More than an hour after Apple’s keynote address at WWDC 2021, Craig Federighi took the stage once again to talk about the future of macOS. Apple has chosen some interesting names in recent years for its annual releases, and this year is no different, as the latest edition of the software will be called macOS Monterey (another coastal city in California).
Many of the major updates coming to iOS 15 will also be available on macOS Monterey, including SharePlay and Screen Sharing modes in FaceTime, Shared with You, and Focus, which can be synced to your iPhone. But the most prominent feature of the presentation was Universal Control.
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Universal Control turns your iPad into a second screen for your Mac. With Universal Control, you can place an iPad next to a MacBook and seamlessly move the cursor between the two screens. Your keyboard will work too, and Apple says it’s possible to connect more than two devices, so in theory you could have an iMac, MacBook, and iPad sitting at the same desk, using the same mouse and keyboard to control them. . And yes, you can drag and drop files.
AirPlay to Mac allows iPhone and iPad users to play content directly on their Macs. The shortcuts will also be coming to Mac, although Apple says it will be a “multi-year transition” from Automator.
Moving on to Safari, Apple is giving its default internet browser a much-needed update, with a minimal design that follows the trends of its biggest rivals. Tab groups are coming to Safari, so you can more easily sort your endless collection of tabs in a menu on the left sidebar. You can share these tab groups in an email, and the tab groups will automatically sync to your iPad as well.
Those are the highlights, but in a collage near the end of the presentation, there were references to a few more features that Apple didn’t have time to discuss, including Low Power Mode, iCloud +, Memoji on login, Quick Note, and a folder of Launchpad games.
The first developer beta of macOS Monterey will be released today, with a public beta scheduled for next month and the full version scheduled for this fall along with the other software updates.
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