WWDC22: macOS Ventura adds Continuity Features, Stage Manager.

Apple previewed macOS 13, which is now officially named macOS Ventura, at this year’s WWDC. The OS update includes Stage Manager which gives Mac users a way to stay focused on the task in front of them while switching between apps and windows. Continuity Camera uses iPhone as the webcam on Mac, and with Handoff coming to FaceTime, users can start a FaceTime call on their iPhone or iPad and fluidly pass it over to their Mac. Mail and Messages come with added features, while Safari ushers in a passwordless future with passkeys.

Stage Manager automatically organizes open apps and windows so users can concentrate on their work and still see everything in a single glance. The current window users are working in is displayed prominently in the center, and other open windows appear on the left-hand side so they can quickly and easily switch between tasks. Users can also group windows together when working on specific tasks or projects that require different apps.

Apple Devices Working Together with Continuity
Continuity Camera now gives Mac customers the ability to use their iPhone as a webcam, and unlocks new capabilities that were never possible before on a webcam. With Continuity, Mac can automatically recognize and use the camera on iPhone when it is nearby — without the need to wake or select it — and iPhone can even connect to Mac wirelessly. Continuity Camera delivers features to all Mac computers including Center Stage, Portrait mode, and the new Studio Light — an effect that beautifully illuminates a user’s face while dimming the background. Plus, Continuity Camera taps into the Ultra Wide camera on iPhone to enable Desk View, which simultaneously shows the user’s face and an overhead view of their desk.

Handoff comes to FaceTime, allowing users to start a FaceTime call on one Apple device and transfer it to another Apple device nearby. Users can be on a FaceTime call on iPhone or iPad, then move the call to their Mac with just a click, or start a call on their Mac and shift to iPhone or iPad when they need to continue on the go.

Messages on the Mac now includes the ability to edit or undo a recently sent message, mark a message as unread, or even recover accidentally deleted messages. When a user shares a file via Messages using the share sheet or drag and drop, they can choose to share a copy or collaborate. When they choose to collaborate, everyone on a Messages thread is automatically added. And when someone makes an edit to the shared document, activity updates appear at the top of the thread. Users can also join SharePlay sessions from their Mac right in Messages, so they can chat and participate in synchronized experiences.

With iCloud Shared Photo Library, users can now create and share a separate photo library among up to six family members. Users can choose to share all of their existing photos from their personal libraries, or share based on a start date or people in the photos. To help keep their Shared Library up to date, users will receive intelligent suggestions to share relevant photo moments that include participants in the library and any other people they choose. Every user in the Shared Photo Library can add, delete, edit, or favorite the shared photos and videos, which will appear in each user’s Memories and Featured Photos so that everyone can relive more complete family moments.

Browsing in Safari will be secured with passkeys, which are designed to replace passwords. Passkeys are unique digital keys that stay on device and are never stored on a web server, so hackers can’t leak them or trick users into sharing them. Apple says Passkeys will make it simple to sign in securely, using Touch ID or Face ID for biometric verification, and iCloud Keychain to sync across Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV with end-to-end encryption. They will also work across apps and the web, and users can even sign in to websites or apps on non-Apple devices using their iPhone.

Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognize text in images across the system, and now adds support for paused video frames. Users can also now lift the subject away from an image and drop it into another app. New accessibility tools include Live Captions for all audio content, Type to Speak on calls, Text Checker to support proofreading for VoiceOver users.

The developer beta of macOS Ventura is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today. A public beta will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com. macOS Ventura will be available this fall as a free software update.

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Eddy Ndungu
Eddy Ndungu

Just another papercut survivor.

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