The latest version of macOS has been announced and will be released to the public this fall. In the meantime, developers and public beta testers alike will be taking the new software out for a spin. Though macOS Montegrey isn't nearly as feature-packed as its predecessor, macOS Big Sur, it's still a significant update and one to anticipate.
What's new in macOS Monterey
The next version of macOS features an updated Safari app, Shortcuts for Mac, a revised AirPlay feature, and much more. A few of the new features include:
Shortcuts for Mac
The popular Shortcuts app for iOS and iPadOS is finally arriving on macOS. The Shortcuts app allows you to create automation, and better still, you can import ones you've already created for mobile. Shortcuts for Mac doesn't replace Automator on Mac, although it remains to be seen whether what they can do will overlap.
The world's fastest browser has been reimagined with macOS Monterey. It now features a new tab design that lets users see more of the page as they scroll. There's also a new tab bar that takes on the color of the webpage. In doing so, it combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field in a brand new single compact design. Meanwhile, with Tab Groups, you can sync across Mac, iPhone, and iPad so you can move back and forth between devices.
In macOS Monterey, FaceTime includes a suite of new audio and video features that make calls feel more natural and lifelike. With spatial audio now included, sounds from those on a call move based on how they are positioned on your Mac screen. And for those with an M1 chip Mac, there's the all-new portrait mode, which blurs the user's background for a great video effect.
Meanwhile, with SharePlay, users on FaceTime calls can share experiences with ease. These can include a person's favorite music, TV shows, movies, projects, and more.
With the new AirPlay version, you can send content to your Mac from an iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac. View videos, edit Keynote presentations and hear music on your Mac as it's being played from your other device. Your Mac works with any Apple device, and it's even easier to connect if the devices share the same Apple ID.
Elsewhere, the Notes app now includes fresh tools to help users stay better organized, including a new Quick Note. It's a new way to jot down notes on any app or website systemwide.
Finally, with Focus, users can stay in the moment by automatically filtering out notifications unrelated to their current activity. As Apple explains, users can signal their status to let others know when they are focusing and not available. When a user has Focus set on one device, it automatically sets across their other devices and can be customized based on their current activity — whether they are preparing for a presentation or wrapping up an assignment for school.
The macOS Monterey update includes additional features, which you can find out more about on the Apple website. We'll be covering macOS Monterey thoroughly in the weeks and months ahead.
My Mac is old. Can I upgrade to macOS Big Sur?
The latest Mac operating system will run on the following devices:
- iMac (Late 2015 and later)
- iMac Pro (2017 and later)
- MacBook (Early 2016 and later)
- MacBook Air (Early 2015 and later)
- MacBook Pro (Early 2015 and later)
- Mac mini (Late 2014 and later)
- Mac Pro (Late 13 and later)
Over the years, Apple has done a great job of not leaking the name of the newest version of macOS. This year, it once again kept quiet before the official macOS 12 Monterey announcement.
Since 2013, Apple has named operating system updates for Mac after locations in California. Before macOS X, we had Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, and Big Sur. This year it's Monterey, a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California.
How to download
Developers can download macOS Monterey for free on any supported Mac from the Apple Support page. In July, members of the Apple Beta Software Program will begin receiving updates for installation. You can join the program for free.
Lots to see
Which macOS Monterey features are you most excited about seeing?
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