The Top New Features in MacOS Sonoma: Release Date and Compatible Macs

The Top New Features in MacOS Sonoma: Release Date and Compatible Macs
Written by Techbot

New in Safari is also the ability to separate the browser via profiles, meaning you can create one profile for work and another for your personal life. It’ll split your history, extensions, cookies, Tab Groups, and Favorites. It’s easy to switch back and forth. 

You’ll also be able to create web apps, which allow you to turn your favorite websites into an app-like experience that you can place in the dock. Instead of opening a browser window, these web apps will launch and act like a traditional MacOS app when you click on it. You can get notifications from them, and even segment them in tools like Stage Manager. 

Additionally, Apple is making it easy to share passwords with close friends, family, and colleagues with shared accounts. When you create a group, everyone will be able to add and edit passwords and share them through iCloud Keychain (with end-to-end encryption).

More With Messages

Video: Apple

As with iOS 17, Apple is bringing a few new upgrades to the Messages app. Building on inline replies first introduced with iOS 14, you’ll now be able to swipe right to quickly reply to a specific message instead of having to long-press on it each time. With the Catch-Up feature, you can jump to the first unread message in a group text—which is really useful on days the group chat is more active than usual.

We’ll also see improvements to search within Messages. Whenever you search for something, results are divided into categories like people, keywords, photos, and links, to make it easier to find. There’s a one-time passcode cleanup feature too, which automatically deletes one-time passcodes through Autofill—which helps to clear up your list of conversations. The company is also making a big push for Stickers. Any stickers you create (“Live Stickers” created using Live Photos included) with iOS or iPadOS will be accessible on your Mac too. 

Game Mode

Video: Apple

Gaming on an M-series Mac? You’ll appreciate the new Game Mode feature for graphically intensive titles. It ensures the Mac gives high priority to the CPU and GPU while playing a game, delivering a smoother experience with consistent frame rates. It’ll also lower the audio latency when you’re using AirPods and reduce input latency with supported PlayStation and Xbox controllers. 

Communication Safety Features

Photograph: Apple

In an effort to prevent people from unexpectedly viewing sensitive images in Messages, AirDrop, FaceTime messages, and third-party apps, users will now have the option to enable a Sensitive Content Warning. That way, photos and videos containing nudity will be blurred, with the option to choose whether you want to see them and the ability to block the contact. And, expanding on its communication safety features for children in iOS 15, parents and guardians will be able to blur sensitive videos (in addition to photos) their children send or receive as well. The feature will also work with the Photos app when opened within Messages.

New Screen Savers

Video: Apple

If you love the preloaded screensavers that come with your Mac, you’ll be happy to hear that new options are coming—with slow-motion videos of locations from all around the world including Arizona, California, and Hong Kong. The login prompt has also moved to the bottom of the screen, so it’ll no longer get in the way of the image on your display. 

An Improved Typing Experience

Courtesy of Apple

It’s no secret that Apple’s Autocorrect isn’t the most accurate. And regardless of whether you’re on iPhone, iPad, or Mac, it can be a super frustrating feature. Using “enhanced on-device language models,” Autocorrect will fix typos more accurately. You’ll also see autocorrected words underlined temporarily—making it easier to keep up with what’s been changed as you’re typing. With a new inline predictive text capability, you’ll also see single and multi-word predictions based on what you’re typing to help you finish the message faster.

Accessibility Features

Photograph: Apple

MacOS Sonoma will include a wide range of new accessibility features for vision, cognitive, and speech accessibility. Among the list of capabilities are phonetic suggestions that appear when dictating and editing text via Voice Control, animated images (like GIFs) that can be paused in Safari or Messages, Live Speech where users can type messages to be spoken aloud during FaceTime and phone calls, the option to customize text size on Mac apps, and the ability to connect Made for iPhone hearing devices to your Mac.

Upgrades to the Notes App

If you’re struggling to keep track of all your notes, you’ll be relieved to know that Apple is adding the option to link them to each other. So, you’ll no longer have to annoyingly scroll through the app to find what you’re looking for. You’ll have access to new text styles as well, including Block Quote (which offsets a section of writing with a quote bar) and Monostyled Text (with inset text and a visible background). And, for more layouts and formatting tools, you can also open a specific note in the Pages app.

Additional Features:

  • PDFs: To help save time and effort, you’ll be able to fill out PDFs in Preview using enhanced AutoFill. It’ll identify fillable fields, like your name, address, email, etc, and will automatically input the information for you. And, within the Notes app, PDFs will be shown full width for an easier viewing experience.
  • Reminders: Putting together a grocery list? Reminders will automatically sort the items you add based on categories. It’ll remember your preferences whenever you change how items are grouped too. There’s also a new Column View that organizes sections into columns across your screen.
  • Find My: You can add up to five other people to your Find My network accessories or AirTags. Those added will be able to follow the item on the map or play a sound to help pinpoint the location of the item.
  • Siri: The days of “Hey Siri” are gone. All you have to do is say “Siri” to trigger the voice assistant. This feature will only be available for Macs running an M-series chip.
  • Photos: In addition to recognizing people, the Photo app will (finally) be able to automatically recognize cats and dogs.
  • Music: Using Apple Music, you can invite friends to join a playlist—giving them the ability to add, remove, or reorder songs.

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