Ventura, the next version of Apple's Mac operating system, will make it easier for you to keep track of all your disparate apps and windows. New to macOS 13 is Stage Manager, a feature that will group windows to the side of your desktop, organizing them by app. Whenever you switch between programs, Ventura will move the app and its accompanying windows to the center of your screen. Think of a Stage Manager as a dock for your currently open apps.
Ventura will also ship with enhancements to Spotlight, Apple's system-wide feature for finding files. With macOS 13, 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.
As expected, Apple is refreshing many of the operating system’s default apps, including Safari and Mail. Of the latter, the company claims Ventura will include the biggest overhaul to the software in years. Like Messages on iOS 16, Mail will include an undo send feature, allowing you to "take back" an email if you notice a typo or other error shortly after sending it out. Apple is also adding the option to schedule emails. Additionally, the company says it has overhauled the software's search tool to make it better at delivering accurate results.
As for Safari, it includes a new Shared Tab Groups feature, allowing you to see in real-time what tabs your friends are viewing. It's also possible to use the feature to build a list of shared bookmarks, and start a Messages conversation or FaceTime call directly from Safari. As part of a wider industry initiative to do away with passwords, Apple is also introducing a feature called Passkeys. The company describes them as unique digital keys that will always stay on your device, thereby making it difficult — if not impossible — for bad actors to trick you into sharing your login credentials. The feature uses Face ID and Touch ID to authenticate your identity and iCloud Keychain to sync your logins across your Apple devices.
For those with access to both an iPhone and Mac computer, Ventura includes new Continuity tools. A feature called Continuity Camera allows you to use the front-facing camera on your iPhone with video calling apps on your Mac. Your computer will automatically recognize that you have an iPhone nearby and connect to it wirelessly. While the two are connected to one another, you'll still have access to your iPhone's portrait mode and Studio Light functionality. What's more, with Desk View, you'll have the option to use your phone to stream an overhead video of your desk. Apple suggests that feature will be useful to people who want to collaborate on projects over FaceTime and other apps. Speaking of FaceTime, Ventura will also extend Apple's Handoff feature to the video calling software, allowing you to start a FaceTime chat on your Mac and then transfer it to an iPhone or iPad, and vice versa.
As rumored, Apple has overhauled the System Preferences menu to make it look and function more like the Settings app on iPhone and iPad. Lastly, Ventura will introduce new accessibility features, including support for Live Captions across all audio content. Apple will release a public beta of macOS Ventura next month, with official availability to follow this fall as part of a free update for users with compatible Mac models.
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