The Leading New Features of Apple’s MacOS Monterey

  • FaceTime Portrait Mode
  • Map features including 3D interactive globe and detailed map
  • Spatial Audio available AirPods (third generation), AirPods Pro, ug AirPods Max
  • On-Device Dictation with offline processing
  • Siri Text-to-Speech in additional languages

Now, let’s take a look at all the new features of MacOS Monterey.

FaceTime upgrade

Photo: Apple

MacOS Monterey promotes video calls using FaceTime’s new visual and audio features (most of which can be accessed via the Control Center at the top right of the menu bar). For example, you can apply Portrait mode to your calls — adding a background blur effect to hide cluttered rooms. A new grid view also makes it easy to see everyone on the call at once. Best of all, you can invite friends using Android or Windows devices to join a call by sending them a link. They need to use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

As for audio, you can switch between Voice Isolation and Wide Spectrum microphone modes. Voice Isolation is best when you’re in more noisy environments, as it tries to suppress most of it. Wide Spectrum, on the other hand, captures all the noise around you. That might help if the whole family wishes Grandma a happy birthday.

If you have an M1-powered MacBook and any of the current-gen AirPods, you can also take advantage of Apple’s new spatial audio. During group FaceTime calls, you can hear people’s voices based on their area on the screen grid; This is Apple’s attempt to make the call more natural, as if people are in the room with you.

Live Text

Photo: Apple

If you have iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, you may be familiar with Live Text. Using the devices ’rear camera, you can highlight and copy text through the viewfinder. Is there text in the photo? Just select it with your finger. You can paste this text into apps like Notes and iMessage. Each time it recognizes a phone number or address, it will give you the option to call the number or input the address into Maps. It is now available on MacOS. It won’t work with the front camera of your Mac, but you can use it to copy the text of the photos and paste it elsewhere. It can also recognize phone numbers and websites.

Focus Mode

Photo: Apple

Are you easily distracted? Apple’s new Focus mode allows you to create profiles that limit specific notifications and alerts on your Mac. You have the option to choose from preset options — Don’t Disturb, Commute, Drive, Personal, Sleep, and Work — or add a new profile for hobbies like reading or playing. There’s also a setting to automatically notify people in iMessage when you’re in Focus mode (to prevent them from messaging you). If you turn on Focus, it will also trigger on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch (though you can turn it off if you want). You can read more about how to use it here.


Photo: Apple

Originally available on iOS and iPadOS 13, the App shortcuts now available on Mac. You can use preinstalled shortcuts like “Take a Break” or “Shazam Shortcut” or access the ones you’ve already done on your iPhone and iPad. For example, I can now access my shortcut “Turn off TV” for Apple TV in my room and my shortcut “Preheat kettle to 100 degrees Celsius” for my smart kettle directly on my MacBook. You can also create updates for your Mac workflow via the desktop editor.


Photo: Apple

If you have an iCloud subscription, then you have already upgraded to iCloud+ at no additional charge. The service gives you access to Hide My Email (which creates burner email addresses to limit spam in your inbox) and expands HomeKit Secure Video support. It also includes iCloud Private Relay (it’s currently in beta with a final version coming soon) —a feature that encrypts your Safari browsing history to keep your data safe, similar in a virtual private network.

Shared to You

Photo: Apple

If your friends and family tend to send you tons of links and photos throughout the week, this feature will help keep everything organized. If you open apps like Messages, Photos, Safari, Apple Music, and Apple News, you’ll see a designated area called Shared With You. Here all the content sent to you is live, complete with the contact name of who sent it to you. That way, you can read the long article Dad sent after work, or check out photos of your grandchildren over the weekend.

Quick Note

Photo: Apple

With the handy-dandy Quick Note feature, accessing the Notes app is easier. Just move your cursor to the lower right corner or hold down the Globe + Q keys to open a Quick Note. You can drop links, photos, and more. This is great for quickly writing something. MacOS Monterey is also compatible with the new collaborative notes feature introduced in iOS and iPadOS 15. Like Google Docs, you can add people to a specific note where they can edit and make changes (which you can see in real time).

Groups on the Safari Tab

Photo: Apple

Do you have an emotional connection to your tabs? Well, here’s a part for you. You can create Tab Groups that not only organize all open tabs but also make your Safari window more streamlined. Using the Group Tab button, you can name each group based on categories such as “Shopping” or “Work,” and then add tabs to each. The feature syncs across all of your Apple devices, so you always have your Tab Groups at your disposal.

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