macOS Monterey Overview Updated November 27, 2021

macOS 12 Monterey: New features, compatibility, release date

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76 'macOS Monterey' stories

June 2021 - November 2021

macOS 12 Monterey

macOS 12 Monterey received its first preview during the WWDC21 keynote. The Mac software focuses on productive features, with a new Shortcuts app, Universal Control, AirPlay to Mac, Safari updates, and more. Here’s everything about Apple’s latest macOS update.

New features in macOS 12 Monterey

With the release of the macOS 11 Big Sur in 2020, Apple gave the Mac software a redesign in years. With a neo-skeuomorphic UI, macOS Big Sur introduced a new Control Center and Notification Center, revamped Safari and iMessage apps, and more.

Now, with macOS 12 Monterey, Apple is refining the Big Sur experience with a redesigned Safari, Universal Control feature, AirPlay to Mac, and much more.

Universal Control

How Universal Control works

macOS 12 Monterey brings Universal Control, which allows the user to easily use an iPad with a Mac, as the keyboard and mouse seamlessly move over to each device.

It’s possible, for example, to drag a Procreate logo on the iPad to a Final Cut project on the Mac. It uses Bluetooth beaconing, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, and the iPad’s touchpad support to allow the devices to know they’re closer to one another. Learn more about Universal Control here, which is going to be available later this year.

Shortcuts app on macOS 12 Monterey

Apple called Shortcuts the future of automation on Mac, and the first steps in Monterey are part of a multi-year transition. Automator will continue to be supported in this release and Automator workflows can be imported into Shortcuts.

The app on the Mac looks similar to Shortcuts on the iPad. You can build new shortcuts, access existing shortcuts, and more. The Shortcuts app on the Mac also integrates with Spotlight, appears in Finder, supports multitasking, and increases with the Menu bar. 

FaceTime and SharePlay

FaceTime is receiving a lot of love from Apple with macOS 12 Monterey. The video call app will feature, for example, Spatial Audio. With this function, Apple says it creates a “sound field that helps conversations flow as easily as they do face to face.”

Another function available is Portrait mode in calls. With this on, you can blur your background and put the focus on yourself. It works exactly as it does on the iPhone camera.

With Voice Isolation mode it really isolates your voice from all the other noises and with Wide Spectrum mode, you can hear literally anything that’s happening in your friend’s surroundings.

FaceTime is also receiving the Grid view feature and with a FaceTime link, you can invite friends into a FaceTime call with a web link on Windows and Android devices.

With SharePlay, here’s everything you can do:

  • Watch together: Bring TV shows and movies to your FaceTime call
  • Listen together: Share music with friends
  • Shared music queue: When listening together, anyone in the call can add songs to the shared queue
  • Share your screen: Bring web pages, app, and more into your conversation
  • Synced playback: Pause, rewind, fast-forward, or jump to a different scene while in perfect sync with everyone else
  • Smart volume: Dynamically responsive volume controls automatically adjust audio so you can hear your friends even during a loud scene or climactic chorus
  • Multiple device support: Connect over FaceTime on the iPhone while watching video on the Apple TV or listening to music on the HomePod
  • Connect through audio, video, and text: Access the group’s Message thread right from the FaceTime controls and choose the mode of communication that matches the moment

AirPlay to Mac

AirPlay to Mac lets your Mac be an AirPlay destination, so you can quickly play content from your iPhone on your Mac’s display.

For the first time, the Mac can be used as a speaker for multiform audio, just as the HomePod can. AirPlay works both wirelessly and wired using USB. A wired connection is useful when you want to ensure that there’s no latency or you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.

Redesigned Safari

Safari also received a major redesign with macOS 12 Monterey. Here are some of the functions coming to the new Safari:

Streamlined tab bar: The streamlined tab bar takes up less room on the page and adjusts to match the colors of each site, extending your web page to the edge of the window.

Integrated Smart Search field: Search from your active tab with the integrated Smart Search field. Click the website’s name to expand and reveal the page’s full address or type your search right into the name field.

Tab groups: Intelligent Tracking Prevention now also prevents trackers from profiling you using your IP address.

Redesigned tabs: Tabs have a rounder and more defined appearance, making them easier to work with. Tabs fluidly adapt as you add more, shrinking or stretching to fit the page.

Redesigned sidebar: Manage your tab groups, bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared with You links in the redesigned sidebar.

iCloud Private Relay: iCloud Private Relay is a service that lets you connect to virtually any network and browse with Safari in an even more secure and private way. It ensures that the traffic leaving your device is encrypted so no one can intercept and read it. 

Safari’s new design caused a lot of controversies, which Apple slowly addressed, although it will remain with a new UI.

macOS 12.1 features

Currently, Apple is testing macOS 12.1. With this update, Mac users will be able to use SharePlay with the macOS system as well.

macOS 12 Monterey exclusive features to the M1 Macs

With macOS 12 Monterey, Apple is focusing a bunch of features only for the Mac with its own silicon. here’s everything exclusive to the M1 Mac mini, M1 MacBook Air, M1 MacBook Pro, and 24-inch iMac:

Portrait Mode on FaceTime: Only M1 Macs on macOS Monterey will be able to blur the background of a video call using FaceTime.

Maps: Interactive globe and detailed new city experience will only be available in the M1 Macs running macOS Monterey. With these two features, users will be able to interact with a 3D globe and explore cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London with detail for elevation, roads, trees, buildings, landmarks, and more.

Object Capture: With macOS Monterey, users will be able to turn a series of 2D images into a photo-realistic 3D object that’s optimized for AR in just minutes using the power of Mac.

Siri: Neural text-to-speech voice in more languages is only available to the M1 Macs. With macOS Monterey, this feature will be available in more languages: Swedish (Sweden), Danish (Denmark), Norwegian (Norway), and Finnish (Finland).

On-device dictation: Keyboard dictation helps protect the user’s privacy by performing all processing completely offline. With macOS Monterey, users can dictate texts of any length without a timeout.

Previously, the Live Text in Photos feature, which gives users the ability to interact with text in photos, such as copy and paste, lookup, and translate, was only available for M1 Macs, but then Apple made it available to Intel Macs as well.

macOS 12 Monterey device compatibility

Here’s the full list of Macs compatible with macOS Monterey:

  • 2015 and later MacBook
  • Early 2015 and later MacBook Air
  • Early 2015 and later MacBook Pro
  • Late 2014 and later Mac mini
  • Late 2015 and later iMac
  • 2017 and later iMac Pro
  • Late 2013 and later Mac Pro

Hands-on with macOS 12 Monterey

Watch our hands-on video walkthrough as we step through over 100 macOS Monterey changes and features.

Release date: When will macOS 12 Monterey come out?

macOS 12 Monterey was introduced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference,

The macOS 12 Monterey developer beta program started on the same day as the keynote, June 7. On the 1st of July, Apple released the public beta of macOS 12 Monterey. Its official launch is set to October 25.

macOS 12 Monterey: here’s how to install the public beta version

Here’s how to install macOS 12 Monterey public beta:

  1. Make a fresh backup of your Mac in case you want to downgrade your device at any point
  2. On your Mac, head to Apple’s public beta website
  3. Click Sign In in the top right corner and sign in if you’re not already
  4. On the Guide for Public Betas page, choose macOS
  5. Scroll down under the Get Started section and click enroll your Mac
  6. Scroll down again and click Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility
  7. Head to your Downloads folder and you should see the macOS Beta Access Utility
  8. Double-click it to mount the utility disk image, now double-click the Access Utility.pkg to install the macOS beta profile on your Mac
  9. The System Preferences > Software Update window should launch automatically with the macOS 12 Monterey beta appearing, click Download (almost 12GB in size)
  10. When the download is complete, you’ll see a new window to install macOS Monterey, click Continue

macOS Monterey Stories November 16

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One of the subtle and valuable additions with macOS Monterey (and iOS 15) is an upgraded password manager in Safari. While there’s not a standalone app yet, a major improvement is the ability to generate and autofill two-factor authentication (2FA) codes. Let’s look at how to use the Safari password manager and 2FA features in macOS Monterey.

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After launching the first macOS Monterey 12.1 beta at the end of October, Apple has seeded developers with macOS 12.1 beta 3. It arrives as Apple has slated the launch of Universal Control and SharePlay as coming “later this fall” for Mac.

Update 1:07 pm PT: The macOS 12.1 public beta 3 is also now available.

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macOS Monterey Stories November 15

PSA: Monterey app memory leak isn’t just caused by an accessibility feature

The Monterey app memory leak affecting many Mac users is being blamed by some on a specific accessibility feature – but that isn’t the sole cause …

macOS Monterey Stories November 13

In this hands-on video walkthrough, I’ll show you how to turn an eligible USB drive, one that you may already have laying around the house, into a handy macOS Monterey install disk. This is useful for facilitating upgrades to Monterey across multiple Mac computers. Be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Mac-centric guides, tutorials, and how-tos.

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macOS Monterey Stories November 10

After launching the first macOS Monterey 12.1 beta at the end of October, Apple has seeded developers with macOS 12.1 beta 2. It arrives as Apple has slated the launch of Universal Control and SharePlay as coming “later this fall” for Mac.

Update 11/10: The second macOS 12.1 beta is now available for public testers.

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macOS Monterey Stories November 5

9to5Mac is brought to you by CleanMyMac X. Find hidden junk, large old folders, unused apps, and heavy memory consumers. You can also use CleanMyMac X to remove malware, unwanted pop-ups, and virus extensions. Try it for free.

Apple features a redesigned Safari with macOS Monterey but as it happens, the biggest UI change isn’t seen with the default version. Let’s jump into what’s changed, what’s new, and how Safari in macOS Monterey looks and works.

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macOS Monterey Stories November 4

Apple released macOS Monterey last week, one month after iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8. Even though the operating system took a bit longer to arrive for general users, the company still had to postpone some features for this release, such as SharePlay and Universal Control.

Apart from all of that and the release of the powerful new MacBook Pro last month, I must say that I’m relieved by macOS Monterey, which has my 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro running faster while improving battery life.

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macOS Monterey Stories November 3

9to5Mac is brought to you by CleanMyMac X. Find hidden junk, large old folders, unused apps, and heavy memory consumers. You can also use CleanMyMac X to remove malware, unwanted pop-ups, and virus extensions. Try it for free

macOS Monterey has officially been released to the public after four months of beta testing. In addition to headlining new features such as SharePlay, there are handful of new privacy features as well. Head below as we round up the top new privacy features in macOS Monterey and how to use them…

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macOS Monterey Stories November 2

Apple traditionally introduces a bunch of new wallpapers with new versions of macOS, and although macOS Monterey comes with an abstract image that represents the place, there are no landscape backgrounds this time. With this in mind, Andrew Levitt and his friends decided to create their own Monterey landscape wallpaper for macOS users who missed it.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 29

Just after launching macOS Monterey to the public earlier this week with build 12.0.1, Apple has seeded developers with macOS 12.1 beta 1. It comes as Apple has slated the launch of Universal Control and SharePlay as coming “later this fall.”

Update 10/29: The first macOS 12.1 beta is now available for public testers.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 28

Apple today released the first beta of macOS 12.1 following the official launch of macOS Monterey to the public earlier this week. Now the company has confirmed that macOS 12.1 beta re-enables SharePlay for FaceTime users. However, the long-awaited Universal Control feature remains unavailable.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 27

After four months of beta testing, Apple has officially released macOS 12 Monterey to the general public. This update brings a refined macOS Big Sur experience, and even though the main feature of this version, Universal Control, is still nowhere near launching, there are several new features worth trying.

Here’s everything new with macOS Monterey that should make you want to update your Mac now.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 26

9to5Mac is brought to you by CleanMyMac X. Find hidden junk, large old folders, unused apps, and heavy memory consumers. You can also use CleanMyMac X to remove malware, unwanted pop-ups, and virus extensions. Try it for free

Want to check out all the new features and changes landing with macOS 12 Monterey? Follow along for how to install macOS Monterey on your Mac to get going with Shortcuts, the new Safari, Focus mode, AirPlay to Mac, and much more. We’ll also look at Mac hardware compatibility, how much disk space you’ll need, and Monterey’s stability.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 25

Apple has finally released macOS Monterey to the public. The update comes with several new features, including Focus mode for notifications, SharePlay, Live Text, and more. Another new feature is the ability to AirPlay from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac without having to install any third-party apps, so read on as we detail how to use this feature.

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macOS Monterey was first unveiled during the WWDC21 keynote and after four months, it’s finally released today. Even so, not all users will be able to take advantage of the new features, as several functions will only be available to the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Mac models. Read on as we round them up.

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macOS 12 Monterey is now available to the public and it comes with a range of new features and changes. But you may be wondering, should I upgrade to macOS Monterey on my Mac now? Read on to figure out what the best option is for you.

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One day ahead of the all-new MacBook Pro notebooks arriving to the first customers, Apple has officially launched its latest major update for Mac. macOS Monterey comes with a new Safari experience, Shortcuts app, Focus mode, Live Text, AirPlay to Mac, SharePlay, and more.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 21

Earlier this week, Apple released macOS Monterey RC (version 12.0.1) to developers and public beta users. With less than four days until the official release of macOS Monterey, the company has now released a revised build of macOS 12.0.1 RC.

Update: Apple has also released iPadOS 15.1 RC 2. However, the new build (19B75) is exclusive to the iPad mini 6 and is not available for any other devices.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 19

PSA: If you’re trading in for a new MacBook Pro, upgrade to Monterey for the new system restore feature

If you’re planning on trading in an existing Mac toward the new MacBook Pro next week, you’ll want to install macOS Monterey when it’s released on Monday. Monterey comes with an all-new “erase all contents and settings” feature that makes it easier than ever to prepare a Mac for a trade-in or if you’re planning to sell it.

macOS Monterey Stories October 18

During the WWDC21 keynote, Apple previewed a new Safari look alongside macOS 12 Monterey. Now, four months after beta testing started, the RC version of the software comes with a more traditional Safari look.

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Apple released macOS Monterey RC to developers and public beta users earlier today, as the official release is scheduled for October 25. Surprisingly, today’s build comes with new wallpapers from the 2021 MacBook Pro, and you can download them right here.

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Following its special event earlier today, Apple has confirmed that macOS Monterey will be available to all users next week, on October 25. While the update will come with new features such as Focus mode, Shortcuts app, and SharePlay, there is one feature that will not be available right now: Universal Control.

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Along with unveiling all-new MacBook Pro notebooks at its Unleashed event, Apple has officially shared the macOS Monterey and iOS 15.1 release dates. The major macOS update and iOS 15.1 will be launching next week.

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macOS Monterey Stories October 16

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With macOS Monterey on the horizon soon, businesses will quickly begin looking at their rollout strategy. I know many IT professionals miss the old 18-month macOS upgrade window, but Apple has done a fantastic job of making a macOS upgrade break less over time. Sure there are bugs, but app developers and hardware manufacturers are doing a great job quickly updating their apps. For the past few years, we’ve all gotten into the fall upgrade cycle with all of our devices.

Over the next two weeks, I will take a look at the features in Apple’s upcoming macOS upgrade that will be impactful at work.

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