The 5 best new features coming to your Mac

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Apple announced macOS Monterey, the next big software update coming to Mac, in early June at WWDC. It won’t be available until fall – unless you download the public beta (available now) – but it promises to bring a bunch of cool new features that you’ll actually use.

If you’ve bought a Mac in the past few years, there’s a good chance it can run macOS Monterey. Apple says 2015 or later MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac will support it. (Others like the MacBook, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini vary, so you’ll need to check the compatibility on Apple’s website.)

That said, there is a small problem as Intel-based Macs won’t have access to all of the features macOS Monterey promises. For features like Portrait mode on FaceTime and the new globe view on Apple Maps, you’ll need a new M1-based Mac. All of the features below will be available on all compatible Macs.

You can finally AirPlay on a Mac

AppleApple

By now, it was nearly impossible to stream anything from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. This is changing with macOS Monterey AirPlay on Mac functionality. It turns your Mac into an AirPlay output device that will appear like any other device that supports AirPlay. As before, both devices will need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

It will be invaluable for sharing both video and audio. You can easily share your iPhone screen to watch a video or a presentation. If you want to listen to a song on your Mac’s higher-quality speakers, you can stream it quickly through AirPlay.

A simpler iPad to Mac experience

Apple

Apple

One of the most anticipated features of macOS Monterey is Universal control. This will allow you to easily use your keyboard and mouse (or trackpad) with your Mac and iPad. This is a big deal because it will allow you to easily transfer files and photos between your devices – just drag and drop – without having to go through a cloud-based service (like iCloud or Dropbox) or a hard drive. . It promises to save you a lot of time, and you won’t have to worry about pairing and repairing your wireless devices (even if they support multi-point Bluetooth).

Watch movies with friends on FaceTime

Apple

Apple

FaceTime on Mac will benefit from many new features when deploying macOS Monterey. You’ll be able to create shareable FaceTime links so anyone can join in and join the video chat, which is a lot like Zoom or Google Hangouts. (This means that users of a Windows or Android device will be able to join your FaceTime call.) Video calls will support spatial audio (if you’re wearing AirPods Pro or AirPods Max). And, if you are using an M1 based Mac, you will be able to use the Portrait Mode effect.

That said, the most publicized new feature is definitely SharePlay. This will allow you to share your screen on FaceTime with multiple people, which is obviously great for presentations. More intriguing, it’ll be watching parties for movies and shows and group listening sessions for music, where anyone in FaceTime can control playback or queue songs. Not all streaming apps will support SharePlay at launch, but the API is open, so popular services like Disney +, Netflix, HBO Max, and Spotify will theoretically be able to take advantage of it. At launch, most Apple services should support it.

A greatly improved Notes application.

Apple

Apple

The new software will introduce a bunch of new features to the Notes app, including a new Activity view that will tell you who (and when) someone last edited a shared note. You can also organize your notes with hashtags. The new startup feature, however, is called Quick note.

Quick Note is a feature that will allow you to quickly create a note in the Notes application. When browsing the web (or in a supported application), you can highlight a word, phase, or paragraph, then right-click and select “New Quick Note”; the selected text and a hyperlink to the source will then appear in the Quick Notes section of your Notes application. These Quick Notes will sync across all of your Apple devices.

A Safari revisited

Apple

Apple

If Safari is your web browser of choice, the new macOS is going to give it quite a facelift. The most drastic difference is that Apple is removing the traditional tab bar and replacing it with a combination of the toolbar and the search box, where the tabs will appear to float in the browser. It is an interesting design choice that emphasizes the new Tab groups (which lets you group tabs for easy organization), but that will likely frustrate those who normally like to have more than 10 tabs open at the same time.

There’s a new To concentrate mode which is essentially a more customizable Do Not Disturb mode. You will be able to set schedules for which certain apps can send you smart notifications, and you will be able to set various statuses (such as “Work” or “Sleep”), which you can again customize which apps can send you smart notifications. The other cool thing is that your status will show up as the work of an “away message” in the Messages app that your contacts can see, so they know if it’s a good time to text you. or call you. You can also set the state of your Focus mode on all (or just one) of your Apple devices.

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