macOS 12 Monterey superguide: 12.3 public beta 4 now available
February 23, 2022 February 23, 2022
The latest version of the Mac operating system is called macOS Monterey. Version 12 was introduced at WWDC21 and is now available to the general public.
This page collects all our major articles about macOS Monterey: FAQs and feature guides, how-tos, tips, updates, and news. It’s your one-stop shop for all the macOS Monterey-related content on Macworld. We’ll continue to update this page as we post more news, how-tos, and updates so make sure to bookmark it.
Updated 2/23/22: Apple released the 12.3 pubic beta 4 a day after it was released to developers.
macOS Monterey: 12.3 beta 4 is available for the public
Apple has released the 12.3 public beta 4. This includes support for Universal Control, which lets you use a single mouse and keyboard between your Mac and iPad. Universal Control was announced at WWDC21, and its release was pushed back to the spring. If you want to try it, you also need to install the iOS 15.4 public beta on your iPad. Here are instructions on how to join the Apple Public Beta Program.
The update is free and you need to be connected to the internet. The installation will take several minutes (plan on about 30 minutes) and your Mac needs to restart. Here are the steps to do the installation:
Go to System Preferences in the Apple menu
Click on Software Update.
Your Mac will check to see if the update is available. when it is, an Install button will appear. Click it and your Mac will start downloading the update. After that, it will start the installation.
macOS Monterey: Should you wait to upgrade from macOS Big Sur or another older version?
The macOS Monterey operating system update comes with lots of new features, design changes, and improvements. We’ve compiled a list of all the major new features.
macOS Monterey: Universal Control delayed until spring
Apple’s announced a groundbreaking new macOS Monterey feature called Universal Control, which lets can now use a single mouse and keyboard between your Mac and iPad. If you’re using a MacBook, its keyboard and trackpad can be used with the iPad. You can even drag and drop files between devices and perform gestures on the MacBook trackpad to navigate the iPad.
This feature wasn’t ready for macOS Monterey’s initial release but it appeared in the 12.3 beta. That means it will be released to the general public in the next few weeks.
macOS Monterey: Get to know the latest features
Shortcuts on iOS and iPadOS has become a popular tool to create automations. In macOS Monterey, Shortcuts for Mac will be available, bringing over the same powerful functionality. Any shortcuts that you make are available system-wide, so you can run them from just about anywhere on the Mac. It’s easy to share shortcuts, and any shortcuts you make sync across all your devices. If they are compatible, iPhone and iPad shortcuts can run on M1 Macs or on Intel-based Mac systems with Catalyst apps.
The new SharePlay support allows people to share an experience while watching video, listening to music, or even an app window while on a FaceTime call. The people on the call can control the media that’s playing, and the callers can even make a playlist. SharePlay works with Apple TV and Apple Music; support for other services will depend on those services adopting the SharePlay API and updating their services with support. SharePlay arrive on Macs with Monterey 12.1.
Quick Note is a fast way to create a note file. When you trigger it, the Notes app quickly opens to a new file that you can start using immediately. It’s a fantastic feature but might not be so obvious if you don’t know it’s there.
Focus is basically an expansion of options that were originally available in the Do Not Disturb feature that’s already in macOS. To make Focus suitable for your situation, you can adjust its preferences, which we’ll go over in this article.
With AirPlay to a Mac, you can now take the media from your iPhone and iPad and use AirPlay to stream on your Mac. You can also stream from an app; for example, you can draw using your iPad, and use AirPlay to stream your activity onto a Mac so others can watch. AirPlay to Mac works wirelessly or over a USB connection.
Low Power Mode
Low Power Mode reduces energy consumption by automatically turning down the screen brightness and system clock speed to save battery life and make your Mac run more quietly. Here’s how to turn it on.
Finder and windows changes
The Finder in macOS Monterey has a few changes. When you’re copying a file, the progress window is now in the form of a pie chart, and you can now pause long file copies and resume them later. Go to Folder has a new design, and Apple improved the auto-completion engine to make it easier to find the file or folder you need.
Monterey also has a few new ways to manage windows. You can swap out apps in Split View and change a Split View window to full screen. Windows automatically resize when moving a window to a secondary display, another Mac, or an iPad. And if you’re in full-screen mode, you can have an always-on menu bar.
A new option in System Preferences will let you erase all user data and user-installed apps just like on an iOS device. That means you can essentially “reset” a Mac running Monterey without having to do a complete reinstall.
There are a lot more options to customize your Memoji. Monterey offers more outfits and colors, multicolored headwear, new glasses, accessibility features, and the ability to have two different eye colors. You can choose your Memoji for your Mac login, and it has animations that react to you, such as a log-in greeting or a head shake if you enter the wrong password.