20+ Best Hidden Features of macOS Sonoma

System  • Sept. 15, 2023

sonoma hidden features

YYou may already be familiar with some of the standout features of the latest macOS Sonoma, such as interactive widgets, the Presenter overlay, and the latest screen savers.

But we’ve delved deeper into the system and unearthed a wealth of hidden features in macOS Sonoma. If you’re eager to discover these hidden gems, look no further than this comprehensive guide!

RELATED: macOS Sonoma Vs Ventura – Performance, Features, and Everything You Should Know

Hidden Safari Features in macOS Sonoma

Safari holds a special place in the hearts of Apple users, and Apple ensures it remains up-to-date with the latest innovations.

sonoma safari

  1. Personalized Safari Profiles

Safari now supports profiles, allowing you to create distinct browsing sessions for various purposes. With this feature, you can manage multiple profiles, effectively separating your work and personal browsing or organizing your sessions for different websites or projects.

By using different profiles, Safari enables you to keep extensions, browsing history, Tab Groups, cookies, and Favorites separate. Additionally, it offers an Instant switching option for seamless transitions between your different Safari profiles.

  1. Private Browsing Lock

In macOS Sonoma, Apple has prioritized user privacy by introducing a new feature that automatically locks your inactive private browsing window when not in use. This enhances the protection of your browsing history and activity.

Furthermore, Safari now automatically removes tracking IDs and URLs acquired during your browsing, minimizing cross-site tracking across various websites.

  1. Safari Web Apps

Sonoma introduces an innovative feature called Web Apps, enabling you to transform any website into a desktop app. This functionality creates a convenient shortcut on your Dock that opens a specific website in a customized Safari window, devoid of an address bar, tabs, or any distractions. It offers a space-efficient alternative to traditional apps.

To craft a Safari Web App, simply navigate to a website using the Safari browser, then click the Share button followed by “Add to Dock.” This action generates an icon on your Dock, granting you one-click access to launch the website as a Web App in the future.

  1. Enhanced Search Suggestions

In macOS Sonoma, Safari’s searching capabilities have been significantly improved for faster and more responsive searches. The browser now provides more relevant suggestions, helping you quickly navigate to your desired results and tasks.

This enhancement optimizes your time and minimizes unnecessary delays, ensuring a seamless browsing experience.

  1. One-Time Verification from Mail

Alongside features like auto-deleting verification codes, Safari simplifies website logins, particularly for users with two-factor authentication. Safari’s ability to autofill one-time codes from Messages has now expanded to include one-time codes received in Apple’s Mail app. This eliminates the need to open the Mail app to retrieve codes, saving time and reducing potential errors.

Hidden Widgets Features in macOS Sonoma

Widgets have been a part of the Notification Center, but Sonoma brings them directly to your desktop.

widgets sonoma

  1. iOS Widgets in macOS

Apple has extended Continuity support to widgets in iOS 17. Now, if your iPhone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac and is nearby, your iPhone widgets will be accessible on your Mac. This allows you to seamlessly use the widgets you’ve set up on your iPhone.

  1. Widget Style Customization

Customizing desktop widgets is effortless, especially if you simply want to adjust widget colors or sizes. After making these widget modifications, widgets blend into the background and automatically adapt to the wallpaper color, enabling better focus on your tasks.

  1. Interactive Desktop Widgets

Regardless of the widget you’re using, whether it’s an iPhone widget via Continuity or one installed on your Mac, all widgets are now interactive on the Mac. This means you can perform complete actions directly from the widget without opening the corresponding app. Previously, widgets typically provided information and required launching the main app for actions. Now, you can control devices, check HomeKit status, and more right from the widgets.

Hidden Security Features in macOS Sonoma

  1. Privacy and Safety Enhancements

Sonoma introduces several adjustments and improvements to privacy and safety features by extending Communication Safety to AirDrop, the Photos picker, and FaceTime. This feature, designed to protect children, now covers additional apps. A new Sensitive Content Warning offers extra protection by alerting you to potentially sensitive images or videos in AirDrop, Messages, calls, and FaceTime messages, allowing you to block the sender and avoid viewing sensitive content.

  1. Password Recovery

macOS Sonoma includes a built-in password recovery feature that automatically stores deleted passwords for up to 30 days. This means you can recover passwords that you’ve deleted within the past month.

  1. Passkey Access

Sonoma simplifies passkey access for web browsers, offering passwordless login for websites supporting “Sign in with Apple” and passkeys. For websites such as PayPal, Shopify, and Kayak, you can sign up by scanning a QR code with your iPhone.

  1. Sensitive Content Warning (Extended)

Sonoma takes significant strides in refining and enhancing privacy and safety features. One notable addition is Communication Safety, extending its protective umbrella to encompass AirDrop, the Photos picker, and FaceTime. This opt-in feature, primarily designed to safeguard children, now extends its coverage to additional apps.

A novel Sensitive Content Warning augments your security by issuing preemptive alerts before potentially sensitive images or videos are displayed via AirDrop, Messages, calls, and FaceTime messages. In addition to content blocking, this feature extends to the capability to block the sender.

Hidden Productivity Features in macOS Sonoma

sonoma productivity

  1. PDFs in Notes

macOS Sonoma enhances Notes by enabling full-width display of PDFs and document scans, allowing seamless swiping through all pages. You can also store multiple PDFs within a single note, read them effortlessly, and enhance productivity by marking up text boxes, adding signatures, shapes, highlights, and drawings to PDFs.

RELATED: Best Mac PDF Editors Like Acrobat (Cheaper Alternatives)

  1. Autocorrection and AutoFill

Sonoma introduces an updated autocorrect feature that temporarily underlines corrected words, enhancing clarity and allowing easy reversion to the original word with a single tap. Enhanced AutoFill empowers you to quickly populate fields in PDFs and scanned documents with information from your Contacts, combining speed and security.

  1. QuickType and Predictive Text

QuickType in macOS Sonoma simplifies typing by allowing you to complete sentences or words with a single tap of the space bar, increasing typing speed by up to 30%. Inline Predictive Text offers real-time word and phrase suggestions, streamlining the process of getting your thoughts on paper.

Together, QuickType and Inline Predictive Text make macOS Sonoma the most efficient and user-friendly operating system for typists.

RELATED: Effortless Typing – Top Mac Text Expansion Apps

  1. Screen Sharing

The screen-sharing app in macOS Sonoma has been redesigned for improved remote access. You can now connect to your Mac from anywhere using your Apple ID or network ID, customize your access tools and connection settings, and enjoy a simple and secure setup. Note that the high-performance mode in Sonoma doesn’t work on Intel Macs.

  1. Dictation Improvements

Sonoma enhances speech recognition, resulting in improved dictation accuracy and reduced time spent correcting mistakes. Dictation now supports simultaneous text entry, eliminating the need to switch between typing and dictation modes.

  1. Notes and Pages

For devoted Apple Pages users, Sonoma brings the convenience of commencing your writing journey in the Notes app and seamlessly transitioning to Pages. Just click the Share button to effortlessly transfer content initiated in a note to Pages. From there, you can craft a comprehensive document, complete with personalized fonts, resized graphics, and embedded video elements, giving your work a rich and polished presentation.

Hidden Multimedia Features in macOS Sonoma

sonoma media

  1. Collaborative Playlist

What better way to kickstart this extensive roundup than to highlight Apple Music’s collaborative feature? You can now extend invitations to friends and loved ones to join your playlist. Once your invitees accept the offer, seamless collaboration takes center stage.

This collaborative effort allows everyone to contribute, reorder, and even remove songs. Furthermore, the inclusion of emojis provides an interactive element, adding to the enjoyment during lengthy drives.

  1. Visual Look Up

macOS Sonoma significantly enhances Visual Look Up, extending its accuracy to recognize and acknowledge individuals. Notably, this feature now encompasses not only humans but also our four-legged friends, cats and dogs. This valuable tool even enables you to extract information about objects appearing in paused video frames.

  1. Live Speech and Personal Voice

Live Speech caters to individuals facing speech challenges or those who cannot speak. This text-to-speech functionality allows users to communicate by typing during voice or video calls, with support for in-person conversations in the iPhone version. Additionally, it includes a range of common phrases, facilitating quick comments without the need for typing.

For users who can speak but may face the risk of losing that ability, Sonoma introduces Personal Voice. This feature empowers users to create a personalized text-to-speech voice that closely resembles their own, achieved through the reading of specific text prompts. Once configured, Live Speech can employ your Personal Voice.

  1. Accessibility Advancements

Sonoma ushers in several accessibility enhancements for your Mac, including improved support for accessibility devices. If you utilize a Made for iPhone hearing device, you can now directly connect such devices to your Mac for voice and video calls, music listening, and video watching.

  1. Video Call

In Sonoma, you gain the power to choose your video call framing with the introduction of new zoom and pan controls. This feature proves invaluable when you want to showcase something during a call without your Mac dictating your position as the focal point. You can effortlessly reposition yourself within the frame at your discretion, and it appears that this functionality extends to third-party applications as well.

Furthermore, you now have the ability to share your full-screen window within video call applications. The green button located in the top left corner of your windows now offers additional functionality within its drop-down menu. Perhaps not widely known, but when you hover your mouse over this button, it provides you with quick tiling options, in addition to the convenience of swiftly relocating an app window to another display in your multi-screen setup.

Final Words

Our initial impression of macOS Sonoma reveals a delightful blend of features, encompassing productivity enhancements, engaging and playful elements, and visually stunning interface updates.

After a series of significant design and engineering transformations that have harmonized Apple’s operating systems into a cohesive family, Sonoma’s focused refinements and targeted new features offer a refreshing change. It’s worth noting that despite this narrower focus, Sonoma manages to cater to a wide audience, ensuring its popularity upon release.

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