In a press release for the new AirPods following the end of the Apple Unleashed event, Apple announced a release date for MacOS Monterey. The new operating system is set to come next week, as the follow-up to 2020’s MacOS Big Sur release, and brings several big enhancements centered around productivity.
Although Apple didn’t provide a solid launch date, the timing means Mac OS Monterey should be expected at the latest by October 30. Apple’s release specifically mentioned that Airpods 3 only work with Apple devices running iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, watchOS 8.1, tvOS 15.1, or macOS Monterey.
Coming as a free update for most Macs, the big feature for most people in this release is Universal Control, which lets you use a single mouse and keyboard to control multiple MacOS and iPad devices. The new feature is separate from Sidecar, which lets iPad users leverage the tablet as a second display for your Mac.
If you’re on MacOS Big Sur, you can check to see if MacOS Monterey is ready for your device by heading to the Apple Menu and choosing System Preferences. You’ll then want to choose About This Mac. From there, you should see Software Update. Click this, and if your Mac is eligible, you’ll see MacOS Monterey listed here and can proceed by hitting the Upgrade Now button.
Other features include AirPlay to Mac, which lets you cast your audio or video from an iPhone or an iPad to a Mac without extra software or servers. Rounding out the list of features in Monterey are a new tab design in Safari, enhanced Shortcuts, a new Focus mode, and support for SharePlay.
Some of the new features in Monterey will be exclusive to Apple M1 Mac models. This includes the portrait mode improvements to FaceTime, which blur the background behind you. Also included is Live Text, which pulls text and phone numbers from Photos. Finally, on Intel Macs, you won’t be able to use the new globe view option or see the expanded details in cities like New York or Los Angeles. This is due to the fact that Intel Macs don’t have the neural engine featured on the Apple M1 chip.
MacOS Monterey was originally announced at WWDC 2021 in June. Since then, the operating system was in beta testing through the Apple Developer Program. Members of the general public also were beta testing the operating system through the Apple Beta Software Program.