Apple today announced the next update for its desktop operating system – macOS 12 Monterey. The new update comes with several new features, some exclusive to macOS and others borrowed from the new iOS and iPadOS 15.
One of the first great features of macOS Monterey is Universal control. This feature allows you to control your iPad with the keyboard and mouse / touchpad on their Mac. This requires no setup and you just need to place your iPad next to your Mac. You can then just move the mouse all over your Mac and iPad and also drag and drop documents across all of them.
macOS also gets AirPlay for Mac. With this feature, you can AirPlay audio and video from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, just as you would with an Apple TV. This allows you to use the screen on your Mac to view videos or presentations from your phone or also play any audio that may be playing on the phone.
macOS Monterey also gets one fully redesigned Safari with a brand new tab bar that integrates address and search box into the active tab, and tab groups to keep frequently opened tabs organized in custom groups. Safari can now also seamlessly adjust its user interface colors to match the current web page design.
macOS Monterey also gets Shortcuts, a feature that first debuted on the iPhone. Just like on the iPhone, Macs can now automate commonly performed tasks and you can launch them with a single click. The OS comes with a set of pre-built actions and you can create your own with a simple interface. You can also import your existing workflows from Automator into shortcuts or just keep using Automator. Shortcuts are integrated throughout the operating system so you can start your workflows from anywhere, including Siri.
In addition, macOS Monterey gets many of the new features found in iOS and iPadOS 15. This includes all the new enhancements to Facetime, including spatial sound, which gets the sound of the people you are talking to from where the person is located on the screen. Voice Isolation allows you to remove background noise, and Wide Spectrum allows all ambient noise to pass through. The new portrait mode automatically blurs your background.
Shareplay allows you to share content like music, movies, TV shows, projects and more with the people you are FaceTiming. You can also share your screen, which can be useful for productivity or troubleshooting. Apple also provides an API so other app developers can bring their FaceTime apps for sharing.
Shared with you collects all content shared with you via Messages, including photos, videos, articles, and more, and places it on a Shared with You tab in Photos, Safari, Apple Podcasts, Apple News, and the Apple TV app.
That Focus function automatically filters unwanted messages based on your current activity. Other Mac and iPhone users can also see your status so they know if you are unavailable. Changed focus setting on one device applies to all Apple devices.
macOS Monterey gets it updated maps app with an interactive world and detailed city experience and the brand new Comments app.
Live text uses machine learning to record text on photos, including phone numbers, websites, addresses and tracking numbers, so you can copy and paste, make a phone call, open a website and easily find more information.
Apple claims that macOS Monterey supports the widest range of Macs in history, including both Intel and Apple Silicon-based models. However, Apple is dropping support for some of the older machines, including some of the older iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and MacBook models.
macOS Monterey will be available to developers today, while a public beta comes next month. A stable release is coming in the fall.