Buried in the press release for the third-generation AirPods, Apple dropped this little nugget: “AirPods require Apple devices running iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, watchOS 8.1, tvOS 15.1, or macOS Monterey, all available as free software updates next week.” The announcement for the new MacBook Pro narrows it down further: “macOS Monterey will be available as a free software update on Monday, October 25.” So mark your calendars!
The marquee feature shared between Monterey, iOS 15.1, and iPadOS 15.1 is SharePlay, Apple’s delayed option for watching movies or listening to music with others over FaceTime. SharePlay also provides built-in screen sharing in FaceTime.
Overall, macOS 12 Monterey is a less radical update than macOS 11 Big Sur, but it includes some nice features, Live Text (see “Digitize Any Text with Live Text in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15,” 4 October 2021), Hide My Email for iCloud+ users, and new Notes features like tags and Quick Note, which I cover in Take Control of Notes. Unfortunately, it seems that Universal Control, which will let you use the same keyboard and pointer between Macs and iPads, will be delayed.
The HomePod Software 15.1 update, which should also ship next week, will add support for Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos, which should provide an audio quality upgrade for compatible Apple Music tracks.