At this year’s WWDC, Apple announced macOS 14, dubbed macOS Sonoma. The upcoming update was revealed alongside iOS 17 and other Apple ecosystem updates, focusing on more extensive personalisation capabilities, improved privacy for web browsing, and some interesting features for gaming on Mac.
First, while widgets aren’t new to Macs, they have been limited to the notification centre. With macOS Sonoma, widgets take centre stage as they will be able to be added straight to the desktop, putting them front and centre as interactive tools that can be customised to each user’s needs.
The OS update brings enhanced video conferencing tools, with the main star being Presenter Overlay. The video effect, compatible with third-party video conferencing apps such as Zoom, displays the user on top of their shared content and automatically removes the background. Additionally, hand gestures can be used to trigger reactions such as balloons, confetti, hearts, and more.
Safari will get improved privacy features including automatic URL tracker removing, blocking trackers from loading, and locking the browser window when private browsing is in use. Adding to that, Apple is introducing profiles on the browser to keep your personal and work life separate. Each profile you set will have its own cookies, history, extensions, Tab Groups, and Favourites.
The tech giant is doubling down on gaming on Macs with the debut of Game Mode on macOS Sonoma to optimise gaming on the platform. One way it does this is by reducing latency between the Mac and bluetooth peripherals such as AirPods and console controllers by doubling the Bluetooth sampling rate. It also promises more consistent frame rates by ensuring games get the highest priority on the computer’s CPU and GPU.
There is even a feature that lets multiple users create a group to share a set of passwords, with any member being able to add or edit the passwords for everyone. Just like with iOS 17, macOS is also shortening the “Hey, Siri” prompt for the digital assistant to just “Siri”.
Apple says that macOS Sonoma, as well as the other OS updates, will be available this coming fall. For those who want to get their hands on it sooner, the public beta will be launched sometime in July.