Get an early taste of iOS 15 and macOS Monterey with new wallpapers

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macOS Monterey new wallpaper
There's only one for macOS, but it's a stunner.
Photo: Apple

We’re all itching to get our hands on Apple’s newest software updates. But due to many, many bugs, it’s a bad idea to install the developer betas right now. There is another way to freshen up your devices today.

The new wallpapers from iOS and iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey are available to download today, so you can already start using them on your iPhone, iPad and Mac in glorious high-resolution.

Apple Digital Legacy will let a loved one access your data when you die

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Apple Digital Legacy
Keeping your data alive long after you.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple is finally introducing a Digital Legacy feature that will allow a friend or family member to access your data after you die.

Users will be able to assign an administrator who gets access to things like photos, contacts and other things uploaded to iCloud. However, some data, such as saved credit cards and passwords, will be off limits.

macOS Monterey lets you use a second Mac as an external display

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macOS Monterey turns a second Mac into an external display
And you can USB for reduced latency.
Photo: Apple

macOS Monterey gives newer Apple computers the ability to send content to a second Mac over AirPlay. You can also use the feature for screen mirroring, turning a spare machine into an external display.

What’s more, unlike on your TV, AirPlay in Monterey lets you connect two macOS devices with a USB cable, greatly reducing latency and removing the requirement for a wireless network.

macOS Monterey gets new ‘erase all contents’ option like iPhone and iPad

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macOS Monterey adds new 'erase all contents' option
A quicker, easier way to wipe your Mac.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s upcoming macOS Monterey update will make it easier for users to wipe all data from a Mac. A new “erase all contents and settings” option allows a system to be wiped without removing macOS.

Apple says the process — similar to that available on iPhone and iPad — is instant and secure, destroying all encryption keys.

Private Relay makes paying $1 a month for iCloud a bargain

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Private Relay makes paying $1 a month for iCloud a bargain
Private Relay protects your online privacy. It’s the best part of Apple’s new iCloud+.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Private Relay is the latest way Apple devices can protect your privacy. The service, a part of iCloud+, makes it much harder for the websites you visit to track you.

Unlike many of Apple’s privacy services, it’s not free. But the new iCloud+ service costs very little and comes bundled with iCloud storage at no additional cost. And it comes with some other privacy benefits, too.

9 things that blew us away at WWDC 2021

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Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Apple CEO Tim Cook wraps the WWDC21 keynote on June 7, 2021.
Photo: Apple

Some new features really stood out when Apple revealed the next versions of all its operating systems during Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Users of iPhone, Mac and iPad, and Apple Watch, too, can look forward to welcome improvements this fall.

We picked out the best of these to make sure they don’t get overlooked.

Siri will work offline and come to third-party devices this year

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Apple’s AI-driven voice-controlled digital assistant Siri
Siri is finally expanding its reach.
Photo: Apple

Siri will soon be able to handle many of your questions and requests offline. When Apple’s next-generation software updates roll out this fall, on-device speech recognition will negate the need for a data connection.

Apple is also opening Siri up to third parties, paving the way for its virtual assistant to be integrated into all manner of smart devices in the future.

macOS Monterey brings Universal Control, Shortcuts, and Safari improvements

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macOS Monterey
Big Sur is dead. Long live macOS Monterey!
Photo: Apple

macOS Monterey will bring a plethora of nifty new abilities to Mac — and, in the process, help make Macs work even better with iPhones and iPads.

Announced Monday during the Worldwide Developers Conference’s opening keynote, it will be the first new Mac operating system following the arrival of Apple Silicon across the entire product line. This year’s update isn’t close to the giant redesign that was 2020’s macOS 11 Big Sur. But macOS Monterey 12 nonetheless boasts a bevy of exciting new features.