Apple has begun rolling out macOS Monterey version 12.4, making it the fourth major update since the system launched in late 2021.
If you haven’t received the update yet or are curious about what’s in it, Apple has posted the release notes on its support page† You can now limit the number of podcasts on your Mac and automatically delete old episodes; a change observed elsewhere.
Apple’s Studio Display gets Firmware Update 15.5 that improves the quality of the webcam. There is also a wide range of security fixes and a few updates for developers. The macOS subreddit noticed another change which Apple didn’t mention in its notes: Universal Control is out of beta.
Taking a closer look at the Monterey update, it’s strange that Apple didn’t mention the Universal Control change in the official comments. For those who don’t know, Universal Control is a unique feature of Monterey that allows you to control multiple Macs and iPads with a single keyboard and mouse. The feature has been in beta since mid-March when Apple ironed out the bugs.
Next up is the change to Studio Display, a 27-inch monitor released earlier this year that comes with a 12MP Ultra-Wide camera. People have criticized the camera for taking terrible quality images. Update 15.5 addresses the complaints by improving the camera’s contrast and framing, and reducing image noise. However, this update is not part of the Monterey 12.4 update, so you will need to download it separately.
The Apple Podcasts change may seem insignificant at first, but it’s part of the company’s renewed interest in podcasting. The iOS 15.5 and iPad 15.5 updates saw the exact same change in their release. And Apple is working on a new service that will allow creators to manage and publish their podcasts on third-party platforms.
Patch up security
The developer changes have little to do with consumers. The release notes contain a fix for the incompatibility between Universal Control with macOS 12.3 and iOS 15.4. Apple also fixed an issue developers had with StoreKit 2.
The most significant change relates to more than 50 fixes to Monterey’s security settings. They all have to do with preventing malicious parties from gaining access.
For example, the Contacts app on Monterey now has better controls to prevent plugins from accessing user data. Safari Private Browsing also got enhanced protection against malicious websites that track people.
While not as impactful as previous patches, 12.4 seems to improve the overall quality of macOS lives for users.