It’s Apple’s big firmware day. Not only is the company rolling out updates for the iPhone, iPad, and HomePod, macOS Monterey 12.1 is now available. Perhaps the most notable new feature is SharePlay, which allows up to 32 people to enjoy the same TV shows, movies, music, live broadcasts, and more simultaneously with each other on FaceTime calls.
Along with Apple services like TV+, Apple Music, and Fitness+, a handful of third-party apps support SharePlay, including Paramount+, TikTok, Twitch, and NBA. Anyone in the call can pause, play, fast forward, or rewind the content, and Apple will automatically lower the volume of the music or video when someone is speaking. You will be able to share your screen through SharePlay as well.
Apple released SharePlay on iPhone and iPad in October. The company rolled out macOS Monterey on the same day, and said it’ll bring SharePlay to desktop PCs later this fall.
Many of the features that Apple introduced today to the iPhone and iPad have settled on macOS Monterey as well. They include support for the $5 per month audio-only plan for Apple Music and security settings that warn children when they send or receive a picture containing nudity in messages. The Digital Legacy program allows users to indicate a trusted contact who will have access to their iCloud account and personal information when they die, while iCloud + subscribers can create unique, random email addresses using the Email Masking feature in the Mail app.
Elsewhere, Apple has redesigned the Memories feature in the Photos app with a new interface, recent transitions, animations, and “multiple collages.” There are more memory types too, like extra international holidays, trends over time, holidays centered around kids and enhanced memories for pets.
The company has also squashed some bugs in macOS Monterey 12.1. “Playing HDR video on YouTube.com could cause 2021 MacBook Pro computers to panic,” she said, previously. This should not be a problem anymore. An issue that prevented external displays from charging on some MacBook Pro and MacBook Air systems via a Thunderbolt or USB-C connection, while some menu bar options won’t be hidden by the dreaded notch in the latest MacBook Pro should also be resolved.
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