If your organization uses Apple devices, you’re probably aware of the release of macOS Ventura in late October and of iOS/iPadOS 16 back in September. The new features included in these updates are far too numerous to cover comprehensively in this space (consult the lists for macOS Ventura, iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to get a sense of how extensive they are), but we wanted to highlight novel functionality that we expect to be especially conducive to employee productivity, collaboration and multitasking. Many of these fall outside the “manage and secure” framework that defines the core of Jamf’s mission, but we always welcome developments that reinforce Apple’s ability to make work more intuitive and enjoyable for end users.
Make sure you say the right thing at the right time
Of the many additions to Mail functionality found across these operating systems, we’re most relieved that the option for unsending an email (up to 30 seconds after sending it) is finally available. Mail will also notify you if your email seems to be missing an attachment or recipient that you mentioned in the body of the message. Taken together, these features will do much to avoid the embarrassment and wasted follow-up time caused by jumping the gun and firing off an email too quickly.
You can also schedule emails to go out at the exact time that you want, so you don’t have to annoy your coworkers in other parts of the world by disturbing them after working hours. And when you open an email but don’t have time to respond to it, you can set exactly when you want it to pop back up at the top of your inbox as a reminder.
Similar improvements are available in Messages, which will now allow you to unsend a message up to two minutes after sending or edit it (changes will be visible to the recipient) for up to 15 minutes. And you can now drop a collaboration invitation into a Messages thread to give everyone in the conversation access to a project.
These and other features help to make sure your communications with coworkers convey exactly what you intended. You can avoid causing confusion or offense that can bring down productivity levels or team spirit. Sometimes we all need a little help slowing down to say the right thing, and this is an area where Apple technology is augmenting our ability to make wise decisions.
Safe and convenient identity management with Passkeys
One of the most hotly anticipated features that showed up with iOS/iPadOS 16 and is now available with macOS Ventura is Apple’s “password killer,” Passkeys. Passkeys allow Apple devices to log into websites and services without needing to provide a password. They stay on the device and only work on the specific site that they were created for, so they are nearly invulnerable to phishing attempts. They don’t live on a web server whose contents can be leaked, they carry end-to-end encryption and they use the iCloud Keychain to sync across different Apple devices owned by the same user.
We know a lot about the risk of password fatigue for workers and about the time that can be lost to repeated login prompts. Anything that can reduce that is good for workplace productivity and employee morale. We’re also excited about the prospect of removing avenues of attack for both phishing threats and data leaks, both of which cause major disruptions for the organizations that fall victim to them.
The introduction of Passkeys provides a huge benefit to users and constitutes an extension of Apple’s justly famous native security. However, we do still recommend that organizations employ more comprehensive identity management and threat prevention solutions to protect against the growing number of malicious actors targeting the Apple ecosystem.
Use Stage Manager to make multitasking easier
Enabling successful multitasking is at the heart of the new interface available on Mac and iPad, called Stage Manager. Whatever you’re working on at that moment appears at the center of the display, large enough to see what you’re doing but not taking up the entirety of the screen. Windows that you will soon want to use live off to the side, and you can resize them or move them around as you desire; just click one and it moves to center stage. Windows that you aren’t currently working on will update with new information, so you can focus on the apps you need and receive information without having to navigate out of Stage Manager and encounter potential distractions.
We think that many users will find Stage Manager to be an ideal way to focus on projects, preparing a space that provides all the tools you require (and only those tools). The combination of making multiple windows easily accessible and hiding irrelevant apps has the potential to provide huge boosts in productivity for users.
Communicate more flexibly on FaceTime
Surely one of the coolest of the new features is the ability to seamlessly hand off FaceTime calls between a Mac and an iPad or iPhone. This capability allows you to step away from your desk without interrupting a call or to start an important conversation before you get to your computer – there are manifold possibilities that this new flexibility opens up to you!
FaceTime also boasts collaboration and accessibility upgrades that can make it easier to conduct effective conversations with coworkers. You can now get live captions with speaker attribution, making it a breeze to follow along with what different people are saying in a meeting. And a host of both proprietary and supported third-party apps now allow you to start a FaceTime call with your collaborators with just one click.
Get ready for Freeform
We’ll have more to say about Freeform, Apple’s new flexible canvas whiteboard software, when it soon becomes available for users. From what we’ve seen so far, this looks to be an exciting way to collaboratively brainstorm, storyboard or diagram projects. You’ll see your collaborators’ contributions in real time, and multimedia support will allow you to embed all kinds of images, audio, video, web links and more while previewing them inline. We can’t wait to play with Freeform and see how much more intuitive and creative it can make planning sessions.
Read up on Apple’s groundbreaking new accessibility features
If you’re interested in the new accessibility improvements available in macOS Ventura and iOS/iPadOS 16, be sure to read our dedicated blog post on the subject. The list is long and exciting, and it’s encouraging to see Apple continuing to lead the way in making technology more inclusive and empowering.
Need help upgrading your organization’s Mac fleet to macOS Ventura?
Check out our entry-level upgrade guide.
And what about iOS/iPadOS 16?
No worries, we have a guide for that too!
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