Apple’s next big update to the Mac operating system is called macOS Ventura. It’s slated for release this fall, with a beta available to developers now and the general public in July. You might be wondering whether or not to upgrade – after all, Ventura has a lot of new features for you to explore. To help you decide, here are five Ventura features—other than Stage Manager—that will change the way you do things on your Mac.
Mail: Better search and opt-out of messages
While researching this article, I remembered an email with information I thought I could use. So I looked for it and eventually found it, but it took a while. Experiences like this make email a burden, even though it’s an important way to communicate.
But help is on the way. Apple has finally updated the Mail search feature to make it easier to find the email you need. In macOS Ventura, the Mail search box now displays recent emails, attachments, links, photos, and more. This should make it easier to find that particular email.
This is just one of several new features in Mail. There’s also tracking, which puts emails at the top of your inbox, and the ability to schedule when you want an email to be sent. Reminders can be set to show an open email again so you can look at it later. And Mail will have an Unsend feature where you’ll have 10 seconds to get a message back. Overall, Mail takes a huge step toward making email less of a burden and easier to use for communication.
Continuity Camera: A better FaceTime experience
Mac hardware has one obvious problem: A camera that doesn’t meet the demands of Mac users, with its mediocre image quality and lack of features. Even the updated cameras in the iMac, 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and Studio Display are just fine.
The iPhone, on the other hand, has great cameras, including the front camera. And with macOS Ventura, Macs can take advantage of the iPhone 11’s camera and use it in a feature called Continuity Camera. Once it’s set up, you’ll be able to instantly and wirelessly connect your iPhone to your Mac and use it in FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx, and other video conferencing apps—meaning the people you’re meeting with can stop nagging you about your picture quality.
If you frequently record videos of yourself, Continuity Camera has a feature that will literally add a new dimension to your creations. The Desk View feature is able to simultaneously capture you and the desk space in front of your display. You’ll be able to do hands-on demos without having to fiddle with camera setup, making your videos much more dynamic and will impress anyone in a video conference.
Continuity Camera has another feature called Studio Light, which requires an iPhone 12 or later. This feature makes you look good on camera by using your iPhone’s flash as a light. No more lurking in the shadows!
Safari Passwords: No more passwords
The Internet is an endless resource, but the number of accounts, usernames and passwords you have to create to use these resources also seems endless. And why did it take so long to implement something more secure than a password, like biometric verification?
We’re on the verge of a breakthrough with the new passwords feature in Safari on macOS Ventura. Passkeys replace typed passwords with Touch ID on Mac, and on iPhone or iPad you can use Face ID. No more searching for that unique password you’ve created for every internet account. (You have used unique passwords for everyone account right?
Passkeys create a digital key for each account, and that key is sent when you authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID. There’s no way to accidentally hand over an access key to a hacker, and they’re not saved to the network, so they won’t be a security leak. And Apple is working with the FIDO Alliance so passwords work on non-Apple devices.
Focus: Helps you get things done
There are so many things you can do on your Mac, but finding the discipline to focus on the task is ultimately up to you. However, Apple is trying to help with its Focus feature in macOS. There’s a new filter feature in Ventura Focus that helps put Apple apps into certain modes you’ve set, showing you only 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 Work list in the Contacts app, and Safari to only allow you to work on a specific group of tabs. You’ll also be able to schedule the Focus to set a mode at a specific time of day.
If you have something you need to get done 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 your Mac.) If Focus sounds a little extreme, you can always turn it off with a few clicks in the Control Center.
Live Text: Copy text from videos
In macOS Monterey, Apple introduced Live Text, the ability to select text in an image and then copy it, search it on the web, translate it, and more. Apple extends Live Text in macOS Ventura by adding support for videos. You’ll be able to pause a video, select text on the screen, and perform the same functions you could before.
It’s a great tool when you’re doing research, creating content, or your interest has just been piqued by something you see while watching your favorite YouTuber.
5 macOS Ventura features that you’ll actually use–and love–every day