Apple today announced the next update to 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 major features in macOS Monterey is Universal Control. With this feature, users can control their iPad with the keyboard and mouse/trackpad of their Mac. This requires no setup and the user just has to place their iPad next to their Mac. Users can then just move their mouse across all of their Macs and the iPad and also drag and drop documents across all of them.
macOS also gets AirPlay to Mac. With this feature, users with an iPhone or iPad can AirPlay audio or video to their Mac, just as they would to an Apple TV. This will allow them to use the display of their Mac to show videos or presentations from their phone or also play any audio that may be playing on the phone.
macOS Monterey also gets a fully-redesigned Safari with a brand new tab bar that integrates the address and search box within the active tab, and tab groups to keep frequently opened tabs arranged in custom groups. Safari can now also seamlessly adjust its UI colors to match the current webpage design.
macOS Monterey is also getting Shortcuts, a feature that first debuted on the iPhone. Just like on the iPhone, Mac users can now automate commonly performed tasks and launch them with a single click. The OS comes with a set of pre-built actions and users can create their own with a simple interface. Users can also import their existing workflows from Automator to Shortcuts or just continue to use Automator. Shortcuts is integrated throughout the OS so users will be able to launch their workflows from anywhere, including Siri.
Aside from these, macOS Monterey also gets many of the new features found within iOS and iPadOS 15. This includes all the new improvements to FaceTime, including spatial audio, which makes the sound of the people you are talking to appear from where the person is positioned on the screen. Voice Isolation will let you eliminate background noise and Wide Spectrum will allow all of the ambient noise to come through. The new Portrait mode will automatically blur your background.
Shareplay lets you share content such as music, movies, TV shows, projects and more with the people you are FaceTiming. You can also share your screen, which can be helpful for productivity or troubleshooting. Apple is also making an API available so other app developers can bring their apps into FaceTime for sharing.
Shared with You collects all the content shared with you through Messages, including photos, videos, articles, and more and puts it within a Shared with You tab within Photos, Safari, Apple Podcasts, Apple News, and the Apple TV app.
The Focus feature will automatically filter out unwanted notifications based on your current activity. Other Mac and iPhone users will also be able to see your status so they can know if you are not available. Focus setting changed on one device will apply on all Apple devices.
macOS Monterey will also be getting the updated Maps app with an interactive globe and detailed city experience, the brand new Notes app, Live Text to use machine-learning to detect text in photos, including phone numbers, websites, addresses, and tracking numbers, so users can copy and paste, make a phone call, open a website, and easily find more information, Visual Lookup to help users discover and learn about animals, art, landmarks, plants, and more in photos, iCloud+ with Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and iCloud Private Relay, spatial audio with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max on Macs with the M1 chip, Mail Privacy Protection, and some new accessibility features.
Apple claims that macOS Monterey will support the broadest 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 all users in Fall. A public beta will be available next month. The developer beta will be available to registered developers today.