There’s a big new update coming to your Mac later this year with Apple announcing the release of its all-new macOS Monterey operating system. This major software upgrade, which will replace Big Sur, was announced earlier this month during the firm’s yearly WWDC Developers Conference and there’s plenty to look forward to including big changes to FaceTime, Safari and the ability to move across multiple screens using the new Universal Control technology. macOS Monterey will be pushed out to most modern iMacs, MacBooks and Mac Minis in the autumn and here are 5 of the biggest upgrades coming to your computer soon.
Universal Control is perhaps the most exciting new feature arriving in macOS Monterey. This technology basically allows Mac and iPad owners to seamlessly move across devices using one mouse and keyboard without needing to dig into any complicated settings.
Users simply push their cursor to the side of one display and they’ll see it appear on the screen that’s placed next to it. You can even drag and drop files across multiple screens or sketch a pic on your iPad and swipe it across to your Mac.
Apple says that Universal Control lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard and move between Mac and iPad for a seamless experience, with no setup required.
Safari fans will see some major changes once macOS Monterey is installed on their Mac.
The whole look and feel of this browser has been changed with a streamlined tab bar taking up less room on the page. When visiting sites, users will also see the Safari background change to match the colour of the page they are looking at.
There’s also the introduction of Tab Groups which will offer a new way to easily save and manage those endless tabs we all have open.
One click will open a bunch of different tabs depending on what you are doing.
For example, you can set up a work Tab Group with email and productivity websites all opening at once or set up a holiday Tab Group with favourite hotels, flights and things to do launching with a single tap on the mouse.
Once created, these groups automatically sync across devices.
Finally, there’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention which now also prevents trackers from profiling you using your IP address.
One of the biggest changes in macOS Monterey will be a massive upgrade to Apple’s FaceTime video-calling service.
With millions of relying on video calling apps to stay in touch with friends and family during the current health crisis, Apple has doubled-down on FaceTime with it getting a bunch of new features.
In macOS Monterey, the US tech firm is hoping video calls will feel far more immersive thanks to tech such as Spatial Audio, which is able to make it appear as if the voices of friends are coming from exactly where their face is positioned on your Mac’s display.
If you’re in the middle of a video chat and the neighbour starts mowing the garden there’s also “Noise Isolation”, which removes all distracting audio around you so the only thing the people on the call can hear is your dulcet tones.
Another nice feature that fans are sure to love is Portrait Mode. Just like when you use Portrait Mode to snap a selfie, FaceTime now adds a blur behind your face so you stand out more on calls – it also means friends can’t snoop on every book title on your bookcase.
Also included in this update is the ability to schedule a call for a set time with contacts then reminded so they join at the right time.
All that sounds great but perhaps the biggest new feature is SharePlay. This lets anyone share their music or video with everyone on the call.
Playback is synced across everyone’s devices, so friends can add new songs to a queue or skip a bad choice on everyone’s iPhone or iPad. Disney+, TikTok, and a number of other streaming apps have already committed to implementing the feature when macOS Monterey launches later this year. You’ll also be able to share what is happening on your screen.
For those times when you don’t want to be disturbed the new Focus mode automatically filters out notifications unrelated to your current activity on the screen and users can even signal their status to let others know when they are focusing and not available.
If you’re always getting distracted by things on your Mac then the new Focus Mode will help. This option is being introduced to allow users to switch off certain alerts or change the look of the home screen depending on what they are doing during the day.
That means in work hours you can hide addictive games but, once you’ve finished your shift, emails from the boss can automatically be tucked away. Focus Mode lets you set multiple categories for your device – Work, Home, and more with each setting switching the apps displayed on your home screen.
Once activated, contacts will be alerted that you are in Focus mode so nobody will be annoyed that you’ve not answered their texts.
AIRPLAY TO MAC
All the latest Macs come with stunning screens and impressive audio and Apple is making it easier to get the best experience out of this technology. A new feature called AirPlay to Mac lets users play, present, and share just about anything to their PC. That means you can beam photos and videos straight from your iPhone or iPad right to the Mac’s display.
“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,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “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.”
macOS Monterey will be available this autumn as a free software update.