macOS Monterey Overview Updated April 10, 2022

macOS 12 Monterey: New features, compatibility, release date

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119 'macOS Monterey' stories

June 2021 - May 2022

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.

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 isolates your voice from all the other noises and with Wide Spectrum mode, you can hear 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

Here’s everything new with macOS 12.1:

SharePlay

  • SharePlay is a new way to share synchronized experiences in FaceTime with content from the Apple TV app, Apple Music, and other supported apps
  • Shared controls give everyone the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward
  • Smart volume automatically lowers the audio of a movie, TV show or song when you or your friends speak
  • Screen sharing lets everyone on a FaceTime call look at photos, browse the web, or help each other out

Apple Music Voice Plan

  • Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using Siri
  • Just Ask Siri suggests music based on your listening history and likes or dislikes
  • Play it Again lets you access a list of your recently played music

Photos

  • Memories has been redesigned with a new interactive interface, new animation and transition styles, and multiple image collages
  • New Memory types include additional international holidays, child-focused memories, trends over time, and improved pet memories

Messages

  • Communication safety setting gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nudity
  • Safety warnings contain helpful resources for children when they receive photos that contain nudity

Siri and Search

  • Expanded guidance in Siri, Spotlight and Safari Search to help children and parents stay safe online and get help with unsafe situations

Apple ID

  • Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death

TV App

  • Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows all in one place

This release also includes the following enhancements for your Mac:

  • Hide My Email is available in the Mail app for iCloud+ subscribers to create unique, random email addresses
  • Stocks allows you to view the currency for a ticker and see year-to-date performance when viewing charts
  • Reminders and Notes now allow you to delete or rename tags

macOS 12.2 features

Different from macOS 12.1, macOS 12.2 didn’t bring lots of new features. This software update includes a security fix for a serious Safari flaw along with a few others improvements and fixes.

The Safari exploit can leak users’ browsing history as well as Google account IDs. Another fix with macOS 12.2 improves scrolling in Safari with ProMotion on the new MacBook Pro. There’s also a new, native Apple Music app.

macOS 12.3 features

macOS 12.3 finally brings the long-awaited Universal Control feature. Here’s everything new with this update:

  • Universal Control;
  • 40+ fresh emoji;
  • New, non-binary Siri American voice;
  • Dynamic head tracking for Spatial Audio;
  • Add notes to saved passwords in Safari;
  • Support for the PS5 DualSense adaptive trigger;
  •  ScreenCaptureKit framework for “high-performance screen recording.”

Apple is currently testing macOS 12.4.

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.

Apple officially released macOS 12 Monterey on 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 Today

Apple has officially released its latest update for Mac with support for new Podcasts app features as well as the Studio Display webcam fix. While the Studio Display 15.5 beta came inside the macOS update, it’s now available as a separate release.

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macOS Monterey Stories May 12

Apple releases macOS 12.4 RC with Studio Display webcam fix and new Podcasts feature

After four beta releases, Apple has seeded the macOS 12.4 release candidate for both developers and public testers. The build comes with support for the latest beta of the Studio Display webcam fix as well as a new feature to help manage Podcasts on Mac.

macOS Monterey Stories May 3

Apple releases macOS 12.4 beta 4 for developers

Arriving a week after the third macOS 12.4 beta for developers and public testers – including the first webcam fix for Apple’s Studio Display – Apple has seeded macOS 12.4 beta 4 today to developers.

macOS Monterey Stories April 26

Apple releases macOS 12.4 beta 3 to developers and public beta testers [U]

Following up on launching the second macOS 12.4 beta for developers and public testers last week, Apple has seeded the third macOS 12.4 beta today to developers and public beta testers.

macOS Monterey Stories April 20

Apple releases macOS 12.4 beta 2 for developers [U: Public beta]

Following up on launching the first macOS 12.4 beta for developers and public testers two weeks ago, Apple has seeded the second macOS 12.4 beta today to developers.

macOS Monterey Stories April 6

After officially launching its last major release, macOS 12.3, in the middle of March with Universal Control, new emoji, and more, Apple has started up its testing cycle again. The first macOS 12.4 beta is now showing up.

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macOS Monterey Stories March 31

With the release of iOS 15.4.1 and macOS Monterey 12.3.1 on Thursday, Apple has fixed some bugs in its operating systems. However, in addition to bug fixes, the company also made security enhancements to iOS and macOS, which include patches for multiple zero-day exploits.

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When Apple released macOS Monterey 12.3 earlier this month, multiple users reported that they were no longer able to pair game controllers with their Macs over Bluetooth. Now with the macOS 12.3.1 update, which was released today to all users, Apple has finally fixed this bug.

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macOS Monterey Stories March 24

macOS Monterey 12.3 has broken support for game controllers for some players

Looking to play games on your newly updated Mac? You might have to skip bringing your game controllers. 

Shortly after its ‘Peek Performance’ event, Apple released macOS Monterey version 12.3. After updating, many users across Apple’s Developer Forums and Reddit are complaining that the update can’t support their game controllers. 

macOS Monterey Stories March 14

Following its “Peek performance” event and the launch of the new Mac Studio, Apple has released macOS 12.3. The new software for Mac includes the anticipated Universal Control, 40+ fresh emoji, new Siri voice, dynamic head tracking for Spatial Audio, and more.

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macOS Monterey Stories March 8

Just after its “Peek performance” March event, Apple has launched the macOS 12.3 RC. The software includes the anticipated Universal Control, all-new emoji, new Siri voice, and more.

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macOS Monterey Stories March 1

Nudging closer to a public release, Apple has seeded developers with macOS 12.3 beta 5. The software arrives as the latest build to officially include Universal Control to seamlessly work between Mac and iPad.

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macOS Monterey Stories February 22

As we move closer to a public release, Apple has seeded developers with macOS 12.3 beta 4. The software arrives as the fourth build to officially include Universal Control to seamlessly work between Mac and iPad.

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macOS Monterey Stories February 16

After launching the first macOS Monterey 12.3 beta to developers and public testers with the exciting Universal Control feature enabled at the end of January, the third beta has arrived today.

Update 2/16: Apple has made the latest macOS beta available to public testers.

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macOS Monterey Stories February 10

While macOS Monterey 12.3 is in the beta testing phase, Apple has launched macOS 12.2.1 for all users with some important security and bug fixes. Notably, that includes a patch for the Bluetooth-related battery drain issue for MacBooks.

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macOS Monterey Stories February 9

After launching the first macOS Monterey 12.3 beta to developers and public testers with the exciting Universal Control feature enabled at the end of January, the second beta has arrived today with several bug fixes including one for a Bluetooth-related battery drain fix.

Update 2/9: The second macOS 12.3 beta is now available for public testers too.

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macOS Monterey Stories February 3

If you’ve been seeing multiple Finder error messages on your Mac recently, you’re not alone. Although macOS Monterey 12.3 beta comes with some great new features, it has also been causing the Finder to repeatedly show an alert message to users.

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macOS Monterey Stories February 1

PSA: MacBook overnight battery drain on macOS 12.2? Here’s a workaround…

Some of those who’ve updated to macOS 12.2 are experiencing severe MacBook overnight battery drain – in the worst cases, their machine are going from fully-charged to almost empty …

macOS Monterey Stories January 28

How to install the macOS Monterey beta

Want to check out what’s new in the latest macOS Monterey release early like the Studio Display webcam fix? Read along for how to install macOS Monterey beta.

Following macOS 12.2 arriving to all users this week and the first macOS 12.3 beta landing for developers yesterday, Apple has released the first macOS Monterey 12.3 beta for public testers. The new beta comes with the highly anticipated Universal Control feature.

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macOS Monterey Stories January 27

On Thursday, Apple released the first beta of macOS Monterey 12.3 to developers. While we’re still learning about what’s new in today’s update, the release notes shared by Apple reveal a new API called “ScreenCaptureKit” that adds high-performance screen recording support for Mac apps.

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Just one day after launching macOS 12.2 to the public with over a dozen security updates, Apple has released the first macOS Monterey 12.3 beta to developers. The latest build arrives as Universal Control is slated to arrive sometime this spring.

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macOS Monterey Stories January 26

Inside of Apple’s latest update for Mac are fixes for a wide range of security flaws. macOS 12.2 patches 13 serious security bugs ranging from the Safari web browsing leak to a flaw that can give malicious apps access to root privileges, kernel privileges, iCloud data, and more.

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After a beta period of just over a month, Apple has officially made the latest macOS release available for all users. macOS 12.2 arrives with an important security fix for Safari, improved scrolling in Safari for the new MacBook Pro, and a new native Apple Music app.

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