macOS Sonoma: new widgets, video conferencing, big Safari update, and gaming mode on Mac

During the WWDC 2023 conference, Apple presented macOS Sonoma, the upcoming version of its operating system for Mac computers and laptops.

macOS Sonoma focuses on personalization with new interactive screensavers and redesigned widgets. Now users can place them directly on the desktop. Widgets are interactive and will allow users to set reminders, play or pause media, access smart home controls, and more.

Thanks to the Continuity function, actions performed on widgets in macOS Sonoma will be synchronized with widgets on iPhone. In addition, the widgets will merge with the background image of the desktop when the user switches to work with applications.

Video conferencing in macOS Sonoma will get several new features, such as Presenter Overlay, which places the presenter on top of the shared content. The option of reactions in the form of various video effects will also be added. If you liked the presentation, you can launch virtual baloons to congratulate the speaker.

The Safari browser in macOS Sonoma will receive several interesting innovations. In particular, profiles that will allow you to share the view between several topics or projects.

Additionally, users will be able to turn websites into apps by placing their icons in the Dock for faster launch.

With the switch to Apple’s own Silicon chips, the company began to push the idea of gaming on Mac computers more actively. Now, that desire has been shaped into a new game mode that will be part of macOS Sonoma. According to Apple, it’s supposed to deliver higher FPS by instructing the CPU and GPU to prioritize games.

Apple also promises that by doubling the Bluetooth sampling rate, the game mode will significantly reduce the sound delay in AirPods headphones, and most importantly, the input delay from popular game controllers from Xbox and PlayStation.

To make it easier and faster to port games from other platforms to the Mac, Apple adds a new set of tools to Metal 3 that should greatly simplify the process of converting game shaders and graphics code to Apple processors.

The library of Mac games should soon be replenished with such projects as DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT, Stray, Fort Solis, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, HUMANIND, Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion, The Medium, ELEX II, Firmament, SnowRunner, Disney Dreamlight Valley , No Man’s Sky, Dragonheir: Silent Gods, and Layers of Fear.

macOS Sonoma will introduce a number of accessibility features. Hearing impaired users will be able to connect to a Mac computer to make calls and watch media through Made for iPhone hearing aids. Non-speaking users can use Live Speech to type and speak their thoughts during calls and conversations.

For users with physical and mobility disabilities, phonetic prompts will appear when dictating and editing text using voice control on Mac. To help users with cognitive impairments, animated images such as GIFs will be able to be automatically paused in Messages and Safari.

In addition, blind or visually impaired users can adjust text size in Mac apps and use Xcode with VoiceOver, Apple’s screen reader software.

Other macOS Sonoma updates include optimized PDFs, embedded PDFs in Notes, Siri activation by simply saying “Siri,” group password sharing, new stickers in Messages, smart grocery lists in Reminders, and a new autocorrect function.

The macOS Sonoma developer beta is available through the Apple Developer Program today, with a public beta available next month. The release will be available as a free update traditionally in the fall.