What's new in macOS 14 Sonoma

Jun 6, 2023

Apple announced macOS 14 at the WWDC 2023 event at Apple Park. Here's everything you need to know about the new version of the desktop operating system.

What is macOS 14 named after?

macOS 14 is called Sonoma, it is named after a region in Northern California that is famous for winemaking.

macOS 14 Sonoma

New features in macOS 14

macOS 14 gets Widgets on desktop

new widgets panel in macOS 14 sonoma

Widgets are no longer restricted to the notification panel in the right edge of the screen. macOS 14 adds support for widgets on desktop. You can click and drag the widgets that you want to use from the notification panel, and place them on your desktop, so they are available at a glance.

desktop widgets macos 14

Widgets can also be added from the new Widgets Gallery that can be accessed from the desktop's right-click menu.

widgets gallery in macos 14

Sonoma supports iPhone widgets too, thanks to the Continuity feature, you will be able to access the widgets without installing the apps on your Mac, the devices just need to be nearby and on the same Wi-Fi network. The widgets in macOS 14 are interactive, so you can use it to manage to-do lists, play music, access home controls, etc.

iPhone widgets on macOS 14 sonoma

Widgets will fade into the background when you open an app to help you focus, and their tint changes based on your wallpaper.

new widgets experience in macOS 14 sonoma

Apple has included some new screensavers in macOS 14 with slow motion videos of places from around the world. The login options have been moved to the bottom of the screen, and when you sign in, the image becomes your desktop wallpaper.

macOS 14 sonoma screensaver and wallpaper

Game Mode in macOS 14

macOS Sonoma introduces a new feature called Game Mode, that prioritizes games on CPU and GPU, and reduces the usage of all tasks that are in the background. This in turn will improve the frame rates in games, and also reduces the audio latency for wireless accessories like AirPods, and input latency Xbox or DualSense controllers, etc., to help improve the responsiveness of the gameplay.

The Cupertino company has released a new game porting toolkit for Metal, to make it easier for game developers to bring their creations from other platforms to macOS. This will help them port their games to run natively on Apple Silicon.

Games coming to macOS

Apple says that the following PC games are coming to Mac: Fort Solis, Stray, DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT, SnowRunner, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, HUMANKIND, The Medium, Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion, Firmament, Disney Dreamlight Valley, Dragonheir: Silent Gods, ELEX II, No Man’s Sky, and Layers of Fear.

It is worth noting that No Man’s Sky was recently updated to support Apple Silicon devices natively, if you own the game on Steam, you can play it on your Mac too.

Video conferencing

Apple wants to improve the video conferencing capabilities in macOS. It has a new Presenter Overlay that will help you actively engage in the conversation while you are sharing your screen. The smaller overlay places you in a moveable bubble that floats over your screen, while the large overlay places you in the front.

presenter overlay settings in macOS 14 Sonoma

The screen sharing picker lets you pick an app or multiple apps while you are on a video call, without leaving the current window.

small presenter overlay in macOS 14 Sonoma

The Presenter Overlay supports 3D augmented reality effects like hearts, confetti, fireworks, etc., that can be triggered with hand gestures. The overlay features are not exclusive to FaceTime, they are also supported in 3rd party apps like Zoom, Teams, and Webex.

large presenter overlay in macOS 14 Sonoma

PDF improvements

macOS Sonoma brings various enhancements to reading and editing PDFs. You may use it to fill forms with AutoFill and smart recipient recommendations. The Notes app now supports PDF documents natively, including document scans, and they can be attached inline to your Notes.


Siri can now be accessed simply by saying Siri followed by a command, you no longer need to use Hey Siri to activate the digital assistant.

Privacy and Safety

Apple has brought Communication Safety to FaceTime messages, incoming calls, AirDrop, and the Photos Picker to protect the privacy and safety of users.

Messages, Reminders and Keyboard

The Messages app in macOS Sonoma has a new stickers experience. It also adds support for search filters, quick reply, and more. Apple says it has improved the Keyboard's autocorrect functionality, the spell checker's accuracy has been enhanced, and it now displays inline completions to help you finish sentences. The Reminders app lets you organize lists into different sections, you may rearrange them horizontally with a new column view. The app will display intelligent grocery lists based on your usage.

Accessibility improvements

macOS Sonoma supports Made for iPhone hearing devices, to allow users with hearing disabilities to make calls on their Mac, or to watch/listen to media. Live Speech to type will assist nonspeaking users vocalize their thoughts in calls and chats. Dictation and Voice Control supports phonetic suggestions that will appear on the screen as you use the Mac. Animated GIFs can be automatically paused in Messages and Safari. The text size in Mac apps can be adjusted as required to help low vision or bling users.

New features in Apple Safari

The private browsing mode in Apple Safari now locks the browser window when you step away from your device to prevent other people from accessing your browser. It also blocks trackers from loading, and removes URL trackers from links. Apple has added support for sharing passkeys and passwords with your family via iCloud Keychain, and these are end-to-end encrypted.

Apple Safari profiles in macOS 14 Sonoma

Safari is gaining support for Profiles, a new feature that will allow users to have separate instances for their Work and Personal life. Each Profile will have its own set of tab groups, cookies, favorites, history, and extensions. It will allow you to switch between profiles as you surf the web, and sign in to websites with multiple accounts. That said, Profiles in Safari are not the same as Firefox's Containers feature which is more of a cookie isolation technology that prevents cross-site tracking, the new options in Safari are actually similar to Google Chrome's Profiles.

Web apps in macOS 14 sonoma

Search in Safari has been improved to show relevant suggestions, Apple says it is now more responsive than ever. Web apps are now supported on macOS, so you can add shortcuts for your favorite sites to the dock, and open it for an app-like experience with a compact toolbar.

List of devices that are eligible for macOS 14 update

macOS 14 Sonoma will be available for the following computers.

  • iMac 2019 and later
  • iMac Pro 2017
  • MacBook Air 2018 and later
  • MacBook Pro 2018 and later
  • Mac Pro 2019 and later
  • Mac Studio 2022 and later
  • Mac mini 2018 and later

Apple has released the first beta version of macOS 14 Sonoma to developers. The stable version of the operating system will be released in Fall 2023. Missed the WWDC 203 stream, you can watch it on YouTube, or read about it on Apple's website.

What's new in macOS 14 Sonoma
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What's new in macOS 14 Sonoma
Apple has announced macOS 14 Sonoma. Here's everything you need to know about it.
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  1. John said on August 18, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Really the only thing I dislike about MacOS as a whole is the way Apple updates the OS with huge update file downloads. Actually 700Mb is small compared to some Apple has released which are in the gigabyte size. These large file sizes also translate to long update times as well.

  2. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    I like Emre, Onur, Shaun and Eray’s articles more, Ashwin and Martin are always complaining about something instead of getting excited and sharing their excitement with the world.

    Ever since I started bookmarking their pages my mood has been so much better, I’m glad to be free of the depressing vibe the two of them have. Damn it feels good to just enjoy life and not look for things to complain like I used to while I were under their influence.

    1. John G. said on September 2, 2023 at 11:31 pm

      Personally I really like @Ashwin and @Martin articles both equally. Please respect the authors.

    2. Herman Cost said on September 4, 2023 at 2:37 pm

      You realize that none of the authors you like are real people, right? They are AI bots ‘writing’ articles that are basically taken from product advertisements (e.g., “Get Protected the Right Way With Avast Free AntiVirus” Really?) So, yes they are excited, but the excitement comes from advertising copy. No real world negativity from those sources.

      My approach is to use a UBlock Origin filter to block all the articles except those by Martin and Ashwin. It has made the site readable again for me.

      1. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 1:03 pm

        I would like to achieve that as well. Mind sharing some UBlock tricks & tips? :)

      2. TelV said on September 5, 2023 at 3:59 pm

        @ Anonymous,

        Go to this link from yesterday https://www.ghacks.net/windows-11-update-stuck-fixed-for-good/#comment-4573146 and scroll down to the post by “Anonymous said on September 2, 2023 at 1:33 pm” He (or she) posted instructions on how to skip articles written by users other than Martin and Ashwin.

        You might want to consider changing your name before you post to make it easier for users to identify your comments.

      3. John Wold said on September 5, 2023 at 4:25 pm

        @Herman Cost
        You can add this to your rules in uBlock Origin:

        ghacks.net##.hentry,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Ashwin/))

      4. tired said on September 13, 2023 at 3:41 pm

        @John World. Than you dude. So much better.

        Why does Martin even allow this garbage to ruin his website. Every single article not written by martin and ashwin reads like sensational clickbait, I don’t care about if I should buy the latest apple product every week, new roblox cock rings that don’t pull your pubic hair, elon musk’s new body spray or whatever bullshit these bots can come up with.

    3. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:52 pm

      +I like Emre, Onur, Shaun and Eray’s articles more

      you’ve made my day

  3. TelV said on September 5, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    It’s not the EU’s fault that Bing is such a crappy search engine. In any event it’s built into the OS and Microsoft does its best to convince users to adopt it over Google by making it the default search tool. A great Many Windows 11 users are not technically minded and don’t know how to switch to another search engine and just accept their lot.

    In any event I hope the EU Commission doesn’t allow Microsoft to pull the wool over their eyes.

    1. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 11:26 pm

      Both Google and Bing are now worthless. Nowadays, Yandex is the only search engine that finds anything I’m looking for.

      1. TelV said on September 20, 2023 at 12:33 pm

        Try https://sear.be.

        Yandex is Russian and under Putin’s control. Search results you get may not be accurate and possibly manipulated to give you a false sense of security depending on what you’re looking for.

  4. ECJ said on September 5, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    Bing is absolutely a gatekeeper. Except for countries such as China and Russia that have their own search engines (Baidu and Yandex), most of the world’s searches relies on just two search engines: Google and Bing.

    Alternative search engines overwhelmingly get their search results from Bing. DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant, Swisscows, Excite, Lycos, Yahoo, You, etc. all use Bing behind the scenes for their results.

    StartPage originally used the Google search engine for it’s results, but have also started using Bing as well recently.

    Microsoft also use Bing as the default search engine in Windows (such as the Start menu search, Taskbar search, desktop search bar, Edge sidebar, etc.) and use Bing as the default search engine in Edge – which is the default browser on Windows. Windows has greater than 70% desktop market share and is used by more than two billion people.

    Not to mention Microsoft’s anti-consumer efforts when it comes to Bing. They have a history of malicious intent by aggressively trying to trick users who use a different search engine and browser into resetting their default search engine and browser back to Edge and Bing (by displaying unscrupulous popup dialogue boxes and full screen pages prompting the user to change their settings back to the “recommended settings” – which is Edge and Bing).

    1. TelV said on September 20, 2023 at 12:50 pm

      @ ECJ,

      Microsoft’s Bing has managed to sidestep the EU’s Digital Markets Act for now arguing that it doesn’t qualify as a gatekeeper: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3705935/eu-lists-gatekeepers-to-be-regulated-opens-imessage-and-bing-investigations.html

      The easiest way to avoid Bing is never to use Edge. It’s not mandatory and you’re free to use which browser you wish. I use Floorp myself which is a Firefox fork with many extra privacy configurations. https://floorp.app/en/download/

  5. ilev said on September 6, 2023 at 8:37 am

    “A report claims that Apple is developing an affordable MacBook series”

    Its is time to stop posting Rumors as reports.

    Apple has already a Chrombook killer. It is called : iPad.

  6. John said on September 6, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    I can see Apple getting concerned about losing sales to Chrome OS devices. Given that K-12 kids have probably been using Chromebooks and would be familiar with that platform going off to college. I remember when Apple ruled K-12 computer rooms and because they simply out priced the educational sector. Google managed to take a huge bite out of educational market especially with COVID. I never thought iPads worked in a K-12 setting, and mac’s are too expensive. I doubt Apple can really make a MacBook below $500 which would compete with Chromebooks.

    1. bruh said on September 12, 2023 at 5:30 pm

      I managed hundreds of ipads for schools when I worked at an MSP – ipads are certainly OK, and boy are they hundreds of times better than Android tablets. Chromebooks suck so much, their market penetration into school system became real when schools received a bunch from government

  7. aibot said on September 7, 2023 at 1:43 am

    Apple has always had great diffculty grasping what “low cost” means. I don’t have much faith in them ever generating anything that can compete with a Chromebook, but I’ll buy it if they do. I don’t want a Google OS, Windows is getting painful, and I’m tired of hearing how great Linux is from people who don’t use it.

    I agree with the posters above about the usefulness of using a uBO filter to limit the posts I see on this site to those from Martin and Ashwin.

  8. vector said on September 11, 2023 at 12:01 am

    While Apple has patched iOS 16 for this, they haven’t yet indicated if they’re going to for supposedly-still-getting-security-updates iOS 12 (the latest OS option for the millions of still-in-use iPhone 6) and iOS 15 (still in use on millions of iPhone 6s to 8, which can’t be upgraded to 16).

    I hope they do. Long-term support is one area where Apple phones crush Android, and it’s the #2 reason I use them (#1 is because not a privacy nightmare).

    1. vector said on September 13, 2023 at 12:19 am

      Apple has now released security updates for iOS 12 and 15 to address this issue. This is how you keep loyal customers.

      1. tinarse said on September 13, 2023 at 7:59 am

        Released an update for iOS 15, yes; for iOS 12, no. It’s not clear from reading their release notes if this means iOS 12 is not affected, or if they’re just not bothering.

  9. John said on September 11, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    M3 won’t move the needle much on performance. Honestly, Apple has put itself in a bind making the M1 really good. Probably the first time when Mac users can have some real lasting performance. But that also means that many won’t be persuaded to upgrade as often either. I am using a M1 MacBook Air and a M1 Mac mini and have yet to even entertain upgrading to a M2 or even a future M3 model of either because I am very satisfied with the M1 performance.

  10. John said on September 12, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    I like iPhone in general have owned iPhones for many years. But I don’t see these Apple events inspiring me to want to upgrade and spend hundreds to get what few improvements offered up.

  11. Anonymous said on September 13, 2023 at 3:10 am

    People still watch this nonsense? As I get older technology no longer excite me.

  12. bruh said on September 13, 2023 at 10:22 am

    I love it – Apple took an objectively bad thing and turned it into something people don’t hate. “It’s not that our front camera/sensors cover up screen real estate, this is uhh, a dynamic island… Yeah! It’s a feature actually, you’re lucky to have it”.

    1. TelV said on September 20, 2023 at 12:54 pm

      @ bruh,

      I like iPhone too, but you have to be a virtual millionaire these days to own one and I don’t have the kind of money required to purchase one I’m afraid.

  13. angelsanges said on September 13, 2023 at 2:33 pm


  14. Oxa said on September 13, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    “Sorry Series 8, Apple Watch Series 9 is as powerful as it is handsome”
    “Apple to release iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 on September 18, and macOS Sonoma on October 26”
    “Apple unveils the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2”
    “Apple Watch Ultra 2 packs a punch to the older generation”
    “Does it make sense to upgrade to iPhone 15?”
    “iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max with Ray Tracing, Action Button announced”
    “Apple announces iPhone 15 series with USB-C port, Dynamic Island”

    Seven Applespams, all pushed out within a few hours. You should rename this site “AppleHack”.

  15. Anonymous said on September 13, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    I can’t believe people waste their money on smartwatches. The world has truly gone insane.

  16. Anonymous said on September 13, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    A total waste of money. Thats why people can’t afford basic necessities anymore. They just keep falling for Apple’s BS every year.

  17. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    That is, if you don’t mind paying for Apple and their US Gestapo friends reading your most intimate data to use it against you.

  18. Tom said on September 15, 2023 at 8:17 am

    > Apple also updated the macOS Sonoma 14 web page to reveal the release date of its desktop operating system. Sonoma will be released on October 26.

    This is not true. The website says September 29. I have no idea where your October 26 comes from.

    > Rumors suggest that Apple could announce the first M3 Mac in October, though another reliable leaker quashed hopes for any new MacBooks.

    I am not aware of any _current_ rumor that suggests that there will be a M3 Mac before 2024.

    Is this again an AI written article?

  19. Bruce Tech Guy said on September 15, 2023 at 10:03 am

    Just an FYI on the USB C situation.
    The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus only use the USB-C end-connector. The actual cable attached to it transfers data at the many years old Lightning cable speed, which is USB 2.0 based. (Max 480 Mbits/s in ideal lab conditions.)
    If you want iPhone USB data transfer at true USB 3.0 speed, then you have to pay more to buy the iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Plus, which transfers data at actual USB 3.0 speed (5 Gbit/s in ideal lab conditions).

    Just another example of Apple using absurd (and very mean-spirited, IMO) down-grading of their lower-priced phone hardware. I mean, who else would sell an $799+ phone in 2023, using a data port that transfers at USB 2.0 speed?
    The USB 2.0 spec was published in year 2000, 23 years ago.
    The USB 3.0 spec was published in 2008 and the USB C connector spec was published in 2014, tho not widely adopted til paird with USB 3.2 in 2017, fyi.

  20. bruh said on September 19, 2023 at 10:11 am

    Man, I find this stuff so cringy – but obviously, it appeals to a certain type of person. I have no issue with Apple, my only issue is that every other hardware and software manufacturer seem to just be trying to copy Apple, instead of coming up with original ideas & visions. I don’t blame Apple for “innovating” in whatever direction they feel necessary, I’m just annoyed that nobody else is,,,

    Android is looking more like iOS, Windows 11 is looking more like MacOS, I had to set up a “premium” high-spec Dell laptop recently at work which just looked like a knock-off Macbook. It’s just sad.

    1. Tony said on September 19, 2023 at 4:00 pm

      People aren’t going to buy stuff that strays too far from the norm. Take for example foldables. I haven’t seen anyone personally that has one, nor are they “taking the market by storm”.

      RE: Android looking more like IOS:

      That ‘Material You’ garbage is thankfully nowhere near iOS. I think you might be referring to Samsung’s UI though. They try to keep things like Apple to win over Apple users (I think anyways). If it weren’t for Samsung’s UI though, Android would be totally a non-option for me, as Material You is just plain ugly.

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