MacOS Monterey, Apple’s latest macOS release, was announced earlier this year at the WWDC in June, where iOS 15, iPad OS 15, and watchOS 8 were announced. The least anticipated of the three, macOS Monterey (Also MacOS 12), still packs a punch in terms of added features. It only makes sense for Apple fans to know what to expect from this new update and when it will finally be available to the public as an update.
Without further ado, let’s gets started.
Possible Release Date
Apple announced macOS Monterey back in June, but it doesn’t arrive until sometime in October. As usual, Apple gives no specific date for the macOS update release date (the webpage reads, “coming this fall”), but, since we already know there’s an Apple event sometime in October (maybe 12th?), we know the release date might not be too far off from then.
According to Apple’s website, the following devices can expect to run MacOS Monterey:
iMac late 2015 and later
iMac Pro 2017 and later
MacBook Air early 2015 and later
MacBook Pro early 2015 and later
Mac Pro late 2013 and later
Mac mini late 2014 and later
MacBook early 2016 and later
Once it is released, the software update will be made available on the Mac App Store. You can also go to your Mac’s System Preferences menu and check the Software Updates section.
Best New Features on macOS Monterey
Facetime Revamp, SharePlay
Apple focused on revamping the FaceTime application in this year’s macOS release, and it’s no surprise since the aftermath of the pandemic has left more people embracing virtual video communicating platforms to stay in touch with workmates, friends, and loved ones. Now, non-Mac/iOS users can use FaceTime through a link shared through Messages, Mail, or even WhatsApp (think Zoom).
SharePlay is also heavily anticipated and is touted to be a game-changing addition to FaceTime that could significantly change the way people interact via videoconferencing platforms. With SharePlay, users can simultaneously watch synchronized shows, listen to music, and share their screens with others.
There are also other additions to FaceTime like Spatial audio, Mic modes, Grid view, and Portrait mode.
“Shared with You” Section On Most Apps
MacOS Monterey introduces the inclusion of a new “Shared with You” section for housing links, images, and other content that your friends share. This feature is available on iMessage, Safari, Photos, Podcasts, and so on.
Just one year after Safari got a significant revamp, Apple’s in-house browser has now been again reimagined. With a new streamlined tab bar, Safari looks even more minimalistic than before, with a redesigned tab system allowing the “Share” and “Bookmark” buttons, among others, to hide out of view.
There was also the introduction of “Tab Groups”, similar to the “Workspace” feature already available on the Opera browser. The Tab Groups feature allows you to organize tabs according to your interests, which you can switch to as needed. Like basically every other component in Apple’s ecosystem, your tab groups will sync automatically with your iPhone and iPad’s Safari.
Apple Notes ‘Quick Notes’ and Tagging
Apple Notes is also getting a bit of a revamp in this year’s macOS release, with Apple providing the Quick Note feature on macOS Monterey, just like it did on its mobile counterparts. Users can jump into Quick Notes from virtually any app and write reminders, save links, or smoky store text information. The tagging system available on iOS and iPadOS is also coming to Notes. And, finally, a ‘mentions’ feature for tracking collaborations more practically.
‘Shortcuts’ Comes to macOS Monterey
Yeah, Automator is a powerful tool that MacOS users can use to write scripts that help accomplish mundane, repetitive, and frequent tasks with just the click of a shortcut button. However, iOS and iPadOS have an adaptation of the Automator tool that is almost just as powerful and far easier to use. This has now come to macOS Monterey, and it is expected that the company would slowly phase out Automator over the next few years. While that may seem like a sad development for many, it remains a welcome improvement for most. With Shortcuts, users can now add automated services with the Shortcuts editor and run these shortcuts from the Dock, Menu bar, Finder, Spotlight, and Siri.
Perhaps the most anticipated feature, Universal Control gives you control over your multiple large screen Apple devices—iPad, iMac, and MacBook—using just one keyboard and mouse/trackpad. With the setup as easy as placing one display adjacent to another, the Universal Control feature even allows users to drag and drop images and files between displays. Here’s a neat example: as I write this on my MacBook Pro right now, Universal Control could allow me to continue writing it on my iPad using my Mac keyboard. I could also drag and drop a photo I need from my iPad to my Mac without any additional set-up.
So here you have it, folks, our favorite features expected to drop with macOS Monterey this month. There are significantly more updates scheduled to ship with this release, like AirPods software updates, Low power mode, and more.
Also announced were updates to Maps, a new subscription service in iCloud+, AirPlay on the Mac, and the Live Text feature, which has already come to iPadOS 15 and iOS 15.