Apple’s next major update to the Mac operating system is called macOS Ventura. It is slated to be released this fall, with a beta available now to developers and to the general public in July. You may be wondering if you should upgrade or not – after all, Ventura has a lot of new features to discuss. To help you decide, here are five Ventura features that will change the way you do things on your Mac.
Mail: better search and undo messages
While doing my research for this article, I remembered an email containing information I thought I could use. So I searched for it and finally found it, but it took a while. Such experiences make email a burden, even if it is an important means of communication.
However, help is on the way. Apple is finally updating the search feature in Mail to make it easier to find the email you need. In macOS Ventura, Mail’s search field now displays recent emails, attachments, links, photos, and more. It should make it easier to find that one email.
That’s just one of Mail’s many new features. There’s also Follow-up, which puts emails at the top of your inbox, and the ability to schedule when you want to send an email. Reminders can be set to reappear an opened email so you can deal with it at a later date. And Mail has an Unsend feature, where you have 10 seconds to take back a message. All in all, Mail is taking a huge step towards making email less burdensome and easier to use.
You probably have hundreds of emails. Search is getting better and better at finding the one you are looking for.
Continuity camera: a better FaceTime experience
Mac hardware has one glaring problem: a camera that doesn’t meet the needs of Mac users, with its mediocre image quality and lack of features. Even the updated cameras in the iMac, the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the Studio Display are just okay.
The iPhone, on the other hand, has great cameras, including the front-facing camera. And with macOS Ventura, the Mac can take advantage of the iPhone 11’s camera and use it in a feature called Continuity Camera. Once it’s set up, you can instantly and wirelessly connect iPhone to Mac and use it in FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx, and other video conferencing apps, meaning the people you meet can stop teasing you about your photo quality.
If you often shoot videos of yourself, Continuity Camera has a feature that will literally add a new dimension to your creations. The Desk View feature can capture both you and the desk space in front of your screen at the same time. You can give hands-on demonstrations without having to worry about the camera settings, which will make your videos much more dynamic and will impress everyone during a video conference.
Continuity Camera has another feature called Studio Light, which requires an iPhone 12 or newer. This feature makes you look good on camera by using iPhone flash as light. No more lurking in the shadows!
Continuity Camera confirms what we’ve always known: the iPhone is the best webcam for the Mac.
Safari Passwords: No More Passwords
The internet is an endless resource, but the number of accounts, usernames, and passwords you need to access those resources also seems endless. And why has it taken so long to implement something more secure than the password, such as biometric authentication?
We’re on the cusp of a breakthrough with the new Passkeys feature in macOS Ventura’s Safari. Passkeys replace typed passwords with Touch ID on a Mac, and on an iPhone or iPad, you can use Face ID. No more searching for that unique password you created for each internet account. (You used unique passwords for each account, didn’t you?
Passkeys create a digital key for each account and that key is submitted when you verify it via Touch ID or Face ID. There’s no way to accidentally hand over a passkey to a hacker, and they’re not stored on the web, so they won’t be in security holes. And Apple has partnered with the FIDO Alliance so that Passkeys work on non-Apple devices.
Passkeys in Safari make passwords redundant.
Focus: helping you get things done
There’s so much you can do on your Mac, but ultimately it’s up to you to find the discipline to focus on the task at hand. However, Apple is trying to help with the Focus feature in macOS. In Ventura, Focus has a new Filters feature that helps put Apple apps into specific modes that you set so that you only get relevant information.
For example, if you create a focus mode called Work, you can set Calendar to show only your work appointments, Messages to only allow conversations from your Worklist in the Contacts app, and Safari to only allow you to a specific tab group to work. You can also schedule Focus to set a mode at a specific time of day.
If you have something you need to do now, Focus will help you, well, focus. (Another new feature to help you focus is the ability to play background sounds like white noise or rain on the Mac.) If Focus sounds a bit extreme, you can always turn it off with a few clicks in Control Center.
Live Text: Video Support
In macOS Monterey, Apple introduced Live Text, the ability to select and copy text from an image, search the web, translate, and more. Apple extends Live Text in macOS Ventura by adding support for videos. You can pause a video, select the text on the screen and perform the same functions as before.
This is a great tool if you’re researching, creating content, or have been piqued by something you see while watching your favorite YouTuber.