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The public beta of macOS Ventura is here. These are our favorite lesser-known features

in great shape , Macs are running macOS Ventura.

Apple

Apple has released a beta for its next major operating system to the public today, making it relatively easy for adventurous users to download and install a rough version of the software that will be rolling out to Macs, iPhones, iPads and other devices in the fall. I will start starting sometime. ,

We’ll publish a full review of those new OSes when they’re officially released, but for Mac users who want to jump into the public beta today, we’ll cover some of the macOS Ventura features we’ve learned about in our time. Developer Beta (the first public beta build roughly corresponds to the third developer beta build, which was released last week).

Instead of focusing on high-profile changes, such as the Continuity camera, search improvements, Passkey, or the overhauled Settings app, we focused on small but still significant improvements, including some that showed us that Apple is trying to drive the Mac. next few years.

Public betas for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and other updates can be installed on supported hardware using Apple’s documentation. When installing any beta software, proceed with caution—make sure you have a recent backup of your important files and consider using trial hardware rather than installing betas on systems you rely on day-to-day We do.

Faster, more persistent security updates

Apple’s long list of Ventura features is called Rapid Security Response, and is pitched as a way for Apple to provide smaller, more timely updates to macOS that don’t require a system restart. But what does that mean, exactly?

To install such updates, Ventura adds some of the Signed System Volume (SSV) security feature from Big Sur. In short, SSV contains almost all macOS system files, and your Mac is only allowed to boot and run if the volume’s signature indicates that nothing on SSV has been modified or tampered with in any way. . When updates are installed, SSV is mounted in the background, files are patched, a new cryptographic signature is created for verification the next time your system boots, and a snapshot of that newly signed volume It is created for use the next time the computer is booted.

To allow some minor updates to be installed without a reboot, Ventura uses separate “cryptex” disk images for some apps and operating system files. As described by anonymous Twitter firmware engineer @Never_released, cryptic images are treated by macOS as extensions to existing volumes. These images can be opened and modified independently of ssv, but for macOS and most of its apps, they appear to be part of the system volume, the same as any other system file.

Ventura will be able to patch apps and other system files located in these cryptex images without needing to touch SSL, including Safari, WebKit and JavaScript-related frameworks, and others. This will remove the need for a lengthy installation process and reboot while maintaining the security benefits of SSV for most system files. Whether this actually leads to faster or more frequent security patches remains to be seen. More comprehensive updates, including (presumably) major updates like 13.1 or 13.2, will continue to use the current reboot-required approach.

Beyond the System Settings app

Mac’s new System Settings app completely replaces the old System Preferences app, and it’s probably the biggest single change since the introduction of Mac OS X. But the work doesn’t stop there on the long-running bits of the system UI.

For example, Ventura completely redesigns the macOS print dialog, adding a multi-section drop-down menu in favor of a long page with many expandable sections, as well as a new freely scrollable one on the left. There is a qualified continuous preview column. Apps with the page setup option will also reveal the presence of an old friend, a smooth high-resolution version of Clarus the Dogeko. It hearkens all the way back to the old laserwriter days, when Clarus served a similar purpose.

Font Book switches to a tiled UI in Ventura, with quick visual previews of multiple fonts.
in great shape , Font Book switches to a tiled UI in Ventura, with quick visual previews of multiple fonts.

Andrew Cunningham

Ventura also ushered in the biggest redesign for Font Book since it was introduced back in macOS 10.3, switching from a multi-column design that previews only one font at a time to more of the fonts. Provides visually oriented grids that provide small previews of dozens. fonts at a time.

Sadly, Apple has decided not to think again All Its old built-in macOS apps. If you were hoping for a change to TextEdit or Chess this year, you’ll have to wait.

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