MacOS Sonoma Announced with Desktop Widgets, New Screen Savers, & More
Apple has announced MacOS Sonoma as the next major version of MacOS.
MacOS Sonoma, technically versioned as MacOS 14, features a new desktop widgets feature, new screen savers, new video conferencing features, a new Game Mode feature that optimizes performance when playing games, and more.
The desktop widgets feature in MacOS Sonoma should already be familiar to anyone who remembers the unappreciated Dashboard widgets feature that debuted to much popularity back in 2005 with Mac OS X Tiger 10.4 and then later removed in MacOS Catalina onward. But what’s old is new again, and widgets are now back on the Mac, and they’re interactive, available at a quick glance, or you can place the widgets directly on the Mac desktop where their appearance will fade slightly when out of focus.
New FaceTime video conferencing capabilities are also coming to macOS Sonoma, where you can easily share your screen or content while using the Presenter Overlay feature to place whoever is speaking over the content they are sharing.
New screensavers also come to the Mac with MacOS Sonoma, including screensavers of the Hong Kong skyline, Monument Valley in northern Arizona, and of course, the wine country and hills of Sonoma California.
Safari also has gained some notable updates and new features, including the ability for Private Browsing sessions and windows to lock when they’re not in use, preventing someone from snooping around in your private Safari tabs if they otherwise have access to your computer. And there’s a new profiles feature that allow you to separate Safari browsing sessions, cookies, and extensions, based on a profile, like “Work” or “School” or a particular project or topic.
Game Mode is a new feature that optimizes CPU and GPU performance during gaming so that the game gets maximum priority from the Macs hardware, ensuring optimal performance.
There are many other new smaller features too, including enhanced PDF support for Notes and PDF auto-fill for form-filling, you can say just Siri instead of Hey Siri, group password sharing, new Stickers features in Messages, smarter autocorrect and Dictation, and more.
MacOS Sonoma will support any Mac from 2018 onward, and also the iMac Pro 2017 model and newer.
MacOS Sonoma is available as a beta to developers now, for public beta users in July, and to the general public in the fall, as a free update to any compatible Mac.