MacOS Sonoma is the newest macOS version yet—the macOS 14 so to speak. The new Apple desktop operating system(OS) was unveiled at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This macOS version is named Sonoma after a city in northern California—a region best known for the Sonoma Valley winemaking area and appellation.
Sonoma may not be a complete overhaul of macOS but offers an array of amazing improvements and powerful new features. Designed to help you get the best out of your Mac, you’ll find Sonoma to be both powerful and fun to use.
It borrows quite a number of features from Apple’s iOS 17, but also boasts a few Mac-specific enhancements. Get to know what macOS 14 has to offer over and above other macOS versions as well as its availability.
Also Read– macOS Sonoma vs. Ventura
Is macOS Sonoma Out Yet?
The final version of the software is expected to roll out this fall, but the manufacturer has already released multiple beta versions. Apple made the first developer beta version of the OS available shortly after launching macOS Sonoma, back in June 2023. Since then, the manufacturer has released several other Sonoma beta versions, including:
- macOS Sonoma 14.0 Beta 1 – the developer beta was released on June 5, 202, and later entered public beta on July 11, 2023.
- macOS Sonoma 14.0 Beta 2 – was released on June 21, 2023
- macOS Sonoma 14.0 Beta 3 – released on July 5, 2023. An update of beta 3 was made available on July 11, 2023.
- macOS Sonoma 14.0 Beta 4 – released on July 25, 2023.
Apple has made all these beta versions available for all Mac users to download and install. The beta versions have allowed numerous users to try the software first-hand and offer feedback. Such feedback has allowed the manufacturer to better macOS 14 with each subsequent release.
You should expect more software updates throughout the Sonoma beta period. The final release of macOS 14 Sonoma is expected to be available between September and October 2023.
You can download any of the beta versions right away from the Apple Beta Software Program website. However, you need to have a free Apple developer account for you to access and download the software.
Which Macs Can Run macOS Sonoma?
With Sonoma, Apple dropped support for most of their Intel-powered Macs. As a result, you need to have a rather new Mac for you to install and run macOS Sonoma natively. That said, these are the only Macs that are supported for macOS 14:
- The 2017 iMac Pro
- 2018 and later models of MacBook Pro,
- 2018 and later MacBook Air models
- 2018 and later models of Mac Mini
- 2019 and later iMac models
- 2019 and later Mac Pro models
- 2022 and later Mac Studio
macOS Sonoma New Features and Updates
You can anticipate a range of new features and updates with macOS 14 Sonoma. Most of these are meant to enhance safety and privacy, usability, and elevate gaming experience on Mac computers.
Here is a brief overview of the notable features you should expect from macOS 14 Sonoma this fall:
With Sonoma, widgets are no longer restricted to the Notification center. You can now place the anywhere on your desktop. The widget picker has also been revamped and now resembles the one on iPadOS.
Thanks to Continuity, you can now use some of the widgets on your iOS device on macOS Sonoma.
- Screen Savers
MacOS Sonoma is big on customization and the manufacturer has gone a step further with screen savers. The OS features slow-motion visual displays of different locations across the world as screen savers.
As soon as you log into the Mac, the video screen saver comes to a smooth stop and becomes the desktop wallpaper. The date and time on Sonoma’s lock screen is now similar to the one on iPadOS and iOS.
- Video Effects
Sonoma comes with some new video effects that work with Apple as well as third-party video conferencing apps. For instance, you can react using gestured during a video call. As the presenter, you can leverage the Presenter Overlay feature to keep the spotlight on yourself during a presentation.
The new Screen Sharing Picker allows you to share multiple apps during a video call.
Sonoma comes packed with some amazing messaging features. To begin with, it offers precise search filters. The Catch-up feature on Sonoma allows you to jump to the very first unread message within a conversation.
You’ll also love the fact that iMessage stickers now have a new picker interface.
The newly upgraded Safari browser includes a private browsing functionality. This feature automatically locks the private browsing tabs when left idles for a few minutes. Safari also offers other new features, such as:
- Safari Profiles
- Web apps
- Password sharing
- Game Mode
Starting with macOS Sonoma, Apple strives to offer an elevated gaming experience. The Game Mode on this OS prioritizes the game you are running on the CPU and GPU. This, in turn, improves performance and reduces latency when using Bluetooth controllers or Apple earbuds.
MacOS Sonoma Beta is the new version of macOS that was launched on June 5, 2023. Meant to replace the macOS Ventura, Sonoma is packed full with new features and upgrades. macOS Sonoma release date is expected to be somewhere between September and October 2023.
However, the manufacturer has already released four beta versions of the software for you to try the OS and give feedback. Altogether, macOS 14 Sonoma is a great operating system that is both powerful and fun to use.