Apple’s next macOS comes with big changes at an important point: the system settings, which have long been neglected. In macOS 13 aka Ventura, they have been completely rebuilt and optically adapted to what is known from the iPhone and iPad. But despite the fact that Ventura is already in its fifth beta, there are still numerous large and small inconsistencies in the user experience. The changes are currently rather counterproductive.
New design, but not necessarily better
The function in macOS 13 is now simply called “Settings” and instead of the previous, large icon overview (which is often found to be confusing), it comes with a sidebar similar to that on the iPad. Here you can then click through the individual areas of the system. Of central importance is the “General” sector, in which Apple – as with the iPhone and iPad – stores some crucial features.
While the redesigned design may be controversial, that alone isn’t the problem. There are many small and large bugs in operation and user interface that Apple has still hidden here. The developer Niki Tonsky, for example, has exactly what these are in a long thread on Twitter including video examples. The bugs range from simple design errors to unhitable buttons (which appear to be only one pixel) to entire panels crashing.
Weird look, limited functionality
Unfortunately, little seems to have changed from beta to beta so far. Apple watchers like John Gruber wonder why Apple took over the model from iOS and iPadOS here and at the same time couldn’t even do it “pixel perfect”. Allegedly, the redesign was not inspired by the iPhone and iPad. According to Apple software chief Craig Federighi, it was all about creating “consistency for users” and a “great interface”. However, the many existing bugs speak a different language.
Like the Shortcuts app on macOS, Apple has used SwiftUI to design the new settings. Gruber even fears that there seems to be something “deeply wrong” with the new GUI framework if it is so difficult “to get so many small layout details right”. At least Apple still has some time to improve its software. macOS 13 Ventura should be released in October if the company sticks to its usual release schedule. Then it will be made available together with iPadOS 16, which the group had postponed by a month.
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