Surprising everyone who was expecting an October release, Apple has announced that macOS Sonoma will be available from the 26th of September 2023. Like every year, there has been a lot of hype about this annual software update, and for all the good reasons.
For what it’s worth, Sonoma brings many features and changes that Mac users have demanded for years. In doing so, Apple has made the Sonoma update so important. But there is one major question you should ask yourself: how does macOS Sonoma compare with macOS Ventura?
In this guide, we have done a brief comparison between macOS Sonoma and macOS Ventura. In particular, we have looked at aspects such as performance, features, and the major changes you should know about while upgrading from Ventura to Sonoma.
We believe these insights will help you in multiple scenarios. One, you can understand how macOS Sonoma can impact your workflow whenever you upgrade your Mac. Two, you can know whether macOS Sonoma is a good choice for an older Mac of yours.
Related: The Best System Monitor Apps to Check Your Mac’s Performance
About macOS Sonoma
macOS Sonoma is the next major release of macOS, which Apple announced during the WWDC 2023 in June 2023. As we mentioned earlier, macOS Sonoma is not a major overhaul in terms of design. Instead, it refines many improvements that previous versions of macOS have brought about into the ecosystem.
As one would expect, a user must expect the best features and the user experience from this latest version of the OS only when they are equally invested within the Apple ecosystem. Having said that, Apple has not missed the focus on performance in that macOS Sonoma also aims to improve the speed with which you can use your Mac for your workflow.
Talking about the specifications, macOS Sonoma is available for a variety of devices. For instance, if you have a MacBook Air 2018, or later, you can get the upgrade. Similarly, you need a MacBook Pro from the 2018 model to run this OS. But as you can guess, all the Mac devices running Apple Silicon chips are optimized and compatible with macOS Sonoma.
At the time of writing, Apple has revealed that we should receive the public release of macOS Sonoma on the 26th of September 2023. So, there are only a few days left. But, as we said earlier, we have covered everything you should know about the performance boosts and feature additions within the package.
macOS Sonoma vs. Ventura: Performance
One unique thing about macOS Sonoma is its position within Apple’s timeline for Silicon transition. The M2-powered MacBook had its debut in June 2023, completing the loop. Therefore, macOS Sonoma is the first major macOS release since the completion of the transition. And it is sensible to believe that the update has been well-optimized for improved performance on Apple Silicon Mac models.
But a few factors prevent us from getting to know the actual performance on macOS Sonoma and how the update compares to macOS Ventura.
- We still do not have our hands on the stable public release of macOS Sonoma. Instead, our testing is based on the public beta versions. As you can imagine, beta versions of the OS do not translate well in terms of performance.
- We should also consider that Apple has certain priorities while determining the performance of the different Mac models. Therefore, the macOS Sonoma update will bring better performance to a Mac Pro than it does to an entry-level Mac mini or MacBook Air.
- macOS Sonoma also introduces a few features to improve performance for specific tasks like gaming. For instance, we have to consider Game mode, which will prioritize select games so that they get the maximum CPU and GPU resources.
With these points in mind, we can share some insights about the performance aspect of macOS Sonoma. It is important to note that we compare macOS Sonoma with macOS Ventura. So, if you upgrade a Mac that is running an older version of macOS, the difference in performance will be more noticeable.
Regardless, here are a few things you should know about performance on macOS Sonoma.
You can expect improved performance on your Apple Silicon-based Mac after upgrading to macOS Sonoma. It is expected to be the case even if you are upgrading from macOS Ventura. As we said earlier, the Sonoma update brings this option because it is the first major release after Apple’s conclusion of the Silicon transition.
The overall macOS Sonoma performance is also better due to the following reasons.
- Updates to Stage Manager will ensure a better multitasking experience. Even on Mac models with a minimal amount of RAM, you can expect quick transitions between apps, windows, and desktops. It is an upgrade you can expect on iPadOS as well.
- Game mode is also a worthwhile addition to macOS Sonoma. As you can guess from the name, Game mode has been designed to provide a more optimized environment for resource-intensive games. It may not be the ultimate solution for gaming on Mac, but is indeed a reason to upgrade to Sonoma.
- Finally, macOS Sonoma brings better integration between Apple Silicon Macs and other devices from the Apple ecosystem. Therefore, you can expect better performance when it comes to aspects like handoff, continuity, and Universal Control.
In short, macOS Sonoma will be a worthwhile upgrade for performance. However, performance alone is not the reason to install this update.
Related: How to Check/Test MacBook Performance
macOS Sonoma: Core Features
We have already talked about the performance-centric features of macOS. We also added that the update does not bring a visual overhaul. Nevertheless, macOS Sonoma has some exciting features that make it quite different from macOS Ventura.
Until macOS Ventura, widgets on macOS have stayed in a specific section that you need to open separately. However, with macOS Sonoma, you will notice a huge change as widgets can now be placed on the desktop. These widgets are as interactive as they come, and you can expect a smooth experience that you are used to on the iPad and iPhone.
Thanks to Continuity, macOS Sonoma also makes it easy to access the widgets on your iPhone from the Mac. In short, you will notice more similarity between your Mac and iPad when you upgrade to macOS Sonoma from macOS Ventura or previous versions. This option to bring widgets into the desktop was available via a few third-party apps, but macOS Sonoma makes things easier.
macOS Sonoma also brings a number of features to improve how you deal with meetings and presentations across the board. First, you can choose between overlays, which will position the screen content on the back while showing a portrait version of your video on the front. Two, you can choose between multiple options to show a live video of yours during the presentation.
macOS Sonoma has also introduced a feature called Reactions, which you can trigger with the help of many gestures. These will work natively and can be a great way to improve virtual meetings. More so, the screen sharing options on Apple Silicon Macs have also improved, since you have an option to share content from multiple apps and windows.
PDF and Notes have also become powerful with macOS Sonoma. So, if you have been using third-party apps to edit PDFs on macOS Ventura, you would not need it on Sonoma. The update brings a bunch of features to edit PDF documents and autofill them with ease. Similarly, you can expect better integration between the multiple document management apps in macOS.
For instance, with macOS Sonoma, you can easily import PDF documents onto your Notes. Similarly, the core ideas you share via Notes will be helpful in creating documents or presentations using Pages or Keynote. In addition to these, you can rely on the options for built-in stickers and other resources. Altogether, macOS Sonoma packs enough changes to make a difference in your productivity.
As you can imagine, there are so many other changes brought to your Mac by macOS Sonoma. For instance, you can expect stunning screensavers and better security options on Safari. macOS Sonoma also makes the process of creating web apps easier than ever. You can now instantly create web apps and access from the macOS Dock.
To be fair, while these feature additions are helpful, they are not innovative per se. Most of these features were available through third-party apps, and Apple has made them native through Sonoma. But it is good to see them anyway.
Don’t miss: 20+ Best Hidden Features of macOS Sonoma
macOS Sonoma Availability
At the time of writing, Apple has announced the release date of macOS Sonoma. You should be able to get the macOS Sonoma update starting from the 26th September, 2023. So, if you have one of the compatible Mac models, you can get your hands on the update in the upcoming week.
Should You Upgrade to macOS Sonoma?
There are multiple aspects in deciding whether you should upgrade your Mac to macOS Sonoma.
One, you should consider the security and compatibility aspect. It makes sense to keep your Mac running a newer version of macOS than older. Therefore, we have to recommend everyone to upgrade from macOS Ventura to macOS Sonoma. However, performance and productivity are a different thing.
However, if you are looking for the best performance, you should check something. We believe you can get the best macOS Sonoma experience only if you have an M1/M2 Mac. The same would be the case for the overall battery life on macOS Sonoma on MacBooks.
Rest assured, we have a lot of macOS Sonoma guides under work. You should be able to check them out as soon as you get your hands on the release next week.