8 Game-Changing Mac Features You Need To Know

Mac Features: a woman working on a Mac

Your Mac is more than just a cool device for doing everyday tasks; it’s a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered! In this blog post, we’re revealing 8 extraordinary Mac features poised to transform your computing experience. Ready? Let’s go!

1. Personal Voice

Imagine your Mac speaking in your voice. With the new macOS Sonoma, it’s possible. This feature is a game-changer for those with voice challenges, allowing you to train your Mac to speak like you in just 15 to 20 minutes. Whether typing phrases or during FaceTime calls, your personalized voice adds a touch of familiarity to your interactions.

To create your personal voice, navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Speech, and select “Personal Voice.”

Your Mac will guide you through recording 150 unique phrases. Once created, you can share this voice across your devices and choose which apps can use it. While designed for accessibility, anyone can give it a try and experience the magic of hearing their Mac speak in their own voice!

2. Copy Subjects from Photos

Harnessing the power of machine learning, your Mac can now extract subjects from photos with ease!

Right-click on the subject in the Photos app, and choose to copy or share it. Whether it’s a person, object, or scenery, your Mac intelligently identifies the subject, making sharing and editing photos easy.

This feature seamlessly integrates with the universal clipboard, allowing you to copy the subject on your Mac and paste it on any connected device.

3. Live Captions

Live Captions isn’t just an accessibility tool; it’s a game-changer for everyone. Currently in beta and exclusive to Macs with Apple silicon in the US, Live Captions provides real-time captions for all audio, from YouTube videos to FaceTime calls.

To enable Live Captions, go to Settings > Accessibility > Live Captions, toggle it on, and witness the magic unfold.

Customizable fonts and colors ensure a personalized experience, while the option to generate captions from microphone input makes conversations accessible to all. With this feature, accessibility meets innovation, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if it becomes a global phenomenon by the end of 2024!

Read More: 10 Things Every Mac Owner Should Know

4. Make Phone Calls on Your Mac

Tired of juggling your phone during work calls? Experience the convenience of making and receiving phone calls directly on your Mac!

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. On your iPhone, head to Settings, then navigate to Phone, and tap on “Calls on Other Devices”.
  2. Toggle this function on, and select the Apple devices where you’d like to send and receive calls.
  3. Once enabled, as long as your devices are connected to the same iCloud account and Wi-Fi network, you can seamlessly make and receive calls using your phone’s cellular plan from your Mac and other chosen devices.

No more interruptions during your workday – enjoy the freedom of staying connected without constantly reaching for your phone.

5. An Amazing Password Manager

When it comes to password management, Apple’s iCloud Keychain takes the crown. Here’s why:

At its core, iCloud Keychain securely stores your usernames and passwords for all your websites in the cloud. Whether you’re logging in on your iPhone, iPad, or any other Apple device, iCloud Keychain makes it effortless to access and input your credentials.

Best Mac Features: Apple products -  Mac, iPhone, iPad
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To set up iCloud Keychain across all your devices:

  • On your iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings, tap on your Apple ID, then select iCloud. From there, toggle on the iCloud Keychain and follow the prompts.
  • On your Mac, the process is similar. Head to System Preferences, click on your Apple ID, then iCloud, and enable iCloud Keychain.

But wait, there’s more! iCloud Keychain also lets you create passkeys, leveraging your device’s biometrics for seamless authentication. No more typing in usernames and passwords – just a quick Touch ID verification, and you’re in. And if you’re a Safari user, you’ll love the added feature of sharing usernames, passwords, and passkeys with family members.

6. Use Your iPhone as a Webcam

Need a high-quality webcam for your Mac? Look no further than your iPhone. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Ensure both your iPhone and Mac are signed in with the same Apple ID and have Continuity Camera enabled in Settings.
  2. Mount your iPhone using a compatible accessory.
  3. Open a compatible app like FaceTime on your Mac, select your iPhone as the camera source, and start enjoying the enhanced features of your iPhone’s camera.

TIP: By tapping on the green camera icon, you can activate features such as ‘Center Stage’, ensuring your face remains at the forefront of the screen. Options like portrait mode, studio lighting adjustments, and microphone mode selection enhance your video call experience.

This setup is perfect for frequent travelers with a Mac and an iPhone, needing only an affordable phone mount.

7. Scan in Images

Continuity Camera lets you integrate your iPhone or iPad camera with your Mac, making tasks like inserting photos into emails or scanning documents easy.

Here’s how it works:

  • In the email you’re composing, click on the image button and select your iPhone or iPad from the list of connected devices.
  • Use your device’s camera to take a photo, scan a document, or even create a sketch.

With Handoff, you can effortlessly transfer signatures from your connected device to your Mac for quick and easy document signing.

With the PDF open in Preview, navigate to the Markup button. In the markup menu, locate the squiggle icon, representing a signature. You have three options here:

  1. You can attempt to draw out your signature using the trackpad on your computer, although this method may prove challenging for some.
  2. If your computer is equipped with a webcam, you can physically write your signature on a piece of paper, and then hold it up to the webcam for scanning. This method is user-friendly and accessible to most.
  3. The third option involves using Handoff: Simply select a connected device, such as your iPad with an Apple Pencil. Write your signature on the device and choose “Done.” Your signature is then created and can be easily dragged onto the PDF!

8. Universal Control

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about Universal Control – the ultimate productivity enhancer. With Universal Control, you can control multiple Macs and iPads using a single trackpad, mouse, and keyboard.

To set up Universal Control:

  1. Ensure your devices meet the compatibility requirements.
  2. Sign in with the same Apple ID on both devices, enable two-factor authentication, and ensure Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff are enabled.
  3. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Displays and enable Universal Control.
  4. On your iPad, go to Settings > General and ensure Cursor, and Keyboard and Handoff are enabled.

Once set up, simply move your cursor to the edge of one screen, and it seamlessly glides onto the connected device. Perfect for multitasking or creating a dual-display setup on the go.

EXTRA Mac Feature – AirDrop (Large) Files

AirDrop isn’t just for sharing photos – it’s also a handy tool for transferring massive files from your iPhone to your Mac wirelessly. Here’s how to do it:

  • On your Mac, navigate to Settings > General > AirDrop & Handoff, and ensure AirDrop is set to “Contacts Only” or “Everyone”.
  • In the Photos app on your iPhone, select the file you want to send, tap the Share button, and choose your Mac from the list of available devices.

With AirDrop, transferring massive files is fast, easy, and cable-free.

In Conclusion

The capabilities of your Mac transcend mere functionality – they allow you to work smarter, connect seamlessly, and unleash your creativity like never before. From iCloud Keychain’s robust password management to leveraging your iPhone’s camera for crystal-clear video calls, and the game-changing Universal Control, your Mac is equipped with an array of features designed to elevate your digital experience.

Try out these 8 incredible features, explore their potential, and witness firsthand how they can transform the way you work, communicate, and create!