Apple introduced macOS Monterey back in October 2021, but as usual the company continues to improve and add to the Mac operating system. Currently Apple is working on the macOS 12.2 update, which was issued as a beta on 20 December 2021. The second beta version arrived on 11 January.
That follows the release of macOS Monterey 12.1 on 13 December 2021. The 12.1 update brought new features including SharePlay, Apple Music Voice Plan, Digital Legacy, changes to Memories in Photos, and some bug fixes. Read find out more here: What's in macOS 12.1.
macOS 12.2 release date
Apple usually spends a couple of months on the beta development before it issues an update to macOS. For example, macOS Monterey 12.1 arrived on Monday 13 December, seven weeks after it launched on 25 October. So on that basis we could predict that macOS 12.2 will arrive around the end of January. However, with the long break at the end of the year it seems more likely that the update will come in February.
How to get macOS 12.2?
If you'd like to join in with the testing, read our guide showing how to join an Apple beta programme. As usual, however, be sure to back up your devices before installing the new beta versions; that way you won't have to risk losing your files.
What's in macOS 12.2?
When Apple announced its plans for macOS 12 Monterey it included various features that haven't yet made it into the final version yet. The macOS 12.1 update brought some of the previously announced features that didn't initially make it into Monterey to Mac users, including SharePlay.
Some more of these missing features could make their way into the next version of Monterey including:
Universal Control - hopefully!
One of the most eagerly awaited and as yet unavailable features is Universal Control, which will make it possible to use the same mouse or trackpad to select your Mac screen, type on your Mac with the keyboard, and then select your iPad screen with the same mouse and type there. Apple had said that feature would arrive "this fall/autumn" but has officially delayed Universal Control until the spring of 2022. Hopefully Universal Control will make an appearance in version two.
Not all Macs will be able to take advantage of this new feature when it does arrive. Read: Some Monterey features don't work on Intel Macs.
Apple Music app updates
You can expect a new Apple Music app that is native and offers faster search and scrolling.
The update to Apple Music will please those who were disappointed when, in macOS Catalina, iTunes was replaced by the Music application with a greatly simplified interface. Some of the program's shortcomings were quickly rectified, but other things have still not been fixed.
One problem what existed in both iTunes and Music is the fact that content from Apple Music is displayed as web content - this means, among other things, that searches are slow.
In the beta version of macOS 12.2, the entire user interface is developed in AppKit, the framework used in traditional Mac applications. The content that comes from the web will use Apple's modern jet framework, which is used in the TV app among other things. (If you want to get a taste of how much quicker Music will be, you can compare a search in Music to one in TV.)
Music already uses AppKit for the interfaces that concern your own library, so there will be no improvements there in the new version.
It is likely that Apple will fixed some bugs in the next update to Monterey.
For example, the first beta of macOS 12.2 addressed an issue with scrolling in Safari in ProMotion when using the new MacBook Pro.
For more information about Monterey read: Monterey vs Big Sur - should you update?