Apple has unveiled the highly anticipated update to the Mac Operating System – macOS Sonoma. With this new version of macOS, Apple brings in useful features and changes as well as refinements across the system. The newly announced features are Interactive Widgets, New Lock Screen, New Screen Savers, Smart Video Conferencing, Game Mode, and more.
Here’s what Apple announced for macOS Sonoma at WWDC 2023:
1. Interactive Widgets: macOS Sonoma brings Interactive Widgets to the Mac, which can be placed anywhere on the desktop. With Continuity in the Apple Ecosystem, users can now also add widgets from their iPhone on the desktop, without having to install that app on the Mac.
2. New Screen Savers: Apple has introduced stunning new screen savers on macOS Sonoma featuring slow-motion videos of several popular locations in the world – namely the sweeping skyline of Hong Kong, the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley in Arizona, and the rolling hills of Sonoma in Northern California. According to Apple, “This rich graphical and photographic imagery enhances the Mac experience by shuffling through Landscape, Earth, Underwater, or Cityscape themes. The login experience is now repositioned at the bottom of the screen, making space for the new screen savers, which seamlessly transition into the desktop.”
3. Smart Video Conferencing: Apple has added a new video effect to macOS Sonoma, called Presenter Overlay. It allows users to display themselves on the top of the content that they are sharing. Reactions based on Hand Gestures have also been added to Sonoma, bringing reactions such as balloons, confetti, hearts, and more into the video itself.
4. Streamlined PDFs: Similar to iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma also supports AutoFill in Forms and smart recipient recommendations.
5. Siri: Users can simply say the term “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri” to invoke Siri on the Mac with macOS Sonoma, similar to iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.
6. New Lock Screen: macOS Sonoma brings a new Lock Screen to macOS to match with the design language of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.
7. Game Mode: A new Game mode has been introduced in Sonoma to deliver an optimized gaming experience to users. According to Apple, “Game Mode delivers an optimized gaming experience with smoother and more consistent frame rates, by ensuring games get the highest priority on the CPU and GPU. Game Mode also makes gaming on Mac even more immersive — dramatically lowering audio latency with AirPods, and significantly reducing input latency with popular game controllers like those for Xbox and PlayStation by doubling the Bluetooth sampling rate. Game Mode works with any game, including all of the recent and upcoming Mac games.”
8. Inline PDFs in Notes: PDFs and document scans will appear in full width in the Notes App and users will also have the ability to link related notes on macOS Sonoma.
9. Inline Keyboard Predictions: macOS Sonoma will now display predictions inline as you type, so you can just click the space bar to go ahead with the predictions and finish the phrase or sentence.
10. Safari: macOS Sonoma allows users to create profiles to stay organized and also adds support for Web Apps for websites. Users simply need to go to File, and then click on “Add to Dock”. This will create a Web App that you can easily access from the Dock.
Bonus Feature – Screen Sharing: With a new high-performance mode, users can experience low-latency audio, higher frame rates, and support for reference color with up to two virtual displays. This helps in providing users with responsive remote access to their pro workflows.
Here are the devices supported by macOS Sonoma:
- MacBook Air (2018 and later)
- MacBook Pro (2018 and later)
- iMac (2019 and later)
- iMac Pro (2017)
- Mac mini (2018 and later)
- Mac Studio (2022 and later)
- Mac Pro (2019 and later)
However, some of these features are only limited to Apple Silicon Macs.
Do note that as macOS Sonoma is still under development, it is currently only available to Developers for beta testing with it expanding to Public Beta Testers next month. For Beta Testing macOS Sonoma as a Developer, you need to have a Free Developer Account with Apple and turn on Beta Updates under Settings>Software Update.
With that being said, macOS Sonoma is supported by numerous Mac devices, all the way from the iMac Pro to the newly announced Mac Studio and Mac Pro.
Will you be updating your Mac to the first beta of macOS Sonoma? How excited are you about these new features? Let us know down in the comments or tweet to us on @appleosophy! Be sure to download the Appleosophy App from the App Store or visit our website to stay updated with the latest Apple news!