October 2, 2023

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

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There’s a new version of macOS in town, and it’s called macOS Sonoma. At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple unveiled all the new features coming to its desktop operating system, from interactive widgets and new video conferencing tools to enhancements to Safari. We break down the top features coming to Macs later this year, and whether your machine is supported or not. If you’d like to see the full list of changes, Apple has it right here.

Is Your Mac Compatible?

MacOS Sonoma, also known as macOS 14, is a free update for Apple hardware, but older devices might not be supported. To find out which Mac model you have, tap on the Apple icon in the menu bar in the upper-left corner of your screen and click on About This Mac. Here’s a list of all the models that will be able to run Sonoma. 

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

When Will MacOS Sonoma Arrive?

MacOS Sonoma is in a developer beta right now. Next month, expect Apple to launch a public beta. That means anyone will be able to download and try it out, but you may want to hold off as there might be a lot of bugs and glitches. Apple will continue to issue new beta versions and polish the experience until the fall, when it will officially launch Sonoma in September or October.  

Homescreen Widgets

Photograph: Apple

Apple introduced widgets to the Notification Center on Macs in macOS Big Sur—click on the right-hand corner of the display to see glanceable details from apps like Weather, Notes, and News. Soon, you’ll have the option to bring these widgets to the desktop itself. To prevent them from cluttering up your screen and distracting you while you’re working, they’ll blend into the wallpaper when you have an app open. 

They’re interactive too—you can play or pause media, control smart home gadgets, take notes, check off reminders, and keep track of calendar appointments, right from the desktop. If you have an iPhone, you’ll be able to bring your iOS widgets to your desktop as well if your phone is on the same Wi-Fi network or nearby.

Enhanced Screen Sharing 

Photograph: Apple

Sharing your screen during work meetings is convenient—especially when you’re presenting. But it’s often not too intuitive—you have to awkwardly click around to turn it on, choose a screen, and then say, “Can you see my screen?” Sonoma is making it a little more user-friendly. 

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