May 21, 2024

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Apple launches macOS Sonoma with new widgets features, Safari updates, screen sharing improvements, and more

Apple launches macOS Sonoma with new widgets features, Safari updates, screen sharing improvements, and more

apple MacOS 14 Sonoma was released today, the latest version of the operating system that runs on Mac computers. macOS Sonoma has been in beta testing for several months and is compatible with iMac 2019 and later, iMac Pro, Mac mini 2018 and later, MacBook Pro 2018 and later, Mac Pro 2019 and later, and Mac Studio.


The ‌‌macOS Sonoma‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section in System Settings.

‌macOS Sonoma‌ adds interactive widgets to the desktop, taking them out of Today View and making them more prominent and useful. With Continuity, you can also see and interact with your iPhone UI elements on your Mac.

There’s a bunch of new Apple TV-like screensavers that feature slow-motion videos of locations around the world, along with matching desktop backgrounds. Apple has added a new Game Mode for Macs with Apple silicon chips, and this option prioritizes games over the CPU and GPU for smoother performance.

Video conferencing gets a boost with a Presenter Overlay effect for sharing content, plus there’s a high-performance screen sharing mode that delivers higher frame rates and low-latency audio so professionals can access their content creation workflows from anywhere.

Safari’s private browsing mode is locked behind Touch ID, personal profiles can be used to separate work and personal browsing, and there are enhanced tracking and fingerprinting protections to maintain your privacy. You can save your favorite websites as web apps on your desktop or Dock, and they’ll run like regular apps with a simplified toolbar.

Many of the features found in iOS 17 are also present in ‌macOS Sonoma‌. The Messages app supports a new sticker experience that turns all emojis into stickers, the People album can recognize pets, and Visual Lookup works with videos and can recognize food and recognize symbols on stickers and signs.

AirTags can be shared with other people using Find My, iCloud Keychain passwords can be shared with friends and family, the Notes app supports embedded PDFs, and Siri can now be activated without saying “hello.” Apple’s full release notes for the update are below.

macOS Sonoma gives you entirely new capabilities that elevate your productivity and creativity. Discover more ways to personalize your Mac with amazing screensavers and widgets you can add to your desktop. Elevate your presence on video calls with a new way to present your work, making you part of the presentation. Safari profiles and web apps help you organize your browsing in entirely new ways. Game mode boosts your gaming performance. Sonoma also offers major updates to messaging, keyboard, and accessibility. When you upgrade, you’ll get the latest security and privacy protections available for Mac.

Screen savers
Stunning screensavers of sites from around the world easily become your desktop wallpaper when you log in
– Toggle settings to cycle through screensavers by theme including landscape, cityscape, underwater, and land

Widgets
– Widgets can be placed anywhere on your desktop and adapt to the color of your wallpaper while working in applications
– iPhone Widgets can be added to your Mac when your iPhone is nearby or on the same Wi-Fi network
– Interactive widgets allow you to take actions directly from the widget such as running shortcut, pausing media, and more

Video conferencing
– Presenter Overlay keeps you front and center while sharing your screen in FaceTime or third-party video conferencing apps (Mac with Apple silicon)
– Reaction layer 3D effects, like hearts, balloons, confetti, and more around you in video calls, and can be triggered with gestures (Mac with Apple silicon, Continuity Camera with iPhone 12 and later)

Safari and passwords
– Profiles keep your browsing separate by topics such as work and personal topics, separating history, cookies, extensions, tab groups and favorites
– Web apps let you use any website like an app, with an icon in the Dock for faster access and a simplified toolbar for easier browsing
– Improved private browsing locks private browsing windows when you’re not using them, blocks known trackers from loading, and removes personally identifiable tracking from URLs
– Password and passkey sharing allows you to easily share accounts with trusted contacts

Messages
– Live Stickers sync from iOS and iPadOS to macOS, giving you access to the Live Stickers you create on iPhone and iPad
– Search filters for people, keywords, and content types like images or links help you find what you’re looking for more easily
– Swipe to reply inline to any iMessage bubble

the games
– Game mode gives games top priority over CPU and GPU, delivering more consistent frame rates and lower latency for wireless controllers and AirPods (Mac with Apple silicon)

keyboard
– Improved autocorrect accuracy makes typing easier by leveraging a more robust compiler-based language model
– Built-in predictive text shows predictions for single and multiple words that you can add by pressing the space bar
– Improved dictation experience supports using voice and keyboard together to enter and edit text

Airpods
– Adaptive Audio delivers a new listening mode that dynamically blends active noise cancellation and transparency to customize the noise control experience based on the conditions of your environment (AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with latest firmware)
– Custom Volume adjusts your media volume in response to your environment and listening preferences over time (AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with latest firmware)
– Conversation Awareness reduces media volume and enhances the voices of people in front of the user, all while reducing background noise (AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with latest firmware)
– Press to mute and unmute the microphone by pressing the AirPods stem or Digital Crown on AirPods Max during a call (AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro (1st or 2nd generation), or AirPods Max with the latest firmware)
– Improved automatic switching for AirPods now detects Mac devices up to 2X faster (AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation), AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), and AirPods Max with the latest firmware)

Privacy
– Sensitive content warnings can be enabled to help prevent users from unexpectedly viewing sensitive images in messages
– Expanded communication safety protections for kids now detect nudity videos as well as photos shared through messages and the system’s photo picker
– Improved sharing permissions let you choose which photos to share and add calendar events without providing access to your entire photo library or calendar

Accessibility
– Live Speech lets you type what you want to say and have it read out loud in FaceTime calls or personal conversations
– Personal Voice helps users at risk of speech loss create a voice that sounds like them in a private and safe way using on-device machine learning
– iPhone-compatible hearing aids can be paired and used with Mac computers (MacBook Pro (2021), Mac Studio (2022), and Mac computers with M2 chip)

This release also includes other features and improvements:
– Autofilling one-time verification code from mail helps you quickly sign in to sites in Safari, without leaving your browser
– Embedded PDF files and document scans in Notes are displayed full width, making them easier to view
– Grocery lists in Reminders automatically groups related items into sections as you add them
– Visual search for recipes helps you find similar dishes from the photo
– Visual video search helps you identify objects appearing in paused video frames
– The Pets in People album in Photos displays individual pets just like friends or family members
– Option to say “Siri” in addition to “Hey Siri” for a more natural way to activate Siri (Mac with Apple silicon, AirPods Pro (2nd generation))
– High Performance Mode in Screen Sharing supports color workflow and improves responsiveness while accessing your Mac remotely (Mac with Apple silicon)
– Sharing items in Find My lets you share an AirTag with up to five other people
– Home Activity Log displays a recent log of events for door locks, garage doors, security systems and contact sensors
– Battery health management on the 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 chip has been updated to better optimize long-term battery health

Some features may not be available in all regions or on all Apple devices.

Read more

For a deeper look at all the new features in ‌macOS Sonoma‌, we have a dedicated macOS Sonoma report.

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