Over the past few years, we’ve seen a renaissance with the Mac as Apple Silicon has taken the world by storm. During the WWDC 2023 Keynote, Apple introduced a total of three new Macs, along with macOS Sonoma. The software side of things might not seem super exciting, but if there’s one thing Apple is known for, it’s providing long support for older hardware.
- Desktop Widgets: Easily the biggest addition to macOS Sonoma is the arrival of desktop widgets. These widgets aren’t anything different from the ones that you can access within Notification Center on previous versions of macOS. However, instead of being limited to only having widgets appear “out of sight”, you can place them right on your desktop.
- Video Conferencing: If you’re still lucky enough to be working from home or away from the office, then you’re probably used to dealing with video conferencing software. With macOS Sonoma, Apple is introducing some new features for apps like Zoom, starting with Presenter Overlay.
- Safari: Safari on macOS Sonoma is also getting a lot of the same features. These include upgrades to Private Browsing, providing “even greater protection during browsing”. With Profiles, this makes it easy to separate your work from your personal life, “while also keeping cookies, history, extensions, Tab Groups, and Favorites separate”. Another great feature available with other browsers is the ability to use Progressive Web Apps or PWAs.
- Game Mode: This will deliver “an optimized gaming experience with smoother and more consistent frame rates, by ensuring games get the highest priority on the CPU and GPU”. However, it will also lower audio latency with AirPods, while also “significantly reducing input latency with popular game controllers like those for Xbox and PlayStation by doubling the Bluetooth sampling rate”
- Screen Savers and Login Screen: macOS Sonoma brings stunning screen savers featuring slow-motion videos of various locations worldwide, such as the sweeping skyline of Hong Kong, the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley in Arizona, and the rolling hills of Sonoma in Northern California. 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.
- Password and passkey sharing: Create a group and choose a set of accounts to share. Passwords stay up to date for everyone in the group, and you can remove someone at any time.
Just as is the case with the iPhone and iPad, you might be wondering if it’s finally time for you to upgrade your Mac. We haven’t finished diving into all of the nooks and crannies just yet, so we aren’t sure what features are limited to specific Mac releases. But Apple has provided a list of all of the Mac computers that can run macOS Sonoma:
- iMac (2019 and later)
- iMac Pro (2017)
- MacBook Air (2018 and later)
- MacBook Pro (2018 and later)
- Mac Pro (2019 and later)
- Mac Studio (2022 and later)
- Mac mini (2018 and later)
The macOS Sonoma Developer Beta is available for developers now, with a Public Beta program expected to arrive sometime in July. Apple did not provide specifics as to when non-developers will be able to test out the next version of macOS. However, Apple does confirm that macOS Sonoma will arrive for all compatible devices in the Fall, likely alongside iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.
Andrew Myrick is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is having a never-ending supply of different keyboards and gaming handhelds that end up collecting more dust than the consoles that are being emulated.