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macOS Monterey lets you run Shortcuts and share files between Macs and iPads

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The OS for the Apple Silicon transition

Apple has announced the next version of macOS at its WWDC keynote, after showing off iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. It’s calling it Monterey, in keeping the California location-based theme it’s had since 2013.

The company is promising even more interoperability with iOS, including the ability to share a keyboard and mouse between a Mac and an iPad. The feature is similar to the one found on Logitech keyboards and mice, letting you seamlessly move your cursor and files between a Mac and iPad.

The jaw-dropping drag-and-drop demo.

Macs are also getting the ability to act as an AirPlay target, allowing you to use your Mac’s screen and speakers to play content from your iPhone and iPad, or even another Mac if you’re feeling spicy.

Apple has also announced that Macs will be getting the Shortcuts automation application. The familiar editor from iOS will be available, but with actions specifically for macOS. Apple will also be including pre-built Shortcuts for what it thinks will be common tasks. Users will be able to access Shortcuts from almost anywhere on the system, including in Spotlight, from the menu bar, and using Siri. People who have already been automating their Macs will be happy to hear that Shortcuts will be able to import existing Automator workflows (though Apple does make it clear that there will be a transition between the two over the coming years).

Easy Mac automation has a new face.
Image: Apple

In addition, Safari is getting a bit of a redesign, with the tabs and address bar all moving up into the same space, and the tabs getting a new, floating look that’s somewhat reminiscent of Firefox’s recent re-design. Apple has also introduced tab groups to the browser. Of course, tab groups are synced between your Mac and iOS devices, but they’re also easy to share — Apple demoed dragging a group into a Mail window, which created a bulleted list of links for the recipient.

A look at the new Safari interface.

Apple is also bringing many of the features announced for iOS and iPadOS 15 to the Mac, such as FaceTime’s group watching/listening abilities, Quick Note, and more.

This is the first version of macOS that’s being announced after the rise of Apple’s M1-powered Macs, the first of which was announced in November 2020. Apple’s plan is to have its entire line switch over to its custom chips by the end of next year, so it seems that macOS Monterey will be the operating system shepherding Macs through much of the transition.

To see which of the previous Macs Monterey will run on, you can see our article breaking down the device compatibility of everything Apple announced today.

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Update 6:45PM ET: Updated with information that AirPlay will work from Mac to Mac.