Main new features of macOS Ventura (2023): compatibility, installation of macOS 13

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Passkeys will sync across all your iCloud-enabled devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, as well as your Mac (end-to-end encrypted). On non-Apple devices, you will need to sign in using your iPhone. Google and Microsoft are part of the same FIDO digital identity group, so similar features will be coming to Windows and Android soon.

home application

The Home app has received a long overdue redesign. Now you can see your entire home in one feed, making it easy to navigate and organize all your smart home accessories. With support for the Matter standard, you can now add and connect accessories outside of the Apple ecosystem.

Continuity Camera

The small plastic iPhone mount is an accessory that Apple plans to sell.

Photograph: Olivia Bee/Apple

If you’ve ever wanted to use your iPhone’s excellent camera instead of your Mac’s relatively crappy camera during video calls, your wish has been granted. Apple has introduced a new feature called Continuity Camera (for iPhone XR or later). It works wirelessly. If you have a newer MacBook (with an M1 or M2 processor), it will automatically recognize the iPhone’s camera when it’s nearby. From there, you can take advantage of the same features found on recent Mac cameras, including Center Stage and Portrait Mode. The company also teamed up with Belkin to release round plastic mount which attaches to your iPhone so the phone’s camera can be easily positioned above the MacBook’s display.

Other features use iPhone’s advanced optics. With Studio Light on iPhone 12 and later, the camera brightens your face and darkens the background. A feature called Table View, compatible with iPhone 11 and later, shows your face and video above your table at the same time. This is achieved by using the wide field of view of the iPhone’s ultra-wide angle lens and computer-assisted image splitting to create two separate views. The result looks like you’re using two cameras – one pointing at you, the other pointing down.

spotlight

MacBook and iPad display Spotlight search feature

Photo: Apple

Apple’s search tool has received some pretty major changes in macOS Ventura. Originally introduced in iOS 15, you can use Spotlight on your Mac to search for photos, messages, notes, and images on the web. It also supports Quick Look, allowing you to view full size previews of files. You can also create timers, set alarms, and launch additional shortcuts.

FaceTime transmission

MacBook with macOS Ventura FaceTime Handoff

Photo: Apple

Instead of hanging up and restarting a FaceTime call whenever you want to switch devices, Ventura’s new Handoff feature lets you transfer the call to another computer. So if you’re on a FaceTime call on your iPhone, your Mac will recognize that you’re nearby and show a prompt asking if you want to transfer the call to your Mac. You can do it with one click. It works the other way too; you can start a FaceTime call on your Mac and transfer it to your iPad or iPhone.

Focus filters

In 2021, Apple introduced Focus Mode, a feature that lets you create profiles to limit certain distractions and alerts on your Mac. You can choose from preset options such as Do Not Disturb, Travel, Sleep, Personal, Driving, and Work, or create your own. You can now add focus filters to specific apps as well, including Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari. For example, if you have work focus enabled in Safari, you will only see the tabs that are relevant to work. So you can better focus on the tasks ahead of you.

Director

MacBook with macOS Ventura

Photo: Apple

The new Apple Stage Manager feature automatically arranges all open apps on the left side of the screen. This makes them visible at a glance and fully visible, not hidden behind other apps or in the dock. The Scene Manager keeps whatever app you’re using at the center of the screen. You can also group apps together for specific projects, and resize and reposition within the selected workspace. Switch between windows when you need to; Stage Manager will save your groups and the location of applications within the group.

Lock mode

As an added layer of protection against “sophisticated cyberattacks,” Apple introduced Lockdown Mode. When enabled, apps and websites will be restricted for security purposes to prevent certain data from being compromised by spyware or malware. Learn more about this feature and how to enable it here.

Free form

Apple MacBook Pro with Apple Freeform app

Photo: Apple

FreeForm is Apple’s new productivity app that lets you collaborate with other people in the same space at the same time. You can share files as well as embed videos, web links, documents, and audio. This is the perfect tool for those who want to brainstorm with groups in real time. Apart from MacOS, the app is also available for iOS and iPadOS. You can read our impressions of Freeform here. It’s important to note that if you were experiencing an issue where drawing strokes (regardless of whether you used your finger or Apple Pencil) were not showing up on shared boards, Apple fixed the issue in macOS Ventura 13.2.

Games

Those who use their Mac with an M1 or M2 processor for games will see a redesigned Game Center bar with the ability to see what friends are playing when they beat your record and all their achievements. You will also be able to play any multiplayer game in Game Center using SharePlay.

Apple ID support for physical authentication keys

For an extra layer of security on your devices, Apple has added support for hardware keys as part of the two-factor authentication process. Unlike codes, hardware tokens cannot be transferred or compromised as easily.

Rapid security response

Instead of going through the process of installing a new version of the operating system every time Apple releases important security fixesthis feature automatically installs the fix whenever you exit the application or restart your Mac (depending on the specific fix).

This feature is enabled by default, but you can disable it. go to System Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates and then click “I” icon on the right. From there turn off Install Security Response and system files. To turn it back on, follow the same steps.

Additional features

  • Weather App: Apple has finally introduced the Weather app for Mac. You now have access to local forecasts, air quality and rainfall rates.
  • Watch application: You also have access to the Clock app, just like on iPhone and iPad. You can use it to see the local time in different time zones and set an alarm.
  • Reminders: If you rely on the Reminders app, you can create, share, and save templates for reuse. With the new completed smart list, you can also see your completed reminders, and when they have been completed, all in one place.
  • Notes: Instead of creating a new passcode to lock notes, you can use your Mac passcode, eliminating the need to remember multiple passcodes. Smart folders also have new custom filters based on watchlists, attachments, creation dates, and more.
  • Dictation: As you speak, Dictation will automatically add punctuation marks with periods, commas, and question marks. You will also be able to use your voice to add emoticons.
  • System settings: The System Preferences menu has been completely redesigned, and the sidebar design resembles the one you’ll find on iPhone and iPad, making it easier to use.
  • Apple News: Sports fans can now follow their favorite teams and leagues to keep up to date with the latest news from various publications, as well as results and schedules.

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