Tuesday, November 30, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Little Annoyances in macOS 12.0.1

Howard Oakley:

These appear to be part of long-standing problems with Apple’s wireless trackpads and keyboards, which can also occasionally result in the doubling of letters and other glitches. Although these have improved to the level of occasional irritants, I can’t understand how Apple’s own devices can’t be used without these bugs getting in the way.


Sadly the answer is that they’re still non-functional. Open the Desktop & Screen Saver pane, select the Screen Saver tab, and then preview the Classic, for example. All I can see is a black screen with the time displayed.


One of the oldest prominent bugs in macOS, which dates back at least eight years to OS X 10.9 if not before, is a flaw in the Finder calculating the width of columns, which I’ve named the Finder column width bug.

The biggest issues for me are:

If we’re talking annoyances, rather than bugs per se, the top of my list would have to be the narrow alerts.


Update (2021-12-03): Tyler Hall:

Just piling on to say that 12.0 is the first time I’ve ever consistently shut down my laptop at the end of each work day because I know that will make tomorrow much more performant and glitch free.

Two more bugs I still run into, carried over from Big Sur:

An annoyance, new in Monterey, is that in the evening, when my Mac’s screen is locked and asleep, it will wake itself up—disturbing me by flashing light all around the room—just to show a notification that it’s entering Do Not Disturb mode.

Nick Heer:

I could pick and choose from the bugs I have filed in the past several months to build a list like these. I seldom find applications outright crashing, but there are plenty of entry-level user interaction problems: in several apps, scroll position is not preserved while using the app or when it is backgrounded; notifications fly in from the bottom edge of the screen when waking my Mac like there is a violent toaster on my desk; Music remains a small tragedy.

In isolation, it would be hard to isolate any of these problems as particularly upsetting or difficult. But they compound. Each one adds unnecessary friction to the tools I use all the time. You can add them all to a list but, for me at least, they multiply my annoyance. From where I am sitting, it is hard to know if these problems are being treated seriously, or if they are falling by the wayside as Apple races to get new features ready in time for WWDC 2022.

Howard Oakley:

There have been a few reports of Macs running recent versions of macOS, particularly 12.0.1, gradually getting slower until they almost grind to a halt. This article suggests a structured way to tackle both diagnosing and dealing with this.

Good tips, but unfortunately they did not lead to a resolution for me. Neither did rebuilding Launch Services.

Bob LeVitus:

Apple released MacOS Monterey (V12.0.1) last week, and my upgrade experience was less than stellar. After three days, I’m still dealing with multiple irritating issues.


When I wake up my Mac, as often as not, my desktop icons have rearranged themselves spontaneously, leaving a jumble of overlapping icons in place of my carefully arranged groups


Another issue I haven’t yet resolved is that my wired keyboard has become unreliable since the upgrade. Characters don’t appear when I type them, sometimes appearing after a long lag and sometimes not appearing at all. It happens with two different wired keyboards and is so irritating that I’m using the built-in MacBook Air keyboard, which I hate.

Colin Cornaby:

While the new MacBook Pro hardware is dreamy, both migrations from my old gear were marred by macOS bugs in Monterey on both ends.

One of my favorites: When Migration Assistant tries to close all the apps on the source Mac end, it it gets held up by an app that won’t close, it just gets stuck in a bad state. You get a back button, but into a “can’t authenticate” state.

Update (2021-12-13): Martin Wierschin:

My own upgrade to Monterey was relatively smooth, but there were some issues. The only potentially critical failure was that Apple Mail did not import all of my emails. Several hundred emails were completely blank and invalid

Geoff Duncan:

One of the things I admire most about macOS is how using a Photos as a source of images for the screensaver has been broken for so long (I think since El Capitan) that nobody even mentions it anymore.

See also: What’s happening with Apple?.


I would add to the list of annoyances:

- the menubar not being drawn correctly upon login.
- logging out takes an eternity
- shutting down takes two eternities.
- Preview not able to save annotations correctly. Also not being able to drag annotations because they are supposedly not big enough.
- the Recents folder being the default one in the Finder.
- the scroling direction still not reverted to the correct one after all those years. YMMV.
- the terrible icons for a lot of System Applications.
- TextEdit not able to render text correctly (imaginary white lines being added or some parts of the text drawn other texts)
- having to figure out each time where an item is inside the System Preferences window.
- the grayed shortcuts in the Menus
- not being able to just see the Date when I click on the Time in the menu bar.
- the awkward design of user notifications.
- the very annoying Exposé animation when you drag a file too close to the border of the screen.
- drag and drop not working as expected when you're drag and dropping a file between the Finder and a Shared Screen as soon as the Finder window intersect the shared screen window.
- the cmd E shortcut not working as expected.
- tThe cmd R shortcut not doing what it should be doing.
- the awkward shortcut we still have to use to cancel a standard panel.
- having to type a password all the time.

@someone Yes, the notifications design would be my #2 after the alerts.

I'll offer a couple more:

- apps silently quitting in the background with no notice or crash report (e.g. Numbers, Notes, an old version of Reeder, BBEdit). (FB9781495; “recent similar reports: none”).

- kernel panics while idle, manifesting as a rebooted machine after waking from sleep.

- the annoying Big Sur-style window toolbar design has reverted, despite the 'NSWindowSupportsAutomaticInlineTitle' user default set globally to false (per Big Sur).

- inscrutable and non-configurable snooze options for Calendar events (not a new problem, but the number of non-configurable options thrown at the user seems to have increased).

Oblique bonus: did you know that pressing ctrl-D (that's ctrl, not cmd) in Mail will delete the current message? I found out the hard way. (I bet it was implemented by the same person responsible for the old Safari misfeature where pressing backspace would reload the previous page, blowing away any text entry in progress.)

The user notification design is the massive annoyance to me. I can never get them to close or figure out how to reply to messages like in Catalina and before. It's really Horrid.

Just turn off all notifications. It's a computer, not a phone.

I'm not too happy about how the top menu shows up in Fullscreen mode. Pushes everything down in an unpleasant way and often by accident when I go too far up whilst interacting with an application menu.

Easy fix would be too leave the top menu visible in Fullscreen mode

Wow, some of these are straight out of the Windows 98 era.

Last year, I switched from macOS (Mojave) to Windows, and while it has its fair share of annoyances, I experience far fewer of them day-to-day than I did on Mojave. Windows 11 added a few more bugs, but has been surprisingly stable even though I upgraded on day 1.

In particular, Windows Update, by far one of the least predictable systems on Windows, has been more reliable for me than recent Mac updates. Monthly security updates usually take less than 5 minutes total. Night and day difference compared to massive and lengthy macOS updates just to patch a tiny thing.

I switched last year not out of excitement for Windows, but because macOS felt like it didn't have a future as a platform that would let me do the work I need to do.

Beatrix Willius

- The "do you really" is so annoying.
- Why do I have to confirm notification for every darn app that I start the first time?
- Yes, the error messages are embarrassing. Are now all characters shown at the right edge?
- I use the Java app JWildfire to make fractals. The developer didn't get the security scoped bookmarks to work with Java. Every time I use the app I have to reconfirm paths. What is so dangerous at loading paths?
- In Finder some text is cut off when viewing file previews in column mode. The vertical scrollbar is cut off, too.
- Search in Mail never worked properly. You can guess which app I use for email searching.
- This one makes me curse: I save a webarchive from Safari. Later I want to open the saved file. But I can't because of an error. Oh, that one is going to be fixed. Hopefully.

I don't see any thinking pauses in apps at all. But my computer still does a kernel panic every 7-10 days even on 12.1.

My 2¢:
- Text input randomly hangs for a few 100msec (TextEdit, Notes, Pages, some 3rd party apps)
- Cannot right-click mini icon in window chrome to reveal folder hierarchy. Possibly already abolished in macOS 11.

My guess is NSWindowSupportsAutomaticInlineTitle was always intended as a temporary fallback until they figure out more edge cases. Which, in Monterey, they have — you now get a checkbox to enable proxy icons. (I also like the other new checkbox to add little borders around the toolbar icons. It makes the windows less… dull. But I still overall prefer the Yosemite-era window design.)

How could I forget, the constant nagging to start using iCloud.
I. Don't. Want. To.

Well, at least I now know how annoying it must be to have a Samsung tv with ads.

@Ben NSWindowSupportsAutomaticInlineTitle has been replaced by a real Accessibility preference. Control-D maps to forward delete in all apps.

@Beatrix Safari’s default filename for saving has been messed up for a few months now.

I really that we got like option for the menubar in full screen mode, just wish you could make an exemption when watching videos in full screen.

Safari 15.1 no longer saves pages using their title by default, but useless numbers or words linked by hyphens. Frustrating!

Once again my decision to stay on macOS 10.14 appears to be justified.

The notifications UX is my number one annoyance for sure. I have most notifications disabled because of this.

There is another strange bug in Finder that is also quite disturbing. Every couple of days of uptime all my Icons disappear from the desktop. Even in a Finder windows when I open the Desktop folder all files seem to gone! This is on the latest Big Sur. I haven't ugpraded to Monterey yet. To fix this you have to force restart Finder. It then works again for another couple of days.

Since Big Sur, I've got mouse & keyboard stop working avg. 2-3 times per week. No crash, everything works fine, normal hardware resource utilization, from SSH there's nothing suspicious, even Kararbiner-EventViewer shows correct key press response, but mouse and keyboard just stop working, no effect for clicking and typing. I know at least one more person has this exact problem.

@ Dan

> - Cannot right-click mini icon in window chrome to reveal folder hierarchy. Possibly already abolished in macOS 11.

You can turn that back on again in Accessibility preferences (a.k.a. Apple's current favorite junk drawer). The icon comes back, as does its path menu.

Alas, not in Safari. But it does work in Finder and Preview, and presumably most document-based apps.

CMD+TAB often switches to _another_ app than I chose in the App Switcher and works at 2nd attempt only—I _think_ this happens when the chosen app is in another Workspace.

>Since Big Sur, I've got mouse & keyboard stop working avg. 2-3 times per week. No crash, everything works fine, normal hardware resource utilization, from SSH there's nothing suspicious, even Kararbiner-EventViewer shows correct key press response, but mouse and keyboard just stop working, no effect for clicking and typing. I know at least one more person has this exact problem.

I've started seeing this for the keyboard. Internal and external just won't react. The trackpad still works. Clicking back and forth between apps seems to eventually fix it. Something gets stuck, it seems.

But, I, too, have Karabiner, so I wonder if that's the culprit.

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