macOS Ventura Beta hands-on: Better windowing with Stage Manager

macOS Ventura Beta hands-on: Better windowing with Stage Manager

macOS 13 Ventura brings new window management to Macs this fall. The idea is simple: when activated, Stage Manager hides almost all open windows and even the files on the desktop disappear. Only the currently active window remains prominently in the foreground. This ensures immediate order and should help the user to concentrate on a task. At the same time, the most recently used apps remain visible and available via a new sidebar on the left edge of the screen.

Easily add windows to the foreground window from the sidebar to work with a combination of multiple windows. This also makes it possible to arrange app groups with specific windows, between which you can also quickly switch using the sidebar – all of this is animated.

Stage Manager is a concept that Apple worked on in the early days of Mac OS X, but then it sat in a drawer for a long time. At that time it was apparently run under the nice internal name “Shrinkydink”. The development teams of macOS and iPadOS worked independently on a new window management and ultimately ended up with an almost identical concept, as Apple’s software boss Craig Federighi explained after the presentation of the operating systems in June. Stage Manager is also part of iPadOS 16.

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The Stage Manager sidebar can also be combined with the dock on the left – or optionally hidden.

On the Mac, Stage Manager works hand-in-hand with existing window management tools, Mission Control, App Expos̩, and the hotkey-activated app switcher remain available, as does Spaces. Bottom line, Stage Manager is a welcome and surprisingly useful addition. The function provides a new middle ground to immediately create a tidy workplace Рin contrast to the full screen view and the hidden spaces, the other apps and windows do not lose sight of. The advantage here is that Stage Manager can be activated and deactivated just as quickly; only a keyboard shortcut and a trackpad gesture are currently missing from Stage Manager.

Apple has increasingly brought the in-house apps to a basis, so macOS 13 Ventura provides many innovations in the Apple programs from Notes to Mail, Weather and Home, which are also part of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. Also new are the system settings based on the iOS model, live text recognition in video stills, live subtitling of videos and phone calls (only in English for the time being), a lockdown mode and the option of using an iPhone as a better Mac webcam without any configuration .

  • You can read all the details about Apple’s new operating systems in Mac & i 4/2022, the new issue will be published on August 4th.
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