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macOS Monterey 12.3, iPadOS 15.4 come with universal controls; Apple Watch gets firmware recovery support

Apple has released macOS Monterey 12.3 to bring Universal Control to Mac and iPad users. A new feature currently in beta allows you to use a single mouse and keyboard on your Mac. The new version of macOS also includes support for spatial audio and new emoji. Along with the macOS Monterey update, Apple introduced watchOS 8.5, iOS 15.4, and iPadOS 15.4. The iPhone manufacturer has also made it possible for users to restore the firmware of their Apple Watch directly from their iPhone, without requiring them to visit the nearest service center.

macOS Monterey 12.3: What’s new

One of the biggest changes macOS Monterey 12.3 brings to Mac users is the addition of Universal Control. This new feature was announced at WWDC 2021 in June. It was also expected to be available as part of the original macOS Monterey in October, though Apple has delayed the feature.

Universal Control requires your iPad to be running iPadOS 15.4 and your iPad and Mac to use the same Apple ID. The devices must also be within a few meters of each other.

After fulfilling all the above conditions, you can use Universal Control to use the same mouse and keyboard on both iPad and Mac. You can also drag and drop files between devices using the new feature.

In addition to universal control, Apple has included support for spatial audio in macOS 12.3 specifically for Macs with an M1 chip so that users with supported AirPods can experience surround sound. Customizable Spatial Audio options Off, Fixed, and Head Tracking are also available in Control Center when using supported AirPods on Macs with an M1 chip.

macOS Monterey 12.3 brings over 40 new emoji and a new Siri voice, just like iOS 15.4. New emoji include faces, hand gestures, and household items.

Apple updated its Podcasts app in macOS Monterey 12.3 with episode filters by season, played, unplayed, saved, and downloaded episodes. Safari Web Page Translation also added support for Italian and Chinese (Traditional). In addition, labels included support for adding, removing, and querying tags via reminders. Saved passwords in Safari can also contain notes.

The new version of macOS includes bug fixes and improvements, including improved accuracy of battery capacity readings, an updated Apple TV app to fix audio distortion when watching videos, and a fix for the Photos app to fix an issue where photos and videos are unintentionally moved when organizing albums.

Apple has also included a number of security fixes in macOS Monterey 12.3, which are detailed at security update page.

iPadOS 15.4: what’s new

Apple has unveiled iPadOS 15.4 with features such as universal controls, over 40 emojis, and an updated Siri with a new voice. Siri in iPadOS 15.4 can also provide time and date information offline on iPad Pro and later. In addition, the new version of iPadOS includes an updated version of FaceTime that allows you to launch SharePlay sessions directly from supported apps.

The iPadOS 15.4 update also includes the ability to adjust the volume when you rotate your iPad. It works with iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (4th and 5th generation), iPad Air 2, iPad Air (3rd and 4th generation), and iPad Pro. There are also updates to the iCloud, Safari, Podcasts, News, and Camera apps with minor tweaks.

The update also includes bug fixes to address issues, including an issue that could cause the keyboard to insert a period between the numbers you typed. The new version of macOS also resolves an iCloud Photo Library sync issue that prevents photos and videos from syncing.

Apple also detailed security updates included with iPadOS 15.4.

watchOS 8.5: what’s new

Apple Watch users also received watchOS 8.5 with several updates. It lets you authorize Apple TV purchases and subscriptions right from your wrist. You can also use Fitness+ audio cues with audio narration for visualized movements during workouts. The Apple Fitness+ subscription service has yet to debut in India.

Irregular rhythm notifications have also been updated in the latest release of watchOS to improve the identification of atrial fibrillation. It is currently available in the US, Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa and select regions.

The release of watchOS 8.5 also includes a list of fixes that detailed on the Security Updates page.

iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 users are getting a new tool that allows users to restore their Apple Watch wirelessly. Until now, users had to visit a service center to fix the firmware on their Apple Watch in case of an unresolvable problem.

Apple has updated its subsidiary articlebecause spotted by 9to5Mac to detail how users can flash their Apple Watch.

Make sure your Apple Watch and iPhone have the latest software and are connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Now you need to put your Apple Watch on the charger and double-click the side button on your watch. After that, follow the instructions on your iPhone’s screen to proceed with the firmware restore.

Apple Watch firmware can now be restored using iPhone
Photo Credit: Apple

In some cases, a red exclamation mark may appear on your Apple Watch. You just need to double-click the side button and follow the same steps to restore your Apple Watch in these cases.

You may need to contact Apple Support if your Apple Watch still shows a red exclamation mark.

How to download macOS Monterey 12.3

Apple has released macOS Monterey 12.3 for all qualifying MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, iMacs, Mac minis, and Mac Pros. You can manually check for updates by going to System settings > Software update after clicking on the Apple menu icon in the top left corner of your computer screen. You can also get an update by visiting About this Mac setting from the Apple menu.

How to download iPadOS 15.4

iPadOS 15.2 is compatible with all iPad models covered by iPadOS 15 and can be downloaded from Settings > General > Software update.

How to download watchOS 8.5

You can download watchOS 8.5 on Apple Watch Series 3 and later by going to General > Software update in the Watch app on iPhone. You can also download the latest watchOS update directly from your Apple Watch if it’s connected to Wi-Fi by going to Settings > General > Software update.



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