We have a name for the next version of macOS. Version 12 says goodbye to Big Sur and heads a little further up the coastal Highway 1 to Monterey. The details of the new operating system were released at WWDC and while a little light compared to iOS 15 for the iPhone, contained some very clever additions.
Among the highlights of MacOS Monterey were the introduction of shortcuts to the Mac, a redesign of Safari, complete with extensions and the inclusion of the new FaceTime, SharePlay and Shared With You features that run across all-new Apple platforms. The biggest surprise though came in the form of a new continuity feature known as Universal Control.
- Apple Music Spatial Audio is live – here’s how to listen to it
- Apple Watch OS 8 doubles down on photos and fitness features
- Google Pixel 6 Pro camera array revealed in detailed new photos
Universal Control allows you to work across your MacBook, iMac and iPad as if they were one device. When the devices are placed next to each other, you can simply move your cursor to the edge of the MacBook screen, push a little further and watch it appear on the iPad. You can then use your MacBook trackpad and keyboard to work naturally on the iPad. You can do the same between the iMac and MacBook, or between the iMac and iPad. Or line all three up and use the same mouse and keyboard for all three – like extending your desktop with extra monitors.
The difference here though is that the other devices aren’t just extending the monitor, they are still running their own programs. And yet, not only can you move the cursor between them, you can drag and drop files between them.
In the demo video, we see an image on the iPad dragged onto the MacBook and then across to the iMac to add to a video edit. With Universal control in place, there’s no need to AirDrop files between machines, you can just drag them.
Not everyone has multiple Macs on their desk, but many have a Mac and an iPad. Having the ability to link these so easily will mean that you will be able to jump quicker between the two, whether it’s for work or play. For those that do have a laptop and a desktop for work, Universal Control saves the hassle of syncing programs or using additional screens.
MacOS Monterey also adds the ability to AirPlay to Mac, which means that you can easily share presentations, videos, photos or anything on your iPad or iPhone screen on to the large iMac screen, as well as use its speakers. It all sounds like the perfect excuse to buy more Mac products to me.