macOS Monterey 12.3 launches, bringing Universal Control, spatial audio head tracking and other new features to the Mac

Apple’s macOS Monterey 12.3 update is ready for public consumption, bringing such improvements to your Mac as the new cross-device Universal Control feature, head tracking for spatial audio and other perks. The update was released on Monday, March 14, 2022, alongside iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 for the iPhone and iPad.

Apple's marketing image showing an iMac, MacBook Pro and iPad next to each other on a work desk, controlled wirelessly with the Universal Control feature
Image credit: Apple

How to install macOS Monterey 12.3 on your Mac

You can install the macOS Monterey 12.3 via the same Software Update mechanism in System Preferences used to download other over-the-air updates from Apple.

  1. Click the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences.”
  2. In the System Preferences window, choose “Software Update.”
  3. Click the button labeled “Update Now” to download and install macOS 12.3.

The process may take a while so be patient. Whatever you do, be sure to avoid unplugging or shutting down the computer while the update is being installed. You may be asked to enter your Mac account password to continue.

Control your Macs and iPads with Universal Control

With Universal Control in macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15.4, you can control any number of Macs and iPads using the same keyboard and trackpad/mouse. The pointer seamlessly travels across all of your screens, and you can even use drag and drop if you’d like to, say, bring an image from your Mac and insert it into a Pages document you’ve been working on your iPad. Here’s an earlier video from our videographer Harris Craycraft explaining what Universal Control is and what you can do with it. Read: Here are some things to do right after setting up a new Mac

Universal Control is currently a beta feature, keep that in mind.

Other new features in macOS Monterey 12.3

Aside from Universal Control, macOS 12.3 brings the head tracking feature for spatial audio on M1 Macs. Head tracking for spatial audio has been available on the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, and now it’s finally come to the Mac. With head tracking turned on, the sound follows the movement of your head.

macOS 12.3 also adds quite a few new emoji to the mix, with 37 in total, along with more than 70 new skin tone additions. There are more than 100 new additions, all told. That includes a brand new melting face, a face with a hand over the mouth and others. The inline translation feature in Safari now supports Italian and traditional Chinese, there’s a new less-gendered Siri voice available, saved passwords can now include notes and more. Read: How to view your iCloud Keychain passwords

macOS Monterey 12.3 release notes

The macOS Monterey 12.3 update includes the following new features, feature improvements, enhancements and bug fixes, all listed in Apple’s support document.

Universal Control (beta)

  • Universal Control allows you to use a single mouse and keyboard across iPad and Mac
  • Text can be typed on either Mac or iPad and you can drag and drop files between them

Spatial Audio

  • Dynamic head tracking is available in Music with supported AirPods on Mac computers with the M1 chip
  • Customizable spatial audio settings for Off, Fixed and Head Tracked are now in Control Center with supported AirPods on Mac computers with the M1 chip


  • New emoji including faces, hand gestures and household objects are available on the emoji keyboard
  • Handshake emoji allows you to choose separate skin tones for each hand

Quality-of-life improvements

  • Siri now includes an additional voice, expanding the diversity of options.
  • Podcasts app adds episode filter for seasons, played, unplayed, saved or downloaded episodes
  • Safari webpage translation adds support for Italian and Chinese (Traditional)
  • The Shortcuts app now supports adding, removing or querying tags with Reminders
  • Saved passwords can now include your own notes
  • Battery capacity readings have improved accuracy

macOS Monterey 12.3 includes the following bug fixes for your Mac:

  • The News widgets in Today View may not open articles when clicked
  • Audio may sound distorted while watching video in the Apple TV app
  • Some photos and videos may be unintentionally moved when organizing albums in Photos

Apple also provides a list of security updates in macOS Monterey 12.3.