Tuesday, Jun 29, 2021, 18:42 Mac: Software

macOS Monterey: The 2nd Beta & New Features

At this year's WWDC, Apple announced the next version of macOS – Monterey. The new operating system will bring significant improvements to FaceTime, along with a new screen-sharing function, upgraded Messages application, a slick new Safari, and the new Focus Mode – intended to protect users from the ever-present distractions of today's technological world.

The New Features
Immediately after this year's keynote at the WWDC 2021, the first developer release of macOS Monterey was made available for download. As of Friday last week, Apple then released the second developer version of iOS 15 – although it took until Monday of this week to release the second beta for macOS Monterey. In such early development phases, Apple tends to make significantly visible changes to the operating system. Now, a summary of all currently known changes:

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  • If the first beta of macOS Monterey has already been installed, then the update file is about 3 GB in size. Dependent upon hardware set-up, the installation can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.


  • Many had hoped that the second beta would bring support for Universal Control, however, no trace of the feature is to be found yet – unfortunately. Universal Control allows users to move the mouse from one Mac to another, or even to control nearby iPads.


  • Apple mentions several fields in the update notes in which Apple has conquered bugs or introduced improvements: Bluetooth, Mail, Messages, Maps, FaceTime, Find my, Focus, iCloud, Music, Network, Notes, Photos, Safari, and Shortcuts.


  • Apple is also adding desktop backgrounds with color schemes adapted to those of the M1 Macs, which are now available for all users as of Monterey's second beta.


  • The Maps icon has now been updated as well.


  • In beta 2, if you move the mouse over the address bar in Safari, a refresh button will appear. The button will disappear as soon as the field is left.


  • Safari's new design hasn't been met with the same praise everywhere – however, it was still possible to revert to the old design by editing a Safari preferences file. It's now no longer possible to do so as of the second beta.


  • iCloud Private Relay is a service similar to VPNs, which can be used by all iCloud users for free, as long as they already pay for an expanded iCloud storage drive. However, the service is still very unstable and often met by long loading pages or situations where Private Relay simply refuses to work. As of the second beta, Apple has updated the description for the IP Address and location:


Installation?
Many users are asking themselves whether or not it makes sense yet to install macOS Monterey onto their device. The current answer is a very clear "no, it does not". macOS Monterey still has a lot of errors to sort out – part of the reason that the current beta is only available for members of Apple's developer program. Apple has already announced that in July, the pre-release versions of all new operating systems will be released to the public in a free beta program. However, it's not recommended that users install this version on their main Macintosh computer either – especially when the computer is used professionally. For users who would like to try out macOS Monterey, it's recommended to install the operating system on a second Mac or on an external hard drive.

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