Apple’s AR headset & 15-inch MacBook Air rumors, macOS disrupts Dropbox

Apple’s potential 15-inch MacBook Air

On this week’s episode of the AppleInsider Podcast, your hosts discuss Apple’s rumored 15-inch MacBook Air release, the WWDC-bound mixed reality headset, a possible iPhone subscription model, and more!

The rumored 15-inch MacBook Pro could be right around the corner, and it could radically change the Mac lineup. Apple may finally reveal its mixed reality headset during WWDC, but it isn’t clear if this is going to be the consumer-friendly model, or a stepping stone to Apple Glass.

Next, it’s time to dive into Apple fintech and what it might mean for the future of services. Savings accounts, iPhone leases, and “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) schemes seem to walk a fine line between useful and predatory.

Also, Apple has changed how third-party cloud providers are able to interact with macOS — and Dropbox will soon change its app for the worse. Finally, your hosts discuss mechanical keyboards and how Stephen might finally learn how to use one.

Tune in to our HomeKit Insider podcast covering the latest news, products, apps and everything HomeKit related. Subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Overcast, or just search for HomeKit Insider wherever you get your podcasts.

Keep up with everything Apple in the weekly AppleInsider Podcast — and get a fast news update from AppleInsider Daily. Just say, “Hey, Siri,” to your HomePod mini and ask for these podcasts, and our latest HomeKit Insider episode too.If you want an ad-free main AppleInsider Podcast experience, you can support the AppleInsider podcast by subscribing for $5 per month through Apple’s Podcasts app, or via Patreon if you prefer any other podcast player.

macOS Ventura is now available

How to fix “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware”

macOS verify free from malware featured image

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

There are a lot of random errors in macOS. One of them is the inability to verify that an app is free from malware. It’s a fairly common issue, especially when you download apps from websites instead of the Mac Store. Luckily, it’s not terribly difficult to fix, and we’ll explain more about the error, what it means, and when to take it seriously. Here’s how to fix it when macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware.

Read more: How to start any Mac in safe mode


To bypass “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware”, open Finder and navigate to Applications. Find the app giving you trouble. From there, command+click on the app and select Open. When the next window opens, select Open again to open the application.


What causes the problem, and is it safe?

macOS security and privacy settings

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Every Mac device has something called Gatekeeper installed. Gatekeeper is a security technology that scans and analyzes any app you intend to install on your Mac. You can actually edit Gatekeeper’s settings a little bit by going to System Preferences, then Privacy & Security, and then clicking on the General tab.

In any case, when you see this error, it’s exactly what it says. The software you’re trying to install can’t be verified by Gatekeeper, so Gatekeeper can’t promise you that the app doesn’t contain malware. It’s meant to be a warning more than an error, and it simply means that the developer hasn’t had their app notarized by Apple.

This is a fairly common issue with third-party apps and especially with independent apps. The warning doesn’t necessarily mean the file is actually dangerous, it simply means that the app was never looked over by Apple. It’ll be up to you to decide if you trust the developer enough to ignore the warning and continue the installation.

How to fix “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware”

macOS bypass Gatekeeper 2

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

It’s not a difficult task to bypass the verification warning. This should work for all apps on modern macOS.

  • Open Finder and navigate to the Applications folder.
  • Once there, find the app you want to open. Click on it using command+click or double click the trackpad if you’re using a Macbook.
  • Tap Open.
  • You’ll get another warning box about macOS not being able to verify the developer. This time, however, there is an Open button in the window. Click it.
  • The app should open normally.

In our testing, we found that simply opening the app a second time from the Launchpad also gave you an Open prompt, but that may be a newer feature. The steps above should work for most.

Bypass the warning with Terminal

macOS Terminal turn off gatekeeper

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

As with most problems, you can bypass Gatekeeper with a simple Terminal command. However, the command is rather powerful and turning off Gatekeeper can have negative effects. We only recommend you use this method if you turn Gatekeeper back on later.

  • Open Launchpad and search for Terminal.
  • Once Terminal is open, type sudo spctl –master-disable and hit enter.
  • Enter your password and hit enter again.
  • You may need to reboot your Mac before it’ll work, but that should work.
  • Pro-tip — When you’re finished, go back into Terminal and type the same command as above, but replace disable with enable and hit enter. Enter your password and hit enter. This will re-enable Gatekeeper to keep your Mac safe.

This should work in scenarios where the official method doesn’t work. Again, make sure you turn Gatekeeper back on eventually since it is a valuable security tool on your Mac.

Up next: How to erase and factory reset any Mac

The best video editors for macOS when iMovie doesn’t cut it

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Apple’s main video editing program on macOS is iMovie. It’s enough for most, but it doesn’t satisfy professional and more advanced editors. Here are the best alternatives to iMovie.

Here are other video editing programs that offer more to creators that iMovie currently does not.

Final Cut Pro

Bought by Apple in 1998 and becoming part of Final Cut Studios in 2006, Final Cut Pro was aimed toward more professional creators and independent film and television producers. The application covered all aspects of offline and online video editing.

In 2011, Apple made the controversial decision to redesign Final Cut Pro from the ground up and give the application a more “app-like” experience.

Final Cut Pro allows creators to dive into more professional and customizable features that iMovie does not. It opens the door for more fluid edits to be made.

Many people who use the software enjoy the simplicity the application brings when starting. Though it is not seen as “entry-level” software, many do see how the easy-of-use navigation of the software was inspired by iMovie.

When starting with Final Cut Pro, the application allows editors to create, work on, and save projects directly and solely onto an external hard drive. This does not slow down your computer or take up storage on your device.

Final Cut Pro allows real-time multi-cam editing of up to 16 audio and video channels. iMovie allows up to two videos.

Customization is heavily improved in Final Cut Pro over iMovie, by allowing creators more templates to choose from for title animations (you can select from the ones provided or purchase additional ones), keyframing (which allows creators to set animations to be done at certain times (example: zooming in and zooming out of a subject at a certain part within the film)), and full-color correction and grading tools through color curls and color wheels.

Creators are also able to customize the aspect ratio and frame rate of their projects.

Final Cut Pro is priced at $299, with no app alternative for iOS or iPadOS. The purchase covers all future updates and allows the software to be installed on up to five devices at the same time.

Adobe Premiere Pro

When introduced to the public in 1991, Adobe Premiere Pro was the standard for professional video editing for news broadcasting and featured films. Since then, it has been updated to give editors more functionality through the program with new and enhanced features.

An area where Premiere Pro beats out iMovie would be in its area of compatibility with what operating systems can run it. Premiere Pro can be run on Windows and macOS, while iMovie only runs on Apple’s operating systems.

While the idea of software being presented as “more professional” might give the illusion that it is hard to navigate, Premiere Pro does the opposite. Though the learning curve from the beginning might be a lot, the application provides a versatile experience by providing a useful experience for both beginning and advanced creators.

Adobe Stocks allows editors to be able to add visual and audio components to their projects without having the leave the application to find them.

Continuity amongst other Adobe programs is another area Premiere Pro shines. The editing software connects with Illustrator and Photoshop to allow creators to create graphics in one application and export them to another seamlessly.

Adobe Typekit also allows creators to utilize the Essentials Graphics panel, which allows them to customize and create unique title graphics. Typekit allows you to choose from thousands of different fonts to use for text in your project.

For audio features, Premiere Pro offers a bunch of options to choose from. The Essential Sound Panel can be seen as very useful to creators by the program fixing audio mistakes, adjusting volume, and adding special effects to sound bites when seen fit.

Visual and color effects are strong points of the video editing software. You can use color grading and edit color directly in apps such as lighting, contrast, and color hues and adjust an area. Creators can also use the wide range of options given by the visual effects library to add Cinematic filter presets to multiple areas, such as transitions and green screen keying.

Adobe Premiere Pro can be subscribed to for $20.99 a month. Currently, there are no other payment plan options available.

DaVinci Resolve

Just like other professional editing software, DaVinci Resolve offers the same level of customization within its application. While offering an intuitive graphic interface, DaVinci supplies an easy way to create professional-styled projects.

Being released in 2004, DaVinci offers an abundance of features to allow creators to produce high-quality media and films. Highlighted features from the application would be their automatic color correction, noise reduction, audio restoration, and visual effects. With these features, it allows creators to produce high-definition video output.

The simplistic interface DaVinci offers makes it easy for creators to access the features they want most. Various connections to external devices make it simpler for editors to transfer files between devices.

While DaVinci may primarily be used as video editing software, it can also allow the creator to edit photos on the platform as well. The software offers adjustable parameters, image stabilization tools, color inversion, timeline editing, and a traditions and effects library.

Multiple people can work on a project collaboratively in real-time through DaVinci. This is a feature that iMovie currently lacks.

Just like with Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci can run on multiple operating systems. The program can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux.

There are two versions of DaVinci Resolve: DaVinci Resolve 18 (free version) and DaVinci Resolve Studio 18 (paid version). Studio 18 includes additional features such as stereoscopic 3D tools, exporting higher-resolution content, face refinement, extra Resolve FX filters, Fairlight FX audio plugins, and advanced HDR grading and HDR scopes.

DaVinci Resolve can be downloaded for free while DaVinci Resolve Studio can be bought online for $295.

The verdict with iMovie

iMovie is good video editing software for people who want to edit short films, vlogs, or compile a group of various videos together with simple edits and transitions. It’s also very clearly aimed at the “average Joe” and not the pro.

While the free price tag is hard to beat, and what you get for it is not shabby, the limitations for editing style may push creators in the direction of more advanced video editing software.

iMovie is preinstalled on Macs and can be downloaded from the app store for iPhone and iPad owners.

Apple releases M2-specific macOS Monterey 12.4 update ahead of MacBook Pro release

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Ahead of the 13-inch MacBook Pro release, Apple has updated macOS Monterey with a small revision specifically for the Apple Silicon M2 processor.

The macOS Monterey update arrives a full month after macOS 12.4 was first released to the public. However, it appears to be an updated directed at Macs running an M2 processor, which aren’t available for purchase yet.

Only those with the M2 processor will receive the update. Presumably, pre-release review models are the only active M2 Macs outside of Apple.

The update uses the same macOS 12.4 version number, but it has an increased build number. It is build number 21F2092, up from 21F79.

Activity Monitor in macOS is wrong about energy usage of Apple Silicon

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The Activity Monitor in macOS may not be as accurate with the data it provides to Apple Silicon users, with a report claiming the tool cannot properly tell the difference between performance and efficiency cores.

The Activity Monitor offers a way for users and developers to tell what apps are using up the most resources, and the most energy, when performing tasks. In testing of elements of the tool’s features on a Mac running Apple Silicon, it appears that a small mistake in core recognition may have wildly thrown off some of the results.

Using the Activity Monitor’s CPU and Energy figures, a user can potentially see that an app’s code running just on efficiency cores are reportedly using more energy than performance cores when completing a task. As efficiency cores are intended to be slower but with lower power usage than performance cores, the result is fairly contradictory.

Testing by The Eclectic Light Company on a Mac Studio equipped with an M1 Max involved running threads on the 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores. When 8 threads of floating point maths with 1 billion loops per thread are limited to each core type, the 8 performance threads completed the task in 6.6 seconds, and the 2 efficiency cores took 40.4 seconds.

However, checking Activity Monitor’s Energy tab indicated the performance cores sustained an energy value of 800, with a total of 5,280 units used at 660 per thread. Meanwhile, the efficiency cores sustained an energy value of 194, with a total of 7,838 units consumed, or 980 per thread.

If taken at face value, this would infer that running those specific threads on the efficiency cores turns out to be less efficient than the performance cores. The problem is due to Activity Monitor, the report claims, since it cannot tell the difference between identical cores with a fixed frequency and two different core types with variable frequencies.

It was also found that there were problems in how it reported load between cores. One test determined running twice the amount of code on two efficiency cores was reported in Activity Monitor as using the same amount of energy as half the code amount.

It is believed that the results are also inconsistent across different M1 chips due to how macOS controls the frequency of efficiency cores, so an M1 will handle reporting differently from an M1 Pro, for example.

“Until Apple updates the figures returned by Activity Monitor for M1 chips, confounding by core type and frequency makes it not just useless, but actually misleading for comparing CPU % or energy.” the report adds. Instead, tools such as Powermetrics should be considered by developers, as it provides information about cluster frequencies and power use, along with active residency.

It’s not clear if Apple has any intention of updating Activity Monitor. It has not seen any notable improvements in the entire time that Apple Silicon has existed.

The best USPS, UPS, and Fedex tracking apps for iOS and macOS

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If you get deliveries regularly, there are many ways to track what’s on the way. Here are the best iPhone, iPad, and macOS apps for tracking parcels going through major delivery networks.

Not all that long ago, sending a package to someone was a set-and-forget task. You would send it off and hope to get an update from the other end that it would appear safely and on time.

This lack of knowledge of what’s happening with a delivery was also quite apparent for people who ordered goods and services. You’d get told of a dispatch, but updates were few and far between unless you paid for more expensive delivery options that offered updates.

Delivery services have advanced over the last few years, with tracking features in apps and websites providing customers with updates on where their package has traveled on its way to the recipient for most customers. Updates about entering and departing regional depots and warehouses have also evolved, with some services even offering tracking of the final delivery van as they go along their route.

Even with this advancement in technology, there’s still the problem for users knowing where to look. With many options available to send a package from A to B, you have to monitor multiple delivery apps simultaneously.

This is especially true at peak times, such as when you’re waiting for holiday shopping orders from multiple retailers to turn up at your door. It’s unlikely that they will collectively use just one of USPS, FedEx, UPS, or DHL.

Thankfully, instead of constantly checking multiple apps, there are options that simplify the process. Apps are available for keeping tabs of packages going through more than one service, giving you just one place to monitor.

Here are the apps you should be looking at to take the stress out of waiting for a package to arrive.

What about the delivery company apps?

While this list primarily deals with apps covering multiple delivery companies, you should also keep an eye on the apps those delivery firms offer to users:

All four of these apps provide features specific to each service. They all include tracking for packages entered into their systems, but they also offer other services.

This can include calculating shipping prices, scheduling pick-ups, creating shipments, printing labels, measuring packages, and changing delivery dates.

These extra features certainly make the apps indispensable for someone who repeatedly sends out packages, such as a small business owner who uses a small number of delivery firms a lot. For people who tend to receive parcels than send them, they are not quite as useful as a less specialized app.

Parcel – Delivery Tracking

Parcel is a great example of a delivery tracking app done well. Available in two versions, Parcel for macOS and Parcel for iOS enables users to get notifications on practically the entire Apple device ecosystem, including the Apple Watch.

Parcel for macOS

The app can acquire tracking information for 300 delivery services around the world. Major US delivery services are included and Amazon Logistics and other firms.

Amazon tracking doesn’t stop with logistics. Integration with Amazon lets the app automatically add orders for tracking without needing any intervention from the user.

A Notification Center widget can display expected deliveries for today or tomorrow. Push notifications from the app are also limited to surface between 8 am and 10 pm by default, but this can be disabled.

Parcel is free to download, but features including push notifications and tracking more than 3 deliveries require a premium subscription. Currently, that premium option is $4.99 per year.

Deliveries: a package tracker

In a similar vein to our first pick, Deliveries is a cross-platform delivery-tracking tool that does so on macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Apple Watch. Where it differs is in its use of color between carriers to make the app more visually interesting and easier to understand.

Deliveries on iPad

With the support of dozens of services in the U.S. and beyond, the app can also monitor orders from Amazon and Apple, even before they ship. For services not supported by the app, you can enter a delivery date and a website you can visit, with it counting down the days to the package’s theoretical arrival.

You also don’t have to keep the tracking information within the app. It is possible to share the shipment with others over email, AirDrop, or iMessage.

There’s a Notification Center widget for at-a-glance updates. You can even have the estimated delivery dates added to Calendar, so you could potentially plan events around package deliveries.

Free to download, Deliveries costs $0.99 per month or $4.99 for a yearly subscription.

Route: Package Tracker

Route for iOS and iPadOS provides similar tracking features to the others, including live tracking and real-time push notifications, but it offers a more shopping-centric experience.

Route for iOS

For a start, it supports over 600 shipping carriers worldwide, but it also benefits from connections to many retailers and online stores. A lot of this is handled by connecting Route to your inbox so that it can detect new orders and deliveries.

This connection also brings order resolution options for over 11,000 merchants so that you can claim for missing orders or damaged goods right from the app. There’s also a universal order history, so you can search multiple stores for products you ordered in the past at the same time.

Being so retailer-centric, the app also includes shopping tools, including product discovery and being able to follow brands for new products.

Route is free to download, with no in-app purchases.

AfterShip Package Tracker

Boasting support for over 700 carriers around the world, AfterShip is an iOS and iPadOS package tracker that again offers a considerable number of services it can check at a time. Handily for users, it will automatically detect which carrier a package uses based on the tracking number. However, it can also do the same for parcel senders with its barcode scanner.

Aftership for iOS

If you have a tracking number list, you can also copy and paste them in en masse to save time. There are options to share tracking links easily, so others can see the order’s progress for themselves.

Like Route, AfterShip provides an enhanced retail-based experience, with it able to check the delivery status of orders from retailers like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and others. Automatic importing of shipments from Amazon, Etsy, and Walmart is included and monitoring shipment details sent to a Gmail account.

The app is free to normal users wanting to see shipments of packages, but this is down to AfterShip offering chargeable services to retailers, such as branded tracking pages and shipment analytics.

Really speaking, this app and services will be more beneficial to those operating storefronts than their customers. But it’s hard not to argue with the price when all you want to know is when your order of gym attire is going to arrive.

How to format SD and microSD memory cards in macOS

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If you’re a keen photographer, you probably have a lot of memory cards that need to be wiped. Here’s how to format SD and microSD cards safely within macOS.

One of the problems with having a camera separate from your iPhone or iPad is that you have to deal with memory cards. As time marches on, photographers tend to accumulate collections of SD cards and microSD cards, typically filled with images and videos that they have yet to delete.

After photos have been taken off the cards and stored in other mediums, such as cloud-connected apps like Apple’s Photos app, most people don’t bother to clean the card. Instead, they tend to wait until they need to use an empty memory card, then format it in the camera before use.

This is a fairly typical cycle, but it is one that should be changed.

Why regularly format memory cards?

Cleaning your memory cards should be a regular occurrence and should happen each time you are sure you don’t need any of the photographs on the card anymore.

If you take lots of photographs and use multiple cards between occasions when you offload the images onto your Mac, you’ll often fall into the problem of determining which cards you should use next once one is filled up. If you’re not regularly formatting and emptying the cards entirely, you have to spend a few minutes with your camera formatting the storage.

If you've gone on a trip with a camera, you're probably going to burn through multiple memory cards, especially for longer trips.

If you’ve gone on a trip with a camera, you’re probably going to burn through multiple memory cards, especially for longer trips.

This doesn’t sound bad until you consider situations when you simply don’t have the time to spare to set a new card up. This includes special events like weddings or sport when being ready as quickly as possible is essential.

A second reason relates to this multi-card scenario in that if you’re formatting just as you’re about to use a previously-used card, there’s a chance that you could make an error. You could mistakenly start formatting a card you thought was safe to clear but contained images that had yet to be copied to your Mac or stored in other ways.

In a professional environment, that could be a costly mistake.

There’s also the privacy aspect of memory card hygiene.

If the worst happens and someone steals your bag with memory cards, and you didn’t format cards regularly, the thief could potentially have hundreds of thousands of your photographs in their hands. They could see all of the images and related metadata if they were so inclined, which could be damaging depending on the type of photography.

If you share memory cards with others, it also eliminates the chance of them seeing something embarrassing or similar on the cards.

In short, wipe your memory cards once you’ve ingested the data into whatever storage or editing platform you use and have backed it up.

Why format on a Mac?

While you can undoubtedly format cards in your camera, it’s probably a lot easier to do it at the Mac for a few reasons.

First, if you’re doing it right after ingesting the data, the card’s already in the reader and ready to be formatted. Secondly, there’s the hassle of putting the card into the camera and navigating its menus to format the card, which may be a bit more difficult to do than via a Mac.

Use Disk Utility in macOS to format your memory cards.

Use Disk Utility in macOS to format your memory cards.

If you have a stack of memory cards to wipe in one go, simply sliding it into the memory card slot and changing a few settings on the Mac could be easier. Certainly more than the process of turning off the camera, opening a flap, ejecting the previous card, inserting the new one, closing the flap, turning on the camera, waiting for it to boot, and then to navigate the menu.

It’s a much cleaner process to go through, especially with large numbers of cards.

Formatting memory cards

The process of formatting a memory card on macOS is straightforward and is similar in nature to formatting a hard drive. It’s the same process but with small tweaks.

Choose a good relevant name for the memory card.

Choose a good relevant name for the memory card.

How to format a memory card in macOS

  • Insert your SD card, or microSD in an adapter, into the card reader.
  • Wait for it to mount on your Mac, and make a note of the card’s name.
  • Open Disk Utility. It is available through the Applications Folder in a Utilities sub-folder, or you could use Spotlight search to open it by name.
  • In the sidebar of Disk Utility, search for your memory card and select the volume. Typically you’ll find it under the name of the manufacturer of the memory card, and it will have a volume title that matches the name of the drive when it mounts, as well as matching capacity.
  • Once you have established you have selected the correct volume, click Erase.
  • Enter a name for the memory card.
  • Select the format for the memory card. Typically, this will be MS-DOS (FAT) for memory cards at 32GB or lower capacities, and ExFAT for 64GB or more.
  • Click Erase
  • Once it has completed, click Done.

Security Options

Going through the erasure process, you will most likely have spotted a button marked “Security Options.” Selecting it brings up a slider and offers a way to securely format the memory card.

You don't necessarily need to use Security Options, as it's more suited to hard drives, not memory cards.

You don’t necessarily need to use Security Options, as it’s more suited to hard drives, not memory cards.

You could adjust the slider under Security Options to the right-hand side if you want to more securely erase data by overwriting it with passes of random data. This is useful if the data that was previously on the card consists of images or photographs you really don’t want other people to see.

However, remember that memory cards and SSDs have a limited lifespan of writes to them. Being overly cautious could shorten the usable lifespan of the card, but it may be worth it depending on your situation.

After all, an SD card is relatively cheap to replace. Your privacy isn’t.

An Alternative Option: SD Memory Card Formatter

Using Disk Utility is not the only way to format a memory card, as there are a few other options online. Arguably the best third-party app you can use is SD Memory Card Formatter.

Published by the SD Association, the group of companies that creates the standards used by SD card producers, the SD Memory Card Formatter is a tool that complies as close to the association’s standards as possible.

For users intimidated by Disk Utility, the SD Memory Card Formatter could be a good option for a few reasons. Firstly, it can work out what storage you have connected up that is an SD card, minimizing the chance of formatting another volume.

It will also determine the correct filesystem for the capacity you’re about to format, removing another decision from the process. It’s a simple app, too, consisting of a single screen and relatively minimal controls.

Lastly, it’s free to download for both Mac and PC users, so it’s worth trying out to see if it’s for you.

How to manage notifications in macOS Monterey

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You’ve still got all the tools to manage Mac notifications in macOS Monterey, but the introduction of Focus Mode means they’ve been rearranged – and improved.

It’s still brilliant that your Mac can tip you off when there’s a new email, or message, or really anything that you need to know. It’s still extraordinarily annoying when your Mac keeps telling you things you don’t want to know — and seemingly does so every ten seconds.

The answer has always been to tame what notifications you allow through, and when. Previously, though, that was tied to Do Not Disturb — and now in macOS Monterey we have Focus Mode.

That’s a kind of superset of Do Not Disturb and in implementing it, Apple has moved some familiar notification tools to new places. They’re all still in System Preferences, but now the general controls are changed.

Instead, the overall controls like scheduling when you will allow any notifications have been moved into the new Focus Mode. The options for each app on your Mac have stayed where they are.

How to set notifications per app in macOS Monterey

  1. Open System Preferences on your Mac
  2. Go to the newly-renamed Notifications & Focus section
  3. If it isn’t already, click on Notifications to select it
  4. Chose one app by clicking on it in the list to the left
  5. Set your options through the panel now on the right
You can set different notification options for each app you have

You can set different notification options for each app you have

There’s an overall Allow Notifications on or off, which could be just what you want if one single app is particularly bothersome. There are some less brute-force options, though, which mean you can cut down notifications from that app, without losing them entirely.

How to cut down notifications per app in macOS Monterey

Just under the Allow Notifications section, there is one for the alert style. Every app gets three options — nothing, banners, or alerts.

Even when you allow notifications, you can still set it to nothing so that you don’t get that little graphic sliding in from the top right of your screen. That’s not as counterproductive as it sounds, either, because you can still be notified in other ways.

With this alert style set to none, or either of the others, you can choose to:

  • Show notification on lock screen
  • Show notifications in Notification Center
  • Set that red badge on the app’s icon in the Dock
  • Play a sound

Each of these can be turned on or off. They default to on, though, so if you have

Allow Notifications

on for any app, that app will automatically have all four of these.

Do Not Disturb has moved into the Focus Mode section of System Preferences

Do Not Disturb has moved into the Focus Mode section of System Preferences

Do Not Disturb is now in Focus Mode

Focus Mode lets you set up your Mac — and at the same time, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch — so that you are only notified or interrupted in ways you choose. And by people you choose.

To get into it, click on the Focus button next to Notifications at the top of the Notifications & Focus window. The old Do Not Disturb has moved in here.

You can, as before, turn on Do Not Disturb. Now you do it by clicking on an on/off toggle, but there are still options for doing it on a schedule.

Turn on Do Not Disturb, and you get options about who can disturb you. By default, no one can, and no app can send you an alert notification. But that’s too broad brush for most of us.

So instead you can say that no one may contact you, except these people, or that app.

It’s as handy but also potentially time-consuming as that. You have to pick the people, you have to pick the apps, and the default for everything is to block all interruptions.

This means it can take you a time to set up Do Not Disturb in such way that it helps you, but doesn’t prevent your boss calling to give you a raise.

Coping with emergencies

Your boss will call back. But you can still have the situation where you’ve blocked everyone using Do Not Disturb, and now there’s an emergency.

By default, Do Not Disturb handles this by leaving two optional settings on. Allow repeated calls means that if someone phones you two or three times in quick enough succession, the iPhone will let them through.

Similarly, there’s Allow Calls from… which lets you set up a whole group of Contacts who are allowed to interrupt you.

Choose your times

You can benefit more from Do Not Disturb by picking what times it is active. This is getting close to how you use Focus Mode, because, really, Do Not Disturb is one of those modes.

In the Focus pane, with Do Not Disturb selected, you can set any number of scheduled times for it to run.

Customizing your notifications

If it sounds like a chore to go through your contacts specifying who can interrupt you, it is. If it sounds like a chore having to go set up notification options for every app on your Mac, it truly is.

In practice, though, you will build up your fine-tuning on these as you go, and as you see how it can all help you concentrate.

Apple delays release of Universal Control for macOS, iPadOS until 2022

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Apple has pushed back the launch date of Universal Control, a key feature of macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15, until Spring 2022.

In an update to Apple’s macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 feature pages on Monday, the company said that Universal Control will be “available this spring.”

The feature, which lets users control multiple Mac and iPad devices with a single mouse and keyboard, was originally slated for a launch with the base versions of iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey. However, in September, Apple delayed it until sometime in the fall of 2021.

It was, however, absent from beta versions of macOS 12 and iPadOS 15, as well as their subsequent point releases. The feature page update on Monday confirms that it won’t arrive in 2021 at all, and instead in the spring of 2022.

Universal Control is a planned feature iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey. It allows users to put three Apple devices in closes proximity, and use a single keyboard and mouse or trackpad. Once associated, a user can easily drag and drop files between devices and switch between them as needed.

By placing a second device near a compatible Mac, users will be able to pair devices together via Continuity features in the AirPlay & Handoff section under the Mac’s settings.

A gray bar will appear on the side of paired devices. By dragging the cursor from one screen to another, users can “hand off” keyboard and mouse control to another device. This can be especially useful for dragging documents, files, and images between devices.

At the 2021 WWDC, Apple said that the devices are using proximity to determine how a user wants to connect. The user’s behavior selects which side of the display the additional computer has been placed.

This orientation can be controlled in the Monitors control pane, but to what extent isn’t quite clear yet — and the feature has not yet been exposed in any beta to date.

The devices connect via a direct Wi-Fi signal. The UI of dragging objects across devices disguises the fact you’re performing a simple AirDrop, but the result is the same.

Apple devices that will support Universal Control on iPadOS 15 and macOS 12

  • MacBook (2016 onward)
  • MacBook Air (2016 onward)
  • MacBook Pro (2016 onward)
  • iMac (2017 onward)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac mini (2018 onward)
  • Mac Pro
  • iPad mini (fifth-generation and onward)
  • iPad (sixth-generation and onward)
  • iPad Air (third-generation and onward
  • iPad Pro

Users will need to be signed onto all devices via iCloud with the same Apple ID. Devices will need to have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff turned on, and must be within 30 feet of each other.