Apple has released the macOS 14.2 Release Candidate (23C63) to public beta testers. This pre-release version of macOS Ventura includes several major new features and improvements before the final public release.
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Enhanced AutoFill for PDFs
One of the most notable new features in the macOS 14.2 beta is enhanced AutoFill support for PDFs. When filling out PDF forms, macOS can now automatically detect text fields and provide relevant information from your contacts, apps, and more to populate them.
This should significantly reduce tedious manual entry when working with PDF documents. The enhanced AutoFill experience is powered by machine learning to recognize form fields, saving you time and effort.
Contact Key Verification for iMessage
The macOS 14.2 Release Candidate brings end-to-end encrypted Contact Key Verification to Messages. This optional security feature provides verification when messaging contacts to confirm you are communicating with the intended recipient without third-party interception.
When Contact Key Verification is enabled in Messages, users can validate they have the right contact through a short animation, providing enhanced protection against spoofing or phishing attacks. This continues Apple’s push to make iMessage one of the most private and secure messaging platforms.
New Tapback Sticker Option
The beta release introduces a new tapback option of a heart sticker for Messages on macOS Ventura. Tapbacks make it easy to quickly respond to received messages.
Along with thumbs up, thumbs down, emphatic, question mark, laughter, and exclamation point, you can now simply tap the heart icon to share some love. It’s a fun and easy way to react to messages from family, friends, and colleagues.
New Weather Widgets
macOS 14.2 brings new Weather widgets to Notification Center and the Home Screen to quickly glance the current temperature, air quality, UV index, humidity, pressure, visibility, wind speed and direction.
These detailed Weather widgets make it fast and convenient to view a snapshot of the local weather forecast. Rather than opening a dedicated weather app, useful information like temperature and air quality is available right on the Home Screen or in Notification Center through these updated widgets.
Table: Weather Widget Metrics
|Current temperature in degrees
|Air Quality Index
|Level of air pollutants and health concerns
|Scale of skin damage risk from sun’s UV rays
|Percentage of moisture levels in the air
|Force exerted by the atmosphere
|How far one can clearly see
|Rate of horizontal air flow
|Compass bearing wind is coming from
The macOS 14.2 beta introduces handy timer presets to the Clock app. Rather than manually configuring a timer each time, you can now save timer presets for frequently used durations.
This allows quickly starting a 3 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute (or any duration) timer with a single click. The new presets help you time activities frequently done in intervals like page sprints when writing, breaks between study sessions, steeping tea, etc.
Favorite Songs Playlist
Apple Music on the updated macOS Ventura creates a convenient new Favorite Songs playlist. This automatically generated smart playlist pulls together all the songs you have loved or added to your Library over time.
Rather than needing to manually create and maintain a favorite tunes playlist, Apple Music does the work for you. The Favorite Songs playlist stays up to date as your favorites change, making a go-to playlist for your most-loved tracks.
Live Music Recognition with Shazam
A new Music Recognition toggle in Control Center on macOS 14.2 enables live Shazam music recognition on demand. When you hear an unfamiliar song playing, you can simply open Control Center, engage Music Recognition, and your Mac will continuously listen and identify songs playing nearby.
This hands-free built-in song identification makes it seamless to determine the name and artist of music playing at a cafe, office, store, or party. Shazam music recognition is integrated directly into the operating system for instant song detection.
Sámi Language Keyboards
macOS 14.2 brings support for 7 additional Sámi language keyboard layouts: Inari, Lule, Northern, Skolt, Southern, Ter, and Ume.
Sámi languages are spoken by Sámi people in northern Europe’s Arctic regions. With keyboards for these 7 Sámi languages, Apple continues enhancing support for diverse languages and input methods on macOS.
Stability Improvements and Bug Fixes
In addition to major new features, the macOS 14.2 Release Candidate focuses on stability, performance, and bug fixes. The beta release notes indicate improved reliability of WindowServer, resolved an issue that may cause low frame rates when using daisy-chained docks, and fixes an issue with text fields not highlighting properly when using Dark Mode.
Apple continues tweaking, testing, and improving macOS Ventura ahead of general public release to provide a smoother and more reliable experience.
The macOS 14.2 Release Candidate builds on Ventura with some great new additions like AutoFill for PDFs, Contact Key Verification, Weather widgets, Music Recognition, and more. And under-the-hood fixes aim to squash bugs and boost stability before the OS update rolls out broadly.
Overall, macOS 14.2 RC seems an incremental yet worthwhile step forward, continuing to refine the Ventura platform. Enhanced security, convenience features, and Accessibility support demonstrate Apple’s commitment to polishing the Mac operating system experience.