MacOS Monterey: Apple launches new operating system for Mac

Andrew Griffin
Monday 07 June 2021 19:39 BST
(Ales Nesetril)

Apple has revealed MacOS Monterey, its new operating system for its Macs.

It includes many of the same features that have come to the iPhone and iPad, including new ways to watch films or listen to music with other people over FaceTime.

But there are separate features, too, including new tools that let a Mac and iPad talk to each other. Called “universal control”, the feature allows users to control their iPad with their Mac keyboard, or drag and drop files between the two.

Apple wil also bring the “AirPlay” feature to the Mac, so that users can broadcast video or music to their computer, from their iPhone or iPad.

The Shortcuts app – which began life as a third-party app but was bought by Apple and integrated into the system in 2018 – will also be coming to the Mac. That app is intended to make it simple to automate certain tasks.

The built-in browser, Safari, also gets its own redesign, much of which is focused around tabs. Apple recognised that people tend to be left with an array of open tabs that they are unable to pick through, and users will now be able to group and save them.

As part of iOS 15, the iPhone tabs will also get a similar redesign, which will allow people to swipe through the various tabs they have and have them synced with their Mac.

New updates to the AirPods mean the Mac will also get the spatial audio features that are available on the iPad and iPhone already, and which will also come to the Apple TV.

And MacOS will also get the new Maps and “Live Text” features that were shown off as part of the launch of iOS 15.

In addition to the new features for most users, Apple also focused on new developer tools, including easier ways of making 3D objects for augmented reality apps, and updates to the Swift programming language. Those came amid criticism from developers over Apple’s relationship with developers, including the argument that it is unfairly using its size to take a slice of payments made through its platforms.

The new update was revealed as part of Apple’s WWDC event, during which it also showed off new versions of iOS, iPadOS, and WatchOS.

The relatively modest changes to MacOS – many of which were focused on how it works with other Apple devices – come after a major change that brought a significant visual redesign to the Mac last year.

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