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6 of the Best New Features From Apple’s Upcoming macOS Monterey

5 minute read

Apple has yet to announce a release date for the upcoming macOS Monterey update for Mac users, only saying that it will come sometime later in 2021. Still, there’s plenty to look forward to about the revamped operating system, which comes replete with new features, bug fixes, and enhancements to existing utilities.

Here are a few of the new features that just might make your update sooner than later.

Airplay to Mac means your screen can do more

A long requested feature, finally Mac users can turn their display on their desktop computer (or laptop, if you’re desperate) into a secondary display for your iPhone or iPad. Well, sort of.

AirPlay to Mac will allow you to send or mirror content from your iOS device to your Mac. MacOS Monterey also means you can use your desktop or laptop as an AirPlay 2 speaker if your Mac is connected to some higher quality audio equipment. The enhanced Airplay functionality works either wirelessly or via a USB cable for decreased latency.

Password protection is easier than ever

Apple’s beefing up its password management chops in Monterey, giving you more ways to stay secure without turning to third-party services. Now you can manage your password from the System Preferences app. What’s more, you can import and export your passwords from one password manager to another, so you’re not stuck only using LastPass, 1Password or another service.

Monterey also lets you manage your two-factor authentication codes, so you don’t need to turn to authentication apps if you’re working on improving your password management hygiene. And if you’re on a Windows device with iCloud for Windows, macOS Monterey lets you even manage your passwords from there.


FaceTime upgrades make being apart more entertaining

FaceTime on Mac is getting some upgrades that mirror those on the new iOS 15, including the group-friendly SharePlay. SharePlay lets you synchronize content with your FaceTime participants, so you’re all at the same place in every video, song,or playlist.

Smart volume management means no one gets drowned out over the noise, and support for multiple devices means you can have a FaceTime call going happening on your iPhone while you watch synced content on your Apple TV or HomePod.

Low Power mode comes to the MacBook

You’ve probably used Low Power mode on your iPhone for years, when you need to squeeze a few more minutes out of a rapidly draining battery. But with Monterey, you can play the battery odds on your portable Mac as well.

It works by reducing your Mac’s processor speed and lowering screen brightness to prolong battery life. While your iMac won’t use the new Low Power Mode, your Mac laptop might rely on it in a pinch, especially if you’re in a place where USB-C connectors (or dongles) might be scarce.


Safari updates mean you’ll never lose a tab again

Safari’s getting a few new tricks in Monterey to make browsing the web safer and more organized.

The new tab grouping feature means you can cordon off your late night shopping habits from your daily work websites, or contain all your vacation research to one group so you don’t lose your place when checking your group of news sites. Safari’s privacy features (like Intelligent Tracking Prevention) also make it more secure to use the web without being tracked by advertisers.

Universal Control lets you control your iPad with your Mac

Put the iPad on the right side of your Mac, drag your mouse over there, and watch as the mouse seemingly crosses the threshold into the other device, letting you drag and drop and type with your Mac keyboard on your iPad tablet. As its name implies, Universal Control allowing your Mac platforms to control the iPads in your life.

You can connect up to three devices (like an iMac, MacBook, and iPad) and switch keyboards and mice on the fly. It builds on Apple’s Continuity feature, which lets you drag and drop content from one nearby Apple device to another, and use your iPad as a secondary screen wirelessly by placing the devices side-by-side.


Of course, if you just can’t wait for the official release, you’re welcome to put in the work to join the public beta for macOS Monterey that comes with all of the usual cautionary language around joining betas. The public beta comes after the company released iOS 15 alongside its new line of iPhone 13 devices.

You can check Apple’s compatibility page to see if your Mac supports an upgrade to macOS Monterey. If you’ve already decided to download the public beta, or just want to know what you’re getting into when it releases later this year, you can get excited for these cool features.

If you’re looking to download macOS Monterey when it arrives, simply hit the Apple logo on the top left of your Mac’s menu bar, select About this Mac, and hit the Software Update button.

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Write to Patrick Lucas Austin at patrick.austin@time.com