It's release day for macOS Monterey. Here's a roundup of everything to expect.


Apple's next-generation macOS operating system, launching later today across the world.

MacBook Pro with macOS Monterey
Unveiled at WWDC21, macOS Monterey gives users the power to accomplish more than ever.


macOS Monterey, unveiled in June 2021 at WWDC, is an upcoming version of macOS that's set to be released on Monday, October 25. Compared to macOS Big Sur, macOS Monterey is a smaller update, but there are still many notable new features that improve the Mac experience.



 


What's new?



  • Universal Control is perhaps one of the biggest updates, allowing a single mouse, trackpad, and keyboard to be used across multiple Macs and also the iPad for moving content between devices. There's also a new AirPlay to Mac option for AirPlaying movies, games, photos, and more from the iPhone or iPad to the Mac, plus the Mac can be used as a speaker for multiroom audio.






  • Safari has an updated tab bar that better blends into the background and Tab Groups for grouping your open tabs together to make it easy to swap between different tasks without having to lose your open tabs. Tab Groups sync across all of your devices and can be shared.


  • FaceTime supports spatial audio so voices sound like they're coming from where the person is positioned on the screen, and Voice Isolation cuts out background noise. There's also a Wide Spectrumsound mode for when there are multiple call participants in the same room. Portrait Mode blurs out the background behind you, much like the iPhone photos feature.


  • With the new SharePlay feature, users can watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, and share their screen with friends and family in real time all using FaceTime, with support also available for third-party apps. Shared With You in Messages keeps track of content people send you, saving it in Photos, Safari, Podcasts, News, and Apple TV.


  • The iOS Shortcuts app expands to the Mac with macOS Monterey, so all of your iPhone shortcuts (and more) will be available on the Mac. Apple has designed a gallery of pre-built shortcut options, and the Shortcuts app is integrated throughout macOS for running shortcuts from the menu bar, Finder, Spotlight, Siri, and more.


  • Focus, also available on iOS, is designed to help you stay on taskwith modes for Work, Personal Life, and more, plus customizable options. Focus basically filters out notifications unrelated to your current activity, and lets people know you're unavailable. Focus set on one device syncs across all devices.


The new safari tabs on a Mac running macOS Monterey
Safari adds a new tab design, including a redesigned tab bar and Tab Groups, so users can browse the web in new ways.

  • In the Notes app there's a Quick Note option for jotting down notes in any app or while visiting any website, and Quick Note supports links from various apps. Notes has new collaborative features with mentions, an Activity View with edit history, and tags for organization. The Maps app has an interactive globe that can be used to explore different locations on Earth.


  • With Live Text, Macs use on-device machine learning to detect text in photos, which can be copy pasted or otherwise interacted with just like typed text. Visual Lookup uses machine learning to provide details on animals, art, landmarks, plants, and more in photos, with these two features available across macOS.


  • Apple upgraded its paid iCloud plans to iCloud+, adding iCloud Private Relay to hide your browsing habits and IP address from third parties. iCloud+ also includes a Hide My Email feature for keeping your email address private, and expanded HomeKit Secure Video support.


  • There are other major new privacy features such as Mail Privacy Protection to prevent emails from using tracking pixels, and the Mac recording indicator now lets you know if a Mac app is using the microphone.


  • On M1 Macs, the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max offer Spatial Audio, and there are new Accessibility options. Note that there are multiple macOS Monterey features limited to M1 Macs, such as Live Text, Portrait Mode for FaceTime, detailed Maps, on-device keyboard dictation, and unlimited keyboard dictation.


 

What time will I be able to download the update?


Although Apple has not shared an exact time for the release of ‌macOS Monterey‌, we can make some educated guesses based on Apple's localized sites for various countries and past releases.


While Apple lists the release date as October 25 in much of the world, localized sites for some countries in the Eastern Hemisphere list the launch date as October 26, as the launch time will come at or after midnight in those countries.


Notably, Apple lists a release date of October 25 on its Indian site, while its Thai site lists an October 26 release date.


Given that those two countries are 90 minutes apart by time zones, that pins things down relatively closely, pointing to a window between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The most likely release time in that window would be 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, which is a common release time for Apple. A release at that time would correspond to 10:30 p.m. on October 25 in India and midnight on October 26 in Thailand. This same method has accurately predicted the release times for a number of major operating system updates from Apple, including macOS Big Sur last year.


It's worth noting that Apple's release times do sometimes vary a bit and it can take a bit of time for the updates to propagate across Apple's servers and become available to all users, so the 10:00 a.m. estimate is simply that – an estimate.

MacBook Air running macOS Monterey
The update will be available to most devices running macOS Big Sur

Apple has also indicated that it will be releasing iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, watchOS 8.1, tvOS 15.1, and HomePod software 15.1 during the week of October 25, but the company does not appear to have specified an exact day for those releases.


There are some cross-platform features that means it would be logical for Apple to release all of its updates at the same time, but we'll have to wait and see what Apple's plans are.


There are of course no guarantees Apple will stick to its usual release timing with ‌macOS Monterey‌, but given our best guess of 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time release, here's a breakdown of what that corresponds to in other time zones in the United States and around the world:


  • Honolulu, Hawaii -- 7:00 a.m. HST

  • Anchorage, Alaska -- 9:00 a.m. AKDT

  • Cupertino, California -- 10:00 a.m. PDT

  • Vancouver, Canada -- 10:00 a.m. PDT

  • Phoenix, Arizona -- 10:00 a.m. MST

  • Denver, Colorado -- 11:00 a.m. MDT

  • Chicago, Illinois -- 12:00 noon. CDT

  • New York, New York -- 1:00 p.m. EDT

  • Toronto, Canada -- 1:00 p.m. EDT

  • Halifax, Canada -- 2:00 p.m. ADT

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -- 2:00 p.m. BRT

  • London, United Kingdom -- 6:00 p.m. BST

  • Berlin, Germany -- 7:00 p.m. CEST

  • Paris, France -- 7:00 p.m. CEST

  • Cape Town, South Africa -- 7:00 p.m. SAST

  • Helsinki, Finland -- 8:00 p.m. EEST

  • Moscow, Russia -- 8:00 p.m. MSK

  • Istanbul, Turkey -- 8:00 p.m. TRT

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates -- 9:00 p.m. GST

  • Delhi, India -- 10:30 p.m. IST

  • Jakarta, Indonesia -- 12:00 midnight WIB next day

  • Shanghai, China -- 1:00 a.m. CST next day

  • Singapore -- 1:00 a.m. SGT next day

  • Perth, Australia -- 1:00 a.m. AWST next day

  • Hong Kong -- 1:00 a.m. HKT next day

  • Seoul, South Korea -- 2:00 a.m. KST next day

  • Tokyo, Japan -- 2:00 a.m. JST next day

  • Brisbane, Australia - 3:00 a.m. AEST next day

  • Adelaide, Australia -- 3:30 a.m. ACDT next day

  • Sydney, Australia -- 4:00 a.m. AEDT next day

  • Auckland, New Zealand -- 6:00 a.m. NZDT next day


 

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