o, Apple’s WWDC 2021 conference just happened, and it brought a lot of new announcements with it. macOS Monterey
is one of those big announcements and is looking to be the next big update for all devices. But, of course, big Sur was already an impressive Operating System to boot, so Monterey already has a decent track record of users looking to upgrade.
It brings many new features to the table and has made some decent improvements under the hood. It brings forward a new look, an optimized design and improved overall performance and stability across all apps and devices. So what are the new features, you ask? Well, let’s dive straight into it.
A quick look:
What is it? – macOS 12 Monterey is the upcoming evolution to macOS 11, Big Sur.
When will it be released? – It will be available to download by the fall, towards the end of the year.
Is it going to cost something? – No, there is no associated cost with the update, and Apple software updates are always free.
Is it worth the upgrade? – Yes, it is. Monterey is definitely looking like a big deal and will help improve the user experience.
When will macOS Monterey be available for download?
The Monterey update for macOS will be available to the public as a beta variant in July 2021, and a developer beta is already open to being worked on. However, the complete update for the regular joe is scheduled to release in autumn 2021, and we can expect to see it by October 2021, suggested by the previous releases.
In short, a stable version of macOS will be released by the fall of this year for everyone to download.
However, you would need to look at your device and see if macOS Monterey will support it. However, don’t worry, as Apple has promised a broad range of devices to be supported. Here is the complete list of supported devices:
- iMac: Late 2015 and later
- iMac Pro: 2017 and later
- MacBook Air: Early 2015 and later
- MacBook Pro: Early 2015 and later
- Mac Pro: Late 2013 and later
- Mac mini: Late 2014 and later
- MacBook: Early 2016 and later
Note: Monterey doesn’t support the older 2013 Macbook Air and Macbook Pro models, a bummer if you own one of the devices.
How to download macOS Monterey?
The stable macOS 12 Monterey update will be available for download through your Mac’s System Preferences menu. You can also download it through the Mac App Store once it’s released. Follow the steps below to get your update on the release date:
- Head on to the System Preferences menu
- Look for the update and click on the download
- Let the process be completed, and you’ll have the new updated OS
Note: You can download the developer beta as of now by following the download process following this link developer.apple.com
What’s new with macOS Monterey?
macOS Big Sur had many bugs and was considered the least stable of macOS releases when it was first rolled out. Stability has been improving over the years but, the 12th generation had a big shoe to fill. However, it brings many improvements and is looking to be the perfect upgrade for your device. Here are the improved set of features that are coming with Monterey:
Universal Control for ease of access
Have you ever encountered a situation where you have multiple Apple devices like the iPad Pro or iPhone and the Macbook, and you don’t want to connect a mouse and keyboard for all your devices? We sure have, and Apple did too as they brought in a new Universal Control feature for all their devices. This feature helps you control multiple devices with just a single mouse and keyboard, and it also enables you to transfer data from one device to another simply by dragging and dropping the file.
Safari with a new look
Safari has been reimagined and redesigned with a new look that helps you have a better browsing experience. The new tabs take up less space than they used to and adjusted according to the website you’re browsing. This is essential for condensing information on a single screen, and the floating tabs have been combined with the Smart Search field with streamlined buttons and Tab Groups. Tab Groups also sync across devices and can be dragged into an email to appear as a list.
AirPlay on Mac
Apple has also decided to bring AirPlay to Mac, and it is a welcome upgrade for the Operating System. It has been a long time coming, and we are glad to see AirPlay helping Mac users stream music and play content straight off their iPad or iPhone.
New and improved FaceTime
The new and improved FaceTime also brings SharePlay. SharePlay is a new set of features that enables you to have shared experiences while on a FaceTime call. This recent update is here to help people stuck with the pandemic, and we are glad to see it. You can stream movies, videos and music with your friends and the new app also brings support for sharing any content available. There is also spatial audio support and Voice isolation which helps improve the experience and allows audio to be perceived by everyone on the call. The new AI and Machine Learning engine will also improve with time which will help differentiate sounds and even cancel out background noises. This will help you have a better calling experience with your friends and families and boost ambient noises for a transparent and clear audio profile.
Finally, FaceTime also brings support for non-Apple devices and would help people connect to the call through a link.
Automation at your fingertips with Shortcut
Automation and Shortcut is finally here with Monterey, and it works as expected. It supports all IFTTT features so that you can automate everyday tasks with ease. These shortcuts can be triggered through Siri and are integrated throughout Monterey. It will be present in the menu bar, Finder, and Spotlight, and Apple will also introduce pre-built shortcuts for a cleaner and faster Mac experience. In addition, AI and Machine Learning are on the rise, and they will help improve the automated tasks to perform better and cleaner with rapid access.
Jot down with the improved Notes
The Notes app also sees an internal makeover that will make it better and more feature-rich than ever before. These new features are Quick Notes which helps you quickly note down something from any screen, a collaborative feature that will allow multiple people to make changes on a note and an activity viewer with tags for accessing changes by various users.
Improve your experience with Focus
Focus is a new feature that is coming with Monterey and will help you manage your notifications and apps. It can help you ‘Focus’ on tasks at hand and minimize distractions by filtering out unwanted notifications and messages. In Short, it is an improved version of the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature and will be available across all your devices.
Some additional under the hood improvements
Interactive Globe – The Globe and Maps have also been upgraded with a live view, immersive and detailed city experience that users can take advantage of to navigate around and explore the Earth’s natural beauty straight from their homes.
iCloud+ – iCloud is revamped and updated with new features such as ‘Hide My Email’, HomeKit Secure Video support, and a new internet privacy service, ‘iCloud Private Relay’, at no additional cost.
Privacy Improvements – Features such as Mail Privacy Protection is also being incorporated, letting users choose whether emails can collect private information about their Mail activity. In addition, the Mac recording indicator can now display which app is accessing the microphone.
Live Text – Machine Learning improvements and improved AI helps you get text and numbers off of images to copy and paste information, make a phone call, use website links, and quickly find more information with ease.
Accessibility Improvements – New additions are being made to the OS so that you can easily navigate and browse with an improved Full Keyboard Access feature. In addition, there are new cursor customization options that provide more flexibility when navigating Mac.
Note: These are the key upgrades that Apple has confirmed, and we can expect to see some more changes to be brought to the final release.
With all the confirmed features discussed, macOS Monterey is looking to be the perfect upgrade path, but only time will tell, so be on the lookout for more information as the release date comes close and more beta updates come to light.