Apple has announced the name of the next version of its desktop operating system for Mac computers — macOS Monterey.
One of the major new features included in Monterey is an expansion of Continuity called Universal Control.
Continuity is Apple’s collection of features that allow users to move seamlessly between devices.
Features that already form part of Continuity are Universal Clipboard that lets you copy and paste between devices, and AirDrop which lets you share files between devices.
Universal Control expands on this feature-set by adding the ability to use a single keyboard and mouse to control a Mac and iPad.
Apple said the feature will work with no setup, with the devices automatically detecting when your mouse cursor is being moved from one device to another.
It will also be possible to drag and drop files between devices, and use Universal Control with more than two devices.
In addition to sharing a keyboard and mouse between your Mac computers and iPad, macOS Monterey will also include AirPlay to Mac.
This will allow you to share content from your iPad or iPhone to a Mac’s screen, and use the Mac’s sound system as an AirPlay speaker.
Shortcuts to replace Automator
macOS Monterey also marks the first stage of a multi-year migration away from the operating system’s Automator scripting engine, to Shortcuts.
Shortcuts is the automation engine included on iPhone and iPad.
“Shortcuts the future of automation,” said Craig Federighi, the senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple.
Federighi assured that Automator will continue to work. He also announced that it will be possible to import Automator workflows into Shortcuts.
Apple also announced that it has completely redesigned the user interface of its Safari web browser in macOS Monterey, as well as on iOS and iPadOS.
Federighi said that they wanted to build something that worked consistently across iPad, iOS, and Mac.
The redesigned user interface increases the amount of the browser window available for displaying web pages by placing the tab bar in line with the URL box.
To help you organise your tabs in the reduced space, Apple introduced Tab Groups. In addition to organising tabs, Tab Groups sync across Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
In addition to these features, Apple said it will be bringing Safari Web Extensions — custom add-ons for your browser previously only available on macOS — to iPhone and iPad.
Aside from the features specific to macOS, Apple announced several other improvements that will be released for products that run on all its platforms.
This includes SharePlay, a new feature in FaceTime that lets you watch videos and share other experiences with friends, family, and coworkers.
Shared with You will surface content and links shared through Messages in Photos, Safari, Apple Podcasts, Apple News, and the Apple TV app.
Focus will allow you to set profiles to filter out notifications unrelated to your current activity. Your Focus status is synced across devices and you can signal your Focus status to let others know when you are focusing and not available.
Quick Note will let you jot down notes on any app or website systemwide. You can add links from an app to a Quick Note to create context, include URLs from Safari and addresses in Maps.
The developer beta of macOS Monterey is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today.
A public beta will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com.
Apple announced that macOS Monterey will be available “this fall” — between early September and November.
macOS Monterey will be available as a free software update to Mac users.