For now, it’s time to highlight six reasons why it’s worth looking at MacOS Ventura if you have a compatible Mac device.
Use your iPhone as a webcam and easily transfer calls between devices with Continuity
In-built webcams are fine, but they lack the clarity and quality of what’s in your pocket. Following the MacOS Ventura update, Continuity Camera lets you use an iPhone as your Mac camera. As long as you have an iPhone XR or later running on iOS 16, you’re good to go.
With the feature enabled, your Mac can automatically detect your iPhone and activate its camera. As an added bonus, you can use a phone’s Ultra Wide camera to show what’s on your desk, while the main camera focuses on you. It’s a clever idea for when you want to share what’s on your notepad or show a live demonstration of a crafts project. iPhone camera features like Centre Stage, Portrait mode, and Studio Light can also be used on Macs to keep you in frame and looking fresh.
Also, if you’re a multi-Apple device household, you can use Handoff to transfer FaceTime calls from one device to another. For example, if you receive a call on your phone, it’s now easy to move it to your Mac and vice versa.
Stage Manager reimagines your workspace
Stage Manager is one of the big productivity updates that comes with MacOS Ventura. It’s meant to streamline multitasking by positioning your main window, and other open apps to the side, so you can quickly swap between windows at a glance.
The new feature also lets you group windows and apps according to what you’re working on, which sounds helpful for those who swap between clearly defined tasks throughout any given day.
An improved Mail experience with MacOS Ventura
Several improvements to the native Mail app bring the Mac email experience closer to the likes of Gmail and other competing mail clients. This includes the long-overdue ability to schedule emails in advance and cancel sending an email within 30 seconds. Various auto-detect features like notifying you of missing attachments and follow-up email suggestions are also here for us forgetful types.
Apple claims the in-app search functionality is improved as well. This involves quickly showing search results for emails, contacts, and any file attachments you might be looking for.
Spotlight streamlines search functionality
Off the back of the improved Mail search, Spotlight contains various updates to help you find what you’re looking for across Apple devices. Of note is the ability to search photos via location or the people in the image. You can even find photos containing specific text thanks to Live Text. Some of these features have been around for a little while, but Apple says the overall experience using Spotlight is more consistent between Mac, iPhone and iPad. It’s a handy little hub where you can view detailed previews of searches without opening another file.
Gaming gets a boost with Metal 3 technology and more games with Mac support
M1 and M2 Macs with decent GPUs benefit from the latest in Apple’s graphics API, Metal 3. It’s meant to improve graphical performance while reducing the power needed for the same output. It opens up more possibilities for developers to tap into hardware acceleration for ray tracing and faster-loading textures.
There are some big games coming with native Mac support soon, including the survival-horror game Resident Evil Village, which is said to take advantage of Apple silicon tech.
MacOS Ventura brings recent iPhone and iPad messaging and photo-sharing features to the big screen
Several popular features available on iPads and iPhones come with MacOS Ventura, including the ability to edit and undo messages. We detailed these in our iPadOS 16 explainer, plus the activity-sharing SharePlay feature, which brings Mac closer to feature parity with its portable companions. This also includes iCloud Shared Photo Libraries, also on iPhone, which lets you create a group of up to six people to view, edit and contribute to a photo album together. Additionally, Apple’s push into biometric security extends to Mac, with passkeys a glimpse into a password-less future.
What Macs can update to MacOS Ventura?
Generally speaking, MacOS Ventura is compatible with Macs running on M1 chips or later. Devices like the recent M2 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are tailormade for the recent update. Here’s a full compatibility list of which models can run the latest OS:
MacBook 2017 or later
MacBook Air 2018 or later
MacBook Pro 2017 or later
Mac mini 2018 or later
MacPro 2019 or later
So, if you’ve bought a Mac in the last few years, you should be in the clear. There are plenty more MacOS Ventura features to discover and play with – let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see a closer look at.