As is always the case at every major conference at the World Developer Conference, Apple’s 90-minute presentation on Monday covers what the company considers to be the biggest features of its new operating systems. But Apple doesn̵
We’ve highlighted a few changes that didn’t make much noise yesterday, but are nonetheless interesting or exciting for macOS or iOS users. This is not a complete list of changes. Fortunately, if you want this, the Apple website offers an “all new features” page for macOS.
However, here are some changes that we thought were worth making while the WWDC was moving.
device compatibility with macOS Monterey
For many people, this is the most important question of all: Which Mac will support macOS Monterey? If you have an older Mac, will you stay?
Apple is known to provide support for updating the security of older versions of its operating systems, even if you do not upgrade. However, some Mac users will indeed find their Macs unsupported, as the list of supported devices is slightly shorter than last year’s Big Sur list.
Here are the Macs that macOS Monterey supports:
- MacBook (early 2016 and later)
- MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
- MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
- IMac (end of 2015 and later)
- IMac Pro (2017 and later)
- Mac mini (late 2014 and later)
- Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)
These are Macs supported by Big Sur that will not be able to upgrade to Monterey:
- MacBook (2015)
- MacBook Air (2013-2014)
- MacBook Pro (end of 2013-2014)
- iMac (2014)
Hello screensaver and desktop wallpaper
For the first time, we saw a new approach to the classic Mac “Hello” with a color-synchronized screensaver that comes pre-installed on the new 24-inch iMac models. It turns out that all Macs running Monterey will have access to a “Hello” screensaver and a “Hello” desktop wallpaper. The screensaver and wallpaper mimic the handwriting presentation seen in classic Mac commercials and presentations.
Copy files to Finder
Monterey offers a number of Finder enhancements: a new folder for collaboration through shared iCloud files and documents, the ability to access Finder shortcuts, and automatically resize the window when moving the Finder between displays of different sizes.
But we wanted to highlight a small change in quality of life that at least claims to help with a task you’ll find yourself doing in Finder all the time: copying files. When you copy files, you’ll see a “new pie chart window,” which Apple says will give you a better idea of how long it will take to copy the files. You can also stop a large copy and resume it later.
Low power mode
For some time now, iPhones have had a “low-power mode,” a control center switch that makes changes to display brightness, user interface animations, and various other things to extend battery life when you need it, such as when you work your way marathon day at many airports for travel without guaranteed access to an electric jack.
Now Macs also get low power mode. Apple says this switch reduces the system clock speed and display brightness to achieve longer battery life.
Delete all content and settings
Mac has long supported multiple user profiles, and it has always been possible to delete and reinstall a Mac to clear all existing personal settings and files for a new user. But starting with Monterey, there will be another option seen earlier on iOS and iPadOS devices: delete all content and settings.
Located in System Preferences, this option will allow you to delete all user-related data and applications from a Mac without having to reinstall the operating system. “Because storage is always encrypted on Mac systems with Apple’s silicon or T2 chip,” says Apple’s MacOS page, “the system is instantly and securely ‘erased’ by destroying the encryption keys.”
iCloud passwords for Mac and Windows
This is great if you’ve used the iCloud Keychain, but were disappointed either with the support limitations of its platform, or how strangely it’s buried in MacOS right now.
Passwords are moved to a new Passwords tab in System Preferences, similar to how they appear on the top-level iOS and iPadOS settings app page. You will also be able to import passwords from other password managers or export your iCloud passwords for use in those other managers.
Even better for those who live on multiple desktop operating systems, you will soon be able to manage iCloud passwords on Windows computers with a new application called “iCloud Passwords”, which is included in iCloud for Windows. Apple also introduces the iCloud Passwords extension for Microsoft’s Edge browser.
Automatic HTTPS in Safari
According to Apple’s documentation for the new version of macOS (and iOS), Safari now “automatically upgrades sites that are known to support HTTPS from insecure HTTP.”