Apple has released macOS Sonoma – the latest version of the Mac operating system – following a summer in beta.
The 2023 update continues the trend of macOS becoming more like its iOS and iPadOS stablemates.
It’ll introduce new desktop interactive desktop widgets for some of your favourite applications – from Weather to Photos, Reminders, and Shortcuts – and thanks to the Continuity tech you can easily add iPhone widgets.
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Apple is also giving FaceTime a facelift with Zoom-like features. There’s a new Presenter Overlay tool that can remove the background and place the presenter in front of the content they’re showcasing. There are also fun reactions like confetti and balloons prompted by hand gestures.
Safari is also getting a massive boost with improved Private Browsing to include improved tracking and fingerprinting protections to prevent websites identifying the user. Private browsing windows will also lock when you’re not using them, which is ideal if you have to step away from your Mac.
Gaming is supercharged with Sonoma, via a new Game Mode that gives your favourite titles CPU and GPU priority. If you’re using AirPods there’ll be significantly lower latency, while latency when using Xbox and PlayStation controllers is also reduced.
As usual, Apple is bringing a host of new screensavers to the party “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 latter of which gives the operating system update its name.
As with iOS, you’ll no longer have to say “Hey” first to access Siri, while updates to Messages (new stickers), Reminders (more intelligent lists) and Passwords (group to share) are also carried over from the mobile realm.
You can download Sonoma by selecting Settings > General > Software Update. If Automatic Updates are turned on, this could also download in the background for easier installation.