- Credit: AppleInsider

It's Apple software update day - what to expect from the new versions

Brand new features, some long-awaited functionality and even old designs, presented as new. Vintage Apple there! For free, of course.

Today, Apple released the newest versions of their operating systems and as always, users are impatient to learn what more they would get on their devices. With the new MacOS being by far the biggest and most awaited release for all M1 Mac users, the seemingly minor iOS update brings a surprising amount of new features to the table.

MacOS Monterey

In short, Universal Control and SharePlay are the two notably missing features at lunch. But hey, there's a new Quick Note feature, which nobody wanted! On a more serious note, Macs can now sit on the receiving end of the AirPlay function, which is neat. There are also the ever popular Shortcuts from the iOS automation software.

Credit: MacWorld

Credit: MacWorld

The Safari now returns to the older tab management, which was marketed as "reinvented" back in July for some reason, but it's nevertheless better and much more user-friendly. Focus Mode made it to MacOS as well, which is the biggest productivity update in this version. FaceTime gets a serious slew of improvements, ranging from Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum to Portrait Mode. More importantly, the same features will be usable in Webex and Zoom!

Credit: Tom's Guide

Credit: Tom's Guide

The list of supported and eligible devices is as follows:

iMac (late 2015 and later)

iMac Pro (2017 and later)

Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)

Mac Mini (late 2014 and later)

MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)

MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)

MacBook (early 2016 and later)

iOS 15.1

For an older iPhone user this update might seem a bit incremental, but the iPhone 13 Pro/Max adopters would get their ProRes video capture as promised. And an option to switch off that pesky automatic camera switching for the macro shots, which is a blessing! But the biggest thing by far is the SharePlay, which made it to the iOS, unlike in MacOS. Users can now share their watching experience with everyone on their FaceTime list from a lot of services. Namely Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Fitness+, as well as Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, MasterClass, Paramount+, Pluto TV, SoundCloud, TikTok, Twitch and with more to be added in the future.

Credit: Slashgear

Credit: Slashgear

Home is finally adding automation triggers, based on HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality or light level sensors. Meme people would have a blast with Shortcut's new prebuilt actions that will let people to overlay text on images and gifs! And for those of you who don't wanna carry their COVID-19 vaccination certificate on a piece of paper, there's now an option to store it in both Health and Wallet apps, with the latter one being very convenient to summon quickly and on-demand. The rest is mostly bug-squashing, except for iPhone 12 owners, which would get a better battery calculating algorithm, since the current one is a bit overly pessimistic about battery health.

HomePod 15.1

HomePod Owners haven't been forgotten and there's actually a fair bit of proper goodies for them. Lossless audio is finally here, but it supports only Apple Music for now (shocker there). You need to enable that option in the settings and to make sure your subscription plan is "Individual" or above, since the new "Voice" plan doesn't support it.

Credit: Slashgear

Credit: Slashgear

And to the surprise of everyone, the Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos is also here, but only for the owners of the big old HomePod, like myself (*old chubby HomePod intensifies) and not on the HomePod Mini. For now at least. Even better - it works with a single HomePod, although you'll get better results with more than one. Dolby Atmos will also work with AppleTV+ content, as well as everything from the iTunes Store (is this thing still kicking?).

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