Less than a week after the public release of macOS 12.1, Apple has already released the first beta of macOS 12.2 to developers, a public beta is expected to follow soon.
While the release of macOS 12.1 was quite significant thanks to the addition of SharePlay, it also linked a few other details of the corresponding iOS and iPadOS versions, with support for the new Apple Music voice plan, security of the communication in messages and digital. Legacy contacts.
Despite all of this, Apple has yet to deliver what is arguably the biggest feature expected for macOS Monterey: Universal Control.
Following this week’s macOS 12.1 release, Apple updated their macOS Monterey page again, changing the Universal Control slogan to “Available This Spring”.
Unfortunately, there also doesn’t seem to be any indication in the first beta of macOS 12.2 that Universal Control is coming in this release. While that may change in later beta releases, it seems more likely that we won’t see it happen until at least macOS 12.3.
After all, Apple’s beta cycles for one-off releases typically don’t last longer than a few weeks, which means the final version of macOS 12.2 is expected to release in February at the latest, which is still well before spring.
For all intents and purposes, it looks like macOS 12.2 is more about tweaking things than introducing new features at this point, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t include some cool changes.
A native music app
It looks like Apple is rebuilding the Music app in macOS 12.2 from scratch to deliver a smoother user experience.
Two years ago, Apple moved away from iTunes by launching standalone music, TV, and podcast apps. Audiobooks have moved entirely into the Books app, which has been around on the Mac since 2013, and the functionality for managing iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices has moved to the Finder in macOS.
Despite this big change, however, the spirit of iTunes has survived in the new Music app, allaying fears that Apple will release a much more streamlined version. For example, you can rip your own music CDs to your iTunes library, import your own MP3 files from other sources, create smart playlists, tag tracks, and more. Basically, almost anything you could do in iTunes before could still be done in the new Music app.
It turns out, however, that Apple also retained another key aspect of the iTunes experience. The new Music app still relied on the same old iTunes backend, meaning that sections like the iTunes Store and Apple Music pages were basically web content loaded into the app.
This is how iTunes has handled things since its inception in 2003, and while it works, it doesn’t provide the smoothest user experience, especially for those with slower internet connections.
With macOS 12.2, however, Apple is finally rebuilding the entire backend to use its new “AppKit” framework, meaning that it will now have a native interface instead of displaying embedded web pages. Of course, the contents will still come from Apple’s servers, but all the presentation and rendering you see will be done natively on your Mac instead of showing up as a glorified webpage.
The change was first spotted by @lumingyin on Twitter and subsequently confirmed by 9to5Mac, who discovered that the Music app now uses Apple’s JET technology, designed to turn web content into native apps.
Of course, the sections of the music app that involved purely local content, like your music library, were already native, so there won’t be any changes. However, searching and browsing Apple Music and the iTunes Store should now be considerably smoother and faster, as the Music app now simply downloads the results and presents them in a local user interface, rather than trying to download them. ” display a complete web page in the application.
9to5Mac Also notes that Apple’s macOS TV app received similar treatment in macOS 12.1, which makes sense given that it has received a notable overhaul, with a new layout that includes a section Dedicated store, among other changes.
Smoother scrolling on the new MacBooks
The other big improvement in macOS 12.2 is that users of Apple’s latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models should experience much smoother scrolling, as Apple appears to have improved support for the newer 120Hz displays. ProMotion on these models.
Multiple users on Reddit and elsewhere who have already taken the plunge and installed the first beta have reported that scrolling in Safari is much smoother on the newer MacBooks.
Technically speaking, the versions of Safari in macOS 12.0 and 12.1 don’t support 120Hz scrolling at all. Apple released a preview of standalone Safari technology that would have added smoother scrolling. However, most found the results to be hit or miss, possibly because there are some fixes that need to be deepened into the operating system as well.