My favourite macOS Monterey features | Reviews

i’ve been using mac os monterey for a week now and today i’m going to introduce you to my favorite features oh and we need to talk about a couple of things that are missing hello and welcome back to marketless reviews and thank you for subscribing if you haven’t if you haven’t subscribed the button’s just down there so mac os monterey was finally released for the public last week and it comes with a whole host of new features plus a couple of things which are missing in action which we’ll get onto in a bit now i didn’t participate in the beta so this was pretty much my first experience of mac os monterey i’ve got a few observations and also i’m going to talk about the key features which firstly were advertised by apple back in june but also the ones which i think are of the most benefit to users a couple of quick observations on the installation process very straightforward nothing to worry about your mileage might vary i’ve installed it so far on a 24 inch m1 imac and also my m1 macbook air so i appreciate they are two pretty new macs just take your time do a backup beforehand and you should be fine the only thing i would say is that this is not a big sir update so when it’s finished

you’ll be forgiven for thinking has it actually upgraded it doesn’t really look any different the only thing that i noticed that did look different were slightly more rounded notifications this is far more of an under the hood and feature update rather than an aesthetic thing but let’s get on to the more interesting features starting with facetime now apple spent most of wwdc it seemed on facetime and i completely understand why we live in very different times now most of our communication at the moment is done digitally and the likes of zoom teams etc they’re racing ahead in terms of what they can do therefore facetime needed to catch up a bit and when you first log into facetime on mac os monterey one of the first things i spotted was the button for create link and that basically allows you to share that facetime call with pretty much anyone even if they’re not on a mac that’s very exciting it will also put the wind up the likes of zoom a little bit because why would you use zoom if you’ve got a mac and they’ve also added lots of other things like gallery views spatial audio support and share play which i’ll come on to in a moment but the biggest problem with this is that i just don’t use face time or i very very rarely use it the only time that i ever have to initiate a facetime call is if it’s a family thing and we’re doing a quick catch-up in the evening i don’t use it for work and therefore i don’t have a huge amount of experience

with it but i think what’s interesting is one of the big facetime features which isn’t here for some reason and they made a huge deal about shareplay at wwdc and to cut long story short what it allows you to do is watch things like apple tv and listen to music on apple music across a facetime call so everyone can hear or watch the same stuff sounds really cool but it’s not here once that arrives i will test it but until now facetime is the new zoom for a lot of people and that’s that’s pretty cool onto safari and this is where a lot more updating has taken place and if you took part in the beta process you’ll be aware of the fact that apple had quite a tricky time with safari they had to keep going backwards and forwards in terms of the way they were designing it because people just didn’t like what they were doing however in my opinion they have settled on a design which mixes nice looking interface elements with usability the big change is to do with tabs and they’ve created something which is called the compact view which is where all of the tabs move up into where the address bar is and each tab is effectively an address bar search bar as well now this has the nice effect of giving you a bit more

screen real estate on web pages but it is very different it’s a very different approach and thankfully you can switch between the classic view and the new kind of condensed new tab view i’m using the latter i really like it i think it works really well i also like the little touches so for example the entire safari interface will change color based on the main color of the website you’re viewing and you can also create something called tab groups so if i use myself as an example i have a tab group called blogging and within that it opens medium it opens my website it opens the capitalization tool that i use opens a google tab and a couple of others that relate completely to my writing so the idea being that to get into the writing mode i simply go into my tab groups choose blogging and it will automatically open all of those websites great however there’s one big issue with this which i think almost renders the feature useless and that is that it always remembers the last state that you leave your tab group in so if i went into my blogging tab for example and closed medium and then opened something else which was completely unrelated and then came out safari went back in and back into my

blogging tab group it would be that last state so medium will have gone and there’ll be this other website that has nothing to do with my blogging work and this means you have to become very disciplined with the way that you use tab groups so you open them you do your work then you close them or you go back to the start page to start a new tab group or just get away from the one that you’re working on that also means you have to remember to do that which feels a bit forced i’ve had it several times where i’ve gone back into a tab group it just doesn’t look anything like the tab group that i created in the first place sounds like a bit of a faff doesn’t it i think it is but again i need to spend a bit more time with this and i’ll report back but tab groups now just very quickly before you update your mac to mac os monterey you need to be sure that it’s pretty clean now i use a tool for this called clean my mac x and it is made by a company called macpor who are very kindly sponsoring this video so if you’re worried about the performance of your older mac or even your

fairly new mac running mac os monterey it just makes sense to give it a bit of a clean and with clean my mac x you can get rid of junk files that you aren’t aware exist i did this on my mac mini a little while ago and it cleared nearly 30 gig of junk that i was i’d never known it was there if it wasn’t for clean my mac x it can also potentially help your mac boot four times quicker it looks out for online threats and it has a brilliant uninstaller so if for example before you install mac os monterey you want to get rid of a few apps that you’re not using then okay you can delete them from the application folder but i’ve always found that clear my mac x gets rid of apps completely with its dedicated app and installer so that’s really really handy it’s used by five million people and it cleans terabytes of junk daily so i really recommend giving clear my mac x a go before you upgrade to monterey thank you again to macpaul for sponsoring this video and to find out more click my link in the description focus modes this is my favorite feature of monterey and ios 15.

And put very simply a focus mode is a kind of state that you can put your mac into which customizes how it reacts to notifications now my focus modes when we have a quick look i’ve set them up several of them actually i’ve created one for filming so it’s on now and when filming is on it basically turns off all notifications no one can get through it’s just me my camera the mic and you guys i’ve also got a customized one for personal time for work time like deep work time meetings driving fitness and you can also customize the apps that are allowed through as well so for example in my work focus mode i only allow work based apps to come through with notifications so everything else facebook and all that sort of stuff is hidden from view they also sync with each device so as long as you’re running mac os monterey and ios 15 and ipad os 15 as soon as i turn a focus mode on on my mac it will automatically switch my iphone to that focus mode and my ipads as well it’s really handy now you

can do a bit more customization on ios so for example on your iphone you can change which home screen appears there’s no such thing as home screens on the mac so you don’t get that but you do get the ability to set focus modes based like i say on apps your location and the time of day as well so if you haven’t tried out focus modes yet on monterey i really recommend giving them a go another really big point apple made during their wwdc keynote this year was notes and they’ve done some really cool things with notes on monterey you can now add tags to notes so you can use hashtags just to give them little categories and when you do that it gives you a list of your hashtags at the bottom left of the notes window and if you collaborate on notes so if you share them with people you can now also see an activity view so you can see exactly who did what to the note i don’t use that personally but i do know people who share their notes with colleagues and family members and it’s just nice to get a bit of an audit of what’s happened the other thing they’ve introduced on

mac os monterey are notes is quick notes and a quick note is very simply a note that you can drag up from the bottom right hand corner of the screen and start typing and it will link to if it’s compatible the app that you’re in at that stage there’s also a very handy button to add links from compatible apps to that note so at the moment you can do that with safari but i think things is compatible as well and a few others but there are a couple of issues with quick notes which bother me a little bit firstly on the ipad you can swipe up from the bottom right hand corner of the screen with your finger or with a pencil and it brings up the quick note i thought i’d be able to do the same thing with the track pad on a macbook doesn’t work so you have to move your mouse down to the bottom right hand corner on the screen if you do that it brings up the quick note and it’s actually set up as what is called a hot corner now hot corners have been in mac os for a long time you can customize them to

react in any way that you want but when it installs mac os monterey it creates a hot corner for quick notes that’s fine works as intended it would just be nice to have that kind of flick up from your trackpad another slight strange thing is when you create a quick note that is linked to a website for example so you can actually highlight a piece of text right click create a quick note the idea being that when you return to that website the quick note will pop up again and just remind you that it’s there this sort of works so when you go back to a website there’s a little corner of the screen bottom right corner of the screen that denotes that there is a quick note attached to it but it’s quite easy to miss now occasionally it seems to pop up but i couldn’t replicate that each time it seems to be a bit random the way it does that i also had a couple of occasions where the quick note didn’t reappear at all also and this is true of the ios version and the mac os monterey version whenever you create a quick note it puts it into a dedicated quick notes folder in notes and the problem with that is that it kind of relies on you going through that folder and triaging all of your quick notes none of us are going to do that which means you can just get this huge list of quick notes that you’ve

made with no real context around them it would just be nice if you could set a location for that note to go into whenever you create it so quick notes is useful i just think it’s a bit more suited to the ipad it feels a bit tacked on in mac os monterey it does need a bit of tweaking as i say it seems a little bit buggy at the moment now there are four other updates i want to quickly mention the first one is messages now messages i live in the uk which means i use whatsapp 99 of the time not through choice it’s simply because all my friends and family use it and that’s just the way it works over here so as a result i very rarely get chance to experience what they do with imessage but one of the biggest changes they made this year is a thing called shared with you which is basically any content you get sent whether it be a media file or a video or a photo or something will end up in a space called shared with you in the respective app so if you go for example into photos there will be a little option for shared with you and within that all of the shared photos and videos that people have sent you via messages next thing is live text this is really smart and to be fair it’s much smarter than i gave it credit for originally basically live text

is where you can take an image on mac os monterey and if you right click on any piece of text within that image it will recognize that it’s text it’ll highlight it for you you can then copy it and paste it as plain text into something else it works almost flawlessly i couldn’t trick it it just always seemed to pick up the text the other thing is shortcuts now i’m not a shortcuts user to the much amusement of my discord server but i’m acutely aware that i really need to get into shortcuts particularly now they’re available on mac os finally if you go into the library of shortcuts they give you they give you some quick start ones and a few others that you can try out there’s loads of them and when you start looking at the way they’re built and the way that you can customize them yourself the possibilities are clearly endless so i promise i’m going to get into shortcuts at some stage and when i do i will of course make a video about it the last thing is universal control no cannot find it it’s nowhere

this is the i think was the headline feature i love this and if you haven’t seen it before i’ll show you now it’s basically when you can share your mouse and keyboard across multiple apple devices and we saw this brilliant if slightly pointless demonstration from craig federighi earlier this year where he dragged a piece of content from a ipad through a macbook and onto an imac really clever but it’s not here for some reason universal control i don’t even think it made an appearance during the beta period i have a feeling that is going to be very very useful i think it will be up there with focus modes for me in terms of my top favorite features but it’s just where is it i hope you found that useful i know i’m fully aware that i have not covered every single monterey feature on here there are things like icloud plus which is definitely worth talking about some stage what have i missed out what are your favorite features of monterrey now you’ve been using it for a while let me know in the comments now if you’ve still got some time i will leave a link at the end of this video to my recent first impressions of the 14-inch m1 pro macbook pro so keep watching for a link to that video in the meantime thank you so much for as always and i’ll catch you in the next you

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