Now that the macOS 12 Monterey public beta is available, it’s a good time to consider whether or not you’ll make the jump to Apple’s latest beta update for Mac. Although I definitely don’t recommend running Monterey on a production machine used for work, you can install Monterey on a spare machine or a separate APFS volume. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough as I step through over 100 macOS Monterey changes and features.

Before getting to the video, I wanted to take some time to cherry-pick a few of my favorite features from the macOS Monterey beta. These features appear in no particular order, and there are other top additions that I plan to cover in a future compact walkthrough of macOS 12. Feel free to share your top Monterey features in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

AirPlay to the Mac

Being able to use your Mac as an AirPlay destination without requiring third-party software is finally a reality in macOS 12. With AirPlay to the Mac, users can quickly mirror an iPhone or iPad display and even use extended mode for apps, like LumaFusion, that support it.

Thanks to Monterey, you can also AirPlay movies to the Mac or use your Mac as an AirPlay speaker. The latter is particularly useful when playing back on the iMac’s speakers, but even MacBooks sound way better than the iPhone.

Video: macOS Monterey changes and features

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Passwords

macOS Monterey is the first version of macOS to feature a dedicated Passwords panel in System Preferences. It means that you no longer have to venture into Safari’s preferences in order to view and manage passwords.

Better yet, one-time password support, one of my favorite new iOS 15 features, makes its way to the Mac. This change allows you to set up and use multi-factor authentication codes without having to rely on a third-party authenticator app. If you, as most of us do, regularly log in to services that use two-factor authentication, native one-time password can be a huge time-saver when combined with Touch ID.

System-wide translation

Last year’s Big Sur update brought native webpage translation to Safari for the first time, but macOS Monterey significantly enhances translation services by offering system-wide translation that’s accessible from any app. You can even play back audio for translated text and switch between languages on the fly. System-wide translation also allows users to easily copy or replace foreign text with translated text.

Safari tab groups

Safari in macOS 12 has been met with a lukewarm — if not negative — response from many users, and I can understand some of the frustration with the way tabs now behave in Monterey. Although I recognize some of the areas where Apple can improve the Safari experience, especially when it comes to things like menu placement, I’ve grown to like the consolidated tab/address/search setup. Perhaps I’m in the minority here?

But the feature that stands out to me the most, one that I find more useful on a Mac than on iOS, is tab groups. Tab groups are more or less dedicated spaces that contain similar tabs or tabs geared towards a specific job function or interest. For example, I have a gaming tab group to house all of my gaming-related Safari tabs, as well as a 9to5 group for housing all of the sites in the 9to5 family. Managing and switching between tab groups is super easy via the Side Bar, keyboard shortcuts, or a handy quick access panel to the left of your open tabs.

Go to Folder enhancements

For users who need to navigate directly to a specific folder, using Go to Folder is an instrumental tool. In macOS Monterey, Apple has improved the Go to Folder Finder command with a refreshed interface and improved autocomplete engine to make it quicker and easier to find specific files and folders.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, one of the biggest new additions to the Mac, Universal Control, is not yet available in the initial public or developer betas. Universal Control promises seamless control between one or more Macs and iPads using a single keyboard and mouse. Apple’s Craig Federighi gave us a brief demonstration of the promising new feature during the WWDC keynote.

Besides Universal Control, macOS Monterey is filled with many new changes, features, and enhancements. The aforementioned five features were areas that particularly stood out to me, but this overview is just a taste of everything new in macOS. Be sure to watch our full hands-on video walkthrough for an in-depth look at everything new.

What’s your favorite new change or enhancement in macOS Monterey? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts.

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