What is macOS Monterey: Features and Enhancements

Noah Walker

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macOS Monterey is the eighteenth major release of macOS, Apple’s operating system for Macintosh computers. Introduced at the WWDC in 2021, it followed macOS Big Sur as the next step in the evolution of macOS. Its official release date was October 25, 2021. Building upon its predecessor, Monterey introduced a slew of new features designed to enhance user connectivity, productivity, and the overall experience on Macintosh computers.

One of the standout features of macOS Monterey is the focus on streamlined collaboration and seamless interoperability with other Apple devices. New tools like Universal Control allow users to work across a Mac and an iPad with a single mouse and keyboard, exemplifying Apple’s commitment to a unified ecosystem. Enhancements in the realms of security and privacy are also central, ensuring that users operate in a safe computing environment.

MacOS Monterey Release Date

Mac OS Version 12: “Monterey” was released on October 25, 2021.

macOS Monterey: A Deep Dive into Apple’s Latest Operating System

New Features in macOS Monterey:

macOS Monterey, Apple’s 2021 operating system for Mac computers, introduces a slew of features and enhancements that improve your workflow, productivity, and overall Mac experience.

FaceTime and Messages:

  • SharePlay: Watch movies, listen to music, or share your screen with friends and family during FaceTime calls.
  • Spatial Audio: Enjoy more immersive FaceTime calls with spatial audio, which makes voices sound like they’re coming from the direction of the speaker on your screen.
  • Portrait Mode: Blur your background during FaceTime calls for a more professional look.
  • “Shared with You” in Messages: Easily find content shared with you in Messages, like photos, articles, and music.

Safari and Focus:

  • Tab Groups: Organize your tabs into groups for easier access and management.
  • Focus: Minimize distractions and stay on task by customizing notifications and app access based on your current activity.

Quick Note and Universal Control:

  • Quick Note: Jot down notes and ideas from anywhere on your Mac, even in apps.
  • Universal Control: Use your Mac’s keyboard and mouse to control your iPad and seamlessly move content between them.

Other Notable Features:

  • AirPlay to Mac: Stream content from your iPhone or iPad directly to your Mac.
  • Live Text: Interact with text in photos and images, copy and paste, or look up information.
  • Shortcuts App: Automate tasks and create custom workflows on your Mac.

Enhancements in macOS Monterey:

In addition to new features, macOS Monterey includes various enhancements to existing apps and functionalities:

MapsRedesigned with a 3D globe, detailed city maps, and enhanced navigation features
PrivacyApp Privacy Report provides insights into how apps use your data
iCloud+New subscription service with features like Private Relay and Hide My Email
Low Power ModeExtends battery life on MacBooks

Overall macOS Monterey Experience:

macOS Monterey offers a seamless experience across Apple devices with features like Universal Control and AirPlay to Mac. Its enhanced privacy features, productivity tools, and improvements to existing apps make it a worthy upgrade for Mac users.

Key Takeaways

  • macOS Monterey is the successor to macOS Big Sur and was released on October 25, 2021.
  • It introduces new features to improve connectivity and workflow across devices.
  • Monterey maintains a high standard for security and user privacy in the desktop operating system.

Core Features and Enhancements

macOS Monterey, also known as macOS 12, builds upon its predecessor, macOS Big Sur, with new functionality. It caters to a variety of Mac models, including MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac Mini, and leverages Apple Silicon‘s power to enhance performance.

Focus and Productivity Features

Focus helps users concentrate by filtering notifications and apps based on what they are doing. Using Shortcuts, tasks can be automated, while Quick Note and Notes allow for efficient information capture and organization.

Connectivity and Continuity

Universal Control seamlessly combines Mac and iPad for a fluid working experience. With tools like Handoff and AirPlay to Mac, moving between devices is effortless, whether it’s for a call on FaceTime or sharing content.

Upgraded Performance and Security

Designed for both Apple Silicon and Intel processors, this upgrade introduces enhancements that maintain speed and safety. Features like Mail Privacy Protection, and the inclusion of iCloud+ with iCloud Private Relay, help protect user privacy.

Improved User Experience

Safari has been redesigned with a streamlined tab bar and Tab Groups for better browsing. Changes in the Finder, Home, and Photos apps, and visual elements like Visual Look Up, create a more enjoyable interface.

Entertainment and Multimedia

Users get more from TV and Music with Spatial Audio on AirPods and SharePlay in FaceTime. AirPlay enables sharing with other devices, enriching the audio-visual experience across the Apple ecosystem.

Ecosystem Integration

There’s a strengthened bond between devices like iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs. Services such as iCloud+ offer features like Hide My Email and HomeKit Secure Video to create a unified, interconnected user environment.

Privacy and Accessibility

macOS Monterey prioritizes user privacy with tools like Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum in FaceTime. It also offers extensive accessibility features, ensuring all users can enjoy a full, rich experience with their Mac.

Development and Compatibility

macOS Monterey brought many enhancements, particularly focusing on broad compatibility with Apple silicon and Intel-based Macs along with an expansion of APIs for developer use.

Application Support and APIs

macOS Monterey extends functionality to apps with new APIs that help developers integrate features like Quick Notes and SharePlay. They can also utilize improved APIs for Safari Extensions. Thus, Monterey allows apps to become more versatile and integrated into the system.

Compatibility and Optimization

Apple designed Monterey to run on a variety of Macs, including the latest Apple silicon M1 models and select Intel-based computers. This ensures most users benefit from new features, such as dynamic head tracking and grid view in FaceTime, as well as enhancements to system preferences and Finder.

Evolving Developer Tools

Developers can now harness the power of Monterey with updated tools like Xcode. They can better optimize their projects for different hardware types, automate tasks, and even develop cross-platform applications that interact with Windows or Android systems, all while focusing on efficiency and optimization.