When to Expect Apple to Release macOS 12.1 With SharePlay and More
Apple released macOS Monterey in late October, but we are still waiting on several promised features such as SharePlay and Universal Control to be made available through subsequent software updates like macOS 12.1, which is currently in beta testing.
The first macOS 12.1 beta enabled SharePlay on the Mac, allowing developers to prepare their apps to support the feature. SharePlay, which is already available in iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, and tvOS 15.1, will allow users to watch movies and TV shows with friends and family while on a FaceTime call, and even share their screens.
When Will macOS 12.1 Be Released?
Apple has released several previous macOS updates in early-to-mid December:
- macOS Big Sur 11.1: December 14, 2020
- macOS Catalina 10.15.2: December 10, 2019
- macOS Mojave 10.14.2: December 5, 2018
- macOS High Sierra 10.13.2: December 6, 2017
- macOS Sierra 10.12.2: December 13, 2016
- OS X El Capitan 10.11.2: December 8, 2015
In mid-November, Apple shared a press release stating that SharePlay is coming to the Mac later this fall, and given that SharePlay was enabled in the macOS 12.1 beta, this altogether implies that macOS 12.1 will be released before the end of the year.
From the press release:
SharePlay, a powerful set of features for shared experiences while on a FaceTime call, has introduced new ways for Apple users to stay connected. With SharePlay support in Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Fitness+ — as well as many of the most popular apps like NBA, TikTok, Twitch, Paramount+, and SHOWTIME — users can watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, or complete a workout with friends together on a FaceTime call. SharePlay extends to Apple TV so users can watch on the big screen while using FaceTime on iPhone or iPad. With screen sharing support, users can also browse the web together, look at photos, or show their friends something in a favorite app. SharePlay is available with the release of iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, and tvOS 15.1, and is coming to Mac later this fall.
It remains unclear if macOS 12.1 will include Universal Control, which will allow for a single mouse, trackpad, and keyboard to be used across multiple Macs and/or iPads side by side. Apple's website continues to list Universal Control as "available later this fall," but the feature has still not been enabled as of the latest macOS 12.1 beta. Universal Control settings can be force enabled with a feature flag, however, so it is clear that Apple is working on the feature behind the scenes and so it could still launch this year.
Other new macOS Monterey features include AirPlay to Mac, Quick Note, Live Text, a Shortcuts app, spatial audio in FaceTime, and more.