Apple releases macOS Monterey with AirPlay for Mac, Live Text, Safari updates, shortcut app and more

Apple today released macOS 12 Monterey, the latest version of the operating system designed to run on Mac. macOS Monterey comes after months of beta testing and improved features.

The new “MacOS Monterey” update can be downloaded to all qualified Macs using the Software Update section in System Preferences, and can also be found in the Mac App Store. Like all Mac updates, ‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌‌ is a free download. For those who don’t want to upgrade to “macOS Monterey”, an update for macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 is also available, which Apple says includes security updates.

‌MacOS Monterey‌ adds a lot of features already introduced on iOS devices with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. FaceTime has received support for surround sound and voice isolation to reduce background noise, and in the future will work with SharePlay to share screens and watch TV and movies with friends and family via “FaceTime”.

Messages supports Shared With You, and card groups in Safari allow cards to be organized together and accessed on all devices. There were changes to the Safari design in the card interface, but just before the release of Monterey, Apple reversed the changes. The “Compact” Monterey look can be made possible for those who prefer it.

There’s a new AirPlay to Mac option and a feature to use the Mac as a multi-room sound speaker, and focus mode helps you get on with the task by reducing distractions. The Shortcuts app, available on iOS devices, has been expanded to Mac, and Apple has added new features to Notes, including a Quick Note option that activates a note when you hover your mouse over part of the screen.

With Live Text, Macs can detect text on any image and it becomes interactive, so you can copy, paste and translate text from photos. Visual Lookup in Photos uses machine learning to provide details about animals, art, sights, plants, and more that you have photographed.

iCloud Private Relay, a feature available to all paid iCloud users, hides your browsing habits and IP address from third parties. There is a Hide My Email feature to store a private email address and you can use your personal domains with ‌iCloud‌.

Mail privacy protection prevents email from using tracking pixels to track your activity, and on M1 Macs, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max now offer surround sound support. Apple’s full release notes for “MacOS Monterey” are below:

– Surround sound makes voices sound as if they are coming from the direction of the speakers on the screen in a group FaceTime call
– Voice isolation blocks background sounds so your voice is crystal clear
– Wide Spectrum brings every sound in your space into a call
– Portrait mode focuses on you by blurring your Mac background with the M1 chip
– The network display shows people in tiles of the same size and highlights the active speaker
– FaceTime links to invite friends to call on Apple, Android or Windows devices

– Shared with You displays content shared via Messages in your Mac applications
– New Shared section in Photos, Safari, News, Podcasts and TV app
– Multiple photos are displayed as collages or stacks in messages

– Card groups help you save and organize your cards and sync them across different devices
– Intelligent tracking prevention prevents trackers from seeing your IP address
– The compact tabbed tab option allows you to see multiple web pages on your screen

– Focus allows you to automatically filter notifications based on what you do
– Focus adjustment options for activities such as work, playing, reading and more
– Focus is set on all Apple devices
– Status lets your contacts know that your notifications have been muted

Quick notes and notes
– Quick note allows you to take notes on any application or website and easily view them later
– Tags help you quickly categorize your notes by topic and make it easier to find them
– Mentions allow you to notify others of important updates in shared notes
– The activity view shows who made recent changes to the shared note

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

Live Text
– Live Text makes text interactive on photos throughout the system
– Support for copying, translating and searching for text that appears on photos
– Visual Look Up helps you learn more about art, sights and other objects in photos

– The 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
– Shortcut editor helps you design custom shortcuts for your specific workflows
– Support for automatic conversion of workflow automator into shortcuts

– Interactive 3D globe with enhanced detail for mountains, oceans and more on M1-chip Macs
– Detailed city maps show altitude, trees, buildings, landmarks and more on Macs with an M1 chip

– Mail privacy protection prevents senders from tracking your mail activity
– Recording indicator in the Control Center for applications that access your microphone

iCloud +
– iCloud Private Relay (beta) helps prevent companies from creating a detailed profile of your Safari search activity
– Hide my email creates unique, random email addresses that forward to your inbox

Later this year, ‌macOS Monterey‌ will receive support for Universal Control, an add-on that was not ready for release at launch. With Universal Control, users can use a single keyboard and mouse on multiple Mac and iPad devices. SharePlay, a feature that allows users to share their screens via FaceTime and watch movies and TV together, also comes in a later update, MacOS Monterey.

To provide a better overview of all the new features that Apple has brought to the Mac with ‌macOS Monterey‌, we have a dedicated overview of macOS Monterey available.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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