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macOS 13 Beta: Apple apparently deletes network environments

Apple has removed an important feature for handling different network configurations from macOS 13 Ventura. Mac users up to the current macOS 12 Monterey can use so-called environments to set up certain network settings and then quickly switch between them – also directly via the Apple menu. All previous pre-release versions of macOS 13 Ventura lack this option, as developers with access to the beta report.

This does not appear to be a bug: bug reports submitted to Apple are closed with the succinct response that the investigation is complete and everything is working as “currently designed,” according to a response from the operating system manufacturer published by a developer.

Apple has used this choice of words in the past when functions were ultimately removed from the operating system. The end of the network environment has not yet been officially documented. The function has also not been mentioned in the release notes of the Ventura beta – neither as “discontinued” nor as a “known problem”.

The disappearance of Network Neighborhoods appears to be related to the complete overhaul of System Preferences in macOS Ventura. These are now the same as the iOS settings; the network environments do not exist on the iPhone and iPad. Despite continued criticism Apple has only slightly revised Ventura’s new macOS system settings so far.

The network environments belong to the long-serving basic functions of macOS, which allow users to quickly switch between different DNS settings. It is also possible to set up specific configurations for the office and home network and to set the priority of network interfaces so that the Mac should try to establish an Ethernet instead of a WLAN connection first.

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