Apple has officially released its next major update for macOS Monterey. Version 12.1 comes with a number of new features and changes including SharePlay going live, updates for Photos and Messages, along with fixes for six major Mac bugs.

macOS 12.1 is showing up now for users via OTA (check  > About This Mac > Software Update). While Apple didn’t launch the anticipated Universal Control feature with this update, the release brings a sizeable list of new additions and fixes.

First up, after previously launching for iPhone and iPad, SharePlay is now available on Mac. That means you can have synced experiences with others through FaceTime to listen to music, watch videos, offer tech support, and more.

Other new features and changes include support for the Apple Music Voice Plan, a new “Memories” experience in the Photos app, expanded guidance with Siri, new safety features for kids in Messages, Hide My Email, and more.

macOS 12.1 also fixes these six notable bugs:

  • Desktop and Screen Saver may appear blank after selecting photos from the Photos library
  • Trackpad could become unresponsive to taps or clicks
  • External displays may not charge some MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers when connected using Thunderbolt or USB-C
  • HDR video playback on YouTube.com could cause 2021 MacBook Pro computers to panic
  • Menu bar extras may be obscured by the camera housing on 2021 MacBook Pro computers
  • MagSafe may stop charging on 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro computers when lid is closed and system is shut down
macOS 12.1

Here are the full release notes from Apple:


macOS Monterey 12.1 adds SharePlay, an entirely new way to have shared experiences with family and friends in FaceTime. This update also includes the Apple Music Voice Plan, new safety features for children and parents in Messages, redesigned Memories in Photos, and other features and bug fixes for your Mac.

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

This release also includes the following enhancements for your Mac:

  • 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

This release also includes bug fixes for your Mac:

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

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

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Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.