Apple Seeds Second macOS Monterey Release Candidate to Developers
Apple today seeded the second release candidate version of macOS Monterey, the newest version of the macOS operating system. The release candidate represents the final version of macOS Monterey that will be released to the public, and it comes just a few days after the first RC.
The release candidate is listed as version 12.0.1, presumably because Apple has made a few tweaks since 12.0 started being loaded onto the new MacBook Pro models, so the official release version made available to everyone on Monday and as an update for new MacBook Pro owners will be 12.0.1.
Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.
With the first RC, Apple introduced sweeping changes to Safari, undoing many of the design tweaks that were implemented in the Monterey beta testing process. Safari by default now looks like Safari did in macOS Big Sur, but there is a "Compact" toggle to turn on the new Monterey design for those who prefer it.
Though the Safari changes have been undone, macOS Monterey introduces quite a few new features. There's a new AirPlay to Mac feature, and Safari still has support for Tab Groups for organizing tabs.
FaceTime has gained spatial audio, a Portrait Mode on M1 Macs, and Voice Isolation for cutting out background noise. Shared With You keeps track of the music, links, podcasts, news, and photos that people are sent in Messages, highlighting it in the relevant apps. Notes has a new Quick Note feature for jotting down thoughts, and collaboration is easier with mentions and an Activity View.
The Shortcuts app from iOS is now available on the Mac, and Focus helps people stay on task by cutting out background distractions. There's an updated Maps app with a whole slew of new features, and with Live Text, Macs can now detect text in photos or provide details on animals, art, landmarks, plants, and more in images.
Mail Privacy Protection hides IP and prevents tracking through invisible pixels, and iCloud Private Relay keeps Safari browsing protected.
In the future, Apple plans to add SharePlay to macOS Monterey for FaceTime users, and there's a new Universal Control feature coming, which is designed to allow multiple Macs and iPads to be controlled with a single mouse and keyboard. SharePlay and Universal Control will not be available in the launch version of macOS Monterey.
There are many other new features in macOS Monterey, with a full rundown available in our macOS Monterey roundup. macOS Monterey is set to be released next Monday.