Apple has released macOS Monterey, the latest version of the company’s operating system for MacBook, iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro personal computers.
As confirmed after last year’s MacBook Pro M1 Pro and M1 Max launch, today’s launch is a free upgrade for all compatible machines, whether they’re based on Apple Silicon or Intel processors.
The update, which has enjoyed a lengthy beta period throughout the summer, is now available, brings updates to FaceTime, AirPlay from iPhone-to-Mac, a brand new version of Safari including Tab Groups, boosts to Universal Control, and plenty more.
In terms of FaceTime, there’s the new SharePlay feature which is also available within iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. However, that won’t become available until later this autumn. Beyond that, there’s spatial audio within FaceTime calls meaning voices appear to emanate from where they’re positioned on screen.
M1-based Mac can also access Portrait mode within FaceTime, which will blur out the background in FaceTime calls, as well as Zoom and Webex sessions.
Elsewhere, Apple says the new Universal Control feature enables users makes it possible to use a single mouse and keyboard to work across a Mac and an iPad. Again, this feature is missing at launch with the promise of it arriving at a later date before the year is out.
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In a media release, the company explains: “Users can place devices next to each other and instantly move the cursor from one device to the other — no setup required. They can use their Mac keyboard to type text on any device, or drag and drop content back and forth easily between devices.”
With this release, Apple is also bringing the Live Text and Visual Lookup features which detects text within photos and enables people to boost their knowledge about elements within photos.
Another feature that debuted in iOS this autumn is the new Focus app, which is effectively varying degrees of do-not-disturb modes, dependent on work, sleep, gaming and more.
You can download macOS Monterey by heading to System Preferences > Software Update.