Apple didn’t just focus on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 tonight for the WWDC 2021 Opening Keynote. The company also stopped on macOS 12 Monterey, the new version of the system that powers all Macs. Yes, and if the new features announced are fewer than for Big Sur, they are still substantial.
Big Sur clearly marked a break in the history of the system, proposing interface changes inherited from iOS. We, therefore, expected macOS 12 to go a little further in this area, but Apple still managed to surprise us on a few points. Check How to prepare a Mac for the Monterey update here.
Working Across Platforms
“Universal Control” is a new feature to use a single keyboard with all connected devices, whether it’s a Mac or an iPad. The demonstration saw Craig Federighi slide a window from the MacBook Pro directly onto an iPad for use there. At the same time, Spotlight can be accessed from the Mac on the iPad.
AirPlay on the Mac
With macOS Monterey, the Mac can finally serve as an AirPlay receiver – and no longer just as a transmitter. For example, it is possible to transfer a video from the iPhone directly to the Mac via AirPlay and play it there.
Shortcuts on the Mac
Automator will not be abandoned, but the future is the shortcuts known from iOS. Apple brings the solution to the Mac but emphasizes compatibility and import capabilities of previous Automator projects. It is a “transitional phase that will last for years,” as the presentation says.
The new version of Safari is supposed to bring more order to web use, through a revised interface as well as functions such as tab groups. This makes it possible to create a kind of “sub-tab” by combining tabs into a group. These can be synchronized across devices and also used on the iPad. “The same safari experience everywhere,” said Apple, Craig Federighi.
Safari extensions across macOS, iOS, and iPadOS are another example of how Apple is making very different devices into a common platform. A gimmick are against the login memojis, i.e. a display of the pictures directly in the login screen. If you have connected AirPods Pro to the Mac, Spatial Audio (3D audio) is available.
In addition, Apple mentions the games folder in the Launchpad – and a “Low Power Mode” when the charge level of the Mac battery is nearing the end. This has been known for many years from the iPhone, which restricts unnecessary activity to less than 20 percent.
macOS 12: system requirements
It was leaked in advance that some older Macs could no longer be updated. According to the latest information, macOS 12 must be at least one of the following series:
- iMac in late 2015 and later
- iMac Pro
- MacBook early 2016 and later
- MacBook Pro 2015 and later
- MacBook Air 2015 and later
- Mac mini 2014 and later
- Mac Pro 2013
As usual, not all of the new features are available on older Macs. Universal Control, for example, requires Macs that were updated after 2016 – so the MacBook Pro 2015 or Mac mini 2014 and the round Mac Pro are no longer available.
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