At WWDC21, Apple announced a host of exciting features for macOS Monterey that we can't wait to try out. They encompass everything from AirPlay for Mac to live text recognition, and we believe there is something for everyone in the upcoming version of macOS.

Here are the top macOS Monterey features we look forward to …

1. Universal control

Right now, Universal Control is best for those looking to unify macOS and iPadOS: you can use a single keyboard and mouse to control both an iPad and a Mac.

In practice, you'll be dragging and dropping files from an iPad to a Mac and vice versa. You can even move the cursor from your Mac to the iPad and back as if the other device was just a second screen.

Features like this give people a good reason to stay in the Apple ecosystem.

Related: The Evolution of the iMac: From 1998 to 2021 and Beyond

2. AirPlay for Mac

It's a feature I've always wanted. You can finally send videos from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. That means the huge 27-inch iMac in your house can stream movies from smaller Apple devices.

This use case might not appeal to everyone, but it's great to have it anyway. It's much more likely that you're signed in to various streaming sites on your phone than you are on your Mac. This gives you an easy way to use the large display quickly.

The Mac also functions as an AirPlay speaker, so you can easily stream audio from your iPhone to the Mac for enhanced sound quality.

3. Shortcuts for Mac

Shortcuts, the center of automation for iOS and iPadOS, is coming to macOS Monterey. We can't wait to see what people do with the ability to automate multiple tasks on a Mac.

Related: How to Create a Shortcut on Your iPhone

In addition, Automator will still be around on the Mac for the time being, and you can also import Automator scripts into shortcuts. It will be much easier to create and edit large shortcuts on a Mac, since scrolling up and down to make small changes is faster with a trackpad or mouse.

Because of this, we believe that shortcuts will be widespread on Macs as well.

4. Safari optimizations

Safari also has some new features on macOS Monterey. Safari is already known for having great privacy-related features like tracking prevention, and its battery efficiency is also great.

But with Monterey, Safari will get some UI tweaks that will make it a lot more attractive.

Tabs have now been moved to the same line as the address bar, freeing up valuable screen space. You can also group a number of tabs together to avoid showing thousands of open tabs that are difficult to sort.

The tab bar also adapts to the color of the webpage you are on for an aesthetically pleasing look.

5. Recording indicators

iOS 14 introduced a great recording indicator that shows up as a tiny orange or green dot when an app is using the microphone or camera. This feature also comes to macOS Monterey.

An orange dot is also displayed in the control center on the Mac. If you're wondering why the Mac isn't getting the green dot when an app is using the camera, it is because there is a green light next to the webcam that stays on whenever the camera is in use.

Still, Apple should consider those of us who have a USB webcam attached to a Mac mini. A camera usage display in the Control Center will certainly help in these cases.

Related: How to use a Mac mini as a server

6. Focus mode

macOS Monterey also gets Focus mode, which is available for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. You can use it to minimize distracting notifications when you're ready to get your work done.

It automatically mutes annoying pings from social media apps and displays a status message in the Messages app. You can even create different focus modes to allow different groups of apps and contacts.

7. A quick note

You can quickly launch Quick Note to jot down important points while using other apps. These notes are displayed in the Notes app, and the Quick Notes window also remembers the context of your notes.

For example, if you paste in text from a website, a link to that page will be added in your new note. These notes are automatically categorized into a folder in the Notes app on Mac, which also has some other nice new features, such as: B. the possibility to mark notes with a hashtag.

This makes notes easy to find. If you're using a shared note, you can now also tag people and track changes from the Activity tab.

8. Live text

Live Text is Apple's version of Google Lens. It can capture text from any image, and you can copy and paste that text anywhere. It also recognizes phone numbers and addresses in pictures.

This means that with an extra tap, you can call or text the phone number in a photo, picture on a website, or any other picture with previously unrecognizable text. You can even use it to open an address in the Maps app.

9. Data protection for emails

There's finally a good reason to use Apple's Mail app over its competitors. If you activate mail data protection, Mail now automatically hides your IP address from senders and does not use invisible pixels to let them know when you opened their e-mails.

This means that people who email you cannot find out your location or receive read receipts, which is good for your privacy.

10. Spatial audio

Apple expands macOS Monterey to support Spatial Audio. If you have a pair of AirPods that support this technology, you can get a surround sound experience in apps like FaceTime and Music.

This feature works well when watching movies too, but the catch is that it only works with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, and only works on Macs with the M1 chip.

The union is in full swing

The features we heard about for macOS Monterey strongly suggest a more consistent experience in Apple software. Lots of features will be available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and we've never seen such a level of feature parity on Apple's operating systems.

This makes for a more consistent experience across different Apple products and should allow users familiar with an iPhone or iPad to quickly find out how to use a Mac.

By restricting features like Spatial Audio to M1 Macs, Apple has started subtle ways of getting people to upgrade and it will be interesting to see how that plays out over the years to come.

7 Pros and Cons to Consider Before Buying an M1 Mac

Apple's M1-based Macs have many advantages, but they're not perfect. Here's what to consider before you buy.

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About the author

Adam Smith
(29 articles published)

Adam mainly writes for the iOS area at MUO. He has over six years of experience writing articles related to the iOS ecosystem. After work, you'll find that he's looking for ways to add more RAM and faster storage to his old gaming PC.

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Adam Smith

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