We take a closer look at the Desktop Widgets in macOS 14 Sonoma

Ashwin
Jun 8, 2023
Apple
|
5

macOS 14 Sonoma has been out for a couple of days. One of the highlights in the new operating system, are Desktop Widgets.

How to add desktop widgets in macOS 14 Sonoma

1. Open the Notification Center in macOS, you can access it by clicking the date and time on the menu bar, or by swiping from right to left on your trackpad.

2. The Widgets that are available on your Mac are displayed at the top of the Notification Center (with more on the bottom).

macOS 14 Sonoma Widgets

3. Click on a widget, drag it to your desktop, and drop it at the place you want. That's all there is to it.

how to add widgets to the desktop in macos sonoma

Widget features in macOS Sonoma

Once you add a widget, you can move it around on your home screen, and it will snap into place accordingly. To delete a widget, right-click on it and select Remove Widget. You may also customize a widget from this menu, for instance to select the size. Widgets can be rearranged in any order that you like, but they are not resizable, at least not the ones that I tried. You can pick the preset sizes that a widget may support. Click on a widget to open its corresponding app.

widgets fade in macos sonoma

Widgets fade when you open an app, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. The color used to fade them depends on the prominent tint of the wallpaper. Once you minimize a window, the widgets return to their normal colors. It's a nice touch, you can have a timer running in a corner of the screen while you work in a different app, and still keep an eye on the countdown.

Want to get more widgets? Well, that depends on the apps that you have installed on your Mac. Some of them may have widgets that you can add to the Notification Center, and you can add those to your desktop. Many of Apple's apps come with a widget, for example: Reminders, Notes, Photos, Stocks, etc. So you can add those widgets too. Speaking of which, there is a new way to add widgets easily.

Widgets Gallery

If you watched the WWDC 2023 event, you may have noticed that Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of software engineering, refer to and demo a Widgets Gallery (watch it here). You can access it by right-clicking on the desktop and then select the Edit Widgets option from the context menu.

Technically, this isn't new to macOS. Widgets have existed for a while on Mac and so has this selection screen, except the Edit Widgets button was accessible by scrolling to the Notification Center. The old interface switched to a full screen view with a list of apps on the left, and the widgets on the right. You could use it to add the widgets to the side panel. Here's what it looks like in macOS 13 Ventura.

widgets panel in macos ventura

The new Widgets Gallery in macOS Sonoma is quite compact as it only takes up the bottom half of the screen, so your desktop is partially visible to help you place the widgets on the home screen.

widgets gallery in macos 14 sonoma

You can also use the search bar at the top to find a specific app, or simply scroll down the list to pick an app.  Selecting an app on the sidebar displays its widgets on the right, most apps have multiple styles and sizes that you may choose from.

add new widgets in macOS Sonoma

iOS widgets in macOS

(Disclaimer: I haven't tested iOS 17, so this bit is more of an FYI section.)

Apple has extended Continuity support to widgets on iOS 17. So the widgets that you use on your iPhone can also be used on your Mac. The interesting part is that you don't need to have the apps installed on your Mac, they just need to be on your iPhone. I'm looking forward to testing how this works.

The new desktop widgets in macOS Sonoma are a lot cooler, because you can get a lot of additional information at a glance. This may actually make people use the desktop more, which is probably why Apple added a new way to access the home screen. The animation for adding a widget seems to have a slight lag as the widget snaps on to a location, which is why I have not included an animated GIF to demo the feature. The issue could be because I'm running macOS Sonoma via an SSD connected to my MacBook, or simply because it's the first beta version of the operating system, which may be a little buggy.

Summary
We take a closer look at the Desktop Widgets in macOS 14 Sonoma
Article Name
We take a closer look at the Desktop Widgets in macOS 14 Sonoma
Description
macOS 14 Sonoma introduces support for desktop widgets. Here's how the feature works.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. John said on August 18, 2023 at 12:06 pm
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
      Reply

      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
        Reply

        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
        Reply

        @ 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
        Reply

        @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
        Reply

        @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.

      5. Anonymous said on September 24, 2023 at 7:10 am
        Reply

        I think he means your filters

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

      +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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
        Reply

        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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      @ 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
    Reply

    “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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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
        Reply

        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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      @ 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
    Reply

    2015??

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

    “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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    > 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
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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
      Reply

      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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