Apple unveils new macOS Monterey, refreshed Safari browser at WWDC
Apple's four-day-long worldwide developer conference (WWDC) kicked off on June 7 with a keynote address by CEO Tim Cook. Besides announcing multiple changes bundled into iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8, the company also showed off the updated macOS version named Monterey, a redesigned Safari browser, and (relatively) minor improvements for devices including audio wearables and the Apple TV. Here are more details.
Universal Control would let macOS Monterey, iOS devices share peripherals
Starting with the elephant in the room, macOS Monterey. The new operating system for Apple's notebooks and computers has been named to match the California location-based theme Apple has had since 2013. Apple's Universal Control feature promises interoperability between macOS and iOS, including the ability to share a mouse and keyboard. It will also let you share files between a Mac and an iPad.
AirPlay content can be streamed to devices running macOS Monterey
macOS Monterey will let you use your Mac's screen and speakers to consume content played from your iPhone, iPad or even another Mac via AirPlay. Additionally, Apple is bringing iOS's Shortcuts app for automating tasks to macOS. Pre-built shortcuts for common tasks will also be included. Shortcuts will be accessible from anywhere in the system including the menu bar, in Spotlight, and via Siri.
Safari browser address bar will share space with active tabs
Apple reportedly clarified that those who have been using Automator workflows to automate processes on their Mac will be able to import existing workflows directly into the new Shortcuts app. Besides macOS, the Safari browser also gets a completely redesigned user interface. Now, the tabs and address bar will share the same space while the tabs get a Firefox-esque floating look.
Safari now allows grouping tabs, drag-and-drop for tab groups
Along with the cosmetic refresh, the Safari browser will finally allow you to group tabs like Chrome browser on Windows. These tab groups will be synced across your macOS and iOS devices. Apple also demonstrated dragging a tab group into a Mail window which created a bulleted list of websites for the recipient. Tabs on the iPhone have been redesigned as well.
Siri can now be integrated into third-party Apple accessories
Safari on iOS and macOS will get web extension support as well. Meanwhile, Apple will let third-party accessories use Siri, and support has been added for the same. The Apple TV app will show users which movies and shows their friends are watching. Users will also be able to select HomePod Mini as an audio output device for the Apple TV 4K.
AirPods Pro, AirPods Max are now Apple Find My-compatible devices
At WWDC, Siri's senior engineer Gagan Gupta revealed that the AirPods Pro will get a new Conversation Mode that will automatically boost the volume of an ongoing conversation. The AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have also been added to the list of Find My-compatible devices. Unfortunately, the feature will just help you locate the charging case and not individual AirPods (for AirPods Pro).
Apple announced multiple updates to simplify workflow for developers
Apple also announced App Store updates including new Custom Product Pages that will let developers showcase different features of the same app to different users. Apple has also made new iOS, iPadOS, and macOS APIs available to game developers. Apple claims that Object Capture will help developers create high-quality 3D models from photos. The results can be viewed in augmented reality using Quick Look.