macOS Monterey welcomes its third big update with macOS 12.3! The final version now available contains a lot of new features, here are the most important.
We had to be patient to use several of the big new features announced by Apple at WWDC last June. SharePlay only arrived last December on Mac, thanks to macOS 12.1. And the Universal Command feature, another big piece of Monterey, has been even longer in coming! But finally, here it is finally and it is clear that the wait was worth it.
Thanks to macOS 12.3, the Mac becomes an iPad control tower! The Universal Control function effectively allows you to control a tablet (under iPadOS 15.4) with the keyboard, mouse or trackpad of the Mac. In all transparency: the cursor passes from one device to another like a joke, it is not even necessary to specify where the iPad is in relation to the Mac.
Moving the cursor is one thing, but Universal Control takes it a step further. iPadOS gestures are supported by the Mac’s trackpad and mouse, as are iPadOS keyboard shortcuts by the Mac’s keyboard. Above all, it is possible to transfer a file (or even a document present in an app) from the Mac to the iPad and vice versa.
Overview of the amazing Universal Command feature between Mac and iPad
On macOS, the options panel for Universal Control is more extensive than its counterpart on iPadOS. But whether on one operating system or the other, Apple is careful to specify that it is a beta. As a bonus, still on the Mac, it is possible to rearrange the layout of the secondary screens, although the system is smart enough to determine the location of the iPad on its own.
Before taking advantage of Universal Control, you must first meet several criteria: the devices must be connected to the same iCloud account, and two-factor authentication must be activated. You can connect the Mac to the iPad wired or wirelessly (it is then necessary to activate Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Handoff), without them being more than ten meters away. Also note that the iPad and Mac should not share a Cellular Connection.
Compatible Macs are: MacBook Pro (2016 and newer), MacBook (2016 and newer), MacBook Air (2018 and newer), iMac (2017 and newer), iMac 5K (Late 2015), iMac Pro Mac mini (2018 and newer), Mac Pro (2019). Compatible iPads: iPad Pro, iPad Air (3rd generation and newer), iPad (6th generation and newer) and iPad mini (5th generation and newer).
Monterey: Universal Command not available on all Macs, but a hack is on the way
Complicated transition for OneDrive and Dropbox
A change imposed by Apple to Dropbox and OneDrive has consequences for users of these online storage solutions. macOS 12.3 drops kernel extensions used by these two applications; therefore, they must rely on the File Provider framework, which since Big Sur supports several essential functions of the operating system, such as tags, the date of last opening, or even ensures a place in the tab Pitches from the Finder window.
This evolution is not without its difficulties. Dropbox has warned its users that support for files stored online will not be ” not quite complete » and proposes in the meantime to download the online documents on the Mac just to be sure to be able to open them properly. A beta of Dropbox, expected soon, will improve things. On the Microsoft side, OneDrive has been updated but the transition is more difficult than expected.
The transition to the new OneDrive cluttered with dark clouds
Notes synced to iCloud Keychain
A new feature shared with iOS 15.4, it is now possible to write notes with iCloud Keychain credentials. A function that allows you to keep information on a web account, which is then synchronized with the rest of your devices.
Good to know: the settings search engine Passwords takes note into account. And we can import the notes presented in the documents
.csv or export his own.
As in iOS 15.4, it is possible to hide security notices. And Safari will prompt for the username when creating an account, if the browser is unsure of the information.
macOS 12.3 and iOS 15.4: iCloud Keychain now takes notes
AirPods update and DualSense adaptive triggers
Two small new features that make life easier are worth noting in macOS 12.3. The first is the ability to update the AirPods firmware directly from the Mac, an operation reserved for iPhones only so far. The process remains as opaque as ever, there is no button to force the update, nor release notes.
macOS 12.3 knows how to update AirPods firmware
DualSense (PlayStation 5) controller adaptive triggers are now supported in macOS, as well as iOS/iPadOS. These triggers improve immersion, playing on the levels of tension in certain actions, such as when shooting an archery. To take advantage of this, developers must support this new feature in their games.
macOS 12.3 and iOS 15.4 ready for DualSense adaptive triggers
Dynamic head tracking for spatial audio
Lucky Mac M1 owners equipped with compatible earphones and headsets will be able to enjoy spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. The setting is available from the control center.
Photos, Overview: Universal search for everyone
The Visual Search function is finally available outside the United States! macOS 12.3 allows users of the Photos and Preview apps to consult additional information about their photos: Visual search identifies the types of trees, the breed of a dog, the author of a painting, a landscape…
Apple Enables iOS 15 and macOS 12 Visual Search Outside the US
Developers: disappearance of Python 2.7, framework for recording an app on video
Developers are not forgotten with this new batch of macOS, but the news has a bittersweet taste. macOS 12.3 finally makes a clean slate of Python 2.7, which is no longer integrated into the system. You can always install it yourself if needed. Version 2 of the development language has been deprecated in macOS Catalina, so it was to be expected that at one point or another it would disappear completely: it’s done.
Development: Python 2 no longer comes with macOS 12.3
More pleasing, macOS 12.3 facilitates the video recording of all or part of an application through the new ScreenCaptureKit framework. Until now, each application did as it pleased, now they can use a common component, developed by Apple and which has very good performance.
macOS 12.3 will simplify the work of developers to film the content displayed on the screen
Apple demonstrates the value of its new video capture framework in OBS Studio
macOS 12.3: release notes
macOS 12.3 brings the “Universal Control” feature allowing you to use the same mouse and keyboard for your Mac and your iPad. This release also includes new Emoji, dynamic head tracking in the Music app, and other features and fixes for your Mac.
Universal Command (Beta)
- The “Universal Command” feature lets you use one mouse and one keyboard for your iPad and Mac.
- So you can enter text on your Mac or iPad and drag files between them.
- Dynamic head tracking is available in the Music app with supported AirPods on Macs with an M1 chip.
- Customizable “Head Tracking Active”, “Fixed”, and “Off” spatial audio settings are now available in Control Center with supported AirPods on Macs with an M1 chip.
- New Emoji including faces, hand gestures and household objects are available in Emoji Keyboard.
- The “Handshake” Emoji allows you to choose different skin colors for both hands.
This version also brings the following improvements for your Mac:
- The Podcasts app lets you filter episodes by season and status: played, unplayed, recorded, or downloaded.
- Visual search identifies works of art, world landmarks, plants and flowers, books, and dog and cat breeds in your photos so you can get more information about them .
- Translation of web pages in Safari is now supported in Italian and Chinese (Traditional).
- The Shortcuts app now supports adding, removing, and searching for tags in the Reminders app.
- Notes can now be added to your passwords.
- Improved accuracy of battery capacity readings.
This release also brings fixes for your Mac:
- Audio could be distorted when playing videos in the Apple TV app.
- Some photos and videos could move unexpectedly when organizing albums in the Photos app.
Some features may not be available in all regions or on all Apple devices. To learn more about security fixes provided by Apple software updates, please visit the following page: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222