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Apple’s macOS 14.2 and watchOS 10.2: Enhancing user experience with new features

Apple has unveiled macOS 14.2 and watchOS 10.2, significant updates packed with new features that aim to enhance the user experience across Mac and Apple Watch devices. These updates, which followed extensive beta testing, bring a mix of long-awaited functionalities and innovative tweaks to Apple’s ecosystem.

macOS 14.2: A Leap in User Interaction and Convenience

The latest macOS 14.2 update introduces several notable features. One of the most anticipated is sticker reactions, allowing users to react to messages with Live Stickers, Memoji, or Animoji directly through the Sticker drawer or Tapback menu. This addition aligns macOS with its iOS counterpart in terms of messaging interactivity.

Furthermore, macOS 14.2 enhances the playlist editing experience. Users can now add custom covers and descriptions to their playlists, a feature that previously debuted on iOS 17.1.

Another critical addition is the Message Contact Key Verification. This security feature enables users to verify who they are messaging by comparing contact verification codes, adding an extra layer of protection against sophisticated impersonation attacks.

In terms of convenience, macOS 14.2 introduces support for multiple timers, allowing users to run several timers simultaneously with custom names. Timer presets and recents are also included for easy access and management. However, it’s important to note that setting multiple timers still requires manual input, as Siri does not support this feature yet.

Enhancements in AutoFill and Apple Music are also part of this update. AutoFill now identifies fields in PDFs and other forms more effectively, and the new Favorite Songs Playlist in Apple Music provides quick access to favored tracks. Additionally, users can opt to disable the Use Listening History in Apple Music within Focus settings.

Lastly, Shazam Music Recognition has been integrated, enabling users to identify songs playing online or nearby, even when using AirPods. New keyboard layouts have also been added, supporting 8 Sámi languages, broadening the system’s linguistic inclusivity.

watchOS 10.2: Tailored Health Features and Gestural Improvements

The watchOS 10.2 update, particularly beneficial for Series 9 and Ultra 2 users, introduces Siri’s ability to read and log on-device Health requests. This feature enhances privacy and efficiency, allowing users to access health and fitness-related data directly on their device.

The update supports over 20 health data types via Siri, facilitating quick and easy access to health information. Users can ask Siri about their activity rings, step count, medication intake, and more, streamlining the process of tracking health metrics.

For Series 6 or newer Apple Watch models, the update brings an automatic view of Now Playing when near a HomePod (2nd generation) or HomePod mini. This feature ensures seamless integration with Apple’s home audio devices.

One of the most welcomed changes is the reintroduction of the gesture to switch the main watch face by swiping. This gesture, reinstated in watchOS 10.2 beta 3, adds to the user-friendly nature of the interface.

Other enhancements include the option to confirm ending workouts, prioritizing audio levels in Fitness+ workouts, and resolving issues related to watch face synchronization with the iPhone.

These updates reflect Apple’s ongoing commitment to refining its software ecosystem, emphasizing user convenience, security, and personalization. While macOS 14.2 strengthens interactivity and security features, watchOS 10.2 focuses on health and fitness functionalities, catering to the diverse needs of Apple users. These updates highlight Apple’s dedication to delivering a seamless and enhanced user experience across its devices.