Apple will be releasing its next generation Mac operating system tonight, with Monterey finally getting a global release. This blockbuster upgrade is packed with new features, including improved FaceTime calling, easier note taking, and a complete overhaul of the Safari web browser.
So if you own a MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini, here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s new version of macOS Monterey.
WHEN IS MONTEREY AVAILABLE?
Apple never announces a specific date for its software upgrades to be released, but if you can look back on the past few years, the US tech giant should be reaching out to users tonight, October 25th around 6:00 p.m. BST on a large file, so make sure you have a fully charged MacBook and connected to WiFi if you want to be one of the first to get your hands on the new features.
As soon as Monterey becomes available, you should find this upgrade by going to the Apple menu, System Preferences, Software Update.
If that doesn’t work, Apple will likely be releasing a version of Monterey on its App Store that is free to download. Just make sure you’ve backed up your Mac before installing in case something goes wrong.
IS YOUR MAC COMPATIBLE?
Most new MacBooks, Mac Minis, and iMacs are compatible with macOS Monterey, but not everyone can download this upgrade.
Here is a full list of the machines that work with Monterey.
iMac: Late 2015 and later
Mac Pro: Late 2013 and later
iMac Pro: 2017 and later
Mac mini: Late 2014 and later
MacBook Air: Early 2015 and later
MacBook: Early 2016 and later
Macbook Pro: Early 2015 and later
WHAT’S NEW IN MACOS MONTEREY?
One of the headline changes in Monterey is a big upgrade to FaceTime. This popular video calling software is being completely redesigned so that users can schedule calls, add a blur effect to the background in portrait mode, minimize the noise of things around them, and share whatever is happening on their screens.
This chat app receives spatial audio that makes it appear that voices are coming from exactly where a contact is positioned on the display.
Mac users also get access to the new SharePlay feature, which allows them to share their favorite music, TV shows, movies, projects and more with friends and family in real time
If you love Safari then this web browser has been completely redesigned, with a sleeker and less cluttered look, as well as a new feature called Tab Groups which offers a new way to easily save and manage tabs, and the browser background changes automatically to match that to match the website you are visiting.
Anyone with multiple Apple devices will love Universal Control too. This technology basically allows Mac and iPad owners to seamlessly switch between devices with a mouse and keyboard without having to tamper with complicated settings.
If you always feel like you’re being distracted, the new focus mode gives you more control over which notifications appear on the screen.
Other bonus extras include Quick Notes to help you jot down ideas, and Live Text lets you copy and paste words from a photo right into a document or email. The new Maps upgrade, which arrived in iOS 15 last month, is also coming to the Mac with improved driving directions, stunning 3D views of cities like London and San Francisco, and an improved globe that is much more interactive.
“MacOS Monterey is packed with features to help Mac users get more done, connect with friends and family in amazing new ways, and work more seamlessly than ever with Mac and iPad,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president President of Software Engineering at Apple. “We believe our customers will love surfing the web with Safari’s new tab design, sharing experiences with SharePlay in FaceTime, and using their Mac and other Apple devices in new ways with Universal Control and AirPlay to Mac to use.”