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Apple has officially announced the next version of its desktop operating system. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect and which Macs are supported.

macOS Sonoma is the newest version of macOS, the operating system that runs on the Mac. The update is named after Sonoma, an area in Northern California's "Wine Country" that is known for its wineries.

macOS Sonoma

Like with last year's macOS Ventura, the latest macOS version is again named after a place in California. This time Apple picked the popular county Sonoma that is located in the Northern California and renowned for its vineyards and picturesque views.

The new OS brings a more intuitive UI through widgets and Game Mode as well as major enhancements to its services while keeping deeper integration with other platforms like iPhone.

Is Your Mac Compatible?

The Cupertino firm is seen to drop the standard MacBook line from getting the macOS Sonoma. This makes the 2017 MacBook to be last updated to macOS Ventura. As with the other models that will be upgraded to macOS Sonoma, it includes the 2018 models all the way to the 2023 MacBook Air and 2023 MacBook Pro and a wide range of iMac and Mac devices.

To find out which Mac model you have, tap on the Apple icon in the menu bar in the upper-left corner of your screen and click on About This Mac. Here’s a list of all the models that will be able to run Sonoma. 

  • MacBook Air: 2018 and later
  • MacBook Pro: 2018 and later
  • Mac Mini: 2018 and later
  • iMac: 2019 and later
  • iMac Pro: 2017 and later
  • Mac Pro: 2019 and later
  • Mac Studio: 2022 and later

What are the new features of macOS Sonoma

The new macOS builds on the enhancement of services from the macOS Ventura, such as privacy, security, and messaging. However, it is introducing a few and new notable additions with it. That includes the new desktop widgets, an overlay for video conferencing apps, and a dedicated game mode on top of the new wallpaper and screen saver collections. Here are the new features of macOS Sonama.

Interactive widgets

Widgets are not new on macOS, they were first added to the Notifications Center, but you can't be able to place them on the desktop or extensively customize. In macOS Sonoma, Apple is enabling that feature where you can place and customize widgets onto your desktop the iPhone way.

The macOS Sonoma gets desktop widgets that can be customized or synced
        from an iPhone
The macOS Sonoma gets desktop widgets that can be customized or synced from an iPhone.

At the same time, widgets currently being used in iOS devices will now be automatically synced to a paired Mac. There is also a blend view that makes the widgets semi-transparent when you're working on an active tab, app, or Stage Manager.

Presenter Overlay for Zoom and more

Apple is improving video calling and conferencing on the Mac in a few ways. First, it is launching a new capability called Presenter Overlay for apps like Zoom. The feature enables the person in a call to be overlaid on top of the presentation, giving a better view for the other participants. And when using an iPhone or Studio Display as a webcam, the camera frame becomes adjustable with options to pan and zoom.

The macOS Sonoma enables Presenter Overlay when video conferencing.
The macOS Sonoma enables Presenter Overlay when video conferencing. 

Additionally, you can apply augmented effects by creating hand gestures towards the camera, which is similar to the tvOS 17 capability for Apple TV 4K. A new Screen Sharing picker is also added and lets you share apps and file during a video call.

Game Mode and more titles for Mac

Apple is announcing Game Mode with macOS Sonoma. When activated, the mode on Mac emphasis the use of processor and graphics for games instead of having the resources balanced with other tasks.  Furthermore, it also optimizes wireless connections by reducing latency for paired accessories such as AirPods headphones and gaming controllers.

macOS has ever since lagging compared to Windows in terms of game titles availability. But Apple is slowly adding more games and letting developers easily port their projects to the Mac ecosystem. Planned and recently added games include Death Stranding Director's Cut, Resident Evil Village: Winter's Extension, and World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, among others.

Safari profiles, shareable passwords, and web apps on Dock

With macOS Sonama, Safari lets users create multiple profiles and easily switch between one of them when browsing. This separates web data like history, favorites, tab groups, cookies, and extensions for each profile.

Web apps will now work on macOS Sonoma and even adding them on the dock.
Web apps will now work on macOS Sonoma and even adding them on the dock.

More importantly, private browsing will automatically lock windows when you're away. This mode will also completely block and disable trackers from URLs. In addition, passwords and passkeys on the macOS can be shared with an individual or group of contacts you create. You can then quickly add or remove contacts from it.

If you're accessing websites instead of apps, these can be added to the Dock along with full-fledge apps starting with macOS Sonoma. Likewise, web apps give you an app-inspired interface and notifications.

PDF and Notes

The same with iPadOS 17, PDF and Notes are receiving big updates on macOS. Apple said that Auto Fill forms from Contacts should work for PDF files and scanned documents while a single note can handle multiple PDFs and display a full-width view. Users can start linking related notes too or even start a note and continue it into the Pages editor.

Messages and keyboard

It's now possible to combine more than one filter when searching in the Messages on Mac with the upcoming macOS update. Plus, the app supports swipe-to-reply gesture and viewing of location right in the conversation view.

When typing either in the Messages or a different app, autocorrected words or phrases are finally underlined and there is a one-click revert button and inline predictions as well. At once, the stickers across your other devices in different form-factors, including iPhones and iPads. Moreover, typing can simultaneously work with Dictation.

Security and privacy

The iPhone-maker highlighted that in macOS Sonoma, auto-blurring of sensitive photos and videos will work not only in the Messages app but with third-party apps too. Lastly, your photos and events in calendars are now safer from granted apps. Meaning, these apps can only view the select file or data being shared, according to Apple.

  • Lê Hòa
    Lê Hòa 7/30/2023 11:08 AM


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  • Noman Chowdhury
    Noman Chowdhury 2/04/2024 9:19 AM

    When will it be available

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