Apple Releases iOS 17.1, iPadOS 17.1, macOS 14.1 Sonoma, watchOS 10.1, tvOS 17.1, and HomePod Software 17.1

Originally published at: Apple Releases iOS 17.1, iPadOS 17.1, macOS 14.1 Sonoma, watchOS 10.1, tvOS 17.1, and HomePod Software 17.1 - TidBITS

The X.1 updates to Apple’s latest crop of operating systems are out with bug fixes and a couple of features that didn’t ship in the initial releases, such as the watchOS double-tap gesture. And plenty of security fixes. As always.

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Enhance Dialogue makes it easier to hear spoken voices over effects, action, and music when a HomePod is paired with an Apple TV 4K. I’m sure my ears aren’t improving with age, but I’ve found audio in movies and TV shows increasingly muddy.

Looks like (or sounds like, ha ha) muddy dialogue has become a problem for a lot of people…

“What did he just say?”

Those are some of the most commonly uttered words in my home. No matter how much my wife and I crank up the TV volume, the actors in streaming movies and shows are becoming increasingly difficult to understand. We usually end up turning on the subtitles, even though we aren’t hard of hearing.

We’re not alone. In the streaming era, as video consumption shifts from movie theaters toward content shrunk down for televisions, tablets and smartphones, making dialogue crisp and clear has become the entertainment world’s toughest technology challenge. About 50 percent of Americans — and the majority of young people — watch videos with subtitles on most of the time, according to surveys, in large part because they are struggling to decipher what actors are saying.


2 items not mentioned in the release documentation:

  1. New animations have been added to the Snoopy watch face.

  2. An old bug in the Mac version of Apple Music appears to have been fixed. I usually play Apple Music on my office MacStudio and through HomePods in other rooms. For several OS releases, if I start Apple Music and select something to play, the computer speakers go silent if the HomePods and MacStudio are all selected as speakers. Tapping the selector in the Airplay dropdown turns the computer speakers back on. This issue has been fixed. Everything comes alive at startup.

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I read your article and immediately began updating my Apple TV and Homepods. I will test the Enhance Dialogue feature this evening.
It is not just my hearing that has deteriorated (mildly) - it is evident that many actors now tend to mumble their lines and this is made worse by obtrusive “background” music. This might be cool and trendy in the movie industry but it wrecks the enjoyment of the movie for many of us.
I hope I will no longer need to use sub-titles for shows where the actor is supposed to be speaking English!
Update: Interesting that the Apple Support page states “Enhance Dialogue gives you the option to hear speech more clearly over background sounds with HomePod (2nd generation) speakers paired to Apple TV 4K”, which seems to indicate that it does not apply to the Original Homepods but the Update Dialogue does refer to them.

In any case, I have completed the updates and the Apple TV audio settings now allow me to turn Enhanced Dialogue on. It seems to be working!

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My understanding, but something I didn’t have time to verify last night, is that Enhance Dialogue already worked with the second-generation HomePod and this update brings it to the first-generation HomePod and the HomePod mini as well.

I was hoping to see something in the 17.1 release notes about a fix for newer iPhones mysteriously shutting off in the middle of the night for multiple hours.

That’s such a strange bug. I haven’t seen it again, and my impression is that most others haven’t experienced it multiple times too. We know it still existed in the betas of 17.1, so my guess is that Apple just hasn’t figured out what’s going on yet.

I’ve reviewed the last several OS releases on most of the platforms and there is a pretty clear pattern. Initial release (x.0) usually brings many new features and many new bugs. The x.1 release usually brings a feature that was promised at the conference where the OS was introduced but was not ready in time. In the x.2, x.3 and x.4, bugs are squashed - especially when the bugs are on older hardware. The x.5 release often brings a new feature. Of course all releases bring security updates. But those are not done only on the current OS. The x.6 and x.7 releases are usually on OS’s that are over a year old and keep the security fixes in line with the most current OS.

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macOS 14.1 fixed two really irritating bugs in 14.0. First, the keyboard touch security feature works when my keyboard is connected to the Mac Studio via USB (no need to recharge and it connects faster when the system is started); and when I connect my Sony A7RV and OMD OM-1 cameras via USB, both memory cards show up on the desktop (a feature that has been around for a long time but 14.0 disabled it.)


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Your article said:

…I had to edit my contact card to put my phone numbers in the proper order, something that’s most easily done in Contacts on the Mac.

I presume you meant that you had to delete all the phone number entries, and then re-enter them manually in the desired order, right? Because as far as I can tell, there is NO way to change the order of phone numbers, whether by drag-n-drop or a sort command…?

But there should be!

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Yes, exactly. I thought there would be a rearrange feature too, but no, not in any of the versions of Contacts.

Also, Howard Oakley has more on the 14.1 and old cameras issue.

Local-USB-Finder Calendar & Contacts syncing still crashes SyncServer here.

Another tweak in 14.1:

watch OS 10.1 fixed the bug where the weather data was not syncing properly with the phone and the selected weather data was not displaying directly in weather complications. Alas, there’s a new issue - the heart rate monitor now seems to require a tap to display values.

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Wow! The first thing I noticed on installing MacOS Sonoma (v14.1) is that it doubled the number of cores in my CPU. This is a really neat trick! How did they do it?

Model Name:	MacBook Pro
Model Identifier:	MacBookPro16,1
Processor Name:	6-Core Intel Core i7

But Activity Monitor’s CPU Usage and CPU History windows show 12 cores, all of which have occasional activity. Oops.

It seems that iOS 17.1 and friends also fixed a serious problem that prevented Apple’s private Wi-Fi address feature from, well, working at all. :frowning: It’s surprising both that Apple would have missed this for so long and that no one outside Apple realized either.

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Looks like AM just displaying Intel’s Hyper-threading (I thought it had actually done that before already, maybe I’m just misremembering). Each hardware core presents as two logical cores. It allows for more efficient SMP, but obviously, you’re not getting more peak performance. Perhaps it’s fair to say, it just ensures you can actually exploit the CPU’s peak performance.

Huh? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Either there are 12 cores (I doubt it!) or there are 6 cores (which is in keeping with hardware specifications). “Peak performance” doesn’t seem to have much to do with that.

You have 6 physical cores that the OS and software see as 12 logical cores. The reason Intel does that is so max core performance can be better exploited (eg. scheduling & sharing execution resources). If you want to learn details, here it is.

Nothing in your CPU or Mac has changed, obviously. It’s just about how CPU and CPU use get indicated by tools such as Activity Monitor.

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macOS 14.1 appears to have broken screen sharing. Using either the Screen Sharing app or the Messages app leads to my connection dropping within a couple seconds after the remote person’s Mac screen appears.

I tried this with 2 family members who live in different states. All 3 of us are on Apple Silicon machines.

I have a 3rd support call with Apple scheduled so we can capture some diagnostic info to send their engineers….