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My 7 favorite features in macOS Monterey

macOS Monterey Safari
macOS Monterey Safari (Image credit: Apple)

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) introduced new bells and whistles across its many platforms, including macOS. The newly titled macOS Monterey won't be remembered nearly as fondly as the game-changing macOS Big Sur, which it will eventually replace. And yet, there are a few things that stand out about the new macOS that's set to arrive this fall.

At least as presented, seven Monterey features look the most exciting. Whether these are the best new features isn't yet known and will depend on how each is developed during the beta season.

Safari changes

macOS Monterey Safari (Image credit: Apple )

Web browsers are not sexy, and Safari is no exception. And yet, without browsers, we'd be cut off from the world. With macOS Big Sur, Apple made numerous changes to the native Safari app, including adding a start page and improved performance. Additional changes have now been made with macOS Monterey, which starts with the new tab bar design.

Created to take up less space, the new tab bar takes on the color of the website you're browsing and also extends each page to the edge of the Safari window. There are also floating tabs that have been combined with a Smart Search field. Together they give you access to additional Safari features with a click of a tab.

With tab groups, you can save and organize tabs in a customized way. Add names to the tab groups, edit them, and switch back and forth with ease. Best of all, changes made with your tab groups extend to other Apple devices such as iPhone and iPad.

FaceTime .. on Android

Apple decided this was the year to make big changes to FaceTime. Among these on macOS is the introduction of spatial audio and mike mode, plus a grid view and portrait mode. The biggest charge: You can now invite Windows and Android friends to a FaceTIme session. And like on every Apple device, the session is encrypted and secure.

AirPlay to Mac

In macOS Monterey, AirPlay has finally come to Mac. You can share, play, and present content from another Apple device to your computer with it. You can also mirror or extend your display as needed. Your Mac can also (finally) act as an AirPlay speaker.

Focus

macOS Monterey Focus (Image credit: Apple)

The typical day for many is filled with personal, work, and sleep time. Now, thanks to Focus, you can assign notification settings based on what you're doing at a given time. This way, for example, you can concentrate on work or have a romantic dinner without interruption. You can create a Focus schedule on Mac and your Apple mobile devices.

Universal Control

Mac and iPad get ever closer each year, and macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15, respectively, are no exception. With Universal Control, you can use a single keyboard, mouse, or trackpad and move back and forth between multiple devices. You can even drag and drop content from one Mac to another. And because this is Apple, Universal Control requires no additional set-up. Just put the devices next to each other.

Shortcuts for Mac

macOS Monterey Shortcuts (Image credit: Apple)

The Mac already has Automator, but beginning this fall, Shortcuts will also be available to automate the things you do most often. First introduced on iOS, the tool could prove significant and make your workflow even easier. This feature is probably the first I'll try once macOS Monterey arrives.

Maps

Finally, there's the updated Maps app, which receives a significant update on both macOS and mobile this year. Cities now show more detail for roads, trees, buildings, and everything else. There are also 3D landmarks presented in both day and night.

So much more

There's a lot to unpack with macOS Monterey, and it will be interesting to see how the update develops during the summertime beta process. Keep coming back to iMore for more information.

What do you think?

Which macOS Monterey features are you most excited about seeing? Let us know in the comments below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

1 Comment
  • I have tried several times to create Shortcuts, but I am not a computer programmer, so I found it completely obtuse and impossible to do. There could be college courses with 3-inch thick books explaining how "easy" it is to create a Shortcut. I have downloaded some of the pre-made Shortcuts that people are posting online and looked at the underlying code and good grief these things are complicated! There is nothing "simple" about Shortcuts at all. All I wanted to do was create a Shortcut where I could get up in the morning and say to Siri "Hey Siri, good morning" and my Lifx bedroom lamp would turn on and Apple Music would begin playing my favorite radio station on my Homepod for tunes while I was having coffee and getting ready for work. But I found that that could not be done. None of it. Totally useless.