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9 new macOS Sonoma features that will convince you to update today

by Kyle Meranda

macOS Sonoma was announced for release at WWDC 2023 and has just become available to the public on September 26. While stability and performance improvements are expected with any macOS update, Sonoma also introduces several exciting features that may convince users to upgrade sooner rather than later.

1. Extra interactive widgets: macOS Sonoma offers additional interactive widgets that allow users to access important information and control various functions. Users can bring over their favorite iPhone widgets to their Mac using the Continuity feature, enabling them to view notes, play podcasts, control smart home devices, and more.

2. Optimized gameplay in Game Mode: Exclusive to M-series Macs, Game Mode prioritizes gaming by reducing CPU and GPU usage for background tasks. This ensures a smoother gaming experience with consistent frame rates. Game Mode also minimizes latency with supported gaming accessories such as AirPods and PlayStation or Xbox controllers.

3. Improved searching in Messages: Similar to iOS 17, macOS Sonoma enhances the Messages app’s search capabilities. Users can now combine search filters and browse specific categories such as people, keywords, photos, and links. A new catch-up arrow allows users to quickly navigate to the first unseen message in a group chat, and replying inline is made easier with a swipe gesture.

4. Safari profile customization: Safari profiles can now be customized to better organize browsing habits. Users can create separate profiles for different purposes, such as work, school, or personal research. Each profile has its own history, cookies, extensions, favorites, and Tab Groups, enabling seamless switching between profiles.

5. Slow-motion screensavers: macOS Sonoma introduces dynamic, slow-motion screensavers featuring stunning videos from around the world. Users can choose from themes like Landscape, Cityscape, Underwater, and Earth, and these screensavers become wallpapers when logged in.

6. Upgrades to Notes and Reminders: Users can now link notes in macOS Sonoma, making it easier to connect related information. Additionally, Notes content can be moved to Pages for further customization. The Reminders app gains automatic sorting for grocery lists and a scrollable Column View feature for improved organization.

7. Any website can be a Dock app: With Sonoma, users can turn frequently visited websites into Dock apps. Users can customize the app name and icon, providing convenient access to favorite websites directly from the Dock.

8. More privacy features: macOS Sonoma introduces several new privacy features, including Sensitive Content Warnings in Messages to prevent accidental exposure to graphic images. Private Browsing locks browsing windows when inactive and blocks known trackers. Users can also share sets of passwords with specific groups, adding or removing people as needed.

9. Enhanced video conferencing tools: For those who frequently use video conferencing applications, macOS Sonoma offers helpful features. The Presenter Overlay keeps users visible while sharing their screen, and video calls gain a Reactions feature, allowing participants to express themselves with animated thumbs up, thumbs down, hearts, and more.

For users interested in upgrading to macOS Sonoma, the article provides instructions on how to update and lists compatible devices. A macOS Sonoma review is also available for further information. Overall, the new features in Sonoma aim to enhance user experience and offer compelling reasons to make the upgrade.

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