macOS Monterey (also known as macOS 12) is now deployed for everyone with a compatible Mac. If you have an early 2016 or newer MacBook, early 2015 or newer MacBook Air, early 2015 or newer MacBook Pro, late 2014 or newer Mac Mini, iMac late 2015 or newer, iMac Pro late 2017, or Mac Pro late 2013 or newer, you can dive in.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the free update, here’s what you should try first.
1. Write notes faster
MacOS Monterey’s Notes app gets an upgrade with the addition of Quick Notes, a streamlined note-taker that you can use without opening Notes itself. You can create a quick note from anywhere with a keyboard shortcut (Fn + Q), by selecting text or by moving the cursor to the lower right corner of the screen while holding down Cmd.
2. View FaceTime group chats as a grid
Apple is not glad you spent your whole video-call time on Zoom, so it gives you a Zoom-like interface option for FaceTime group chats – you even get the box illuminated around the current speaker, like on Zoom. It’s called Grid Layout and you’ll see it available as a view on your other Apple devices where FaceTime is supported.
3. Boost your shortcuts
Shortcuts was introduced in iOS 12, and along with Monterey, it’s also making its way to macOS. The app works more or less exactly the same on a Mac: launch shortcuts and you can combine multiple actions into one command, whether it’s making a GIF from a video, creating a timer to use for breaks, to start a video call, or any other task you need to automate.
4. Use your Mac as an AirPlay speaker
After installing Monterey, your Mac can then act as an AirPlay speaker. IIf you’re playing audio from your iPhone, for example, you can choose AirPlay output and choose your Mac from the list. It can even work as part of a multi-speaker setup. Use the Share in System Preferences to configure the AirPlay receiver option.
5. Use your Mac as an AirPlay display
The same AirPlay trick works for mirroring and extending screens as well as audio streaming. Again, you can open System Preferences and choose Share, so AirPlay receiver to activate the feature. OOne way to use it would be to put a presentation from an iPhone on an iMac, or stream a Fitness + class from your phone to the bigger screen of your Mac.
6. See which apps are using your microphone and webcam
The little dots that alert you when your mic and camera are actually in use, they’re really useful on iOS, and macOS Monterey gets a mic indicator to go along with the green webcam light that’s already on Macs. When the microphone is in use, you will see an orange dot next to the Control Center icon in the menu bar. Click the icon to see which application is using the microphone.
7. Say hello
Open System Preferences, then choose Desktop computer and screen saver and Screen saver, and you’ll see there’s a brand new addition to the list. AA stylish screensaver called Hello has arrived, and according to Apple, it “Celebrates the history and progress of Mac” and refers to the very first Mac that displayed a similar “hello” message on the screen.
8. Explore the cities in more detail
Apple Maps gets more detailed and engaging visuals in some major cities, with the same update rolling out across several of Apple’s 2021 software updates, including macOS Monterey, as long as you’re on a Mac with an M1 chip. San Francisco is a good place to start exploring the new sights – look for the highlight icons on landmarks in 3D mode.
9. Extend the battery life of MacBook
MacBooks (2016 and later) get a new low power mode with the arrival of macOS Monterey, which does exactly what you might expect:educate some of the extra bells and whistles on your laptop so the battery requirements are less. In System Preferences, choose Drums then Drums Where AC adapter. Low consumption mode is available on both.
10. Maintain your focus
As with iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and watchOS 8, macOS Monterey has a new Focus tool. YesYou can find it by clicking on the Control Center icon in the menu bar. Think of it as an improved version of Do Not Disturb, so you can set specific notification options for home and office scenarios (such as studying, play, sleep, work, etc.).
11. See what has been shared with you
Most major Apple apps including Photos, Apple Podcasts, Safari, and Apple News, get a new shared WWith the You section you can search in macOS Monterey. It’s basically a way to quickly access anything your contacts have sent you through the Messages app, whether it’s vacation photos, a link to an article, or a podcast recommendation.
12. Save tab groups in Safari
Keep your tab groups together in Safari’s new tab groups feature. Tto start, Cmd + click on a tab and choose Move to tab group, where you can choose an existing group or create a new one. You can organize your tabs however you like, and by default, your tab groups will show on the left side of the Safari interface for easy access.
13. Reduce screen clutter in Safari
Speaking of Safari, you’ll notice that it has undergone a pretty drastic overhaul for macOS Monterey: there’s a streamlined tab bar that changes color to match the pages you’re currently viewing, there’s a smart search box. integrated into the address bar, and you also have a redesigned sidebar to manage your bookmarks, shared links, etc.
14. Share video, audio or your screen
Finally, macOS Monterey will let you watch videos and listen to music with other people on FaceTime, as well as share whatever is on your Mac screen. It’s called SharePlay, but at the time of this writing Apple has postponed its launch, you will therefore always have to wait for the feature to be deployed after the initial launch of the new operating system.
15. Work seamlessly on Mac and iPad
Universal control is one of the main features of macOS Monterey, although we’re not sure. exactly when it will arrive (later this fall, that’s what Apple says). The functionality will allow you use a Mac keyboard and trackpad (or mouse) to control other Macs and iPads next door (on the same wifi and using the same Apple ID), as if they were connected screens. Files can be dragged and dropped between devices, too much. This is the one we can’t wait to try.