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Apple Previews macOS Sonoma – Brings New Ways to Personalize Widgets, Updates to Safari, Much More

Apple Previews macOS Sonoma – Brings New Ways to Personalize Widgets, Updates to Safari, Much More

Apple today previewed macOS Sonoma, the latest version of its venerable Mac operating system. The new OS, which will launch this fall, brings several new features, including enhancements to Messages, Safari, and other apps, desktop widgets, Apple TV-like screensavers, a new Game mode, and more.

macOS Sonoma features new interactive widgets, which can now be placed directly on the Mac desktop. The widgets blend into the Mac’s desktop wallpaper to get out of your way when you’re working, and Continuity allows Mac owners to use the same widgets from their iPhone on their Mac.

The new OS also brings new video conferencing features. A new Presenter Overlay feature allows users to display themselves in front of any content they are sharing during a video conference. Screen Sharing has been improved to simplify the process.

Safari will receive numerous new features in Sonoma, including a Private Browsing update providing additional protection from trackers or from people who might access the user’s device. Safari will also offer separate browsing between topics, such as having one for work and one for personal browsing. Users can now create web apps that work like normal apps.

When macOS Sonoma is idle, new screen savers can be displayed, featuring videos of various locations worldwide.

Gamers will appreciate a new Game Mode that provides an optimized gaming experience to provide smoother and more consistent frame rates. The mode dramatically lowers audio latency when using AirPods, while also reducing input latency for game controllers. The mode works with any game on Mac.

Additional macOS Sonoma updates include:
  • Streamlined PDFs: Enhanced PDF functionality allows for quick form-filling with AutoFill, and smart recipient recommendations.
  • Inline PDFs in Notes: Notes now displays PDFs and document scans in full width, and with linked notes, users can quickly connect related notes like recipes or homework.
  • Siri: Users have the ability to simply say “Siri” to activate Siri.2
  • Passwords: Users can now create a group to share a set of passwords. Everyone in a group can add and edit passwords to keep them up to date, and since sharing is through iCloud Keychain, it’s end-to-end encrypted. Additionally, the one-time verification codes received in Mail will now autofill in Safari, making it easy to securely log in without leaving the browser.
  • Messages: Users can connect with those closest to them with an all-new stickers experience, enhancements to features like search, reply, groups, and syncing with Messages in iCloud.
  • Reminders: Intelligent grocery lists in Reminders streamline weekly trips to the store. Additionally, users can organize lists into sections and arrange them horizontally using a new column view.
  • Keyboard: An all-new autocorrect makes corrections more accurate and easier to fix. Inline completions help users quickly finish sentences, while Dictation brings accuracy improvements through next-level speech recognition.
  • Privacy and Safety: 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.

Apple has already made the first beta of macOS Sonoma available to developers. A public beta will be available next month. The new Mac operating system will be released to the public this fall.