From deleting duplicate photos in your Photos Library to sharing Tab Groups in Safari, the latest Mac operating system, macOS Ventura, comes with many features that will completely change the way you use your Mac, and this guide introduces you to the best of them.
Having trouble upgrading to Ventura? Learn how to fix a frozen Mac during an update.
- 1. Manage Windows With Stage Manager
- 2. Sign in to Websites With Passkeys
- 3. Use Your iPhone as a Webcam With Continuity Camera
- 4. Enable New Accessibility Features
- 5. Undo Send and Edit Sent Messages
- 6. Schedule and Unsend Emails
- 7. Customize and Share Tab Groups in Safari
- 8. Start a FaceTime Call From Other Apps
- 9. Merge Duplicates in Photos
- 10. Use Quick Look and Quick Actions in Spotlight
1. Manage Windows With Stage Manager
Even though macOS had Mission Control, it lacked a feature to manage opened windows properly. That changed with macOS Ventura – it introduced Stage Manager to completely change the way you multitask on Mac.
Stage Manager groups together all recently opened windows and pins them to the left side of the screen to allow you to switch between all open applications seamlessly.
To get started with Stage Manager, open Control Center from the top-right corner of your screen and toggle “Stage Manager.”
2. Sign in to Websites With Passkeys
At WWDC 2022, Apple announced passkeys: a replacement for traditional passwords. With passkeys, you don’t have to enter a username and password to sign in to websites. Instead, you verify your identity with Face ID or Touch ID. You’ll see a passkey prompt on login pages as long as you have enabled iCloud Keychain (“System Settings -> Apple ID -> iCloud -> Password and Keychain”).
Your saved passkeys are synced across all Apple devices via iCloud, meaning you can sign in to your Mac by authenticating from your iPhone.
Passkeys are a revolutionary tech, as they’re quicker, significantly more secure than traditional passwords, and more resistant to phishing attacks and data leaks, as there are no passwords involved.
3. Use Your iPhone as a Webcam With Continuity Camera
With Continuity Camera, you can use your iPhone as your webcam and FaceTime your friends with the bleeding-edge camera. You can also use your iPhone’s microphone instead of your Mac’s default microphone for audio input. What’s more, the Center Stage feature makes video calling more intuitive by having the camera follow you around as you move, so you’re always in focus.
Keep in mind that your iPhone needs to be running iOS 16 to use the Continuity Camera on your Mac. It works wirelessly and with a wired connection.
Follow the steps below to use the Continuity Camera.
- Make sure your Mac and iPhone are signed in with the same Apple ID and are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network with Bluetooth turned on.
- Launch FaceTime on your Mac.
- Once you’re in FaceTime, click “Video” in the menu bar.
- From the drop-down menu, select your iPhone under the “Camera” section. To use your iPhone’s microphone, select your iPhone under the “Microphone” section. Make sure your iPhone is near your Mac.
- Your Mac will use your iPhone’s camera instead of its webcam.
4. Enable New Accessibility Features
macOS Ventura brings more Accessibility features to assist users in navigating their Mac. If you are hearing impaired, you can enable Live Captions from “System Settings -> Accessibility -> Live Captions” to generate transcriptions for any video, audio, or FaceTime call.
macOS Ventura lets you play the calming sounds of the ocean and rain in the background to minimize distractions and avoid unwanted noise from your surroundings.
Tip: if you want a similar experience on non-Mac devices, try these top sources for calming sounds, such as white noise, and rain.
There are also a couple of updates to Voice Control. It now lets you hang up FaceTime calls by saying the command “hang up.” You can also dictate text letter by letter using spelling mode.
5. Undo Send and Edit Sent Messages
macOS Ventura allows you to undo or edit a sent message – a highly requested messaging feature.
Hold down the Control key and right-click the sent message, then select “Undo Send” or “Edit” from the drop-down menu. Keep in mind that you only have two minutes to unsend a message and only 15 minutes to edit a message after sending it. Also, you can only edit a message at most five times.
Note: the new messaging features in Ventura are iMessage exclusive, so they won’t work with text messages. Additionally, they will only work if the recipient is running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS Ventura.
With macOS Ventura, you can also mark a message as unread to read it later. Other than that, if you’ve accidentally deleted a message, you can recover it within 30 days after it was deleted.
SharePlay is also integrated with Messages. You can chat with friends while doing synchronized activities like watching a movie or playing a game.
6. Schedule and Unsend Emails
For the longest time, Mail lacked several features that other third-party mail apps provided. Not anymore.
For instance, now you can unsend an email message for up to ten seconds after sending it. Just click “Undo Send” at the bottom of the left sidebar to go back to the composition window.
You can also schedule an email message to be sent at just the right moment.
- Launch the “Mail” app and click “New Message” in the toolbar.
- Write the email in the composition window.
- Instead of clicking the “Send Message” button, click the little arrow next to it.
- From the drop-down menu, you can select three different times to send the message. Click “Send Later” to select the exact moment when you want to send the message.
You can also select a time to be reminded of unread emails, which is basically a snooze option where your emails will resurface after a certain period.
- Click “Message” in the menu bar.
- Head to “Remind Me.”
- Select a time to receive the reminder.
7. Customize and Share Tab Groups in Safari
macOS Monterey brought Tab Groups to Safari where you could group together multiple related tabs. Now macOS Ventura shows us the true potential of Tab Groups with more features.
You can now customize the start page of a Tab Group with a dedicated background image.
- Click the “Settings” icon in the bottom-right corner of the tab.
- Mark the “Background Image” option in the context menu.
- Choose a background image from the available options.
With macOS Ventura, you can also pin tabs within a Tab Group by right-clicking the tab you want to pin and selecting “Pin Tab.”
Also, you can now share a Tab Group with your friends so that they can add their own tabs to the group. Everyone will see the updated Tab Group instantly.
Follow the steps below to share a Tab Group.
- Hover over the Tab Group you want to share in the Safari sidebar.
- Click the ellipses icon (the one with three dots).
- Click “Share Tab Group” from the drop-down menu.
- Select the Messages application in the pop-up menu that appears.
- Finally, add a recipient with whom you want to share the Tab Group, then send the message.
The updated Safari also lets you sync extensions from other Apple devices. For instance, if you have a Safari extension installed on your iPhone, it will sync to your Mac as well. Of course, you’ll have to install the extension on your Mac manually using the following steps.
- Click “Safari” on the menu bar.
- Click “Settings” in the drop-down menu.
- Head to the “Extensions” tab.
- Here you will find the extensions installed on your other devices in the “On Other Devices” section. To install a particular extension on your Mac, click “Get,” followed by “Install.”
Tip: learn all the best ways to customize Safari on Mac.
8. Start a FaceTime Call From Other Apps
macOS Ventura has integrated a Collaboration feature into FaceTime. Now when you’re collaborating on apps like Safari, Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, the Finder, or other supported third-party apps, you can start a FaceTime call from within that app to talk about what you’re working on.
The Live Captions accessibility feature also works with FaceTime calls if you enable it under “System Settings -> Accessibility -> Live Captions.” It shows you automatically-generated live transcriptions of the dialogues, making it easier to talk on group calls.
Also, the Handoff feature lets you seamlessly switch your calls from device to device, meaning you can transfer your FaceTime call from iPhone or iPad to Mac and vice versa without disconnecting.
9. Merge Duplicates in Photos
The new Duplicates folder in the sidebar in Photos rounds up all duplicate photos in your albums. From here you can “Merge Duplicates” to declutter your Photos library.
Also, the Hidden and Recently Deleted albums are now protected with Touch ID or login password to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, you can edit a batch of photos by copying and pasting the edits you’ve made to a photo.
Another cool new feature in the Photos app lets you copy subjects from a photo. Just right-click on the subject, click “Copy Subject,” then paste the subject into any app you want.
10. Use Quick Look and Quick Actions in Spotlight
Last but not least, macOS Ventura has improved Spotlight with several features, the handiest being the integration of Quick Look into Spotlight, which allows you to press Spacebar to preview a file before opening it.
Apple has also integrated Quick Actions into Spotlight, so actions like setting an alarm, starting a timer, and turning on a Focus mode can be done quickly. For instance, if you search for “timer,” you will get a “Start Timer” option.
From macOS to iOS: The Best of Apple
Looking for more useful Apple features? Try Spatial Audio to elevate your listening experience on iPhone and iPad.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Hashir Ibrahim.
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