Hands-On Mac 138 transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

0:00:00 - Mikah Sargent
Coming up on Hands-On Mac. Let's take a look at what you can actually expect from Mac OS Sequoia when it ships later this year. Stay tuned Podcasts you love From people you trust. This is Twit. Welcome back to Hands-On Mac.

My name is Micah Sargent and today we are taking a look at the new features in macOS Sequoia. And here's what's important. Apple every year at the Worldwide Developers Conference says look, there's going to be, there are going to be a number of features that will be coming to all of our platforms and they will be available on all of our platforms, and that kind of messes things up when it comes to understanding what specifically is on one platform and not on the other. So I wanted to break this down. The public beta for these different operating systems ships in July and, as we continue to see improvements and changes over the coming months leading into the launch this fall, we'll talk even more about all of these features. But today I wanted to talk about specifically what is coming to macOS Sequoia alone, what you can expect in macOS Sequoia that is not also something that is coming to iOS and iPadOS and watchOS and tvOS and all of the other platforms. So that starts with one big feature that I am very excited about. It is a feature that is a subset of continuity, the system that makes all of your devices work together. It's how you can copy text on an iPhone and then, if you're on the same network and logged into the same Apple ID, you can paste that text on a Mac. It is how you are import a photo from an iPhone directly into something like keynotes or pages, with a simple right click. All of those are continuity features, and the latest continuity feature that will be coming to macOS Sequoia this fall is iPhone mirroring. With iPhone mirroring it does a little bit of what you've seen whenever if you've ever watched iOS today on this, on the network or even on hands on Mac, when I've brought an iPhone up next to me on the screen. That is what you might think iPhone mirroring is, but it's actually more powerful in macOS Sequoia, because what happens is your iPhone actually appears on your Mac and is completely interactive.

Yes, you can interact with it. I was going to say interactable, which is not the word. It is interactive, so you are able to click, to tap on different things on your screen. You can interact with apps. You can use it as if you had your iPhone in your hand, you can do input, so you can type on the keyboard everything, but it's just showing up as a little window on your Mac. What also is great about this is that the whole time this is happening, wherever your iPhone is, the screen remains locked, so it's not as if someone is able to be looking at your phone and seeing what you're doing as you're interacting with it on your Mac. No, they are completely separate in that sense. It also will allow you to interact with iPhone notifications, so when a notification pops up on your iPhone, it can get sent to your Mac. Your Mac will see that notification and when you click on that notification, as if you were on your iPhone, it will pull up the iPhone mirroring window and allow you to interact with the app from which the notification came.

The last feature that's part of iPhone mirroring is one called seamless drag and drop, and it is probably what you would imagine. If you're working on your iPhone in the window on your Mac, on a on, maybe you're using like an app that is a photo editor and you have the file. Afterward you can click and drag that file onto your Mac and it will drop right there and vice versa. I can take a file from my Mac, click and drag it and drop it on the iPhone mirroring window and boom, it is there on my iPhone. All of those features are coming as part of iPhone mirroring.

The next feature is one that Windows users have been wanting for a long time. On the Mac, that's been possible through third-party tools, but finally finally is coming to Mac OS Sequoia, and that is window tiling. So this allows you to create side-by-side tiles and also move windows to different corners of the screen, and it also includes keyboard and menu shortcuts. So that means that I can use my keyboard to have a window highlighted and say, move it to the top left corner of the screen, or move it to the left of the screen or move it to the right of the screen. And, to be clear, this is different from the in my opinion, arguably annoying full size side by side options macOS provides. Where you can't access anything else, you just have the one window here and the one window here of those apps. No, these are just windows on your screen that are tiled in different places. Finally, I'm so excited about this. On top of keyboard and menu shortcuts, there are also some special features, including being able to hold down the option key while you drag a window to a spot and seeing all of the different options for how it can be tiled. So it's great to know for sure what your tiling is going to look like after you do it.

Up next is a feature called presenter preview. If you've ever been in a Zoom call and someone says I'm sharing my screen, and then they share their screen and it shows stuff that you would not want to see, that they would not want you to see, or maybe it's just not the window that they intended to show you. Not great is something that comes from the broadcast industry, in the sense that you can see ahead of time what you will be sharing when you do a screen share, to make absolutely certain that what you're intending to share is what people will see. So it just gives you a little glimpse ahead of time at what you are about to share on your screen share. Along with that presenter feature is one called background replacements.

You have probably experienced background replacements. In fact, I think I might be able to do one right here For those of you who are listening. I'm just going to change my background a little bit and so I can blur out the background. I can really really blur out the background. I could replace it with a green background or any number of things. All of that is possible in lots of third-party apps, including Zoom has background replacement. This is going to be built in at the system level, so when you have an application that is grabbing the webcam, whatever camera it happens to be, apple will provide a background replacement and it is using a what they call industry leading segmentation tools. So it is a very high quality separation of you from your background and you know if it looks how it did in the previewss, it should look pretty good and hopefully will not look like it does with those horrible edges around the outside of your frame, particularly if you're using something like an iPhone as a camera. It can be very helpful there because of course the iPhone has depth sensing properties to be able to separate you from the background.

The next feature is one called Web Video. You can tell I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here In macOS Sequoia. The system gets a little bit smarter in Safari about knowing when you are watching video and providing you more controls over that video so you can take your video and kind of bring it front and center. You can move it to different parts of your screen and it's a little bit like what we've seen before with picture in picture, but just more robust and more aware of different video that is playing in different places. And, if you can believe it, we're just about to the end of the new features that are exclusive to macOS Sequoia.

Apple made quite a statement or a what is it a brouhaha about gaming on the platform. There are a number of games that will be coming to macOS the same day that they come to the rest of the platforms. In particular, they talked about Valheim, which, of course, has been out for a while, but that is coming to Mac OS. But Ubisoft's own Assassin's Creed will be coming to Mac OS the same day that it comes to all of the other platforms. So we are starting to see more games make their way to Mac OS, and that is very exciting, given the quality of Apple's Silicon. It is very powerful, very performative and it is exciting to see that happen.

There are not a whole lot of features that Apple announced that weren't also features for other platforms, so the exclusive macOS Sequoia features are few and far between, as I continue to use and test this software over the coming months, as I mentioned before, I will keep you all updated about that and let you know what other features you can hopefully expect when macOS Sequoia ships in the fall. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Hands-On Mac. I will catch you again next week for another episode. Bye-bye. 

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