Apple’s macOS Monterey is now available

macOS Monterey, available today as a free software update, delivers groundbreaking new features that help users connect in new ways, accomplish more, and work seamlessly across their Apple devices. FaceTime includes new audio and video features that make calls feel more natural and lifelike, and new Continuity tools like AirPlay to Mac enable Apple devices to work even better together. Live Text and Visual Lookup bring new intelligence features to surface useful information, Safari includes powerful tab organization with Tab Groups, and the ease of automation comes to the Mac with Shortcuts. Coming later this fall, SharePlay will enable Mac users to have shared experiences together through FaceTime, and Universal Control will make it easy for users to work effortlessly across their Mac and iPad. macOS Monterey is available today as a free software update on Macs with Apple silicon and Intel-based Macs.

Unveiled at WWDC21, macOS Monterey gives users the power to accomplish more than ever.
Unveiled at WWDC21, macOS Monterey gives users the power to accomplish more than ever.

New Ways to Stay Connected with FaceTime

FaceTime calls sound more natural and lifelike, and SharePlay offers a new way for users to connect and enjoy time with friends and family. With spatial audio, voices in a FaceTime call sound like they are coming from where the person is positioned on the screen. Two new microphone modes give users more control over how their voice sounds: Voice Isolation eliminates background noise to ensure the user’s voice is crystal clear, and Wide Spectrum allows all the noise to come in so participants can hear everything. Portrait mode, a new feature in FaceTime and available in apps including Webex and Zoom, utilizes the Neural Engine in the M1 chip to keep the user in focus while blurring the background,2 and a new grid view shows participants of a Group FaceTime call in same-size tiles.
SharePlay is a powerful set of features that will enable users to have shared experiences on a FaceTime call. Users can experience their favorite music, TV shows, movies, and more with friends and family in real time, and shared playback controls let anyone in a SharePlay session play, pause, or jump ahead. They can also share their whole screen or just a specific app, making it easy to collaborate with friends or coworkers on a call. SharePlay will work with apps like Apple Music and Apple TV+, as well as popular third-party services.

More Ways to Organize and Collaborate with Notes

With Notes in Monterey, users have new ways to collaborate, stay organized, and create notes from anywhere. Quick Note gives users the ability to jot down notes while in any app, so it’s easy to capture thoughts and ideas at any moment. Users can also add links from apps to a Quick Note, great for when they need to remember a website in Safari or quickly finding a location in Maps. New collaboration tools let users add mentions, as well as view updates to a shared note with the new Activity view. In Monterey, it’s easy to organize with Tags — a faster way to categorize notes and make them easy to find with the new Tag Browser.

Improved Tab Experience in Safari

Safari offers users more control over how they browse the web, including a new Tab Groups feature that allows users to easily save and organize tabs — great for planning trips, researching projects, and storing the tabs users visit regularly. Tab Groups sync across Mac, iPhone, and iPad, so users can continue their project from anywhere, and easily share tabs with friends and family. Safari comes with new ways to experience the web, including a new optional compact tab bar design that gives users more space to browse, integration with Shared with You so users can easily access links sent from Messages, and support for Quick Note makes it easy to keep track of information discovered on websites. Safari also offers users more privacy protections, with Intelligent Tracking Prevention now preventing trackers from profiling users with their IP address.

Shortcuts Offers Seamless Automation on Mac

Shortcuts on the Mac helps users achieve peak productivity with the apps they use the most. With a rich gallery of pre-built shortcuts, it’s easy for users to automate everyday tasks, like instantly opening their frequently used apps to jumpstart their workday, or adding a reminder to their groceries list for when they get to the market, right from their Mac. And Shortcuts editor enables users to customize shortcuts to match their workflows. With Shortcuts integrated throughout macOS, including the menu bar, Finder, Spotlight, and Siri, it’s easy to run shortcuts at any time. Users can also import existing Automator workflows into Shortcuts and instantly be up and running.

Additional Features

• Shared with You makes it easy to enjoy content shared through Messages right in Photos, Safari, Apple Podcasts, Apple News, and the Apple TV app. Users can easily find shared content, see who recommended it, and reply inline on the original thread it was shared.

• Maps offers an all-new immersive experience with extraordinary detail for roads, neighborhoods, trees, buildings, and more, all brought to life right on the Mac’s stunning display.

• iCloud+ combines everything users love about iCloud with new premium features, including Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay, at no additional cost. All iCloud+ plans can be shared with people in the same Family Sharing group, so everyone can enjoy the new features, storage, and elevated experience that comes with the service. Current iCloud storage subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+ automatically at no additional cost.

• Spatial audio comes to Macs with the M1 chip, delivering a theater-like experience with AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. And with dynamic head tracking, sound stays fixed to the Mac even as the user moves their head.

• Mail Privacy Protection prevents senders from learning whether an email has been opened, and hides IP addresses so senders can’t learn a user’s location or use it to build a profile on them.

• New accessibility features let anyone add alternative image descriptions right from Markup, and improved Full Keyboard Access and new cursor customization options provide more flexibility when navigating Mac.

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    1. Yes, MacOS moneterwt scans your photos for text and OCRs. But Apple isn’t scanning photos of you with your kids -and grandkids to determine whether you are a bad person, yet.

  1. More bloatware slowing down the system. Apple is becoming MS and its a shame. Use to be about simplicity now it’s just tech upon tech. Jobs got it .. less is more. Yes I will always be an Apple users but all this added functionality devalues the Mac promise of haver it your way.

  2. I think I’ll wait a few more days before downloading to see if there are any problems with the new OS. My concerns usually have to do with a new OS breaking apps which is quite annoying. Other than that, things usually go quite well. There’s no actual reason for me to upgrade in this case, but that software update reminder is going to just keep sitting there until I download it.

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