Apple macOS Monterey announced: Everything you need to know

macOS Monterey
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has just announced macOS Monterey at WWDC 2021 — bringing a load of new features and stability improvements to the desktop OS.

For play-by-play coverage of everything announced, check out our Apple WWDC 2021 Live Blog.


As the gap is bridged between iOS and macOS, it’s fair to say that your Mac laptop or desktop can quickly become overwhelmed by notifications. On a phone, this is fine, but on the device you use to get stuff done, this is a problem.

Luckily, Apple has thought of this with a new feature called Focus. Essentially, it gives you a variety of do not disturb profiles to switch between and customize — giving you control over what you want (and don’t want) to see, depending on what you are doing.

Universal control

macOS Monterey

(Image credit: Apple)

Continuity has been one of the best features of recent macOS releases, but Apple has taken it one step further with Universal control.

This feature allows users to navigate between multiple Apple devices simply by moving the mouse cursor between them. Alongside this, you can click and drag files between them.

Safari updates

macOS Monterey

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's web browser also saw some big updates too, including a refreshed visual design and tab groups (something I know Chrome users on Mac will welcome with open arms).

Rather than multiple rows of interactions, Safari's top bar has been reduced to one bar, and the tab groups are hidden on the left side of the app.


macOS Monterey

(Image credit: Apple)

The easy-to-use Shortcuts app in iOS and iPadOS has made the jump over to macOS: allowing you to create some simple multi-app automations that can be activated 

"But wait," I hear the nerdy crowd of you. "What about Automator?" Well, luckily, Apple is going to continue supporting that for now, and you can easily move anything you made in Automator over to the Shortcuts app.

Other features

There's also a huge swath of features announced across iOS and iPadOS, which make the jump to macOS.

This list includes system-wide translation, the ability to take quick notes and spatial audio.

Alongside that, Apple’s privacy focus comes over to macOS too, such as restrictions to email pixel tracking in the mail app, and the iCloud+ features including Private Relay and Hide My Email.


macOS Monterey

(Image credit: Apple)

So, here it is: a new macOS for a new Apple silicon-powered world.

The changes are definitely a little more restrained than the significant visual refresh last year, but the stability tweaks and shared features from iOS and iPadOS are warmly welcomed.

Look forward to updating your Macs this fall.

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Jason England
Staff Writer

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.