Apple’s macOS Sonoma, the latest iteration of the Mac operating system, is currently in its beta testing phase, with the sixth beta recently released to developers. As Apple gears up for a public release this fall, possibly in October, here’s a comprehensive look at what users can expect from this new update.
Beta Access and Testing Timeline
Registered developers have access to the beta versions of macOS Sonoma through the Apple Developer Center. After installing the relevant profile, updates to the beta versions can be fetched through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.
The beta testing for macOS Sonoma follows a two-week cycle. With its sixth beta version recently released, Apple seems to be gearing up for a public release in the fall, with speculations pointing to an October launch.
Striking Visual Enhancements
- Apple TV-Inspired Screen Savers: macOS Sonoma will feature new screen savers reminiscent of those on Apple TV. These screen savers, showcasing videos from various global locations, can also be set as wallpapers after logging in. Furthermore, users can overlay a clock on these screen savers or the Mac lock screen.
- Desktop Widgets: The update allows users to place interactive widgets directly on the Mac desktop. These widgets, more interactive than ever, fade into the background when working on other apps and can be arranged as desired. With the aid of Continuity, widgets from your iPhone can also be mirrored on the Mac’s desktop.
Enhanced Functionality Across Apps
- Video Conferencing Improvements: A novel feature, Presenter Overlay, lets users superimpose themselves over any content they’re sharing during a call. This is coupled with improvements in screen sharing capabilities.
- Safari Upgrades: The browser will benefit from an array of new features, including enhanced private browsing and the option to create distinct browsing profiles for work and personal use. Additionally, users can now develop web apps that function akin to regular applications.
- Messages & Gaming: The Messages app will see a revamped stickers interface. Gamers, on the other hand, can enjoy the new Game Mode, designed to provide an optimized experience with smoother frame rates. This mode significantly reduces audio latency for AirPods and input latency for game controllers.
Apple, along with other tech communities, consistently advises against installing beta versions on primary devices due to the potential for unforeseen issues. Instead, it’s recommended to test beta versions on secondary or non-essential devices and always maintain backups of critical data.
macOS Sonoma represents Apple’s continued commitment to enhancing user experience, with a blend of aesthetic improvements and functional upgrades. As the public release date approaches, users await the opportunity to explore the rich features of this promising update.