Apple made an official announcement at WWDC 2023 regarding macOS Sonoma, the newest version of their desktop operating system. This version comes equipped with a number of exciting features, including enhanced video conferencing tools, a gaming mode, interactive widgets, and more.
On July 12, the macOS Sonoma Beta was released, giving users an opportunity to preview the upcoming software. The final version of macOS Sonoma is expected to be released in September. If you’re interested in learning more about this upcoming macOS version, you’ve just arrived at the right place. Without any further delay, let’s dive in!
Is your Mac compatible?
macOS Sonoma or macOS 14 might not be supported by older devices. Below are some of the models that are compatible with the latest update:
- iMac Pro – 2017 and later
- Mac Pro – 2019 and later
- Mac Mini – 2018 and later
- MacBook Air – 2018 and later
- MacBook Pro – 2018 and later
- Mac Studio – 2022 and later
Top features in macOS Sonoma
A few new features have arrived with macOS Sonoma that will surely improve the overall usability of Mac and enhance user experience. Let’s check out some of the features below:
Widgets on the desktop
Apple has added Widgets on the desktop screen. Previously, the Widgets were available in the Activity Centre. But now you can place them wherever you like. In order to prevent them from distracting, Apple has made it so that Widgets go transparent and tint to blend with your desktop background when you open an app.
They are interactive too, allowing you to control smart home widgets, check off reminders, and keep track of calendar appointments, right from the desktop. If you have an iPhone, you get the option to bring iOS widgets to your desktop as well if your phone is on the same Wi-Fi network or nearby.
More privacy in Safari
Apple is adding new security features to Safari’s existing Private Browsing feature. Now Safari will turn off all extensions by default and remove tracking links from the page you open. Also, instead of closing tabs when you leave your device, you will be able to lock your private browsing window when you leave your device.
Safari will now be also able to separate the browser via profiles. This means you can create a personal profile as well as a work profile. This will separate your extensions, history, and favorites. You can also quickly move back and forth, which ensures a smooth browsing experience for users.
Additionally, you can now share passwords with close friends and family easily. By creating a new “shared group” by visiting the Passwords panel of Safari’s Settings, you can add your trusted contacts and then select the passwords you want to share with the group.
Smart video conferencing features
macOS Sonoma also improves the video conferencing experience on Mac. One of the new features aimed at improving video conferencing is called Presenter Overlay. This feature extracts the presenter in a video call and places them on top of the content in either a small circular moving bubble or a large overlay.
Another feature called Reactions allows you to give instant feedback during a call. You can also invoke reactions with hand gestures. You can also blur the background around you by using an iPhone-style Portrait mode in Sonoma’s video.
New screen savers
macOS has new slow-motion videos of different locations around the world like Arizona and Hong Kong that you can easily set up as a screen saver. The login prompt has also shifted to the bottom of the screen so it will no longer get in the way of the video on your display. This also gives your Mac a lively touch!
Apple now has the new Game Mode feature for graphically intensive titles. Game Mode optimizes your Mac for a better gaming experience by prioritizing your CPU and GPU for gaming and reducing resources used by background tasks. Game Mode also improves the audio experience and reduces audio lag on AirPods. It will also ensure you have an edge in fast-paced games like RPGs through less input latency.
New accessibility features
MacOS Sonoma includes a wide range of new accessibility features for visual, cognitive, and verbal accessibility. Features include pronunciation suggestions that appear when you dictate and edit the text using Voice Control, animated images (such as GIFs) that you can pause in Safari or Messages, and Live Speech that lets you type messages during FaceTime or calls and the ability to connect Made for iPhone hearing aids to Mac.
Web apps in the dock
macOS Sonoma has great new features that give you easy access to your favorite websites right from your dock. Add any website to your dock and access it directly in an app-like window. Once you add the website to your Dock, you can access it like any other macOS app and it supports Stage Manager and Mission Control. Web apps can also send notifications.
macOS Sonoma is the upcoming major release of macOS, and it looks to be a significant update. With new features like widgets on the desktop, the Presenter Overlay for video conferencing, and profiles in Safari, Sonoma is sure to make Mac users more productive and efficient. Additionally, the performance improvements in Sonoma are sure to be welcome, especially for gamers.
Overall, it’s a great update, and it is sure to be a popular choice for Mac users when it is released later this year.