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Practical Techie: Upgraded operating systems hit the market this year

After an interlude of some two or more years, finally, Apple and Microsoft are updating their operative systems. Both revamps are something to look forward to as they are replete with bug fixes and neat enhancements to everyday utilities. 

Apple — In Apple’s case, by putting out the macOS Monterey update for its devices, it begins with making password protection easier. Monterey offers ways to stay secure without turning to third-party services by managing each password from the system preferences application itself.

In terms of “FaceTime” upgrades, the new version for desktop and laptop devices mirrors those on the new iPhones 15, including “Share Play” for streaming to large groups. Another upgrade is in “Airplay” by allowing for a display on a desktop computer or laptop to easily connect into a secondary display as in a smartphone. This includes sending out sound also to an iPad and iPhone, cool for music or movie sharing in groups or to some higher quality audio equipment. All wirelessly, of course.

With Monterey, the “Low Power” mode comes to the MacBook, a useful feature already in the iPhone for when the battery begins to die out and the user can get a few more minutes of operation. It reduces Mac’s processor speed and lowers screen brightness to prolong battery life.

In terms of browser updates, Monterey gives the Safari user more management power for its tabs makes browsing the web safer and in a better-organized manner. This is by grouping tabs in different research options when the device is turned off for the night and the user goes back to the navigation the next day, easily back to where one left off.

Additionally, the new Safari has more security features with Intelligent “Tracking Prevention”. This means less tracking by spammers.

And then there is “Universal Control”. What this feature does is let the user control an iPad with a Mac, using one mouse for both screens and exchanging texts or visuals from one screen to the other. For gamers especially, this is a bonus feature.

Mac owners must always check with Apple’s compatibility page to see if a Mac supports an upgrade to the Monterey operating system. To download, hit the Apple logo on the top left of Mac’s menu bar, select “About this Mac,” and click the “Software Update” button.

Windows 11 — Interestingly, the new Microsoft operating software incorporates many of the features announced for Apple devices, including an efficient interface between the two rival systems.

The iconic Windows 10 (2015) “Start” menu will now move to the center of the screen, as will the “Taskbar”. If this bothers traditional users, they can move it back to their regular position at the left of the computer screen.

Windows 11 will allow the user to easily set up virtual desktops, as in the Macs, toggling between multiple tasks for personal, work, school, or gaming use. In previous Windows systems, this feature was quite complicated to achieve effectively.

The new OS also includes a feature deemed “Snap Groups” with the user now being able to minimize a collection of the apps frequently tasked for easier switching. They also allow a plug and unplug from a monitor, without losing track of where the open windows are located. This was also harder to set up in the old days.  

Windows 11 will bring features that loyal have been waiting for years the merging of mobile and laptop devices. For example, Android Apps will be accessed through the new operating system, mainly at the Microsoft Store, but also at Amazon Appstore.

This also marks another move toward integrating PCs and Xbox consoles for Microsoft. 

The application “Teams” is also getting a workover. It will be integrated directly into the Windows 11 taskbar, making it easier to access, much like Apple’s “Face Time”. Better yet, “Teams” will available also for Mac, Android, or even iOS cybernauts.

Windows 11 also features more accessible widgets directly from the Taskbar and better haptics (tact sensations) for the digital pen, so the user can hear and feel vibrations in notetaking with tablets, gaming, or when drawing.

Better yet, it introduces voice typing and commands across the entire system for all devices. 

Users will be able to download the Windows 11 ISO for free beginning October 2021. They must beware that Microsoft has warned users that installing Windows on unsupported hardware will disallow future system and security updates.

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.

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