What to Look Forward to in macOS Monterey

Better connections all the way around

Key Takeaways

  • The latest version of the Mac OS is getting closer to a final release. 
  • Monterey offers dozens of new features that allow Apple devices to play better together. 
  • Quick Note is a new way for users to jot down notes on any app or website systemwide, so you can capture thoughts and ideas wherever inspiration strikes.
FaceTime in portrait mode on macOS Monterey.

Apple

Your Mac could soon feel a bit more like an extension of your iPhone with Apple’s upcoming Monterey operating system. 

Apple recently released the latest version of the macOS 12 Monterey beta to public beta testers, allowing non-developers to test the software ahead of its public release. The final version is expected to be released later this year. You can download the macOS Monterey public beta now to test out some of its new features.

"One awesome-looking new ability is Quick Note, which is a new way for users to jot down notes on any app or website systemwide."

Sharing Is Caring

Apple is pushing the idea that the Mac is just an extension of your gadget universe rather than a computer unto itself. For example, Universal Control lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard and move between Mac and iPad for a seamless experience, with no setup required.

You can drag and drop content back and forth between devices. For example, you could sketch a drawing with Apple Pencil on an iPad and then put it into a Keynote slide on the Mac.

Monterey also adds new features found in iOS 15, like spatial audio in FaceTime and Apple's Focus feature. Android users will be able to join Facetime calls with the Mac Update. 

I’m most looking forward to upgrading to the Notes app, which has lagged in features in recent years compared to competitors like Google Keep and Evernote.

One awesome-looking new ability is Quick Note, which is a new way for users to jot down notes on any app or website systemwide, so you can capture thoughts and ideas wherever inspiration strikes. Users also can add links from an app to their Quick Note to create context, even on a website in Safari or an address in Maps.

Notes seems to be evolving toward more of a collaboration tool like Slack or Google Docs. As users work in Notes, they can add mentions, see everyone’s edits in the new Activity View, and categorize their Notes with tags to quickly and easily find them in the new Tag Browser and tag-based Smart Folders.

Notifications also are getting a Monterey upgrade that makes this feature more like many online tools like Slack. With the new Focus feature, users can automatically filter out notifications not relevant to their current activity. You can even signal your status to let others know when you are focusing and not available. If you set Focus on one device, it automatically sets across their other devices and can be customized based on your current activity. 

Take a New Safari

Perhaps the most noticeable change for users is a revamp of Safari. It’s got a new tab design that lets users see more of the page as they scroll. A new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field into a single compact design. 

MacOS Monterey Facetime features on a MacBook Pro

Apple

Tab Groups offer a new way to save and manage tabs, which could help store the tabs users visit daily. Tab Groups also sync across Mac, iPhone, and iPad, so that you can continue their project from one browser to another and share tabs with other people. 

One handy feature in Monterey is the addition of Shortcuts that allow you to automate tasks. It’s similar to the Shortcuts feature that’s already available on iPhone and iPad. There are pre-built actions designed for the Mac to do things like share files and make animated GIFs. You can also customize shortcuts to match your workflow. The Shortcuts features is available throughout macOS, including the menu bar, Finder, Spotlight, and hands-free with Siri so you can run shortcuts no matter which app you are using.  

I can’t wait to try out the final version of Monterey. The ability to seamlessly move information between devices will be worth the upgrade alone. 

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