Well, it is the big day – Apple releases macOS 12, iOS 15.1 and tvOS 15.1 and after a good night sleep I got to work upgrading all my devices. This won’t be an exhaustive review but rather pointing out some changes that I have noticed after using it for a few hours. Just to prefix this, when ever I move from a major version of an OS to another I always do a clean install – completely wipe my drive and then clean install it or in the case of my iPhone I do a DFU install which installs everything as if it were a blank device at a factory. The reason why I always do a clean install is because although one should (at least in theory) be able to smoothly upgrade between major releases the problem is that it is almost guaranteed that something will go wrong and when it goes wrong you’re never too sure whether it was a bug in the new operating system or maybe something went wrong during the upgrade process.

Here are some of the things I noticed:

  1. When playing videos on YouTube, Safari now supports VP9/Opus playback where as in the past it only supported VP9/AAC playback. This brings Safari 15.1 inline with tvOS which has been doing this since the 14.x release. I’m unsure why it took so long – maybe they wanted to optimise it better for macOS before deploying it? Whatever the case maybe it is super smooth reliability – no playback problems like I experienced in the early days of macOS 11.x ‘Big Sur’.
  2. The system firmware on both my iMac and MacBook Pro were upgraded to ‘447.40.12.0.0’ and a new section in the ‘Hardware Overview’ (found in ‘System Profile’) called ‘OS Loader Version’ which is set to ‘540.40.4~45’. The system firmware is UEFI but it also includes microcode updates from Intel to work around bugs. Regarding the OS Loader Version – maybe it is an abstraction which enables Apple to simplify the support for two platforms? I guess time will tell.
  3. Twitter appears to be a lot more reliable – I guess that has come as a byproduct of the Catalyst framework maturing along with improvements to the Webkit framework. There are improvements across the board with the recent release – where as macOS introduced Catalyst, macOS 12 shows the technology has matured to the point that hopefully the apps that utilise it won’t be as buggy.
  4. The Podcast application on macOS no longer automatically download podcasts you’re subscribed to if you untick the ‘Automatic Downloads’. When I was running macOS 11.6 it would keep downloading them even when you had disabled it – it’s nice that they’ve finally fixed it.
  5. Mail is now recognising the custom domain email addresses and it is now possible to create a disposable email address from ‘System Preferences’ and in the website rather than having to log into the iCloud website which makes life a big easier.
  6. Safari 15.1 has bought back the traditional tabs which has made life a lot easier for me and many other users are happy with the change back to the traditional tabs. It is good that when Apple does receive feedback that they take it on the chin and correct course rather than dismissing it as the rabble not understanding the true genius behind the decision that was made.

I’m still looking around the operation system but so far this has been pretty stable for a fresh release – not strange bugs, no regressions, so far everything is working well. I’ll keep the blog updated when I find things that are interesting.

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