I've been using macOS Ventura for the last week or so now, and have gotten a pretty good feel of the update, which is available for these Mac computers. While it's not the biggest update in terms of features, it does have some nifty ones. Here are the 5 things I like about macOS Ventura.
Continuity Camera is easily my favourite feature in macOS Ventura. It basically lets you use your iPhone as a camera, but I recommend getting an iPhone mount with MagSafe for your laptop. If you plan to give a demo of a product or maybe show off your fancy new keyboard, Desk View mode does exactly what it says, showing an overhead view of your desk. Image quality is ridiculously good, since you're tapping on the iPhone's excellent cameras. It's a lot better than most of the webcams I've reviewed, and comparable to using your DSLR. You can also use modes like Centre Stage, Portrait mode, and Studio Light, which helps to keep your face lit up.
Turning on Continuity Camera is simple, too. Just open an app that needs the camera, such as Zoom, or Photo Booth. Then use Control Center on the top bar of your laptop, select Video Effects and pick the desired mode.
Stage Manager changes how you use your Mac, and takes some time to get used to. Basically, it focuses on one app, and keeps four of your most used ones at the left side. You can team up apps to quickly summon them all up at the same time, too. Clicking on the desktop immediately clears the app so you can access files and folders there.
I recommend heading to the Settings App > Desktop & Dock > Customize Stage Manager, and turning off recent applications. That frees up a bit more space. While Stage Manager is great, it doesn't work with multiple monitors. So until it does, you'll have to live with how odd it behaves on other screens. Especially if you have apps all over.
The new redesigned Settings app is something I quite like. It takes visual cues from iPadOS, and make it a lot easier to see stuff quickly at a glance. I wasn't a fan of the previous version, and I usually had to look around before I found what I needed. The search feature for the older Settings app was helpful, but it still took awhile for me to find stuff. The new vertical layout made things a lot easier for me. However, I do wish they kept checkboxes instead of slider buttons, which doesn't make sense on a Mac since you can't slide a switch with your finger.
The new Spotlight gets a bunch of hidden features to get you info faster. For example, you can get the latest results for a sports team that you have been searching for. You can also use it to start a timer, find a song, or search for images. Clicking on a result and pressing the space bar previews it in another window.
Gaming with Metal 3
Mac computers aren't known for high-end gaming, but hopes have been raised that the new M1 and M2 chips, together with Metal 3, the newest version of Apple's graphics API that's found in Ventura, can improve the state of gaming on the platform. I tested Resident Evil Village on both the MacBook Air with M2 and the Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Pro.
On the Air, you'll get around 20fps with MetalFX Upscaling (an upscaling tech like Nvidia's DLSS) turned off on 1080p. With this feature enabled in Quality mode, I got around 31fps in Resident Evil Village, while Performance mode produced 41fps. On the M1 Pro MBP, the game ran at 70fps with upscaling turned off, while the Quality setting gets you around 90fps, and Performance, almost 120fps.
I can't wait for more games to take advantage of Metal 3. No Man's Sky has been announced, so that will be fun (as I'm not much of a horror fan). Potentially, games such as Diablo 2: Resurrected may even be possible via CrossOver once they figure out how to port DirectX 12 features with Metal 3.