Announced to great fanfare at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this past June, Apple unveiled its brand new operating system (OS) on October 25, 2021. The newest macOS (macOS 12) is also known as macOS Monterey (after Monterey, California, and in keeping with Apple’s recent naming of OS upgrades after California locations. Early reviews have been positive. However, it should be understood that Monterey primarily composes incremental changes to key, popular programs rather than a complete overhaul of Big Sur.
Keeping this in mind, small business owners and IT admin professionals may wonder whether Monterey is worth implementing. After all, as with most OS upgrades, Monterey is available only for a specific set of devices. Further, all OS upgrades take time to implement business-wide, keeping crucial components of effective IT implementation like organizational change management, end-user training, and network security assessments in mind. And like many incremental upgrades, there’s a set of improvements that best fit individual consumers and another set that can benefit businesses. While there may be some crossover, business and IT leaders must carefully assess an upgrade’s business improvements to assess its strategic value.
Assessing an upgrade’s strategic value starts with knowing what it comprises. If you’re wondering what’s in macOS Monterey, here’s what you need to know.
Monterey includes some substantial improvements to existing applications like FaceTime and AirPlay. But it also includes some exciting new features, like Universal Control. Unveiled at WWDC 2021, this feature generated buzz for Monterey months before its launch. Universal Control allows you to control multiple Mac devices with a single keyboard, mouse, or trackpad. This feature can increase productivity for professional users who utilize multiple Mac devices each day at their desks. Simply moving your cursor to the edge of one screen allows you to toggle to the next. You can easily drag and drop files from one device to the next, saving you the hassle of emailing yourself, say, the ideas you jotted down on your iPad last night to your MacBook the next day.
While not a new feature, AirPlay for Mac may also increase a professional user’s productivity. AirPlay for Mac now allows you to stream audio and video from an Apple device to an iMac. You might pull up a news clip from the night before and share it with your colleagues at the next morning meeting, for example. But AirPlay isn’t the only feature that enhances sharing. Shared with You simplifies locating content of all types that you’ve sent or received in Messages. So, if someone sent you the news clip, you should be able to seamlessly pull it up and share it with a broader audience as necessary.
Apple developers have also devoted resources to improving FaceTime – understandable given that videoconferencing will remain a substantial part of business operations for the foreseeable future. Developers have spent time making video calls more realistic by using voice isolation and spatial audio to make it seem as if audio is coming directly from the person on the screen. It also refines the audio it picks up to minimize background noise while enhancing relevant sounds. Further, SharePlay allows FaceTime users to share audio, video, text, and apps with colleagues and friends.
Apple’s Safari browser also includes some significant improvements, including a streamlined tab bar, a display feature that extends your web page to your window’s edge, an integrated SmartSearch field, and a redesigned sidebar. The new Tab Groups option allows you to aggregate Tabs into a Group, which can be named, saved, and stored. Using Tab Groups, you might create different Groups relevant to specific projects you’re working on for better organization and productivity.
Speaking of productivity, Monterey also allows Mac users to access Shortcuts. This feature includes access to a library of commands that allows professional users to perform repetitive tasks quickly. Further, the Shortcuts Editor feature allows users to establish new Shortcuts relevant to their workflows, which should interest power users.
The new user interface also includes an Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature and Privacy Reports to help you secure your browsing activity. And for iCloud+ purchasers, Monterey offers iCloud Private Relay – a service that enhances your connection security and encrypts your outgoing device traffic. In an era where ransomware attacks occur every few seconds, new security measures are welcome.
Monterey also includes some other cool and helpful features, like Object Capture. Object Capture allows you to render 2D pictures of an object into a 3D AR-optimized model quickly. This feature can be especially helpful for those in the design, engineering, architecture, and construction fields, though it has many other potential professional uses. The new Maps feature also includes impressive 3D rendering features, with users able to see richer details of the cities they may be travelling through on business. And the Live Text in Photos feature more accurately captures text data in image files, allowing users to access, capture, and translate this information more easily.
Monterey also provides differently-abled individuals greater access to the Apple ecosystem. From greater cursor customization options to an improved Full Keyboard Access feature, Monterey is better suited to those with visual disabilities. Plus, the upgrade allows anyone to add alternative image descriptions using Markup to ensure not only greater accessibility but also more effective SEO.
Monterey is available as a free download for the following devices:
However, before making the switch, it’s important to assess your own business’ operational and IT readiness for the upgrade. Determining necessary hardware investments, security concerns, and training needs are among several factors you need to evaluate before installing Monterey on compatible devices. Failing to do so will likely undermine the productivity gains you hoped to achieve.
If you’re looking for more information about Monterey’s features, how to deploy it effectively, and how it can add value to your business, we can help. 365 Technologies specializes in providing 24/7 IT services to Winnipeg and Saskatoon-based businesses, small and large. Our expert IT professionals not only specialize in providing technology solutions to business problems but also leveraging technology to enhance business productivity, increase cost savings, and drive revenue generation. Contact us today, and let’s discuss how we can work with your team to realize Monterey’s potential to grow your business.