Apple announced the macOS 14 software update during its WWDC 2023 keynote alongside some new Macs, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and the Vision Pro headset. The latest update for Macs is codenamed Sonoma and it bridges the gap between iPhone and Mac even further with its new features.
macOS Sonoma comes with redesigned desktop widgets that can adapt their color according to the wallpaper set on the desktop. The latest update also comes with a revamped widget picker UI which can access widgets stored on the iPhone as well. The new widgets on macOS 14 are now interactive, for instance, the user can check off reminders, play/pause media, access smart home controls, etc. directly from the desktop.
Furthermore, the widgets can fade away into the background when the user is working on an app on the desktop. Along with that, Apple has also added new slow-motion screensavers to macOS 14 that users can also set as their wallpapers.
A useful addition for gamers is the new "Game Mode" for macOS 14 that's designed to reduce audio latency for AirPods and make sure "games get the highest priority on the CPU and GPU." Apple says the mode can work with all Mac games and can double the Bluetooth sampling rate for Xbox and PlayStation controllers to reduce input latency. Also, the Japanese video game designer Hideo Kojima showed up during the keynote live stream to reveal that Death Stranding: Director’s Cut will arrive on macOS.
Speaking of video conferencing features, macOS 14 comes with a new Presenter Overlay effect that puts the user on top of the content they are sharing during a video call. Users can also share how they feel in the form of reactions such as balloons, confetti, hearts, etc. the video.
The Safari browsing experience has been improved with the addition of browser profiles. These allow each user to have their own personal space with separate cookies, history, extensions, Tab Groups, and other stuff.
macOS 14 Sonoma will be released to the public later this year with all the new features and changes. Its developer beta is available to try, starting today, and the public beta will arrive next month.