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macOS Ventura Preview – what’s new for Mac this year?

Apple announced a lot of new stuff at WWDC this week, including some great new features for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 9. But we also saw some amazing changes coming to the Mac this Fall, including plenty that crosses over with Apple’s other devices. Let’s take a look…

macOS Ventura

It’s always fun trying to guess what Apple will name each version of macOS, and this year the marketing team continued the Californian theme of the past few years with Ventura, a surfing hotspot just north of Los Angeles. Maybe they liked the link with ‘surfing’ the web in Safari?

Secure browsing with Passkeys

Speaking of Safari, this fairly dry announcement may turn out to be the feature that affects your life the most over the coming years. Apple wants rid of conventional passwords, revealing a solution – co-authored with companies including Google and Microsoft – that it hopes will eventually overtake passwords as the de facto standard for online security.

Instead, passkeys would be automatically generated for each app or service and intrinsically tied to your iCloud Keychain, verified with biometrics. In a nutshell, that means no more remembering passwords, and nothing that can be phished or leaked. Read our Passkeys feature for more on how it works (and why it’s so important.)

Better multitasking with Stage Manager

A new organizational tool that helps users easily move between apps and workflows by putting your active window(s) center stage, with others easily accessible to one side. It’s a solution to the cluttered, confusing mess that often ensues when you’re working on lots of things at once.

Stage Manager isn’t just for Mac users – it’s also coming to M1-powered iPads with iPadOS 16.

iPhone as webcam with Continuity Camera

As videoconferencing embeds itself as an essential part of work and life for so many people, Apple has come up with a way to improve video quality without building an expensive webcam into the Mac itself.

Instead, you can now use your iPhone as a wireless webcam, utilizing its far superior video quality. There’s even a cool feature that uses the iPhone’s wide angle lens and some computational magic to display the user’s face and their desk at the same time, as if you had two separate cameras set up. Neat.

Sharing, caring, and… gaming?

Apple has extended live sharing capabilities to Safari, with Shared Tab Groups offering users the chance to browse the web together. Sounds handy for planning a holiday or a work project together.

FaceTime gets new continuity features, meaning you can start a call on your iPhone or iPad and easily hand it over to the Mac mid-call – or vice versa. And the long-overdue changes to Messages and Mail in iOS 16 are here on Mac too.

Finally, the latest version of Apple’s Metal framework promises a faster a more capable experience for AAA games. That’s a boon for players, but also for developers trying to port their games for Mac.