macOS Monterey Preview: FaceTime and Safari All

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar / Engadget


After loading Monterey Public Beta for the first time, I had a hard time deciding if I actually upgraded from Big Sur. But then I launched a new Safari browser. It turned my head. Say goodbye to the tab bar — and get used to working with the tabs, address bar, and navigation buttons all in the thin menu at the top.

Obviously, the goal is to allocate as much screen space as possible to your web page. This enhances the browsing experience on smaller devices, such as the 13-inch MacBook Air that we’ve used to test software. However, trying to reorder the tabs also means that it gets more complicated. Not bad if you’re dealing with just a few tabs, but if you put more than 10 in the rack, they’re all shrunk to site icons. Previously, more tabs were needed to disable Safari.

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Hovering your cursor over the icon will give you a small preview of the page, which can be slow if you’re looking for a large number of tabs from a single site. You can also group tabs together. This is useful if you are serious about your research. You can name tab groups and instantly swap between different sets. It’s a more elegant solution than opening more Safari windows, and above all, it syncs between iOS and iPad OS browsers.

Beyond the new interface, Safari is still the most zippy browser on macOS. I usually work with Chrome and Safari at the same time. This helps keep your work and personal logins separate. Apple’s browser always makes the page load a little faster.

macOS Monterey Facetime Shareplay


FaceTime and SharePlay

On macOS Monterey, FaceTime is starting to look like Zoom. And given how important group video chat has become over the past year, I think it makes sense. You can now start a FaceTime call without having to call someone directly.Once you come in, you can invite your friends Or Create a link that anyone can join, even if you’re using an Android device. Your phone is more like an event that anticipates a group of people, rather than an individual chat where you can rope a friend or two.

During my testing, my friend was able to join my FaceTime web link via an iPhone running iOS 14, but I didn’t hear anything. Everything worked fine when he moved to the Mac. However, because he was running macOS Catalina, he was seeing it as a WebFaceTime call instead of opening the app automatically.

If you have AirPods or other headphones that support Spatial Audio, you can also hear people coming from different directions based on the position of your screen in FaceTime. You must be running Monterey or iOS / iPadOS 15 Beta for this feature to work, but it will certainly be more useful if these updates are eventually removed. During the test, I heard two friends coming from the left and right channels of AirPod Pro. It’s like sitting together at a small table. Separation makes it easier to track multiple people, which may be useful for visually impaired and deaf users.

I think more and more people will use Face Timing with their friends to take advantage of SharePlay, which allows them to watch shows and listen to music with others. However, it may be more intuitive to use it. When I tried this feature on other Monterey and iOS 15 beta testers, I found that there was no SharePlay button anywhere in FaceTime. Instead, you need to start playing the media. This will trigger a pop-up notification asking if you want to share it with a friend or show it yourself.

Once I understood that, it was nice to be able to sit and watch for a few minutes Mythic quest With friends. Unfortunately, FaceTime is open to Android and Windows users in web video chat, but those people can’t enjoy SharePlay content. And it’s still unclear if and how media providers will adopt the service. With Apple TV + Content, And Friends need to have a subscription to see something. I can’t imagine Netflix or Disney + being looser and allowing one subscriber to share something with their friends.

Other notable additions:

  • The new focus mode is a great way to reduce notification distraction. You can also customize the focus options to allow messages from specific users.

  • Quick notes are an easy way to get citations and other information snippets from websites and documents. These appear within the Notes app and sync with iCloud across all Apple devices.

  • I didn’t have much time to dive into the shortcuts, but at first glance it looks like a more user-friendly puncture wound in macOS Automations. One of the built-in shortcuts is supposed to create a GIF from a video file, but when I try to trigger it in Siri it keeps throwing an error.

  • Live text is a handy feature that allows you to select the text embedded in your photo. It’s useful for getting information from receipts, and I think it’s also useful for handwritten notes. But in many ways, it’s really just Apple’s spin on Google Lens.

  • Thank you for using your MacBook Air as an AirPlay device. This is especially useful on new iMacs and systems that are connected to good speakers.

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