macOS Monterey release date and 3 key features we can't wait for

Our pick of macOS Monterey's best new features

macOS Monterey
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Apple’s macOS received a major reboot last year with macOS Big Sur, which helped streamline the user experience, bringing it more in line with the iOS experience found on the best iPhone devices. However, that doesn’t mean that Apple is finished with macOS, jettisoning it off into the wilderness, and withdrawing all updates to it. On the contrary: following copious amounts of speculation and public beta releases, macOS 12 Monterey has an official release date of October 25.

Apple's macOS Monterey, which was initially announced at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference 2021, will soon debut with a wave of new updates and improvements for users to enjoy. Here are three features that we're really looking forward to seeing as part of the new operating system.

1. QUICK NOTES

Quick Note

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

This feature might make desktop hygiene enthusiasts wince at the mere mention of it – especially if you're someone who enjoys a clutter-free desktop, without there being sticky notes dotted around the page. At T3 we're big fans of note-taking, so news that macOS Monterey will let users create notes on the screen without the need to launch the Notes app is definitely something we're a fan of. Quick, seamless, and a blessing for those of us with short memories.

Though it may be an unpopular opinion, the need to proactively open the Notes app every time you need to jot down a thought belies the often instantaneous (and in our case, fleeting) nature of note-taking. Too often, by the time the Notes app has opened, our momentary thought has long since gone. Like iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey taps into the spontaneity of note-taking, even letting users add images to their Quick Notes, and letting them embed URL links that connect to a specific page in your browser. 

2. SAFARI

Safari Tabs

(Image credit: Safari)

Design-wise, Safari is going to look fairly different in macOS Monterey. There have been some intense discussions online around users' thoughts on a newly-previewed tab design for Safari, but after lots of toing and froing Apple has reportedly decided to revert back to how tabs looked before. It's something we're happy to hear about because the new design in which tabs also function as URL bars did seem a touch confusing.

Apple’s official page for the upcoming software update details the decision (sort of), where you can scroll down on the page to “Access Tab Groups anywhere,” and see the older design which is visibly cleaner and less confusing. This old design will be turned on by default in macOS Monterey and, when the old tab design is combined with the new silkier Safari look, then we think Apple has landed on the right balance of looks and functionality.

3. FACETIME & MESSAGES

macOS

(Image credit: Apple)

FaceTime and Messages are also getting some nifty new features that will be available in iOS 15. These improvements look to put the user experience front and center, making incorporating media into your conversations much more seamless.

SharePlay is central to these improvements. The latest information says that SharePlay will not be in Monterey’s initial release, with it reportedly set to launch to the public in a later software update. But once it's been fully rolled out to the public, the Share with You feature gives users lots more ways to manage items that people send in Messages. Akin to something like a much-needed spring clean, apps like Podcast, News, Photos, Safari, and TV will now have standalone sections that show the items people have shared with you.

This comes bundled in with SharePlay support, enabling you to share your experiences while, say, streaming video, playing music, or even an app window while on a FaceTime call. Pretty neat.

Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson

Luke covers all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets)