Apple announces macOS Sonoma, adding new Game Mode, Safari updates, desktop widgets, and more
Apple today previewed macOS Sonoma, the latest version of macOS which will be available in the fall, bringing several are features to the Mac including new widgets, significant updates to Safari, enhanced video conferencing features, screen savers featuring slow-motion videos of various locations worldwide, and all-new Game Mode, and more.
Widgets are now even more powerful and personal on Mac. Users can place widgets right on the desktop. Widgets blend with the wallpaper while users work in apps. Through Continuity, users can use iPhone widgets on their Mac. And widgets are now interactive, allowing users to check off reminders, play or pause media, access home controls, and perform various tasks from their Mac, all directly from the desktop.
macOS Sonoma brings enhanced video conferencing features that enable users to present and share their work more effectively within any video conferencing app. Presenter Overlay, a new video effect, displays a user on top of the content they are sharing. Additionally, Reactions allow users to share how they feel by adding balloons, confetti, hearts, and more into the video, which can also be triggered with a hand gesture.
Safari introduces new features to Private Browsing, which provides even greater protection during browsing both from trackers and from people who might have access to the user’s device. Additionally, Apple is adding Safari profiles help users stay organised by offering a way to separate browsing between topics, while also keeping cookies, history, extensions, Tab Groups, and Favourites separate.
macOS Sonoma brings stunning screen savers featuring slow-motion videos of various locations worldwide.
macOS Sonoma also introduces Game Mode, giving players an edge when performance is measured in precious milliseconds. Game Mode delivers an optimised 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.
Additional macOS Sonoma updates include enhanced PDF functionality for quick form-filling with AutoFill, users have the ability to simply say “Siri” to activate Siri, users have all-new stickers experience, enhancements to features like search, reply, groups, and syncing with Messages in iCloud.
Communication Safety expands to AirDrop, the Photos picker, incoming calls, and FaceTime messages, further broadening protections for children. Additionally, Sensitive Content Warning prevents unexpected exposure to sensitive images and videos in AirDrop and Messages, incoming calls, and FaceTime messages, while giving the user the option to block the contact or seek further resources for help.
The developer beta of macOS Sonoma is available through the Apple Developer Program at developer.apple.com starting today, and a public beta will be available through the Apple Beta Software Program next month at beta.apple.com. The release will be available as a free software update this fall.