macOS 14 Sonoma: Compatibility and New Features for an Enhanced Mac Experience

News • Updated on Sept. 12, 2023

macos sonoma

During its “Wonderlust” event today, Apple unveiled that macOS Sonoma, the newest iteration of its Mac operating system, is set to roll out to users with compatible Mac models beginning on Tuesday, September 26th.

Packed with exciting new features, Sonoma promises to deliver a more personalized and productive computing environment than Ventura. Let’s dive into the compatibility details and highlight some of the notable additions in this upcoming release.

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macOS Sonoma: compatibility

Will my Mac run macOS Sonoma? Well, to ensure a smooth transition to the new macOS 14 Sonoma, it’s essential to check if your Mac is compatible with the update. Apple provides a list of supported Mac models:

Compatible Macs:

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

Not compatible with macOS Sonoma:

  • 2017 MacBook Pro
  • 2017 MacBook Air
  • 2017 MacBook (12-Inch)

At the moment, only the beta version of macOS 14 Sonoma is available for installation on compatible devices. For the optimal experience, it is highly recommended to install the beta on a Mac with Apple Silicon, such as the powerful 16.2-inch MacBook Pro or the Mac Studio, known for their exceptional performance.

While macOS 14 Sonoma supports Mac models from the past five years, a few features may require newer hardware. For instance, the Presenter Overlay video conferencing feature relies on a Mac with Apple Silicon. Hand reactions are available when using the built-in camera on a Mac with Apple Silicon or Continuity Camera with an iPhone 12 or later.

macos 14

macOS Sonoma: new features

Let’s explore some of the exciting features introduced in macOS 14 Sonoma.

  • Interactive Widgets: With Sonoma, widgets take center stage, empowering you to customize your Mac experience. Widgets can now be placed directly on the desktop, allowing for easy access and interaction. Apple’s Continuity feature enables integration of iPhone widgets into the Mac ecosystem, expanding the range of possibilities. Seamlessly integrate widgets into your workflow, check reminders, control media playback, access home controls, and perform various tasks without leaving the desktop.
  • Screensavers: Sonoma introduces stunning screen savers, featuring slow-motion videos showcasing captivating locations worldwide. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Hong Kong’s skyline, Monument Valley’s sandstone buttes, and Sonoma’s rolling hills. The repositioned login experience at the bottom of the screen ensures a seamless transition from screen savers to the desktop environment.
  • Gaming Enhancements: Mac users can now enjoy a new Game Mode that maximizes the chip’s performance, delivering an optimal gaming experience. This mode prioritizes CPU and GPU power for games while reducing latency for Bluetooth audio headsets and console controllers. Additionally, Apple has introduced the Metal Kit API, allowing developers to port Windows games to the Mac platform.
  • Safari and Video Conferencing: Safari receives notable updates, including the ability to lock browsing windows and the introduction of Profiles, enabling separate user-specific histories, favorites, and password managers. A new feature allows you to create web apps for websites, similar to iPhone functionality. In video conferencing, macOS Sonoma introduces the Presenter Overlay, showcasing your video during presentations. The enhanced Screen Sharing picker simplifies the sharing of apps in video calls, enabling seamless content sharing from open windows.
  • Additional Updates: Sonoma brings several other enhancements, such as streamlined PDF editing functionality for quick form-filling, inline display of PDFs and document scans in Notes, Siri activation with voice commands, improved password sharing and autofill, an enhanced stickers experience in Messages, intelligent grocery lists in Reminders, and advancements in keyboard autocorrect and Dictation.

macOS Sonoma: availability

The developer beta of macOS Sonoma is available now through the Apple Developer Program, while the public beta is set to release next month via the Apple Beta Software Program. The final release of macOS 14 will be released to the general public on Tuesday, September 26.

macOS Sonoma: elevating productivity

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, emphasized that with macOS Sonoma, they aim to make using the Mac even more delightful and productive. Sonoma brings a wide array of features catering to productivity, creativity, and personalization. From enhanced widgets and stunning screen savers to improved video conferencing, optimized gaming, and seamless remote workflows, macOS 14 Sonoma promises a more delightful and efficient computing experience starting this fall.