macOS Monterey released with Live Text, iCloud+, Focus mode, Shortcuts app and more

Apple has released macOS Monterey to all users. The update features a new redesigned Safari, Live Text, Focus mode, and FaceTime improvements. The update also features improvements to built-in apps such as Messages, Notes, Apple Maps, as well as various Privacy features. Apple has also extended these privacy improvements to iCloud+, its new subscription update which brings features like Privacy Relay and Hide My Email to users. Apple has also introduced AirPlay to Mac, which allows users to AirPlay content from their iPhone or iPad to their Mac. macOS Monterey also finally gets the Shortcuts app, years after it was launched on iOS and iPadOS.

macOS Monterey

What’s new in macOS Monterey?

The final version of macOS Monterey does not include SharePlay but it includes enhancements to FaceTime, Messages, Safari, Focus, Shortcuts, Notes, Maps, Privacy, as well as AirPlay to Mac, and Live Text. The final version of macOS Monterey is not version 12 but version 12.0.1.

Here are the complete release notes for macOS Monterey 12.0.1 from Apple:

macOS Monterey lets you connect, share, and create like never before. Enjoy new FaceTime audio and video enhancements, including spatial audio and Portrait mode. Get more done with powerful productivity tools like Focus, Quick Note, and Tab Groups in Safari. Work fluidly across your devices with AirPlay to Mac.

FaceTime

  • Spatial audio makes voices sound like they come from the direction of a speaker on the screen in a Group FaceTime call
  • Voice Isolation blocks background noises so your voice is crystal clear
  • Wide Spectrum brings every sound in your space into the call
  • Portrait mode puts the focus on you by blurring your background on Mac computers with the M1 chip
  • Grid view displays people in same-size tiles and highlights the active speaker
  • FaceTime links for inviting friends to calls on Apple, Android, or Windows devices

Messages

  • Shared with You displays content shared over Messages in your Mac apps
  • New Shared with You section in Photos, Safari, News, Podcasts, and the TV app
  • Multiple photos display as collages or stacks in Messages

Safari

  • Tab Groups help you save and organize your tabs and sync across devices
  • Intelligent Tracking Prevention prevents trackers from viewing your IP address
  • Compact tab bar option lets you see more of the webpage on your screen

Focus

  • Focus lets you automatically filter out notifications based on what you’re doing
  • Options to customize a Focus for activities like work, gaming, reading, and more
  • Focus sets across all Apple devices
  • Status lets your contacts know that your notifications are silenced

Quick Note & Notes

  • Quick Note lets you take notes on any app or website, and easily revisit them later
  • Tags help you quickly categorize your notes by topic and make them easy to find
  • Mentions enable you to notify others of important updates in shared notes
  • Activity view displays who made recent changes in a shared note

AirPlay to Mac

  • AirPlay to Mac lets you share content from iPhone or iPad straight to your Mac
  • AirPlay speaker support for playing music through your Mac sound system

Live Text

  • Live Text makes text interactive in photos across the system
  • Support for copying, translating, and looking up text that appears in photos
  • Visual Look Up helps you learn about art, landmarks, and other objects in photos

Shortcuts

  • New app helps you automate everyday tasks, helping you accomplish them faster
  • Gallery with pre-built shortcuts that you can add and run throughout the system
  • Shortcuts editor helps you design custom shortcuts for your specific workflows
  • Support for automatically converting Automator workflows into shortcuts

Maps

  • Interactive 3D globe with enhanced details for mountains, oceans, and more on Mac computers with the M1 chip
  • Detailed city maps display elevation, trees, buildings, landmarks, and more on Mac computers with the M1 chip

Privacy

  • Mail Privacy Protection helps prevent senders from tracking your Mail activity
  • Recording indicator in Control Center for apps that are accessing your mic

iCloud+

  • iCloud Private Relay (beta) helps prevent companies from creating a detailed profile of your browsing activity in Safari
  • Hide My Email creates unique, random email addresses that forward to your inbox

Here are the new and updated apps, as well as new features that you can try out after installing macOS Monterey:

Check out our previous coverage to read more about the new macOS Monterey features.

Note that this update does not feature SharePlay and Universal Control. These features will be released later this year.

Is your Mac compatible with macOS Monterey?

A number of old Mac models that supported macOS Big Sur are not compatible with the new macOS update. macOS Monterey is compatible with the following Intel and M1 Macs:

  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • iMac (later 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)

How can you install macOS Monterey on your Mac?

If you have a compatible Mac, simply go to System Preferences > Software Update. The update is hefty and will take some time to download.

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