10 Huge Improvements to Expect from the Recent MacOS 10.12.2 Update

macos 10.12.2

The final version of MacOS 10.12.2 update has been released recently. While the update didn’t bring with it BIG, visible alterations, the changes packed with it are essential.

The update focused entirely on improvements under the hood and some necessary fixes. We’ll take a closer look at the changes it brought with it.

Touch Bar Screenshot

You can now take a screenshot of the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro after the MacOS 10.12.2 update. To take a screenshot of the entire Touch Bar, press keys shift + command + 6. To store the screenshot on your clipboard so you can paste it wherever, press the keys control + shift + command + 6.

Removal of Battery Power Estimate

Curiously, Apple removed the estimated time-remaining feature on the top right of the MacBook toolbar. Meaning, you’ll no longer see how long your MacBook’s battery will last before you need to plug it into a power source. The same spot now shows the power source, along with any app consuming a huge amount of battery juice. In case you need to get a running estimate of your MacBook’s battery life, you can download a third-party app.

The move seems odd, but Apple states that modern components have made estimating the remaining battery life based on a user’s activity is difficult.

A More Reliable Auto Unlocking

Some have found it a bit cumbersome unlocking their MacBooks with an Apple Watch, what with Auto Unlock’s inconsistencies. With the recent update, the feature has been made more reliable so you won’t take more tries than you really should for its unlocking capability to work. This update especially applies to all 2013 and newer MacBook models that support unlocking the desktop via Apple Watch.

iCloud Desktop and Documents Notifications

A few months back, it was hard to tell what the iCloud Desktop and Documents feature did to your files. This was especially the case when you’ve enabled the feature on multiple Macs that have pre-existing files and folders on their respective desktops. Post-update, you’ll have a better idea of what the feature does. You’ll also see tweaks on the alerts for the Optimized Storage feature, which deletes local files that have been safely stored in the cloud whenever you run low on local disk space.

Better Siri Sound Quality over Bluetooth

Prior to MacOS 10.12.2 update, one can notice how Siri’s audio quality is seemingly fuzzier with a Bluetooth headset. A muffled Siri response and your voice input inevitably increased the risk of getting your commands misunderstood. Now, Siri (as well as FaceTime) noticeably sounds better over Bluetooth audio.

Better Security against Physical Hacks

Because a Swedish hacker demonstrated how easy it is to steal passwords off a Mac, Apple made sure your computer won’t be easily compromised. According to the hacker’s post, a device with PCILeech software and a hard reboot is all you need to acquire the system’s password. He connected the device to a MacBook Air’s Thunderbolt port and got the system password in less than a minute. He even got access to FileVault, the encryption software that protects the hard drive. Luckily, the 10.12.2 update should make your machine less vulnerable to this crude threat.

Other Noteworthy Changes:

  • Microsoft Exchange accounts will now deliver incoming email messages more efficiently in Mail app.
  • The Photos app is more stable whenever you’re assembling and ordering printed photo books.
  • Installation of new Windows 7 and 8 on supported older Macs is now possible under Sierra.
  • Extensions for Safari that have been downloaded outside the Safari Extensions Gallery may now install properly.

How to Install the MacOS 10.12.2 Update

The MacOS 10.12.2 update is already available on the Mac App Store and you can readily download it for free. To install, click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen. From there, go to App Store > click Updates. You also need to know that new copies of Sierra installer that have just been downloaded recently already include the update.

Overall, the 10.12.2 update brings with it useful stability improvements, necessary bug fixes, and a few other changes. No matter how you feel about such modifications, you should download the crucial update either way.

Curious what’s next for MacOS? Apple recently released a second MacOS Sierra 10.12.3 beta for public testing. You might want to check that out, too.