Apple spent about 18 minutes of the WWDC keynote talking about the major new features in macOS 13 Ventura–and a lot was crammed into that short segment. But a lot was left out too. That means there are several new features coming that weren’t mentioned but that you’ll find to be very useful. Here are a few unmentioned features that stand out.
USB-C accessory security
Apple is always looking for new ways to lock down your Mac’s security, and to this end, macOS Ventura has added an extra layer of security to your Mac’s USB-C port. When a USB or Thunderbolt accessory is plugged into a port an alert will pop up asking if you want to allow the accessory to connect. Users will then be able to choose to Ignore or Allow the device.
This warning is optional. You’ll find the setting for this is in System Settings > Privacy & Security > Security, and you can set it to ask every time, ask for new accessories, automatically allow the accessory when the Mac is unlocked, or to always allow accessories. According to the Ventura release notes, approved accessories will stay approved for three days, and accessories attached during an OS update are automatically allowed.
(By the way, there’s still no setting to stop the “Disk Not Ejected Properly” pop-up if you unplug a flash drive without dismounting it from the Finder first.)
Some users like to have “white noise” playing in the background to help maintain focus and use Apple Music, YouTube, or some other method to play the audio. With Ventura, there’s now a setting in System Settings > Accessibility > Audio to play one of six different background sounds:
Balanced Noise: White noise similar to low static
Bright Noise: Static with a lighter amount of bass
Dark Noise: Static with heavier bass
Ocean: Sounds heard while walking on a beach
Rain: Moderate to heavy downpour
Stream: a babbling brook (which usually makes me want to go to the bathroom)
Background Sounds continue to play if you play other media, such as Apple Music or YouTube. Apple has added a Hearing menu bar icon and a Hearing module for Control Center so you can quickly turn off Background Sounds without diving into System Settings.
Clock and Weather apps
The iPhone and iPad have always had a Clock app, and now the Mac finally gets one, too. The Mac version is basically the same as the iPad with a time map that appears in the World Clock section. The clock can be set to track different time zones, and it has alarms, a stopwatch, and a timer.
The Mac also gets a Weather app and it’s basically the iPhone’s Weather app, but redesigned to take advantage of the screen size, like the one in iPadOS 16. You can see the current temperature, hourly conditions, and a 10-day forecast. It has also informative modules for Air Quality, Precipitation, UV Index, and more.
Enhanced Notes app
The Notes app finally gets some much-needed sorting features. Smart Folders are now available, which use rules that you can set to automatically organize your notes, and you can filter for any or all of the criteria in a Smart Folder, as well as the Tag Browser. Notes also has chronological categories so you can see notes grouped by when they were last modified.
Notes now offers the option to lock notes with your login password, instead of creating a new password every time. And you can now create a link for a note that you can pass along to others that will give that person access.
Reminders has several new features to better support lists. Lists can now be pinned, and you can save templates if you have preferred designs for certain lists. Notifications can be set to alert people when a shared list is modified, and it’s now a lot easier to see your completed lists via the Complete Smart List.
Other ecosystem features
There are several new unmentioned features that aren’t just new to macOS Ventura but also span iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. They include:
Locked Hidden and Recently Deleted folders in Photos that require a login with Touch ID
Hide My Email availability in third‑party apps
More Memoji characteristics
Live Captions on audio content (which was previewed in May)