New MacOS Monterey

macOS 12 Monterey is now officially available. According to Apple's announcement at WWDC in June 2021, the new OS maintains the same design as macOS Big Sur.

An Overview of the New MacOS Monterey

macOS 12 Monterey is now officially available. According to Apple’s announcement at WWDC in June 2021, the new OS maintains the same design as macOS Big Sur. However, it features several improvements across the system.

macOS Monterey features Shortcuts for the Mac, redesigned Safari, and Quick Note. It also includes some features from iPadOS 15 and iOS 15, like Focus Modes and Live Texts. Additionally, there are beta features, like Universal Control and SharePlay, available later in the year.

Compatibility and Release Date

macOS Monterey is compatible with the following Macs:

  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2014 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (Early 2015 and later)
  • iMac (Late 2015 and later)
  • MacBook (2016 and later)
  • iMac Pro (Late 2017 and later)

Here are some of the top new features and tips you need to know about MacOS 12 Monterey.

FaceTime

Now, you can bring TV shows, movies, and music onto your FaceTime calls, and enjoy a quality, real-time connection with others while watching the same video. The Beta SharePlay feature lets you listen, share your screen, sync playback, and share music queues across various devices. You can also connect through video, text, or audio, based on the moment. Choose Portrait Mode, which blurs the background and shifts the focus on you, or Grid view, which lets you see those you’re FaceTiming in the same-sized tiles.

With features like Spatial audio and Voice Isolation mode, your voices will be clear and natural and be void of any background noises. You can also take advantage of the FaceTime links to invite people and create an event in the Calendar, so everyone knows the time and place of the meeting.

Focus

Focus is like a superset of Do Not Disturb and is available on iPadOS 15, iOS 15, and Mac. The new feature lets you adjust notifications based on what you are doing at that time. For example, turn on Do Not Disturb to switch everything off, or pick from a suggested Focus for sleep, reading, driving, gaming, or personal time.

The best thing about Focus is you can set allowed interruptions. This way, important notifications from apps or people will reach you while you’re focusing. The rest of the contacts will get notifications that you’re in silence mode. The status shows as soon as one tries to send a message, knowing not to interrupt. Focus sets and syncs across all your devices.

Maps

The rich and interactive 3D globe provides a detailed view of forests, mountain ranges, oceans, deserts, etc. It also highlights select cities like London, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, giving you a better view of their buildings, neighborhoods, roads, landmarks, elevation, trees, etc. The all-new driving maps display incidents, traffic, and other information that affect your driving. You can also check for road details like median, taxi lanes, crosswalks, buses, bikes, turn lanes, making it easy to plan your journey.

Shortcuts

Initially available on iPadOS and iOS, the Shortcuts app has made its way to the Mac and can help you accomplish everyday tasks faster. There’s already a gallery of useful prebuilt shortcuts that you can add, and run from Siri, Spotlight, Finder, menu bar, Dock, etc. But you can also create and use new shortcuts with ease, thanks to Next Action Suggestions and Automator app workflows.

Quick Note

With the Quick Note feature, accessing the Notes app is way much easier. Just long-press the Globe + Q keys or place your cursor in the bottom right corner to open a Quick Note. You can write down a thought, save a photo, add a link, etc. and access it across all devices. Like Google Docs, you can add other users and allow them to edit and make real-time changes.

Apple is also enhancing the Quick Notes collaborative feature. You’ll be able to add Mentions and check for activities in the Activity View. You’ll also have new options to categorize and organize notes with tags and choose tags quickly with Tag Browser.

Tab Groups

If you had a hard time handling open tabs or didn’t like how the tabs appeared in the previous versions, you might like the new Tab Groups. Apple has updated the tabs to look a little better and easier to use. The new Tab Groups in Safari let you create specific groups of tabs for different purposes. For example, you can have tabs for work, media consumption, finances, social media, etc., and use the redesigned sidebar or dropdown to jump between these groups.

Other New Features

  • AirPlay to Mac: You can now cast your shows, music, and games to your MacOS Monterey using an iPad or iPhone.
  • Find My Widget: macOS has a dedicated widget for Find My App where you can track your loved ones and items in real-time.
  • Erase all content and settings: The new macOS gives you the ability to finally erase and restore your Macbook to factory settings without having to reinstall the entire operating system. Before macOS Monterey, this was a bit tedious to do.
  • Live text: Live Text feature makes text found in photos interactive across your system. So this allows support for copying, translating, and looking up texts that appear in any images.
  • Visual Lookup: Same as the Live Text feature, Visual Lookup allows you to click on the information tab within a photo and select specific objects such as plants, art, landmarks, texts, buildings, etc., to learn more about them.
  • Translate: With this feature from Safari, you can translate text into your desired language. Just highlight the text and right-click it to bring the translate option.
  • Lower Power Mode: This iPad and iPhone feature is now in the macOS. It serves to conserve power, allowing you to work longer on the go or when there’s no power.
  • Hide My Email: With this feature, you don’t have to share your real email address when signing up for a newsletter or completing an online form. Hide My Email is built into Mail, iCloud Preferences and Safari.

Coming Soon

Universal Control

Universal Control is probably one of the cooler features available at macOS Monterey. Unfortunately, it’s still in beta mode and will not be available until this fall. The feature will allow for a single mouse, trackpad, and keyboard to be used across multiple iPads or Macs side by side. It even lets you drag files from one device, drop them on another, and signal the MacBook trackpad to navigate the iPad. What’s more, you can connect up to three devices and navigate between them with Universal Control.

SharePlay

Currently available on iPadOS 15 and iOS 15, SharePlay allows you to listen to music, watch movies and share your screen with those you’re FaceTiming. But later this year, you will be able to join in on your macOS Monterey. You’ll also be able to share a specific app window or screen on your Mac with the people you’re chatting with to provide remote tech support, discuss a piece of work, etc. And the best part is it’s not limited to iPhone users. You can SharePlay with PC or Android users, provided they have the latest version of Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome Browser.

Digital Legacy Program

This feature transfers personal and sensitive data stored in your iCloud to your assigned Legacy Contacts if you pass away. The Legacy Contacts will use a digital key saved on their devices (or physically in your will) to access the death certificate and download photos and documents that can be saved and shared with loved ones.

If you wish to upgrade to the new macOS, have any questions or are looking for a great IT support company to support your business, we can help. Contact us today to get started.

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