Round-Up of the New macOS 12 Monterey

MacOS 12 Monterey is the latest Macs operating system unveiled on June 7, 2021, at Worldwide Developers Conference and officially released on October 25, 2021.  The new operating system brings a whole host of exciting features to your Mac and MacBooks. The experts at Essentials Solutions IT have reviewed the latest macOS and provide an in-depth view of all the new features you can start enjoying and any details of issues you may encounter.

What Are the Critical Features in the New macOS 12 Monterey?

Although it is a minor update, the new macOS is still quite substantial for the Apple Silicon era. It is designed to lay a robust foundation for other Macs running on M1 chips, including the new MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) coming with Monterey pre-installed. Some of the notable new features that undoubtedly improve the Mac experience include:

Universal Control

Universal Control is undoubtedly one of the most significant updates allowing you to use a single mouse, trackpad, and keyboard and switch between Mac and iPad. You can also use this feature to move content between devices, drag and drop files between iMacs, MacBooks, iPads, and more. You don’t need any complicated setups for this update.


In the current hybrid work model, video calls are becoming an integral part of our professional and personal life. Alive to this reality, Apple has brought new features to FaceTime Calling in macOS 12 Monterey. These include:

  • Screen sharing feature: This feature allows you to initiate FaceTime calls while simultaneously sharing your entire screen or just a specific app. With this feature, you can now collaborate easily with colleagues, share your favorite game with friends, and do more.
  • Spatial audio: This feature is designed to enable individual voices to sound as if it is streaming from the exact direction where each person is positioned on your screen for better conversation.
  • Mic modes: These are voice isolation features that cancel background noise while putting your voice to the center.
  • An invitation link: You can now send a link to your friends and family to connect on FaceTime regardless of whether they are using iOS, Windows, or Android. The link is end-to-end encrypted to ensure your call is private and secure like all other FaceTime calls.
  • Grid view: This feature helps put all Focus on you and not what is behind you. It is similar to the Portrait mode on iPhone and powered by the M1 chip.

This update appeals to people who have multiple Apple devices, such as the iPad and iPhone. However, some of the features will only be available on M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Macs, which looks as though Apple is already moving to Apple Silicon and leaving Intel Macs further behind.


The new macOS comes with a new AirPlay to Mac option for AirPlaying your favorite movies, music games, photos, and do more from the iPhone or iPad to the Mac. With an AirPlay on your Mac, you will use your Mac or MacBook as a speaker or video output.


iOS shortcuts have finally arrived in Mac. This feature allows you to automate your daily tasks by setting your own or using ready-made shortcuts. The iOS shortcuts app ensures all your iPhone shortcuts are available on the Mac. Ideally, Apple designed a gallery of pre-built shortcut options, with the Shortcut integrated via macOS for running shortcuts from the bar, Finder, Siri, Spotlight, and others.


The new macOS also comes with Focus available on iOS. Focus is a feature that helps you stay on tasks with modes for Work, Personal life, and several customizable options. Focus is designed to filter out any notifications not related to the activity or tasks you are undertaking at the moment. It also notifies your contacts that you are unavailable whenever they try to contact you during your busy moments. Focus is designed to sync across all your devices.

Quick Note

There is now a Quick Note option in your Notes app for putting down notes in any app or whenever you are visiting any website. The Quick Note is designed to support links from various apps on your device. It also boasts new collaborative features with mentions, tags for organization, and an Activity View with edit history. Multiple people can work on notes, with the ability to add their own comments seamlessly. It also comes with a Maps app with an interactive globe that you can use to explore multiple locations worldwide.

Live Text

The new Live Text on Macs leverages machine learning to detect texts in photos which you can copy-paste or interact with just like typed text. This app works for both typed and handwritten text and supports URLs, phone numbers, addresses, and more. For example, you can tap on a handwritten phone number to be redirected to an interface for calling or texting.

Privacy Updates

There is no doubt Apple has been enhancing privacy in all its new updates, and Monterey is no exception. The new update comes with new privacy features for Mail and iCloud:

  • Mail privacy protection: The Mail Privacy Protection hides your IP address to prevent email senders from linking it to your online activity or using it to know your location.
  • Recording indicator: Control Center displays all apps that can access your microphone. Whenever an app is actively leveraging your microphone, you will see a recording indicator on the screen.
  • iCloud + with Private Relay: iCloud + is the new name for paid iCloud plans. The plan starts at $0.99 per month and is designed to add multiple privacy-focused features such as iCloud Private Relay. The iCloud Private Relay encrypts and protects all your Safari browsing.

Other notable privacy features include child safety features, password improvements, hide my email feature, and more.

What Are the macOS12 Monterey System Requirements?

Apple recently announced the list of Macs that will run macOS 12 Monterey. The company promises that “macOS Monterey will support a broad line lineup of Macs than ever before, including the latest MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Apple’s Intel-based Macs”. Take a look at the list of devices that can run the new macOS:

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

Should You Download It?

As mentioned earlier, MacOS 12 Monterey is undoubtedly Apple’s next-generation macOS operating system. Although it misses some of the prominent features we all waited for, it is undeniably one of the best Mac upgrades in years. That said, it is time to download the new update and enjoy many of its cool features. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact Essential Solutions if you have any business technology-related questions or looking for a great IT support company to support your business.

Thanks to Ulistic client, 4BIS.COM, a great Cincinnati IT services company for their assistance with this blog post.

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