macOS Sequoia brings iPhone remote control and new Passwords app

Posted:
in macOS edited June 10

Apple's first reveal of the new macOS Sequoia includes a way to remote control your iPhone directly from the Mac, and a new Apple Passwords app.

Person standing in front of a large screen displaying the words 'macOS Sequoia' with a colorful, radiant background.
Craig Federighi launches macOS Sequoia



Announced in the WWDC 2024 keynote, macOS 15 is called macOS Sequoia, and as expected, it brings AI -- or Apple Intelligence -- to every platform and practically every feature.

Apple Intelligence for the Mac



Across macOS Sequoia and Apple's other platforms, users can write, summarize, and proofread text almost system-wide with Writing Tools. It will be able to generate sketches, animations, or illustrations with Image Playground, which is built into apps including Messages -- and has its own brand-new app too.

Across the new macOS Sequoia, Apple Intelligence's Writing Tools can be used to summarize text
Across the new macOS Sequoia, Apple Intelligence's Writing Tools can be used to summarize text



The Mac's Photos app will let users create a Memories slideshow by typing a description. Apple Intelligence will then curate the images, arrange them into a sequence -- and, if told to, also add appropriate music from Apple Music.

More usefully, Photos in macOS Sequoia has also built on its previous ability to remove backgrounds. It also has Clean Up, which will automatically remove distracting elements in the background of an image.

As expected, Siri has also seen what promises to be a significant improvement because of AI. By itself, Apple Intelligence is said to make working with Siri more natural and conversational, but Siri is also integrated with ChatGPT.

When Siri determines that ChatGPT may provide a better answer to a query, it asks the user's permission to pass their request on. ChatGPT gets the query if the user agrees, and the response comes back through Siri.

iPhone Mirroring



Aside from AI, macOS Sequoia also expands Continuity, which lets Mac users control their iPhones remotely.

"I can see what's on my iPhone and can control it to all while barely lifting a finger," said Craig Federighi, showing how the whole iPhone screen is shown on the Mac. "So you might be wondering, what's on my iPhone screen while using iPhone mirroring -- it stays locked."

Laptop screen displaying an iPhone home screen with a dog's photo. Smartphone mirroring feature is turned on. A notification and colorful beams in the background.
With macOS Sequoia, Mac users can see and control their iPhones on screen



So, the iPhone itself becomes part of the Mac because macOS Sequoia allows for full access and control of your device through iPhone Mirroring. All while the iPhone itself stays securely locked.

Passwords app



The new macOS Sequoia also introduces a brand-new Apple Passwords app. "For over 25 years, we've been adding features to make logging into your accounts easier," said Federighi, "and now we're introducing the Passwords app."

Apple's new Passwords app looks similar to existing rivals such as 1Password
Apple's new Passwords app looks similar to existing rivals such as 1Password



Apple's Passwords app works like existing third-party rivals such as 1Password, and as well as the Mac, it will be on the iPad, iPhone, Apple Vision Pro, and even on Windows with iCloud for Windows.

Windows and presentations



Also adopting features seen in third-party apps, macOS Sequoia is introducing a new window management system. "Now, when you drag a window to the edge of the screen, MacOS automatically suggests a tiled position on your desktop," said Federighi.

"You can release your window right into place... quickly place tiles side by side or place them into corners to keep even more apps in your view," he continued. "And new keyboard and menu shortcuts help you arrange your tiles even faster."

With video conferencing, Apple has added its own feature for replacing backgrounds. It also includes Presenter Preview, which means that before sharing a screen in video conferencing, users can see a preview of what you will be showing on the call.

macOS updates include easier window tiling, text effects, Safari highlights, password management, redesigned reader, game toolkit, iOS notifications, emoji reactions, hiking maps, Freeform scenes, and iPhone mirroring.
The new macOS Sequoia features highlighted by Apple

Safari



Notably, Apple has not announced the expected and controversial Web Eraser. What it has added, though, includes what Apple calls highlights.

"Highlights share helpful information like directions summaries and quick links to learn more about people, music, movies and TV shows," said Beth Dakin, Senior Manager, Safari Software Engineering. "So if you're planning a trip, you can effortlessly discover a hotel's location and phone number right there."

"You can listen to an artist's music, or check out a new show with just a click and even get a summary so you can get the gist before reading on," she continued.

Reader in Safari now summarizes articles and makes a contents list
Reader in Safari now summarizes articles and makes a contents list



The existing Reader view, which removes everything but the text and main images from an article, has been redesigned. It now provides a table of contents and a summary of the article.

When a website includes a video, Safari will now optionally make it full screen -- or move it into Picture in Picture.

Safari presents website videos in their own window
Safari presents website videos in their own window

Notes, Calendar, and Calculator



Apple Intelligence is also used within the updated Notes app to assist with transcription. For the first time, Notes can record audio, and now, when the recording is done, Apple Intelligence will produce a summary of it.

Notes now includes a new calculation feature, where typing in an equation allows Apple Intelligence to solve it. In the newly redesigned Calculator app, there's an option to show previous calculations in the history.

A digital note titled 'Sequoia Group Expenses' lists costs: Passes $62, Kayaks $259, Snacks $52, Gear $71, Sunscreen $11, Water $20. Total $475, divided by 5 equals $95 each.
Notes includes automatic calculations when you write in text like a budget



The new macOS Sequoia is all about integrating apps and features, so as well as sharing calculation capabilities, there are improvements such as those in Calendar. Apple's Calendar app now shows tasks from the Reminders app, and they can be edited or completed in place.

The future of macOS 15

As predicted

, the new macOS Sequoia supports all of the same Macs that its predecessor, macOS Sonoma did. However, as expected, that does not mean every Mac will get all the new features.

Specifically, all Apple Intelligence features require an Apple Silicon Mac.

What's unclear is which new features will be present in the first developer beta. Typically, Apple has at least a few significant updates that won't appear until later in the cycle.

Some features may also not be present in the official release in September or October and instead will be added later in 2024.

This year, the beta process is expected to be the same as ever, with the new developer release followed shortly by a public release. There will then be both iterations, building up to the final release.

However, many of this year's new updates are tied to AI. Those may remain labeled as beta features for at least some months after the release.

AppleInsider urges you not to install beta software on any device you depend on for work.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    mainyehcmainyehc Posts: 134member
    Yay, a Fisher-Price, Catalyst version of Keychain Access, a 25-year-old app we've had since Mac OS 8.6. Seriously?  :|
    edited June 10
  • Reply 2 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,378member
    mainyehc said:
    Yay, a Fisher-Price, Catalyst version of Keychain Access, a 25-year-old app we've had since Mac OS 8.6. Seriously?  :|
    I’m glad you like obtuse user interfaces, but I **dare you** to get your grandmother to routinely enter, update, and manage passwords from Keychain. Or even your mother, for that matter.

    This is a help to people who need the help, just as Safari Passwords was (but not everyone uses Safari, THE FOOLS). Your fragile nerd cred can by preserved by deleting the app on contact. :)

    PS. Real men hard-code their own app to access the keychain database, bro. :smiley: 
    MplsPrezwitswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    mainyehc said:
    Yay, a Fisher-Price, Catalyst version of Keychain Access, a 25-year-old app we've had since Mac OS 8.6. Seriously?  :|
    Yeah, Keychain Access is a Neanderthal app. Incidentally, it is really only accessible on a Mac.

    And Apple Passwords is also coming to Windows (via the iCloud for Windows app). As far as I know, Keychain Access isn't available on any Windows PC.

    Remember that the world has changed. Steve was right when he unveiled the iPhone and called it "the computer for the rest of us."

    The primary computing modality for consumers in 2024 is a smartphone not a computer. Apple Passwords is also coming to iOS and iPadOS. It's high time that there's a consistent interface between Apple's various product families.

    Besides, I trust Apple's iCloud security more than the cloud service that third-party password manager apps are using. The most popular apps (1Password, LastPass) have all had data breaches. They all see promising when they debut but at some point they do something that erodes consumer trust and confidence. Plus a lot of them have moved to a subscription service model for monetization.

    And yeah, Keychain Access was an unintuitive eyesore not intended for consumers (which is why hardly anyone uses it). macOS is a consumer PC operating system.

    Apple senior management understands that there's a place for a consumer-focused Passwords app which is why they are running the #2 company (in market capitalization) and you are not. That's right, they are paying some employee (perhaps more than one) to write and maintain this.
    edited June 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    jellyapplejellyapple Posts: 113member
    Can “Apple Intelligence“ create an All-Day repeating event with a reminder alert set at 7 AM instead of 9 AM? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    XedXed Posts: 2,677member
    Lots of great features but unfortunately the password app won't do me or my family any good. It's just too simple with only a Notes section for additional info, and I don't suspect that Apple will be making it more feature robust in the foreseeable future.

    mainyehc said:
    Yay, a Fisher-Price, Catalyst version of Keychain Access, a 25-year-old app we've had since Mac OS 8.6. Seriously?  :|
    Ah, yes, because looking through cryptic filename for SparseBundles, complex SHA keys, certificates that they'll never need to analyze, and countless private keys that make absolutely no sense to the average person.

    You're in luck because based on what I saw Keychain Access will still need to be accessible.
    edited June 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,965member
    Xed said:
    Lots of great features but unfortunately the password app won't do me or my family any good. It's just too simple with only a Notes section for additional info, and I don't suspect that Apple will be making it more feature robust in the foreseeable future.

    I couldn't tell from the brief preview they gave. What additional information are you referring to? Pictures? Seriously hoping the password app will let me ditch my 3rd party apps.
    mainyehc said:
    Yay, a Fisher-Price, Catalyst version of Keychain Access, a 25-year-old app we've had since Mac OS 8.6. Seriously?  :|
    Ah, yes, because looking through cryptic filename for SparseBundles, complex SHA keys, certificates that they'll never need to analyze, and countless private keys that make absolutely no sense to the average person.


    You're in luck because based on what I saw Keychain Access will still need to be accessible.
    Yeah - the keychain interface is awful. I'm surprised @mainyehc cares at all since he must use Terminal for everything so he doesn't have to be bothered by the 'Fisher-Price' interface of MacOS
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 707member
    That must be really sucks for 1Password. There you go again, Apple, very typical of you: copy and destroy. 
  • Reply 8 of 11
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,849member
    So apple just killed Grammarly and 1Password. 

    Kinda crazy. 

    I’m just surprised they haven’t usurped Little Snitch long ago. 

    But for the most part I think apple is doing this right. 

    The Apple software ecosystem is looking killer as of today. Very nice. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    XedXed Posts: 2,677member
    MplsP said:
    Xed said:
    Lots of great features but unfortunately the password app won't do me or my family any good. It's just too simple with only a Notes section for additional info, and I don't suspect that Apple will be making it more feature robust in the foreseeable future.

    I couldn't tell from the brief preview they gave. What additional information are you referring to? Pictures? Seriously hoping the password app will let me ditch my 3rd party apps.
    I do have images in some 1Password entries, like the front and back of my state issued ID in the Drivers License section because sometimes I need to send that to some organization and sometimes I don't have my physical wallet when I need to scan it in a grocery store to buy alcohol. I also have PDFs in there for various things, like an operations manual for an appliance, but mostly "additional info" refers to being able to add sections within an entry with a title and info. Here are many reasons why Apple's solution isn't good enough for me...

    With the state issued ID I have created info for when it was issued, when it expired, all the various data on the card. The same for my passport. For the aforementioned appliance, I have the manual as a PDF under it instead of lost somewhere in a folder or in a physical drawer, along with the login for the website (if it has one), a link to the model info, when it was purchased, how much and where, warranty info, etc.

    I also have all my bank info and CCs in there. If I lose my wallet I never have t worry that I can't remember all the cards that were in my wallet or try ti find the correct card into or numbers to call to cancel because it's all in my secure password manager. I never have to google for a bank and then work to verify the the number I'm about ti call isn't from a spoofed number from a scam website. 

    There are also Secure Notes that have decent markup tools in 1P. Keychain Access does technically have a secure note feature but it's a chore to access and use in comparison. 

    There are also the issue with URLs for an account. From what I can see it only allows one per login, and yet there are many websites that support multiple. There's also no way to add secret questions w/ answers, PINs, contact info, names, email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers in a way that won't simply be jumbled in the Notes section. There's also no good way to keep track of medial info in an organized way.

    I'm sure I'm missing many of the ways in which my digital vault is being used, but that is what I could think of off the top of my head. Maybe you are someone with a single address and phone number with a single bank account and one CC, but my life is considerably more complex and I like that my data is both secure and accessed efficiently because of the feature of 1Password... which I know could be improved drastically to be even better.

    PS: On that topic of efficiency and organization which I didn't see addressed today is Calendar working with Reminders so I can have reoccurring calendar entries that I can also check off without having to edit them individually, adding an emoji, and then choosing to save once and NOT for all future events to show that it was done.
    BGnATCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 888member
    Man IDK about you guys, but believe it or not, the iPhone Mirroring app (along with iPad "helper mode") are gonna be the biggest things overlooked...

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    BGnATCBGnATC Posts: 26member
    I haven’t had time to watch. Did they mention whether you can set a secure vault password separate from the iCloud or device passwords, like you do with other apps?
    watto_cobra
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