In the WWDC 2021 conference held on Monday, Apple unveiled some major updates to all of its OSs, including iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and of course, macOS.
This latest version of macOS, called macOS Monterey, will be available this fall as a free software update. Members enrolled in the Apple Developer Program can get their hands on the developer beta starting Monday, and a public beta will be available next month.
“We think our customers are going to love browsing the web with Safari’s new tab design, enjoying shared experiences with SharePlay in FaceTime, and using their Mac and other Apple devices together in new ways with Universal Control and AirPlay to Mac,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering.
Take your shortcuts
Similar to iPhone and iPad, Shortcuts finally arrive in the Mac. These shortcuts let users get tasks done with their apps of choice quickly, using a pretty extensive library of pre-built actions designed for the Mac.
Users can even take advantage of the Shortcuts Editor to make customise said shortcuts. These shortcuts can be found in the menu bar, Finder, Spotlight and can also be invoked with Siri. You can also import existing Automator workflows into shortcuts.
Using common peripherals between your Mac and iPad
Apple has launched Universal Control for Mac and iPad. This allows users to use a single mouse and keyboard between an iPad and a Mac for a seamless experience. There’s no setup required, and users can even drag and drop content back and between the two devices.
AirPlay comes to Mac
With Airplay’s arrival on the Mac, users can now play, present and share pretty much anything from their iPads or iPhones to their Mac. Airplay on Mac also allows you to use your Mac as an Airplay speaker, which means you can enhance your music or podcast experience or use one as a secondary speaker.
- Maps: Maps on the Mac now feature a new interactive globe with a detailed city experience.
- Spatial Audio: Airpods Pro and Airpods Max now offer spatial audio on Macs with the M1 chip.
- Accessibility: New accessibility features on the Mac let users add alternative image descriptions straight from markup, provides improved full keyboard access and new cursor customisation options.
Other major updates to the Mac are consistent with updates released for iOS and iPadOS, including Focus Mode, improvements to the Notes app, FaceTime enhancements (including Shareplay), privacy features such as Mail Privacy Protection, Shared with You and updates to the Safari browser, which now has Tab Groups, a new tab bar that adapts to the colour of the webpage and combines tabs, the toolbar, and the search field into one. You can read all about these updates for iPadOS here and iOS here.
“macOS Monterey is packed with features that help Mac users get more done, connect with friends and family in amazing new ways, and work across Mac and iPad more seamlessly than ever before,” Federighi added.