macOS 13 (aka Ventura) adds powerful productivity tools and new Continuity features

PHOTO: Apple

Apple has announced Ventura aka macOS 13, the next version of Apple's Mac operating system, at its WWDC 2022 event. Not surprisingly, the new OS will come with plentiful updates and features – most of which are designed to make it easier for you to keep track of all your disparate apps and windows.

Stage manager

PHOTO: Apple

New to macOS 13 is Stage Manager, which, when activated from Control Centre, will smartly organise all your open apps on the side of your screen.

The new utility looks very similar to how Mission Control currently works, but Apple says it will also work in concert along with other macOS windowing tools like Spaces.

It certainly looks like a very promising feature, as it automatically organises the running windows by app, while centering the one you are working on. Stage Manager also automatically moves the app and its accompanying windows to the center as you switch between different programs

Spotlight

PHOTO: Apple

macOS 13 will also ship with enhancements to Spotlight. The tool will allow you to find images from your photo library, as well as search for text within photos with the help of Apple's Live Text API. Additionally, Spotlight will soon allow you to start timers.

Safari

PHOTO: Apple

macOS 13 will also bring some major changes to Apple’s browser. Not least of which is a new Shared Tab Groups feature, which allows you to see in real-time what tabs your friends/families are viewing (great for monitoring your young ones).

Shared Tab Groups can also be used to build a list of shared bookmarks, for some handy group planning and research sessions. The feature will also give users the ability to start a FaceTime call or group Messages chat on the fly.

Mail

PHOTO: Apple

macOS’s default email client, Mail, will get its biggest overhaul in years. Just like Messages on iOS 16, Mail will finally include an undo send function, allowing you to, well, take back an email if you had mistakenly added the wrong recipient or needed to correct a typo.

It’s a much-needed feature that has been a long time coming. The new Mail will also allow users to schedule emails.

Passkeys

PHOTO: Apple

Passwords security has become more important than ever. Passkey is a new feature in Ventura, and Apple has described them as unique digital keys that will always stay on your device.

The feature uses Face ID and Touch ID to authenticate your identity and iCloud Keychain to sync your logins across your Apple devices, thereby making it difficult – if not impossible – for bad folks to trick you into sharing your login credentials.

Continuity camera

PHOTO: Apple

Quite possibly the best update and my personal favourite, Continuity Camera allows you to use the front-facing camera on your iPhone with video calling apps on your Mac. 

If you have a newer MacBook (with an M1 or new M2 processor), it will automatically recognise your iPhone camera whenever it's nearby. From there, you can take advantage of the same features you'd find on recent Mac cameras, including Center Stage and Portrait Mode.

Apple is even planning to sell a mount that snaps onto your iPhone and allow you to position it easily at the top of a MacBook display. Don't expect it to sell it for cheap though; but you can also expect the many affordable ones from third-party vendors to pop up very soon too. 

A feature called Desk View will also allow you to show your face and an overhead video of your desk at the same time. In the demo shown at WWDC, the result looks as though you're using two cameras - one pointed at you, and the other pointing down. It's useful to people who want to collaborate on projects over FaceTime and other apps.

This article was first published in HardwareZone.