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Apple announces macOS Sonoma with Game Mode, desktop widgets, and more

It’s also known as macOS 14.

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Apple macOS Sonoma WWDC23

Apple’s latest desktop operating system is called macOS Sonoma, as announced at WWDC 2023. The software update — also known as macOS 14 — brings interactive desktop widgets, web apps, and an enhanced gaming experience on Mac, among other features.

Mac can now house interactive widgets right on the desktop in macOS Sonoma. The widgets can be easily dragged from the Notification Center to the desktop, and they blend seamlessly with the wallpaper while users work in apps. Users can also import widgets from iPhone via Continuity. As the widgets are interactive, they can be used for various tasks like accessing home controls, music playback, or clearing a to-do list – all directly from the desktop.

Apple macOS Sonoma Widgets

macOS Sonoma brings an engaging video conferencing experience to the Mac. Presenter Overlay is a new video effect that highlights the user’s presence by displaying them in front of the content they are sharing. Likewise, there’s a set of gesture-triggered AR reactions in cinematic quality as well.

Apple is adding a new “Game Mode” for Mac in macOS Sonoma. The dedicated gaming mode will prioritize a game’s access to CPU and GPU resources along with reducing latency for connected hardware like AirPods and Xbox and PlayStation controllers. All of existing titles will work with the gaming mode, according to Apple. During the WWDC keynote, game developer Hideo Kojima appeared to announce that Death Stranding Director’s Cut will be coming to macOS.

Apple’s web browser Safari is getting a significant update on Mac. The browser now has Profiles that keeps browsing separate between topics like work and personal, in addition to separate cookies, history, extensions, Tag Groups, and Favorites. Safari now has web apps that behave just like normal apps. The feature allows for creating an app-like experience for any website, with an icon in the Dock and a simplified toolbar. There’s also improvements to Private Browsing, which provides greater protection during browsing both from trackers and people.

Apple macOS Sonoma Features

Not to forget the gorgeous aerial screensavers that macOS Sonoma brings. The rich photographic imagery features Landscape, Earth, Underwater, and Cityscape themes, including the skyline of Hong Kong, the sandstone buttes of Monument Valley in Arizona, and the rolling hills of Sonoma in Northern California. Apple says the login experience is now repositioned at the bottom to make space for the new screen savers, which also transition into the desktop.

macOS Sonoma will be available for compatible Macs later this fall. The developer beta is now available through the Apple Developer Program, and the public beta will be available next month.

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