Tuesday, October 25, 2022

macOS 13.0 Ventura

Apple (release notes, full installer, IPSW, Hacker News, MacRumors):

macOS Ventura takes the Mac experience to a whole new level with groundbreaking capabilities that help users achieve more than ever. New features like Continuity Camera enable users to seamlessly work across their Apple devices, and productivity tools including Stage Manager help users stay focused and easily move between tasks. Safari ushers in a passwordless future with passkeys, and big updates come to popular apps including Mail and Messages.

The latest versions of my apps are compatible, and DropDMG can help you create a macOS install disk.

Every time there’s a major new version of macOS, people ask me whether the Mail data loss bug has been fixed yet. I don’t know. It’s still present in recent versions of Monterey, but I don’t have any reported sightings on Ventura yet. Neither Apple nor anyone who was seeing it before has told me that it’s fixed in Ventura. I’ve definitely seen a decline in the frequency of bug reports, but it’s not clear whether this is mostly because Apple has mitigated the bug, because I’ve encouraged SpamSieve users to switch to a setup that avoids the bug, or because it was so intolerable that most of the affected users have switched to other mail clients and not looked back.

Tim Hardwick:

Below, we’ve selected 50 new features and lesser-known changes that are worth checking out if you’re upgrading, and we’ve put together a video highlighting 25 of them.

John Voorhees (tweet):

So, from an everyday workflow standpoint, Ventura is an excellent release that delivers on the promise of an OS that moves in step with Apple’s other OSes and erases artificial barriers to users coming from iOS and iPadOS. And yet, I worry about the clouds on the horizon.


Shortcuts was in rough shape when it launched on the Mac last year. The app is in a much better place today, although bugs continue to be a problem. More concerning to me, though, is the lack of new system-level actions on the Mac.


System Preferences was long overdue for a refresh, but System Settings isn’t the redesign we needed. Instead, it’s a clear example of why you can’t just graft iOS or iPadOS design onto macOS and call it quits.


I’m a big fan of Scheduled Send, which offers to send your message later at suggested times or one you pick yourself. It’s great for those times when a message doesn’t need to be delivered immediately, but you don’t want to get into a back-and-forth with someone at the moment.

Andrew Cunningham (Hacker News):

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.


After mapping out System Settings and taking a couple of months to get used to it, my second and more considered reaction is mostly… eh. […] I’m left feeling frustrated that Apple totally blew up System Preferences and replaced it with something that still suffers from many of System Preferences’ old issues, plus a few new ones. […] The overarching problem is that System Settings bends or breaks some of Apple’s own rules about what makes a good Mac app.


Case in point, the proliferation of indie projects that all make it easy to create virtual machines on macOS. Few are as feature-rich as Parallels (which, unlike Apple’s official solution, can support the ARM version of Windows), but most are more streamlined and less janky than VirtualBox, so on balance, it’s a win for casual users of virtualization software. This post has a good overview of some of the features added in Ventura and the potentially useful features that could still be added (official support for snapshots is one).


System Preferences used to have a “Network Locations” feature, where you could set up profiles that would change your network settings based on where you were—for example, if you used a fixed IP address on your Ethernet connection at home but wanted to use DHCP at work or if you wanted your computer to use wired Ethernet first at home but prioritize Wi-Fi at work.

Jason Snell:

So here’s the good news about macOS Ventura: In using it the last few months as my primary operating system, I’ve found it to be not appreciably different than macOS Monterey. It looks the same, software acts the same, I haven’t noticed any bugs… it’s been solid. Upgrading to macOS Ventura will probably not be particularly dramatic for those who do it, and that’s a good thing.


In terms of the cornerstone features of this release, however, it’s more of a mixed bag. The new Continuity Camera instantly gives any Mac user with an iPhone access to a remarkably high-quality webcam (if you can find a way to mount it). Seven years after introducing iCloud Photos, Apple’s new iCloud Shared Photo Libraries feature finally lets people curate a shared photo collections with their loved ones. Both are huge updates, and huge improvements to the Mac experience.

But some other key features feel unfinished. Stage Manager, a new way of grouping windows together, creates too much window-management busy work to make it worth the trouble. The new System Settings app replaces the long-in-the-tooth System Preferences app that’s been with macOS since OS X 10.0, but lacks coherent organization and offers an inconsistent and frustrating interface.

Kirk McElhearn:

In this article, I’m going to show you how to use the System Settings app and how to change some essential settings for your Mac.

Jason Meller:

I am happy to report that MANY of things mentioned in this thread are completely fixed or much better.

Is the new macOS Ventura System Settings app perfect? No but that wasn’t expected.

Is it orders of magnitude better than the betas? Oh yeah.

Damien Petrilli:

  • open settings
  • type something in the search field
  • click on the ‘x’ to empty the search field

Left panel is empty now. You need to quit the App.

This is not happening on my Mac.

Nick Heer:

I will miss “Preferences”; the word “Settings” feels comparatively mechanical.

This year’s Mac hardware compatibility chart is giving me mild anxiety. My Intel iMac is now one of the oldest models officially supported by MacOS Ventura, and I have known it will become unsupported sooner rather than later ever since Apple launched announced the transition to ARM.

Norbert M. Doerner:

Ventura has a new “safety” feature where you must allow ALL ext. drives when you attach them.

But instead of some useful information, like a, gasp, VOLUME NAME, we get this stupid note with a vendor name.

How we supposed to decide what to do?

Howard Oakley:

As far as I’m aware, the only significant feature originally intended for release in Ventura which won’t be available next week is iCloud Shared Photo Library, now promised for later this year. Apple has also promised a new collaborative diagramming app, Freeform, that’s expected to ship before January.

The following articles should help you make up your mind, and provide useful tips for planning your upgrade[…]

Howard Oakley:

A list of security fixes for Ventura is here. As there are around 66 in all, I won’t attempt to summarise them.


Learn about the enterprise content that Apple has released for macOS Ventura.

Tom Bridge:

Apple has adopted the newer mobile software update (MSU) process for macOS in macOS Ventura, from its origins on iOS. That allows for major and minor updates to be smaller, depending on the origin OS and the target OS.


Releases of macOS Ventura made between October 24th and November 23rd of 2022 will show differently to MDM-enrolled macOS devices. Any MDM-enrolled macOS device will see macOS Ventura as the full installer version of the operating system, same as in prior years. As with previous years, you can delay the appearance of these full installer versions by delaying major version upgrades. In addition, you can continue to block the process with a root agent, if you get the full installer version.

What this means, though, is you can’t permanently block macOS Ventura from being installed.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Another version of macOS, another set of SwiftUI layout changes that break my UI in some way.

James Thomson:

Building with Xcode 14.1 RC messes up my SwiftUI-on-Catalyst layouts running on Ventura.

Norbert M. Doerner:

Enable “CGBITMAP_CONTEXT_LOG_ERRORS” in your environment variables in Xcode.

Then you will see that [[NSApp dockTile] setBadgeLabel:]; triggers this bug.

Norbert M. Doerner:

During the testing of the beta versions of macOS 13, we were very dismayed to see a load of new bugs creeping up in macOS, and not a single existing bug from previous macOS versions being fixed by Apple.

Also, massive and undocumented changes in the foundation of macOS and AppKit will require us to run a much more detailed test plan to make sure that the operating features that NeoFinder needs and uses will actually work properly.

Due to the reduced stability of macOS 13, we very highly recommend that you stay away from macOS 13 “Ventura” as long as possible.

Norbert M. Doerner:

Needless to say, we have never before seen [UIFoundation] in any crash reports or stack traces of our Mac-based software, so this is new to macOS 13.

This shows that Apple has started merging macOS and iOS foundations from two separate code bases into a single one.


Ventura may break Endpoint Security clients (e.g BlockBlock) 😭


Update (2022-10-27): Matthias Gansrigler:

I do like that macOS now better remembers Spaces, and the state of fullscreen apps. So when I launch Photos.app, which I always have in fullscreen and placed as the very first Space, that position is now remembered.

Gus Mueller:

The previous Mac Screen Sharing icon wasn’t great, but at least it didn’t look like it was made for Windows 3.1.

Howard Oakley:

I have now been able to test my production iMac Pro to see whether the one remaining significant memory leak in Monterey has been fixed, and am delighted to report that I can no longer reproduce any substantial memory leak in Finder’s Find feature. It’s possible you could still encounter a smaller leak with very large numbers of hits, but in typical use on systems with millions of files, the Find feature now seems safe to use. Thanks to the Apple engineers who fixed that.


Update (2022-11-01): Kilian Muster:

Font Book in macOS Ventura has become a whole less usable. The shortcuts for the different views ⌘1, ⌘2, ⌘3 are gone, everything takes more clicks. It really seems like some intern did the design without giving any thought to usability.

Update (2023-01-19): ednl:

I just realised that on #MacOS #Ventura you can no longer view two fonts side-by-side in the Finder (or in #FontBook). You can Preview & arrow up/down for a crude comparison (if they are next to each other in Finder!) but if opened they are in the same window: you can only see 1.


Update (2023-07-17): Rhet Turnbull:

I don't know exactly when Apple switched but macOS Catalina shipped with GNU diff and macOS Ventura ships with FreeBSD diff. Figured this out when a workflow of mine that uses --new-line-format broke (not supported in FreeBSD diff). The solution is brew install diffutils to install GNU diff (which will be installed as /opt/homebrew/bin/diff)

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I ran into the System Settings search bug. For me it was worse. Search results were incorrect, and clicking on a search result would take me to an unrelated, but still incorrect, section. Clicking the x button then made everything disappear.

For me though, this has so far only occurred on first boot after installing Ventura, and only on half of the machines I installed it on. After rebooting those machines, I haven't seen it.

Is the Help of Settings.app in the GM up to date?

I think Apple has run out of truly good software ideas, so now they're just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks -- change for the sake of change, instead of refining what's been working just fine for years and squashing bugs. Instead they think of new garbage to foist upon us with no choice plus a ton of new bugs to go with it. Seems like they're devolving into Microsoft style software engineering, where consistency and discoverability get thrown out the window. Such a shame that even the senior VPs who spent years working alongside Steve Jobs have apparently forgotten his discernment between good and bad software design.

The fact that Mail.app has supposedly been given some kind of overhaul in Ventura, gives me faint hope that the data loss bug has been addressed. Hopefully someone will test this, and we'll and find out one way or the other.

Re: update 2023-07-17 by Rhet, another option is MacPorts "sudo port install diffutils". It will be installed as /opt/local/bin/diff. See https://ports.macports.org/port/diffutils/

I hate that almost every website now promotes one package manager, the technically inferior one that also works. Brew is VHS, MacPorts is V2000.

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