Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,972
17,356


Apple today released macOS Monterey to the public after several months of beta testing, and it brings a whole slew of useful new features and changes to apps like Safari, Maps, FaceTime, Notes, Photos, Messages, and More, along with some great quality of life improvements.


We've rounded up 10 of our favorite macOS Monterey features, but let us know what you like about the update in the comments below.

Erase All Content & Settings

With macOS Monterey, restoring a Mac to factory settings works a lot more like it does on the iPhone and iPad with iOS. With an Erase All Content & Settings button, you now erase your Mac without needing to go through the hassle of reinstalling the operating system.

erase-content-settings-monterey.jpg

The feature wipes the Mac but leaves the operating system in place so the machine can be sold or traded in, and it's so much more convenient than prior methods that it's made the number one spot in our list. Note that you need to have a Mac with a T2 chip for Erase All Content and Settings to be available as it is not compatible with older machines.

AirPlay to Mac

With enhanced AirPlay support on the Mac, content from an iPhone or iPad can be AirPlayed to the display of a Mac, something that wasn't possible before. AirPlay to Mac also works with Mac-to-Mac transfers so you can display one Mac's screen on another.


AirPlay to Mac allows users to extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and since two Macs are supported, a Mac can use another Mac as an external display in a sort of Target Display Mode feature clone.

AirPlay to Mac works both wirelessly or wired using a USB-C cable, with the wired connection useful for cutting down on any possible latency. You can also use AirPlay to turn your Mac into a speaker that's paired with other AirPlay 2 speakers for multiroom audio, and you can AirPlay Apple Fitness+ workouts to the Mac.

AirPlay to Mac works with the 2018 or later MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, 2019 or later iMac or Mac Pro, the iMac Pro, and the 2020 or later Mac mini.

FaceTime Updates

Many of the FaceTime features that have been made available in iOS 15 are also included in the macOS Monterey version of FaceTime. There's a Create a Link feature for FaceTime calls that makes it much easier to get people to join your call as it's similar to how Zoom and other video apps work, and it's great for scheduling calls.

facetime-link.jpg

PC and Android users can now join FaceTime calls from the web using those FaceTime links created by Apple users.

Apple has also added a Portrait mode effect to FaceTime calls on the Mac so you can blur out the background behind you while you chat. A new Grid view can show everyone in the call at one time, and there are new audio modes. Voice Isolation minimizes background noise and focuses on your voice, while Wide Spectrum can be used to highlight all sounds if there are multiple people on your end of the call.

FaceTime on macOS Monterey will be gaining all of the SharePlay features made available on iOS devices in iOS 15.1, but SharePlay was not ready for release when macOS Monterey launched and it will be coming at a later date.

Quick Note

The Notes app in macOS Monterey has been enhanced with a new Quick Note feature that's designed for jotting down notes no matter what you're doing. If you place your cursor in the very bottom right corner of the display, a little note icon will pop up.

monterey-quick-note.jpg

Clicking it opens up a Quick Note where you can write down a thought, add a link, save a photo, and more. Quick Notes are saved in a dedicated section in the Notes app, and can be accessed across all devices.

Safari Tab Groups

Apple initially planned to tweak the design of Safari in macOS Monterey, adding a redesigned tab bar that better blends into the background of the webpage, but after complaints, that plan was scrapped and Safari largely looks like it did in Big Sur.

monterey-tab-groups.jpg

If you like, you can enable the new "Compact" design in the Preferences section of Safari, but there is a more notable Safari change - Tab Groups.

With Tab Groups, you can save groups of tabs together and then revisit them later. If you're planning a vacation, for example, you might have several tabs that you want to keep open and revisit later without having the tabs take up your entire Safari tab bar, with Tab Groups allowing you to save everything and open it back up later.

Animated Memoji Avatar

Memoji can now be set as your macOS avatar, showing up on the Lock Screen in place of the standard still image. In System Preferences, click on your profile and you can create or choose a Memoji to serve as your avatar.

macos-monterey-memoji.jpg

You can choose a favorite pose and a style, which adds a background color, and then click save to set it. Memoji will animate on the Mac's Lock Screen when you log into your Mac. If you do something like enter your password wrong, you'll see the Memoji react.

Emojis and initial monograms are also options for Mac avatars in Monterey, plus there's a new "Suggestions" tab that houses various profile picture options.

Focus

Focus is a more tailored version of Do Not Disturb that's meant to let you focus on what you're doing at the current moment while blocking out unnecessary distractions.

macos-monterey-focus.jpg

As an example, you can create a "Work" focus mode that minimizes notifications from non-work related apps to help you better concentrate without interruption. Apple has built-in Focus modes for things like Sleep and Driving, and you can create custom Focus modes. With Focus, you can choose the apps and the people that are allowed to contact you at different times.

If you're in a Focus mode and someone tries to send you a message, they'll be notified that your notifications are silenced (though it's still possible to get through in an emergency), and if you turn on Focus on one device, it's automatically synced to all your devices.

Shortcuts

The Shortcuts app that was first introduced on iPhone and iPad is now available on the Mac, so you can access all of your favorite Shortcuts. Apple has designed Mac-specific shortcuts that are available in the Gallery, and you can make your own.

monterey-shortcuts-app.jpg

Shortcuts has been updated with Next Action Suggestions to make it easier to create new shortcuts, and your Automator app workflows can be converted into shortcuts. For Pro users, there's AppleScript integration and shell script compatibility.

Shortcuts are deeply integrated into macOS Monterey and can be run from the Dock, menu bar, Finder, Spotlight, or using Siri, and they're universal, so Shortcuts made on your iPhone can be used on your Mac and vice versa.

Universal Control (Coming Soon)

One of the headline features of macOS Monterey, Universal Control will allow a single mouse and keyboard work across multiple Macs or iPads. So if you have a desktop setup with an iMac, a MacBook, and an iPad, you can use one mouse and one keyboard to control all three.

universal-control-wwdc.jpeg

Universal Control is not yet available because it was not ready in time for macOS Monterey's launch, but it will be coming in a future macOS Monterey update.

Read More About macOS Monterey

There are tons more features in macOS Monterey that are worth checking out, and we have a full rundown of everything new in the update in our macOS Monterey roundup.

Article Link: 10 Great macOS Monterey Features Worth Upgrading For
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: amartinez1660

Kylo83

macrumors 68020
Apr 2, 2020
2,198
7,237
Still can’t use stereo HomePods with AirPlay 2 support system wide as a main output, it’s laggy and unusable, is it so hard to just add AirPlay 2 support and allow multi outputs so built in speakers and HomePods at the same time
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: rbgaynor

128KMac

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2004
62
41
Will wait a day or so for the first few "this new update bricked/broke my Mac!!" reports to come in and figure out if real issues or not....
 
  • Like
Reactions: amartinez1660

zoom25

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2018
95
85
Solid update. Getting the tabs back to Big Sur style alone was worth it. Nice to have Focus modes on Mac as well.

Also, I don't know if this was possible before or not, but now on Mac I'm able to search for the words that are included in the screenshots/picture on the article. That's crazy!
 

Freeangel1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2020
778
1,123
Where is Office 2022 for Mac? It was suppose to be out Oct 5th along with the Windows Office 2022.

It seems not released.

I'm more interested in this than Monterey.

If Microsoft Kills Office for Mac there might not be a bright future for Apple ARM chips.

And it's funny how most people buying these 16" M1 MAX laptops all say for Final Cut Pro or Video Editing.

Seems thats all people buy a Mac for these days. Final Cut Pro or Logic X
 
Last edited:

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,355
4,963
macOS Monterey feels almost like Mac OS X Snow Leopard to me.

Yes, there are some worthwhile features, but by and large, it feels almost exactly like Big Sur, only more stable (at least for me).

Having said that, I am personally enjoying these features/changes:
  1. Low Power Mode. When my MacBook is on battery power, low power mode automatically engages. I wish the Battery menu bar would let me manually trigger it. I guess I can create a Shortcut.
  2. Live Text is surprisingly useful. I now instinctively expect any text within a photo to be selectable.
  3. iCloud+ Private Relay, Protect Mail Activity, and Privacy menu bar indicator.
  4. Passwords in System Preferences. I am in the processing of migrating from 1Password to Apple and this little change makes it much easier to copy/paste passwords into other apps.
  5. Quick Notes (Fn-Q) is very useful. Drafts has been Sherlocked for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eidorian

Apple_Robert

macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
29,237
37,603
In the middle of several books.
Good video, Dan

I have only been using Monterey for a few hours and it is quickly becoming my favorite MacOS thus far. I really like the Quick Notes feature, Live text, and most of all the erase of content and settings option. I have already used the latter option and it was awesome.
 

boss.king

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2009
4,487
2,643
Universal Control looks lie the only think worth updating for. I’m somewhat interested in the Focus stuff too, but based on how it works on iOS and iPadOS, I think Apple needs to do a few more rounds of revisions to make it useful to the average person. Its current iteration feels like something ripped right out of a late-2000s feature phone and is really tedious to set up and manage.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: rbgaynor

FasterQuieter

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2008
541
1,020
I am also struggling to muster even the vaguest interest in this. Hopefully there are some little quality of life improvements I'll stumble across during my work day tomorrow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: beatrixwillius

BuddyRich

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2012
131
65
Because getting up to change or adjust the music is a pain. If I’m sitting at my desk, sure, I’ll play from my Mac. But when I’m on the couch or in the next room over, being able to airplay is a life saver.

Some people don’t live in front of their computers.
but then you are tying up your phone airplaying to your mac. much better if worked as a remote like it does using your phone for playing music on an appletv or homepod with their own tiles and them handling playing... kind of like how spotify connect works.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.