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5 Things to Know About the macOS Monterey 12.1 Update

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Apple’s released its macOS Monterey 12.1 update and it brings important changes to Mac users.

macOS Monterey 12.1 is a milestone release which means it carries new features, bug fixes, enhancements, and security patches on board. It’s the first milestone upgrade for macOS Monterey.

With that in mind, we want to take you through everything there you need to know about the macOS Monterey 12.1 update and its release for Mac.

In this guide we’ll take you through the macOS Monterey 12.1 update’s performance, the current list of macOS Monterey 12.1 problems, the best places to find feedback about macOS Monterey 12.1 problems, and more.

We’ll start out with some quick impressions of macOS Monterey 12.1 update’s performance on Mac.

macOS Monterey 12.1 Review

If your Mac is currently running macOS Monterey 12.0.1, you’re still going to see a fairly large download. For instance it’s a 2.36GB download for MacBook Pro (2017) users

The exact size of the macOS Monterey 12.1 download varies based on your Mac model and the version of macOS it’s currently running.

If your Mac is running macOS Monterey 12.0.1, the installation should take less than 15 minutes to complete. It took around 13 minutes on a MacBook Pro (2017).

For more on the macOS Monterey 12.1 download and installation, take a look at our guide.

We’ve been using the macOS Monterey 12.1 update on a MacBook Pro (2017) for several days now and here’s what we’ve learned about its performance thus far:

Connectivity

  • Battery life is currently stable.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
  • Bluetooth is working normally.

App Performance

  • Third-party apps including Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine at the moment.
  • First party apps like Safari and Podcasts are also stable.

Speed

  • macOS Monterey 12.1 feels as fast as macOS Monterey 12.0.1 did.

If your Mac is struggling on macOS Monterey 12.0.1, macOS Monterey 12.0, or an older version of macOS, you might want to install macOS Monterey 12.1 on your Mac today.

If you need help making a decision, check out our reasons to, and not to, install the macOS Monterey 12.1 update.

macOS Monterey 12.1 Problems

The macOS Monterey 12.1 update is causing problems for some Mac users.

We’re hearing about installation issues, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, abnormal battery drain, Wi-Fi problems, lockups, freezes, and crashes.

If you download macOS Monterey 12.1 and you run into bugs or performance issues, here are a few resources that could help.

Before you get in touch with Apple support, have a look at our list of fixes for the most common macOS Monterey problems. We’ve also released a guide that shows you how to fix macOS Monterey battery life problems.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our guides, head over to Apple’s discussion forums. If they can’t help you, you might want to get in contact with Apple Support via Twitter or with customer support via Apple’s website.

If you still can’t fix your issue(s), you might want to schedule an appointment to see a Genius at your local Apple Store if it’s open.

macOS Monterey 12.1 Update: What’s New

Apple’s milestone updates (x.x) typically bring a fairly long list of changes and that’s what you’ll get after you download the macOS Monterey 12.1 update.

Here’s the full macOS Monterey 12.1 change log:

SharePlay

  • SharePlay is a new way to share synchronized experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, and other supported apps
  • Shared controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward
  • Smart volume automatically lowers the audio of a movie, TV show or song when you or your friends speak
  • Screen sharing lets everyone on a FaceTime call look at photos, browse the web, or help each other out

Apple Music Voice Plan

  • Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using Siri
  • Just Ask Siri suggests music based on your listening history and likes or dislikes
  • Play it Again lets you access a list of your recently played music

Photos

  • Memories has been redesigned with a new interactive interface, new animation and transition styles, and multiple image collages
  • New Memory types include additional international holidays, child-focused memories, trends over time, and improved pet memories

Messages

  • Communication safety setting gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nudity
  • Safety warnings contain helpful resources for children when they receive photos that contain nudity

Siri and Search

  • Expanded guidance in Siri, Spotlight and Safari Search to help children and parents stay safe online and get help with unsafe situations

Apple ID

  • Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death

TV App

  • Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows all in one place

Enhancements

  • Hide My Email is available in the Mail app for iCloud+ subscribers to create unique, random email addresses
  • Stocks allows you to view the currency for a ticker and see year-to-date performance when viewing charts
  • Reminders and Notes now allow you to delete or rename tags

Bug Fixes

  • Fixes an issue where Desktop and Screen Saver may appear blank after selecting photos from the Photos library
  • Fixes an issue where the Trackpad could become unresponsive to taps or clicks
  • Fixes an issue where external displays may not charge some MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers when connected using Thunderbolt or USB-C
  • Fixes an issue where HDR video playback on YouTube.com could cause 2021 MacBook Pro computers to panic
  • Fixes an issue where menu bar extras may be obscured by the camera housing on 2021 MacBook Pro computers
  • Fixes an issue where MagSafe may stop charging on 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro computers when lid is closed and system is shut down

Unfortunately, one feature that was promised before the end of the year, Universal Control, isn’t on board macOS Monterey 12.1. On its macOS Monterey website, the company says it expects Universal Control to roll out sometime in the spring of 2022.

Apple says macOS Monterey 12.1 also includes security updates for Mac. You can read about those over on the company’s security site.

Microsoft’s discovered a ‘Powerdir’ vulnerability lurking in macOS though it says Apple patched up the issue in macOS Monterey 12.1.

The company says Powerdir allows “an attacker to bypass the operating system’s Transparency, Consent, and Control (TCC) technology, thereby gaining unauthorized access to a user’s protected data.”

You Can Downgrade from macOS Monterey 12.1

If you run into problems on macOS Monterey 12.1, you can downgrade your Mac’s software back to an older version if you think that could help.

There is no time frame for this to expire so if you decide you need to move your Mac back to older software, it’s fairly easy to do if you are prepared. Here’s our guide to downgrade and it will help you understand the process and make the move.

What’s Next

Apple’s confirmed a new version of macOS Monterey.

macOS Monterey 12.2 is official and it’s currently in beta testing ahead of an unknown release date. We expect it to arrive in the near future.

This firmware is another milestone upgrade which means it should carry a mix of new features, bug fixes, enhancements, and security patches.

For more on macOS Monterey 12.2 and the beta, check out our guide.

4 Reasons Not to Install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 for Better Security

Install macOS Monterey 12.6.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing the macOS Monterey 12.6.1 update right away.

The macOS Monterey 12.6.1 update has three important security patches on board. These are vital to protecting you and your data from harm.

As for older macOS updates, macOS Monterey 12.6 had a grand total of 8 security patches on board.  For more information about these changes, check out Apple's rundown.

macOS Monterey 12.5.1 had a pair of important security patches on board and you can read about them in detail right here.

The macOS Monterey 12.5 update brought 50 important security patches with it and they will help protect you and your device from harm. If you want to learn more, head over to Apple's website

macOS Monterey 12.4 delivered 50+ security patches. If you're interested in the details, you'll want to head on over to the company's security site.

macOS Monterey 12.3.1 brought two security patches to Mac users. You can read more about them over on Apple's website

Apple's macOS Monterey 12.3 update had 40+ security patches on board. If you want to learn more about these upgrades, you can check the particulars over on Apple's security site.

The macOS Monterey 12.2.1 update brought an important patch to Mac users. You can learn more about the patch over at Apple's security site

Apple's macOS Monterey 12.2 update had 13 security patches on board. If you're interested in the details, head on over to Apple's website to learn more.

macOS Monterey 12.1 included 40+ new security patches to Macs. You can read all about them over on the company's security site

Microsoft says it discovered a new 'Powerdir' vulnerability lurking in macOS. Powerdir allows "an attacker to bypass the operating system’s Transparency, Consent, and Control (TCC) technology, thereby gaining unauthorized access to a user’s protected data." Fortunately, Apple patched up the issue in macOS Monterey 12.1. 

macOS Monterey 12.1 also included some important upgrades to privacy. The software delivered Apple's communication safety features for kids. You'll find these features in the Messages app, in Siri, in Spotlight, and in Search. 

If you're moving up from macOS Big Sur, you'll also get macOS Monterey 12.0.1's 30+ security patches when you update. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.

In addition to those patches, the macOS Monterey update comes with additional security and privacy upgrades.

If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions. 

Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.

New Mail Privacy Protection helps prevent senders from tracking your Mail activity and there's a new recording indicator in Control Center for apps that are accessing your mic.

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