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macOS Ventura - Features Deep Dive

A little late on getting this post out so I can only apologies to anyone who was waiting for it. I doubt there were any but hey ho.

macOS Ventura is just around the corner and so I decided to take a bit of a deep dive into the release notes and see what is coming our way. It is always tempting when writing an article like this to just talk about everything but at that point, you may as well just have read the release notes yourself. So what you have here is my distilled version. A hand-picked selection of features that really resonate with me.


Fourth Wall's macOS Ventura Cheat Sheet


Compatible Devices

First off let's see which devices are going to be supported.

  • iMac2017 and later

  • Mac Pro2019 and later

  • iMac Pro2017

  • Mac Studio2022

  • Mac mini2018 and later

  • MacBook Air2018 and later

  • MacBook2017 and later

  • MacBook Pro2017 and later


Release Date

Expected October 2022


New Apps

We have two new apps coming to macOS this year. I say new, they're new to mac but not new if you have an iOS device.


Clock

See the local time in different time zones around the world or set an alarm that plays a ringtone at a specific time. Ask Siri “What time is it in Oslo?” or “Wake me up tomorrow at 7 am”.


Weather

Get hourly forecasts for the next 10 days, with minute-by-minute precipitation intensity over the next hour. And receive official notifications about severe weather events like heat waves, winter storms, flash floods and more.


Apple Mail

  1. Undo Send

  2. Schedule send

  3. Remind me

  4. Improved Search

Mail has gotten a look in this time around with the new release and there are a few features here that really grabbed my attention. The first is the ability to undo a sent message. I am going to assume that this works by simply delaying the message being sent in order to give you time to notice that you haven't actually attached that PDF for the second time around.


Schedule Send is the logical next item and this will allow you to specify as and when you want a message to be sent out.


Remind Me is an interesting new feature and will allow mail to remind you about a message that has come in but you didn't want to reply or act on immediately.


Search has improved in many areas of the system, mail being one of those. Search will now be able to correct typos and search for synonyms of important words.


Spotlight

  1. Enhanced Image Search

  2. Preview using quick look

  3. Search the web

  4. Search the web for images

  5. Quick Actions

Spotlight is getting some much-needed attention and with that comes a selection of new capabilities. Still not a replacement for Alfred or Raycast (You can check out my thoughts on Raycast here) in my opinion but better than nothing.


Spotlight can now find images in Photos, Messages, Notes and Finder. It uses information embedded in your images so you can search using things like locations, scenes, or even objects in the photo, like text, a dog or a car.

Tapping the spacebar on your spotlight content will now enable Quicklook, allowing you to preview files before opening them.


Web searches are now possible with Spotlight. Browse for a website, recipe, quote or search for an image of a cat.



Passkeys

Passkeys are an exciting addition to me, I don't like passwords and I don't think anyone else does either, they're slow, boring, hard to remember and usually require you to use a password manager if you want them to be secure as possible. So why not get rid of them altogether? Well, that's what Apple is trying to do.


Passkeys are a direct replacement for passwords and are faster, easier to use and much more secure. They offer the user a convenient method of logging into websites and apps without the need to type out a password.


I won't go into too much detail but this will work by prompting you with a QR code when you are logging into a service on your computer, this QR code can then be scanned by your phone which, will then prompt you for a fingerprint or Face ID as a means of confirmation. That's it, no passwords and no risk of being phished.


Messages

  1. Edit a sent Message

  2. Delete a message

  3. Mark as unread

As with most of these topics I have "Cherry Picked" my favourites and Messages is one that has a lot more coming to it than I am mentioning here.

You will now be able to edit a message for up to 15 minutes after having sent it. You will also be able to undo a sent message, which is basically the same as deleting it and preventing the other person(s) from seeing it.


Another option I am pleased to see coming is the ability to mark a message as unread. I often want to reply to a message at a later time but I am prone to forgetting without having a prompt to do so. Being able to mark it as unread will allow me to have such a prompt.


Sharing

  1. Enhancements Everywhere

Apple has appeared to put a large focus on sharing with Ventura. I can only assume this is off the back of the pandemic where collaboration has been key for many individuals and businesses. I have highlighted a few of the main areas where new sharing capabilities have been added.


Safari

  • Shared Tab Groups

iCloud Photo Library

  • Share a photo library with your family

  • Smart sharing suggestions

Game Center

  • Share play support

Notes

  • Share and collaborate on notes


Stage manager

  1. Organise all apps in a single window

Stage Manager is a brand new tool and offers users a new way of working when it comes to multi-tasking on their Mac. The app you’re working on is displayed in the centre, with other apps and windows arranged to the side. This makes switching between apps and windows much faster and reduces desktop clutter. Apps on the side stay updated so you can quickly glance at incoming notifications like messages and emails.



Facetime

  1. Handoff to iPhone or iPad

  2. Use your iPhone as a webcam

  3. Center Stage

  4. Desk view

No longer do you have to hang up and call someone back on a different device. With Handoff you can seamlessly transfer a call from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad (or the other way round) without having to hang up the call.


You will also be able to use your iPhone's camera as a webcam if you are making a call from your Mac. This is a bit odd but there are some interesting features which could make it worthwhile. The first is Center Stage which will keep you in the centre of the frame as you move about in the camera's line of sight. This is already a feature on the iPhone & iPad but using your iPhone now makes it accessible on the Mac. If your phone possesses a wide-angle camera then you will also be able to switch on Desk View This allows you to show your desk from a top-down perspective. How well this works I don't know yet but using some rather fancy image manipulation Apple appears to have achieved it.


Freeform

  1. Flexible Canvas for brainstorming and collabing

Freeform isn't coming till later in the year and won't be available with Ventura at launch. This aside though, it is a feature that I am particularly looking forward to.


From what I can tell this "application" will behave like an infinite blank canvas, enabling you to dump a never-ending amount of content in one place. Using a combination of sketching, writing, videos and images you will be able to collaborate with team members and build up a storyboard full of content that is easily accessible and consumable. I can see this being great for planning trips abroad, brainstorming and developing new product ideas.


System Settings

  1. New design

  2. Sidebar for quick access

System Preferences is no more, say hello to System Settings. This is an alignment to that of iOS and one that should have probably happened a while ago.


Not much new here but we have a sleek new design, similar to that of system settings on the iPad. There is a Side Bar containing all of the categories to the left and a panel on the right for all the settings relating to the chosen category.


Accessibility

  1. Background Sounds

I found this one hidden in the notes but it looks like Ventura comes with some background sounds that you can have playing to keep you calm on those stressful days in the office.


Focus

  1. Focus Filters

  2. Schedules

  3. Allow and Silence list

Focus Filters allow you to create mini automations when switching between focus modes. For example, you could have a set of tabs pop up when you are in your work focus mode or you could have your work calendar hidden when your personal focus mode is enabled. With Schedules you can now have your focus modes turn on by themselves based on the current time or location. Silence Lists enable you to receive or prevent notifications from specific people or apps.


Maps

  1. Multi-stop routes

  2. Travel Fares

You can now plan more complex journeys in Maps with the addition of Multi-Stop Routes. Pretty much what it sounds like and allows you to plan a journey with multiple stop-off points. So if you're going on a bit of a road trip this could come in handy.


Maps will also now be able to calculate how much a journey is going to cost you in travel fees if you're taking public transport.


Live Text

  1. Capture text from any video or image

A feature that came to iOS not so long ago will now be available in Ventura. Live text is Apple's version of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and allows you to identify text within photos and videos. Great for calling phone numbers or extracting text from documents.


Notes

  1. Lock a note using Mac Password

  2. New smart folders

Lock and encrypt your notes with strong passwords and keep them nicely organised with Smart Folders. Create rules for Dates, Mentions, Checklists, Attachments, Folders, Quick Notes, Pinned Notes and Locked notes to help you organise and keep track of all your notes.


Wrap up

So that's a bit of a deep dive into what we can expect from the next release of macOS. I for one am looking forward to a few of the new features

As always if you could like and share this post if you believe it to be worth it and if it offered you a bit more of an insight into macOS Ventura.

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