Apple has previewed macOS Ventura, the latest version of the Mac’s operating system. It adds a Stage Manager feature, the ability to use an iPhone as a webcam, and more.
Stage Manager gives Mac users a new way to stay focused on the task in front of them while switching between apps and windows. Continuity Camera can now uses iPhone as the webcam. With Handoff coming to FaceTime, users can start a FaceTime call on their iPhone or iPad, and pass it over to their Mac. Mail and Messages come with new, while Safari promises a “passwordless future with passkeys.”
Stage Manager automatically organizes open apps and windows so users can concentrate on their work and still see everything in a single glance, according to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. The current window users are working in is displayed prominently in the center, and other open windows appear on the left-hand side so they can witch between tasks.
Users can also group windows together when working on specific tasks or projects that require different apps. Stage Manager works in concert with other macOS windowing tools — including Mission Control and Spaces — and users can now get to their desktop with a single click.
Apple Devices Working Together with Continuity
Continuity Cameranow gives Mac customers the ability to use their iPhone as a webcam. With the power of Continuity, Mac can automatically recognize and use the camera on an iPhone when it’s nearby — without the need to wake or select it. The smartphone can even connect to Mac wirelessly for greater flexibility.
Continuity Camera delivers innovative features to all Mac computers including Center Stage, Portrait mode, and the new Studio Light — an effect that beautifully illuminates a user’s face while dimming the background, says Federighi.
Plus, Continuity Camera taps into the Ultra Wide camera on iPhone to enable Desk View, which simultaneously shows the user’s face and an overhead view of their desk.
Handoff now comes to FaceTime, allowing users to start a FaceTime call on one Apple device and seamlessly transfer it to another Apple device nearby. Users can be on a FaceTime call on iPhone or iPad, then move the call to their Mac with just a click, or start a call on their Mac and shift to iPhone or iPad when they need to continue on the go.
Updates to Key macOS Apps and Features
In macOS Ventura, Safari introduces a new way for users to browse together: With shared Tab Groups, friends, family, and colleagues can share their favorite sites in Safari and see what tabs others are looking at live. Users can also build a list of bookmarks on a shared Start Page, and even start a Messages conversation or FaceTime call right from Safari.
Mail now uses state-of-the-art techniques to deliver more relevant, accurate, and complete results, says Federighi. Users can quickly find what they are looking for as soon as they click into search, including recent emails, contacts, documents, photos, and more, all before they even start typing.
Users can also schedule emails and even cancel delivery after hitting send. Mail now intelligently detects if items such as an attachment or cc’d recipient is missing from their message. In Mail, users can set reminders to come back to a message at a particular date and time, and receive automatic suggestions to follow up on an email if there has been no response.
Messages on the Mac now includes the ability to edit or undo a recently sent message, mark a message as unread, or even recover accidentally deleted messages. New collaboration features are designed to make working with others quick and seamless. Now, when a user shares a file via Messages using the share sheet or drag and drop, they can choose to share a copy or collaborate.
When they choose to collaborate, everyone on a Messages thread is automatically added. And when someone makes an edit to the shared document, activity updates appear at the top of the thread. Users can also join SharePlay sessions from their Mac right in Messages, so they can chat and participate in synchronized experiences.
Spotlight nowincludes an updated design designed to make navigation easier, new features that provide a more consistent experience across Apple devices, and Quick Look for quickly previewing files. Users can now find images in their photo library, across the system, and on the web. They can even search for their photos by location, people, scenes, or objects, and Live Text lets them search by text inside images.
Users can now take actions from Spotlight, like starting a timer, creating a new document, or running a shortcut. And Spotlight now includes rich results for artists, movies, actors, and TV shows, as well as businesses and sports.
With iCloud Shared Photo Library, users can now create and share a separate photo library among up to six family members. Users can choose to share all of their existing photos from their personal libraries, or share based on a start date or people in the photos. To help keep their Shared Library up to date, users will receive intelligent suggestions to share relevant photo moments that include participants in the library and any other people they choose.
Every user in the Shared Photo Library can add, delete, edit, or favorite the shared photos and videos, which will appear in each user’s Memories and Featured Photos so that everyone can relive more complete family moments.
More Secure Browsing in Safari
Browsing in Safari is purportedly even safer with passkeys, next-generation credentials that are more secure, easy to use, and designed to replace passwords. Passkeys are unique digital keys that stay on device and are never stored on a web server, so hackers can’t leak them or trick users into sharing them.
Apple says passkeys make it simple to sign in securely, using Touch ID or Face ID for biometric verification, and iCloud Keychain to sync across Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV with end-to-end encryption. They will also work across apps and the web, and users can even sign in to websites or apps on non-Apple devices using their iPhone.
Immersive Gaming Experiences
Apple says the power of Apple silicon enables every new Mac to run AAA games with ease, including upcoming titles such as EA’s GRID Legends and Capcom’s Resident Evil Village. And since Apple silicon also powers iPad, game developers can bring their AAA games to even more users, like No Man’s Sky from Hello Games, which is coming to both Mac and iPad later this year.
Metal 3, the latest version of the software that powers the gaming experience across Apple platforms, introduces new features designed to take the gaming experience on Mac to new heights. MetalFX Upscaling enables developers to quickly render complex scenes by using less compute-intensive frames, and then apply resolution scaling and temporal anti-aliasing.
Apple says the result is accelerated performance that provides gamers with a more responsive feel and graphics that look stunning. Game developers also benefit from a new Fast Resource Loading API [application programming interface] that minimizes wait time by providing a more direct path from storage to the GPU, so games can easily access high-quality textures and geometry needed to create expansive worlds for realistic and immersive gameplay.
More macOS Ventura features, according to Apple
- Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognize text in images across the system, and now adds support for paused video frames, as well as Japanese and Korean text. Users can also now lift the subject away from an image and drop it into another app. And Visual Look Up expands its recognition capabilities to now include animals, birds, insects, statues, and even more landmarks.
- The Weather and Clock apps, with all the features users know and love from iPhone, have been optimized for Mac.
- New accessibility tools include Live Captions for all audio content, Type to Speak on calls, Text Checker to support proofreading for VoiceOver users, and more.7
- System Settings is the new name for System Preferences, and comes with a refreshed and streamlined design that is easier to navigate and instantly familiar to iPhone and iPad users.
- macOS security gets even stronger with new tools that make the Mac more resistant to attack, including Rapid Security Response that works in between normal updates to easily keep security up to date without a reboot.
The developer beta of macOS Ventura is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today. A public beta will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com. macOS Ventura will be available this fall as a free software update.
For more information, including compatible Mac models, visit apple.com/macos/ventura-preview. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or languages.