Apple releases macOS Monterey with Focus, AirPlay to Mac, and more

Not too long after Apple released iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 into the wild, Apple is back at it again with the next big update for its desktop operating system. And as we’ve seen ever since this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, it means a lot of features from Apple’s mobile ecosystem are making the leap to the desktop.

Which means many of the features we’ve already gone over with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 are present here in macOS Monterey 12, too. But there are some macOS-specific features, too, which should help it remain its autonomy a little bit longer. (Not that Apple plans on merging macOS and iOS, of course.)

To update to the newest version of macOS, simply open the System Preferences app –> Software Update and follow the onscreen instructions to get up-to-date. If you have automatic updates turned on, then the system will handle the update process overnight while your machine is plugged in.

It’s worth noting that Apple already released Safari 15 to the public, so the changes the company introduced for the web browser alongside macOS Monterey are already live. As far as what’s new with this update, here’s the brief breakdown:

All the new and shiny in macOS Monterey 12


  • FaceTime finally brings SharePlay with it, allowing users to share their screen with someone else
  • Users can use SharePlay to watch movies and TV shows together, play games, listen to music, and more
  • Users can also share their screen or just a specific app, too
  • FaceTime supports Spatial Audio for more realistic audio output
  • Mic modes: Voice Isolation limits background and ambient noise; Wide Spectrum leaves the ambient sound unfiltered
  • Portrait mode will blur the background while you’re on a FaceTime call
  • A new Grid view gives a more traditional look for group FaceTime calls
  • Send a link to anyone so they can jump into a FaceTime call — even if they aren’t on an Apple device


  • Shared With You is a dedicated section to show you the links, images, and more others shared with you
  • Multiple phots shared in Messages will now show up as a collage or a nice stack


  • Set up a Focus to limit the notifications you receive during a set period of time or activity
  • Focus modes include reading, work, sleep, or other options — all of which are completely customizable
  • Focus is set across all your devices automatically
  • Signal your status to eligible users so they know you’re staying focused and can’t be reached


  • Quick Notes can be presented at any time, even over an active app, to quickly jot down what you’re thinking
  • Quick Notes support typed text, links, mentions, tags, and Safari highlights
  • Quick Notes show up automatically in the Notes app, making them easy to find
  • Quick Notes and Notes support group activity, and a new Activity list will show recent changes made by others who have access to the note(s)

Universal Control

  • With Universal Control, only a single mouse/trackpad or keyboard can be used across devices. Simply move your mouse from your Mac over to your supported iPad and interact with it there — even with the trackpad on your MacBook Air or Pro
  • No setup necessary — it simply works by bringing the devices close together
  • Users can drag-and-drop from one machine to the next

AirPlay to Mac

  • With AirPlay support finally coming to Mac, this means you can wirelessly present content like photos, music, and more to your Mac from another supported Apple device
  • Users can mirror or extend their display to the Mac as well

Live Text

  • Live Text support in macOS Monterey means you can pull up an image that has text in it, including phone numbers, addresses, and more, and quickly interact with i t
  • Select an address shared in a photo to quickly open maps, or tap a phone number and users can choose to save it, send a message, or call it (if you’re set up for that sort of thing)
  • Visual Look Up means you can learn more about a certain thing, including landscapes and more, with a dedicated product pop-up


  • Shortcuts means automation, so users can quickly set up a quick action without going through the individual steps to get it done
  • Users can run Shortcuts from several places on their Mac, including Finder, Spotlight, the Shortcuts app, the Dock, or even with Siri


  • All-new 3D experiences are live in Maps for several cities, including San Francisco, London, and others, with more on the way
  • Public transit integration will now show nearby stations and transit times, and users can pin their favorites
  • An all-new interactive globe is present when you zoom out far enough


  • This is a bundle of features, including Hide My Email and iCloud Private Relay (which is in beta)