The past year has seen some of the most dramatic updates to Macs in recent memory. At last year’s WWDC, Apple announced its long-awaited move from Intel chip’s to its own first party silicon. By the end of the year, the company launched the first three M1 Macs, along with Big Sur, one of the biggest updates to macOS.
At this morning’s kickoff to WWDC, the company unveiled macOS 12 — named, you guessed it, Monterey. Universal Control is the top line new feature here, which further bridges the gap between desktop and tablet. Sticking the iPad next to a Mac, you can move the cursor between devices using the same trackpad and keyboard. The feature works on up to three devices at once.
AirPlay to Mac also blurs that let’s you cast content directly to your big desktop screen — that’s nice for weirdos like me who don’t have a TV. Shortcuts are also now available on macOS, allowing for simpler automation that the existing Automater. Users will be able to import Automater workflows directly to the desktop version of the popular mobile app. It will be a multi-year transition, but rip Automater — you will be missed (kind of). Shortcuts will be coming to Siri, Spotlight, the menu bar and Finder to start.
Safari is getting some updates, of course. The biggest piece of news on the browser front is the arrival of Tab Groups — which is more or less as it sounds. Users can group tabs into bundles, which can be shared with other users. That’s a lot of content and will probably require a rethink of many users workflows. But at least the tab bar itself is getting cleaner and more streamlined.
Also new are desktop extensions that can now be with iOS and iPadOS. Desktops also now support Spatial Audio on the AirPods Pro, while LaunchPad now features a games folder to get that content all in one place.
Some nice additions, but as expect, Monterey doesn’t represent as big an update as Big Sur. There are some nice new features here, but it seems likely that much of the big news is happening under the hood, as the company continues to refine the Apple Silicon experience across its new systems.