Archive for July 12, 2022

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

macOS 13.0 Ventura Public Beta

Juli Clover:

Public beta testers can download the macOS 13 Ventura update from the Software Update section of the System Preferences app after installing the proper profile from Apple’s beta software website.

John Voorhees:

On the Mac, Stage Manager is very different from the Mac’s traditional windowing systems, but it’s also very easy to get the hang of, which bodes well for new users coming from the iPad. And, of course, the feature is entirely optional, so anyone with whom it doesn’t click can ignore Stage Manager completely. However, as you’ll read below, I think everyone should give Stage Manager a chance because I’ve been surprised at how much I enjoy using it.


I’ve got a beta version of at least one of Apple’s OSes running on devices year-round, and have learned from experience that with a few precautions you can avoid major disruptions to using your Mac.

Whether a backup is sufficient protection depends on how much you use iCloud. It’s safer to use a separate Apple ID account for beta testing, though doing so can be a real pain.

Stage Manager would benefit from a set of keyboard shortcuts and trackpad gestures specific to it. For example, I’d like a keyboard shortcut to invoke Stage Manager instead of having to use Control Center. I’d also like to hold down a modifier key as I open a new app as a way to open it in the current window setup instead of opening it on a new stage, then switching back to the set of apps I was using, and dragging the new app into that set.

Second, pulling an app from one set of apps in the strip into the set you’re currently working on is too difficult. That’s because only the top app in the set can be dragged onto the stage.

John Voorhees:

One of the things that struck me after I’d finished my Ventura preview and read what @viticci wrote about iPadOS is there are far more ways to combine apps on Stage Manager’s stage on an iPad than there are on the Mac. I hope was see some of that make its way to the Mac soon.

Jason Snell:

I have to admire Apple’s insistence on this topic. Over the decades it’s tried windowshades, a floating application bar, Dock minimization, single-window mode, Exposé, Spaces, Mission Control, Full Screen, and Split View, and while many of those features have been embraced by some Mac users, the company still doesn’t think that it’s cracked it.


On one level, the Mac is approaching a level of interface-management complexity that threatens to bend in on itself and require some sort of manager for interface managers. The Dock contains running apps, but also other apps, but also minimized windows. And then there’s the Stage Manager shelf, which holds window groups. And you can group windows together in Stage Manager groups, or alternately group them in separate Spaces, or both. You can put some apps in Full Screen or Split View, which will themselves generate their own Spaces.


And yet on another level, I think Apple might be on to something here with Stage Manager. As I used it, I didn’t really expect to like it—I am generally someone who observes Apple making these attempts to work on window management, dutifully tries them out, and then turns them all off. But I have to admit, I think Stage Manager may have rooted out a real truth about how people (or maybe how I) use a Mac.


Stage Manager also feels a bit like an admission on Apple’s part that Full Screen mode, which strives to create an iPad-like experience on the Mac, misses the mark. I never use Full Screen mode, even on apps that would benefit from the utter takeover of my Mac’s display, because it really doesn’t work well with Finder.

He also tests Continuity Camera and finds Shared Tab Groups unreliable.


Update (2022-07-19): Julio Ojeda-Zapata:

That’s why I’m kind of excited about the Mac version of Stage Manager. Even though the Mac already does windowing well, I’m feeling more bullish on the macOS version of Stage Manager than the iPad version because it fits in naturally with other windowing approaches on the Mac. I’ve been using it a lot.

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 Public Beta

Juli Clover:

Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 updates over the air after installing the proper certificate from the Public Beta website.

Federico Viticci:

Stage Manager, while still in need of refinements in several areas, is a game-changer for people like me, and it signifies a major course correction on how Apple thinks about iPadOS for power users.


The new Lock Screen is the proper follow-up to iOS 14 widgets we’ve been waiting for, and it’s going to be the feature that will push millions of people to update their iPhones to iOS 16 right away later this year.


When you click on the three-dot button in the title bar of an app window, you’ll get a popup menu with text labels. The menu used to only be comprised of icons; I find the inclusion of labels (which was brought in last week’s beta) a welcome change that does a better job at explaining what each feature does.


[With] Stage Manager you can’t place an app window exactly anywhere you want: there are “zones” of the stage where windows “snap” (for lack of a better term), and the more windows you bring in, the more Stage Manager will try to, well, manage them for you by rearranging them ever so slightly so that everything can be as accessible as possible.

Dan Moren:

If you were hoping to be able to strew widgets willy nilly wherever you wanted on your lock screen—what do you think this is, Dashboard? You get basically two places to put widgets: a small line that goes above the clock, containing the date by default, and a larger box below the clock. […] However, these aren’t the same full-color complex widgets that you can put on the iPhone’s Home screen—many of them even look almost identical to their Apple Watch counterparts, like the circular temperature widget or the next event calendar widget.


I’m not sure these are the features that will finally sell me on Focus modes, but it does seem clear that this is a system Apple is interested in counting to improve, and it’s becoming increasingly compelling.


watchOS 9 Public Beta

Victoria Song:

Head to Apple’s beta software page in the mobile version of Safari

Alex Guyot:

This year’s changes to the Workout app may be more significant than usual, but otherwise watchOS 9 fits this formula quite snugly. While it may not make for the most glamorous year-over-year updates, the strategy has cemented the Apple Watch as the most popular smartwatch in the world — by far.


Medications is an all-new first-party app on the Apple Watch, as well as another view within the Health app for iOS.


The Calendar app has finally seen some love in watchOS 9. Previous versions of this app have been read-only views of your events for a single day at a time. The new version is much nicer and more fully-featured. You can add events directly from your wrist, customize the view between ‘Up Next’, ‘Day’, and ‘List’, and zoom out to a week or month view of your calendar.


Kaleidoscope 3.5

Kaleidoscope 3.4:

The ability to share a diff with others via PDF definitely makes collaboration easier. You can open the PDF and add comments via your favorite PDF editing software. You could even write comments with your Apple Pencil on your iPad. You’ll share with your team exactly what you have on your screen, showing all the changes that Kaleidoscope has found. Or someone can get your help on their code by giving you their Kaleidoscope windows as a PDF that makes commenting easy.

I had been doing this with screenshots. PDF is much better.

Kaleidoscope 3.5:

By default, Kaleidoscope 3.5 will normalize JSON files when opening them. This enables humans to actually compare the content, and provides major speed improvements when comparing large files.


You can now send any file list in Shortcuts to Kaleidoscope to compare that list as a folder. On our blog, we describe how to use that to compare popular archive formats like .zip or .jar.

I was wondering how this would work—how do you collect the extracted archives in Shortcuts to send them all to Kaleidoscope at once? The answer is that you don’t. You send it the batches separately, and they get collected in the front window.


Multi-Factor Authentication Recovery Distrust

Chris Siebenmann (Hacker News):

But both of these situations have some things in common. I can actually talk to real people in both situations, and both have out of band means of identifying me (and communicating with me).

Famously, neither of these is the case with many large third party websites, which often have functionally no customer support and generally no out of band ways of identifying you (at least not ones they trust). If you (I) suffer total loss of all of your means of doing MFA, you are probably completely out of luck. One consequence of this is that you really need to have multiple forms of MFA set up before you make MFA mandatory on your account (better sites will insist on this).


More broadly, this is a balance of risks issue. I care quite a bit about the availability of my accounts, and I feel that it’s much more likely that I will suffer from MFA issues than it is that I will be targeted and successfully phished for my regular account credentials (or that someone can use ‘account recovery’ to take over the account). If loss of MFA is fatal, my overall risks go way up if I use MFA, although the risk of account compromise goes way down.

It seems like most sites that use two-factory authentication don’t offer recovery codes.