ventura adventure — macOS 13 Ventura: The Ars Technica review A pleasantly surprising new multitasking UI and app redesigns define macOS 13.

Andrew Cunningham – Oct 24, 2022 4:00 pm UTC reader comments 239 with 130 posters participating, including story author Share this story Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit

If you asked me to tell you all the most exciting things that happened to the Mac in the last two years, I’d start withhardware, not software.

The transition from Intels chips to Apple silicon has been transformative, ushering in huge battery-life boosts and allowing MacBook Airs and Mac minis to do the kind of work you would have needed a MacBook Pro or 27-inch iMac for a few years ago. The Mac Studio ably fills the longstanding gap between the Mac mini and Mac Pro in Apples desktop lineup, and new function-over-form redesigns for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air seem purpose-built to address criticisms of the Mac hardware lineup circa 2016. These Macs would be exciting upgrades whether they were running Big Sur or Ventura. Further ReadingmacOS 12 Monterey: The Ars Technica review

On the software side, it’s not as though nothing has happened to the Mac in the last two years. It’s getting new features. I still find it comfortable to work in, even as Windows 11 has introduced some genuinely handy window-management features that I miss when I’m not using it (especially in multi-monitor mode). Advertisement

But it does feel like the software side of the Mac is lacking its own unique direction and identity lately. Overwhelmingly, new features for macOS merely help it keep pace with what is happening on the iPhone and iPad. That feels doubly true in Ventura, where a core system app has been rewritten from the ground up to mirror its iOS counterpart, where a new window management feature is being implemented in the same way on the iPad, and where new apps and updates to old ones are increasingly just iPad apps running inside macOS windows.

The throughline for all these features is about making the Mac more welcoming and comfortable for people who come to it through one of Apple’s mobile platforms. This makes some sense. The Mac is Apple’s most powerful, extensible computing platform, both in hardware and software. It’s also the smallest, by shipping volume. Maybe some of the first iPhone buyers were Mac users first, but the balance surely flipped years ago.

But when was the last time that the Finder, the Dock, or the Menu Bar was given a substantial, non-cosmetic rethink? When did Apple last make major improvements to the way that windows coexist on a given screen? The Mac does get new under-the-hood features that are specific to it, but the headline features are mostly iOS and iPadOS imports, especially this year. Table of Contents System requirements and compatibility What should I do with my unsupported Mac? Other system requirements Branding and installation Saving free space, especially on Intel Macs Stage Manager Wait, is Stage Manager on the Mac actually good? Then why is Stage Manager such a mess on the iPad? A small feature wishlist System Settings, RIP System Preferences Better? Or just different? Other UI redesigns Share sheet Print and Page Setup About This Mac Font Book Continuity Camera New apps and app changes: Weather and Clock Safari 16 Messages Photos iCloud Shared Photo Library Notes Mail Home app Reminders Expanded gamepad support Passkeys: Death to passwords Other security features: Rapid Security Response USB-C: Cancel or allow A stricter Gatekeeper Lockdown Mode Ambiguous changes to Login Items Launch Constraints Virtualization Grab bag Spotlight tweaks Metal 3 Live Text improvements New Siri look More Sidecar space FaceTime Handoff Wi-Fi password copying No more Network Locations Another low-key year for Mac software The good The bad The ugly Page: 1 2 3 4 5 … 19 20 Next → reader comments 239 with 130 posters participating, including story author Share this story Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Andrew Cunningham Andrew is a Senior Technology Reporter at Ars Technica with over a decade of experience in consumer tech, covering everything from PCs to Macs to smartphones to game consoles. His work has appeared in the New York Times’ Wirecutter and AnandTech. He also records a weekly book podcast called Overdue. Email [email protected] // Twitter @AndrewWrites Advertisement

You must login or create an account to comment. Channel Ars Technica ← Previous story Next story → Related Stories Today on Ars