What has changed in macOS Ventura 13.2?

The update to macOS Ventura 13.2 isn’t large, but brings two significant new features:

  • Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, adding end-to-end encryption to Notes, Photos and more;
  • Security Keys for Apple ID, adding support for physical security keys when signing in to your Mac.

Further information about Advanced Data Protection is here, and about Security Keys is here.

In addition to those, Apple says that it brings enhancements and fixes, including:

  • fixing a bug in Freeform, where some drawing strokes weren’t appearing on shared boards;
  • fixing a bug in VoiceOver, which could stop working when typing;
  • fixing a bug in Recovery mode, where a Mac could become unresponsive after selecting a language;
  • ensuring that webloc files are opened by the default browser.

The latter two are listed in Apple’s release notes for enterprise.

A full list of security vulnerabilities addressed is here. These include three in the kernel, but Apple doesn’t report that any of those fixed are known to have been exploited in the wild at present.

There are firmware updates for Apple silicon Macs, bringing iBoot to 8419.80.7, and Intel T2 models are updated to 1916. (iBridge: 20.16.3045.0.0,0).

Significant version changes seen among bundled apps include:

  • FindMy, build increment
  • Freeform, updated to version 1.1
  • Home, build increment
  • Mail, build increment
  • Maps, build increment
  • Music, updated to version 1.3.3
  • News, updated to version 8.2.1
  • Photos, build increment
  • Safari, updated to version 16.3 (18614.
  • TV, updated to version 1.3.3
  • Weather, updated to version 3.2.1.

Significant changes in /System/Library include:

  • Control Center, build increment
  • Finder, updated to version 13.2 (routine)
  • HelpViewer, build increment
  • PairedDevices app, updated to version 4.3.0
  • Screen Time, build increment
  • Software Update, build increment
  • WindowManager, build increment
  • AppleAVD KEXT, version increment, which may be primarily related to M2 Pro and Max chips
  • System KEXT and its plugins, version increment
  • APFS is updated to version 2142.81.1 (routine)
  • many Frameworks and Private Frameworks are updated
  • the Universal Access pane in System Settings is updated.

There are substantial changes to support new M2 Pro and Max chips. The following new kernel extensions have been added:

  • AppleMobileDispT602X KEXTs, for new display support
  • AppleT6020, 6021 and 602x KEXTs, for the M2 Pro (T6020) and Max (T6021)
  • AudioDMACController KEXT
  • BCMWLANFirmware4388_Hashstore KEXT.

There’s also a version increment in the AppleANELoadBalancer KEXT, together with other changes in Apple Neural Engine (ANE) support, no doubt for the new ANE subsystems in M2 Pro and Max chips.

There’s speculation as to whether 13.2 introduces Rapid Security Responses, although Apple does state that MDM has now been updated to handle them.

There’s currently only one significant bug in Ventura that I’m actively tracking, which appears to be in WindowServer or one of the related subsystems used in Stage Manager. This is unusual in that it only affects Apple silicon Macs, but hasn’t been resolved in 13.2. I will write in more detail about it later this week.

I’m grateful to mikey @0xmachos for the links to Apple’s articles about Advanced Data Protection and Security Keys.
Updated 0640 GMT 24 January 2023.