Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of macOS Monterey 12.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming macOS Monterey 12.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new update coming a week after the release of the third macOS Monterey 12.4 beta.
Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and after the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.
According to Apple's release notes, Universal Control in the new iPadOS 15.5 and macOS Monterey 12.4 updates is not compatible with machines running macOS 12.3 or iPadOS 15.4, so Apple suggests that as a workaround, users should update their Universal Control devices to the new betas.
When paired with a Studio Display, macOS Monterey 12.4 supports new 15.5 Studio Display firmware, which improves the quality of the webcam on the machine.
There are also new betas for macOS Big Sur 11.6.6 and the macOS Catalina 2022-005 security update.
Top Rated Comments
* Apple Music: Internal "failed to prepare to play" error (API level) -> track silently skipped, next one plays
* Apple Music: Track slight stutter at start of any and all lossless playbacks, most noticeable with rhythmic track intros
* Apple Music: After a while of working, gets into a state where it completely fails to sync playlist changes at all and never works again until you sign out of every single device everywhere then sign back in one by one, after which it works for a while until it subsequently, once again, breaks (iOS works fine, Cider works fine and astonishingly even iTunes works fine when loaded via Retroactive on the very same x86 machine where Music is sitting there, failing to sync anything)
* Apple Music: Very slow playback startup with lossless, sometimes just goes with lossy for no reason
* Apple Music: Super janky and inconsistent "back" button behaviour, when it's even visible
* Apple Music: Catalyst apps can't play any Apple Music content whatsoever; it's simply broken, acknowledged by Apple engineering several months ago but apparently making basic music playback work is a super hard challenge for today's l33t super-well-paid engineering staff or something?!
* Safari: Tab group changes completely fail to sync, see playlists above
* Safari: Attempting to e.g. rename a tab group involves fighting it constantly dropping input focus until eventually it settles long enough for you to type something (which may or may not get sync'd)
* Safari: Adding/deleting tabs within a tab group can cause a "dead" tab that can't be closed and doesn't change no matter what you try to visit
* Safari: Make enough changes in tab groups and the browser will outright crash
* Safari: Things in a tab group are trapped forever and you have to manually pull them out if you want to remove the tab group but keep the tabs (deleting a tab group will replace every window on every device that has that tab group with a tabs from an apparently-arbitrarily-chosen other tab group, but in a kinda-broken state where they don't quite sync properly and, of course, what you wanted it to do was just delete the group, but leave your Safari windows and their tabs open - just not in a named group anymore)
* Safari: M1 only AFAICS, gets into a state where external link opens don't work - the browser gains focus but no new page or tab opens; requires actual reboot, not just a Safari quit/restart to resolve; fortunately, very rare
* iCloud drive: Can fail to sync, as above, anyone at Apple notice a pattern here?!
* macOS: Since round about Monterey, a rewritten trackpad driver appears to have a very large number of race conditions which can introduce super-annoying misbehaviour such as: You're dragging something. You used to be able to reliably use a two-finger scroll gesture at the same time as the drag. Now that sometimes works or sometimes, bizarrely, your scroll gesture makes the mouse pointer move instead...
...you get the idea. These are faults I've experienced consistently personally on a wide variety of machines, of a wide age span and across Intel and x86, both brand new purchased with Monterey from the start back to machines upgraded over several years of macOS releases. There are Reddit threads for just about all of them, so please don't add "works for me" comments - good for you; it doesn't work for a lot of other people.
As another poster herein observes, nothing ever seems to get fixed; we just see the bugs get worse and more numerous. When a new bug gets into your workflow, your heart sinks and your stress levels peak, because you know that this is it forever; it's never going to get sorted. So I can answer my own question: No. The new beta and its subsequent general release will fix none of those.
Back in March I posted these results
M1 24" iMac latest beta Safari 15.4 - 285, Firefox 97.0.2 - 229
M1 Max MBP latest beta Safari 15.4 - 295, Firefox 97.0.2 - 229
Both on ethernet, 12.3 beta 5.
With Beta 3 and now Beta 4 of MacOS 12.4 betas I'm seeing substantially faster scores with speedometer 2.0
Browser tests for this Safari Version 15.5 (17618.104.22.168.6)
M1 24" IMac = 342
M1 Max MBP = 350
Firefox 100 = 242/240 on both examples, still a bit faster.
Quite a speed improvement!