppleDiskImages2 kext, version increment
  • AppleIntel kexts, version increment
  • Apple T8110 and T8112 kexts added, probably for M2 chip
  • AppleMobileDispH14G kexts added, probably for M2 models
  • AppleProResHW kext, version increment
  • System kext, version increment
  • APFS, updated to version 1934.141.2
  • Frameworks updated include CloudKit, CoreLocation, CoreMedia, DirectoryService, FileProvider, FinderSync, Photos, Ruby, Virtualization, WebKit
  • Private frameworks updated include ANE Compiler and Services, AirPlay support, Backup, Biome, Cloud services, DiskImage2, Email and Mail services, FinderKit, News, Notes, and many others
  • ScreenReader BrailleDrivers, build increment.

I have also tested 12.5 for two bugs that I have been tracking. I regret to report that it doesn’t fix either:

  • Searching using the Find command in the Finder still suffers a serious memory leak. In testing on both a T2 iMac Pro and a Mac Studio M1 Max, memory leaked with each search and wasn’t even recovered after the Finder window was closed. Furthermore, on the Intel Mac the Finder’s CPU % rose to 100% and remained there, even after the searches were complete and the window had been closed.
  • Recharging Apple wireless input devices blocks their charge being reported in the Bluetooth menu, so the only way to tell when they’re fully charged is to stop recharging.

Our only hope is that these will be fixed in the first release of Ventura, but it looks like Monterey will be permanently scarred by them both. Yet again, Apple is abandoning a major release of macOS with known serious bugs.