Apple Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: AAPL) macOS is getting a refresher with the upcoming thirteenth version release nicknamed Ventura.
While most users will have to wait this fall to try the new version of the Cupertino giant’s next operative system, developers had access to a preview for some time, meaning that there is a lot of information about this iteration of macOS. Here’s all you need to know.
What Happened: MacOS Ventura introduces many new features to Apple’s computer ecosystem and further highlights the company’s increasing reliance on its own ARM-based silicon while slowly moving toward the end of the Intel Corp.-based (NASDAQ: INTC) era.
This is especially true since some of the new features are exclusively supported on processors produced by the company and are not supported on Intel-based Macs.
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Stage Manager: MacOS’s latest iteration introduced the stage manager — a window and application manager especially useful on devices with small screens. This feature makes it much faster and easier to switch between multiple apps when multitasking and improves on window management.
When a user turns on the stage manager from the control center, their screen is arranged to remove clutter and only show the application currently in use. It is possible to switch between apps that are already running by clicking on an icon in a column on the left, which moves that application to the center while moving the other applications to that column instead.
You can also drag an open app from the column to use it alongside the app that is active, and the system will remember that those apps are used together on the screen when switching again.
Unfortunately, changing the order of the applications in the column is not possible and with about 12 applications the column starts to become cluttered. Another downside is that activating the stage manager also hides the desktop, meaning that it takes more steps to drag documents from the desktop to the application — possibly a good incentive to start using folders created in the finder app instead of the desktop filling with clutter.
Live Captions: Ventura also introduces live captions, a feature that allows for live transcription of audio conversations, for instance, during Zoom calls
Another addition is a refurbished Finder interface that leaves windows looking the same as before but with a redesigned and less cumbersome sharing extension.
Ventura’s system settings have been changed to more closely resemble how preferences look on iOS. The settings are also organized differently in a way that will need some getting used to.
Spotlight: The spotlight search tool now also presents relevant photos in searches, can present long lists of results in a smaller space and can show recently visited websites among results. Pressing the spacebar while a search result is selected now shows a Quick View of the result.
Apps: With Ventura, an iOS-like clock app also made its way to the Mac. The iOS Weather application made its way to macOS and the two systems are even more closely intertwined with the introduction of a feature allowing users to use their iPhone’s camera as a webcam.
This feature works seamlessly if an iPhone 11 or later with the same Apple ID is connected to the same WiFi network. The studio light features included on iPhone 12 or later will also be supported.
This new macOS version also adds Handoff support in Facetime, meaning that you can seamlessly switch from one device to the other without interrupting the call.
Passkeys: macOS 13 also takes Apple’s first steps toward eradicating the password through the implementation of what the company calls a passkey. When a website asks a user to create a password, the system asks to create a passkey instead, which relies on biometrics and works on all the user’s devices.
The Photos application gets an impressive new smart feature: a “copy subject” option available by option-clicking an image in the app copies the main subject of the image to the clipboard while removing the background so it can be pasted into an editing application or any other piece of software that accepts images as input.
Mail, Messenger: Apple also revamped the Mail and Message apps. When it comes to Mail, one counterintuitive feature is making sending email slower: the message gets sent 10 seconds after the button is clicked to allow the user to notice any mistakes and stop it from being sent.
The application will also spot if the user did not include a subject or mentions an attachment in the text but then fails to attach anything to the email.
The sending time can also now be scheduled, but it requires the device to be powered on at the scheduled time. Messages add an option to edit or unsend messages, but they will remain visible if the receiver has an older iOS device.
Silicone Macs Get More Love: According to a NotebookCheck report, the Cupertino giant is focusing its development on the Macs that run the silicon the firm designed in-house.
Intel-based Macs released before 2016 will never receive the Ventura update, as Apple is seemingly slowly starting to phase out Macs not running its silicon. In fact, Mac mini users will be able to update their device only if it was released in 2018 or later.
Furthermore, Macs not running Apple’s silicon will not have access to the new Sidecar reference mode, which allows users to leverage the M1-equipped 12.9-inch iPad Pro as a mini-LED display to make use of its high contrast and color accuracy.
Similarly, the aforementioned Live Captions feature will only roll out on Macs with Apple silicon and iOS devices including the iPhone 11. This feature makes use of the neural engine machine-learning cores present in the A12 Bionic chip and later as well as M-series chips, not present in Intel silicon.
Lastly, a new dictation mode that allows for emojis and automatically inserts punctuation will roll out on Apple silicon Macs with M-series processors.
Photo courtesy of Apple.
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