Apple Silicon Macs will introduce a new system for accessing macOS security and recovery options at startup, Apple explained at a WWDC session on Wednesday.
Existing Macs include a number of startup macOS recovery options that are accessible using key combinations. For example, Command-R starts Macs in recovery mode, and Command-Option-PR resets NVRAM. On Apple Silicon Macs, these key combinations are being replaced by an on-screen Startup Manager interface.
In the new system architecture, users can press and hold the power button on their Mac to access the new startup screen, which presents recovery options for reinstalling macOS, as well as options to boot normally, shutdown, and restart.
Apple is also replacing destination disk mode, which is used to transfer data between two Macs, with what is called Mac sharing mode. Mac sharing mode turns the system into a sharing server for SMB files, providing another Mac with file-level access to user data. User authentication is required to access the service.
In addition, the startup disk is a new feature that allows the user to select different security modes for startup volumes. Full security, enabled by default, provides the same top-notch security that Apple’s iOS devices enjoy and allows users to boot from an external disk without reducing system security.
Meanwhile, the reduced security mode provides more flexibility by allowing users to disable System Integrity Protection and run any version of macOS, including those that are no longer signed by Apple.
Finally, Apple Silicon Macs run separate security policies for each installation of the operating system, while Intel-based Macs operate with a less flexible system-wide security policy. For more details on this and other new startup features, check out the full WWDC session on Apple’s developer website.