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macOS Monterey Now Live – TechCrunch

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Last year and a half was a big hit for countless industries. As many white-collar employees move from the office to remote work, the focus is on how unequipped many home setups are while Zoom calls last for hours.

Even if PC and tablet sales surged significantly in 2020, consumer electronics companies couldn’t respond particularly quickly. It’s not particularly surprising, as the timeline to bring the product to market is long and there are still many unreleased products.

Today, as a free update to compatible systems, macOS 12 Monterey (partly) introduces some of the key features and lifestyles introduced in the era of remote work. And with Apple hardware such as the MacBook Pro and iMac with the M1 finally getting a long-deferred upgrade to the camera and mic setup, it’s no coincidence that a new operating system arrives.

For Apple, that means FaceTime. The company is in a slightly different position in terms of conference calls in that it does not have a business conference call platform, unlike Microsoft and Google. Last year, Apple added the ability to host up to 32 people on a call. This certainly opens things up, but at the moment there is no FaceTime for Business. This is a friend and family transaction.

Apple’s video calling app is getting some important upgrades this time around. The top addition to the list is SharePlay. This is unfortunately delayed on the desktop and is currently scheduled to be released at some point later this fall. It’s also highly anticipated to appear in the upcoming iOS 15.1 release. This feature is effectively a built-in version of the watch-to-gather feature that was rolled out last year for streaming services in the midst of a pandemic.

Image Credit: Apple

This feature is custom made to support Apple’s own service TV + and Apple Music, with a few such as Disney +, Hulu, HBO Max, NBA apps, Twitch, TikTok, MasterClass, Zillow, Paramount +, ESPN + and more. Work with your launch partner. It’s a healthy cross section of the service, but there are some big names that don’t really exist, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify.

This feature effectively synchronizes video and audio content, allowing users in the group to react to what they see and hear in real time. The volume is adjusted around the speaker audio, and playback is synchronized when the user plays / pauses / fast forwards / rewinds. Users can also extend this feature to a set of Apple TVs.

It also has new shared screen features similar to those found in services such as Zoom, allowing other viewers to see the window during a call. Spatial Audio will also appear in FaceTime. I recently tried out the latest AirPods while testing and delved into the ability to use the speaker window position to place the audio in its approximate position. There are some gimmicks for now, but they are decent.

One of the most interesting additions to this timeout is the ability to join FaceTime calls outside the Apple ecosystem. The functionality is still limited, but users can create links through the Chrome or Edge browser that other users can join on their Android or Windows devices. The user does not need an account to join the call, but they need to be allowed after someone clicks on the link.

Image Credit: Brian Heater

Also, the portrait mode has been updated. This also works in the same way as the background blurring feature found in major conference call services. According to Apple, the addition uses the Neural Engine on the M1. Both this feature and Spatial Audio are only available on systems with the M1 chip, but the blurry lines that the new chip represents to developers indicate that macOS is accelerating the adoption of iOS features. It seems to show. This is a great change from an era when we were waiting for some updates to see mobile features hit the desktop.

Again, Safari receives some of the biggest updates here, along with a mobile rethink. The biggest aesthetic change is a fairly radical move from the universal search bar.

The new compact tab bar moves tabs into smaller separate windows to save space. Given how painful these changes can be, Apple is wisely leaving what can be enabled or disabled in the settings.

I understand that this is now the world of browser tabs and I lived there, so tab groups allow users to share them together, for example, a collection for work or home. You can create it. Depending on how you work, it’s either a creativity benefit or another opportunity to pack a lot of bookmarks.

You can now add a quick note by highlighting the text on the page and right-clicking to put all that information in one place. It’s a great addition for many online surveyers.

Announced as part of iOS 15, Focus allows you to distract yourself based on activity and time of day. For example, you can limit notifications when you meditate, read, or work. These settings are automatically synced between Apple devices. Silenced notifications are also recorded in the Messenger app so people know when they don’t want to get in the way.

AirPlay to Mac is a long-awaited new feature that lets you do what’s written on the can and use AirPlay 2 to effectively cast music, movies, and more to your Mac. Especially iMac and perfectly good screen and speakers.

Universal Control — one of the long-awaited additions here — will also be available in the second half of the fall. This feature further blurs the line between the iPad OS and Mac, allowing users to drag and drop items between the two for a more seamless AirDrop experience. The two devices can also be controlled simultaneously from the same peripheral, such as a keyboard, trackpad, or mouse.

Another big addition here is Shortcuts, the latest feature ported from iOS. This app effectively replaces Automator, which has been a favorite for many years, and will disappear in the future. Currently, shortcuts are simpler, but they can eventually lack Automator sophistication, so Apple is mitigating the blow by allowing users to convert Automator sequences to shortcuts. However, Automator will continue to be used for some time to solicit user feedback.

MacOS Monterey is now available on iMacs prior to 2015, iMac Pro 2017 and later, MacBook Air / Pro early 2015 and later, Mac Pro 2013 and later, Mac mini 2014 and later, and MacBook early 2016 and later.

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