macOS Monterey 12.4 takes Universal Control out of beta

Apple has started 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 will now be able to limit the number of podcasts on your Mac and automatically delete old episodes; a change that has been seen elsewhere.

Apple’s Studio Display will receive firmware update 15.5 which improves webcam quality. There are also a wide variety of security patches and some developer updates. the macOS subreddit noticed another change that Apple didn’t mention in its notes: Universal Control coming out of beta.

Feature enhancements

Looking closely at the Monterey update, it’s odd that Apple didn’t mention the Universal Control change in the official notes. For those who don’t know, Universal Control is a unique Monterey feature that lets you control multiple Macs and iPads with just one keyboard and mouse. The feature has been in beta since mid-March as Apple fixes the bugs.

Next comes the change to Studio Display, which is a 27-inch monitor released earlier this year that comes with a 12MP ultra-wide camera. People criticized the camera for taking very poor quality images. The 15.5 update addresses the issues by improving contrast, 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.

Apple Podcasts’ change seems inconsequential at first glance, but it’s part of the company’s renewed interest in podcasting. iOS 15.5 and iPad 15.5 updates saw the exact same change in their version. And Apple is working on a new service that will help creators manage and publish their podcasts to third-party platforms.

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patch security

The developer changes have very little to do with consumers. The release notes include a fix for incompatibility between Universal Control with macOS 12.3 and iOS 15.4. Apple also fixed an issue developers were having with StoreKit 2.

The biggest change is over 50 fixes to Monterey’s security settings. All have to do with preventing bad actors from gaining access.

For example, the Contacts app on Monterey now has better checks so plug-ins can’t access user data. Safari Private Browsing also has improved protection against malicious websites stalking people.

Although not as impactful as previous patches, 12.4 seems to improve overall macOS quality of life for users.

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