- Facetime portrait mode
- Map features with 3D interactive globe and detailed map
- Spatial audio with AirPods (third-generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max
- On-device dictation with offline processing
- Additional text Siri text-to-speech
Now, let’s dive into all the new features of MacOS Monterey.
MacOS Monterey spruces up video calls with new visual and audio features in FaceTime (most of which can be accessed through the control center in the top right corner of the menu bar). For example, you can apply portrait mode to your calls – adding a fuzzy effect to the background to hide cluttered rooms. A new grid view makes it easy to see everyone in the call at once More importantly, you can invite friends to join a call by sending you a link using an Android or Windows device. They need to use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
For audio, you can switch between voice isolation and wide spectrum microphone modes. Voice isolation works best when you are in a noisy environment, as it largely tries to block it. Wide spectrum, on the other hand, picks up all the noise in your environment. It can be helpful if the whole family wishes Grandma a happy birthday.
If you have an M1-powered MacBook and the current Zen AirPod, you can also take advantage of Apple’s new Spatial Audio. During group facetime calls, you’ll hear people’s voices based on their position on the screen’s grid; This is Apple’s effort to make the call more normal, as if people are at home with you.
If you have iOS 15 or iPadOS 15, you may already be familiar with live text. Using the rear camera on those devices, you can highlight and copy text through the viewfinder. Does a picture have text? Just select it with your finger. You can then paste this text into apps like Notes and iMessage Whenever it recognizes a phone number or address, it gives you the option to call the number or input the address on the map. It is now available on MacOS. It doesn’t work with your Mac’s front-facing camera, but you can still use it to copy text to photos and paste them elsewhere. It will also recognize phone numbers and websites
Are you easily confused? Apple’s new Focus mode lets you create profiles that restrict specific notifications and alerts to your Mac. You have a choice of predefined options: don’t bother traveling, driving, personal, sleep and work, or add a whole new profile for hobbies like reading or gaming. There’s also a setting that automatically lets people know in iMessage when you have a focus mode on (to prevent them from texting you). Once you turn on a focus, it will also trigger your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch (although you can turn it off if you want). You can read more about how to use it here.
Originally available on iOS and iPadOS 13, the shortcut app is now available on Mac. You can either use pre-installed shortcuts such as “Take a Break” or “Shazam Shortcut” or access the ones already created on your iPhone and iPad. For example, I can now access my “Turn off TV” shortcut for Apple TV in my room and access my “Kettle at 100 degrees Celsius” shortcut for my smart kettle directly on my MacBook. You can also create new ones for you through the desktop editor Mac Workflow.
If you have an iCloud subscription, you have already been upgraded to iCloud + at no extra charge. The service gives you access to My Email Hide (which creates burner email addresses to limit spam in your inbox) and extends homekit secure video support. It also includes iCloud Private Relay (which is currently in beta with a final version coming soon) —a feature that encrypts your browsing history in Safari to protect your data, like a virtual private network.
Shared with you
If your friends and family have a tendency to send you lots of links and photos throughout the week, this feature helps keep things organized. When you open apps like Messages, Photos, Safari, Apple Music, and Apple News, you’ll see a specific place called Share with you. This is where all content sent to you survives, complete with the contact name of the person who sent it to you. That way, you can read that long article sent after Dad’s work, or read photos of your grandchildren over the weekend.
With the Handy-Dandy Quick Note feature, the Note app is much easier to access. To open a quick note, just move your cursor to the bottom right corner or hold down the Globe + Q keys. You can drop links, photos, and more. It’s great for writing things down quickly. MacOS Monterey is compatible with the new companion note 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).
Safari Tab Group
Do you have an emotional attachment to your tab? Well, here’s a feature for you. You can create tab groups that will not only organize those open tabs but make your Safari window even more beautiful. Using the Tab Group button, you can name each group based on categories like “Shopping” or “Work” and then add tabs to each. The feature syncs across all of your Apple devices, so your tab groups will always be at your disposal.