Hello Apple lovers, here’s good news for you. Apple finally released its latest Mac operating system, MacOS Snoma (macOS 14), on June 5, 2023, with various innovations such as game modes, desktop widgets, air screensavers, etc. However, as promised at WWDC, macOS Sonoma for the general public will be available on October 1.
So, what makes the latest operating system so exciting? Apple’s macOS Sonoma (also known as macOS 14) includes a game mode, desktop widgets, and a new presenter mode for video chats. Is your Mac prepared? If so, you should download it now to take advantage of all the new features and security updates.
And in today’s article, we will tell you all the steps to download macOS 14. But make sure you take a backup of your most important data first. So, let us begin.
The latest version of macOS, Sonoma, named after a wine area in California, is now available. Changes to widgets, a new Game Mode, the ability to instantly convert web pages into web apps, and amusing enhancements to video conferencing apps are among the new features for Mac with Sonoma (aka macOS 14).
On Tuesday, September 26, the final version of macOS 14 was made available to the general public. If you still need to see it, go to System Settings > General > Software Update to compel your Mac to look for it.
September 26 marked the earliest macOS release date since 2018. And Sonoma was first released on September 26, 2023. It was macOS 14.0 at the time.
Over the next few months, there will be numerous upgrades, minor point releases for bug fixes and security updates, and larger versions that make some of the Sonoma features unavailable at launch.
The most recent beta version is macOS 14.1 (issued to developers on September 27). On October 4, a second upgrade to that beta was released.
The macOS 14.1 beta release adds a new Coverage area to the General System Settings that contains Apple Care information. It also fixes an issue with Remote Widgets and addresses problems with Wallet and WidgetKit.
Based on the update schedule for macOS Ventura (Ventura launched on October 24, and macOS 13.1 was released seven weeks later, on December 13), we expect this upgrade to arrive around November 14.
Sonoma compatibility on macOS
Before you download macOS, ensure sure your Mac is compatible. Apple has listed which Macs can run the new version of macOS during the launch. They are as follows:
- MacBook Air from 2018 or after
- MacBook Pro from 2018 or after
- Mac Mini from 2018 or after
- Mac Pro from 2019 or after
- iMac from 2019 or after
- iMac Pro from 2017 or after
- Mac Studio from 2022 or after
Note: If your MacBook or Mac is older than these models, then macOS 13 Ventura will be the last version you can download.
Steps to Download macOS Sonoma
Apple has now fully released macOS Sonoma after several months of public testing. In the following section, we will deep dive you through every step of the process below, and downloading and installing it is free and incredibly simple.
But make sure you make a backup of your Mac before you begin because this is a significant operating system update for your computer. If something goes wrong when installing, that can help turn things around.
Let’s go through the steps to download and install macOS Sonoma with that out of the way.
Step 1: Launch the System Settings app by clicking the cog symbol in your Mac’s Dock or selecting System Settings from the menu bar’s Apple icon.
Step 2: Select Software Update under General in System Settings. Give the app a moment to check for updates. You should get a message to download the software update if your Mac is compatible with macOS Sonoma. And then click on the upgrade button.
Step 3: Your Mac will now download and install macOS Sonoma. When it’s finished, you’ll be requested to restart your Mac. In that scenario, use the Restart Now button.
Step 4: Your Mac may need to restart many times as macOS Sonoma is installed. This is normal procedure; simply allow it to do its thing, which may take some time.
Step 5: When the installation is complete, your Mac will boot to the login screen.
Congratulations, you have now successfully installed macOS Sonoma and can begin using all its new features.
Creating a Backup of your Mac
MacOS has a backup program to ensure you don’t lose crucial files. You will retain your vacation photos or portfolio this way. This section will create a backup of your MacBook, iMac, or Mac Mini.
There are two methods for backing up the most crucial files on your Mac device.
- Performing backup with Time Machine
- Performing backup with iCloud
Performing backup with Time Machine
Time Machine is an Apple application that allows you to easily copy data from your Mac to an external storage device. When creating a backup, use a drive with a bigger storage capacity than your Mac.
Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner, then select System Preferences.
Step 2: Click on the Time Machine.
Step 3: Select Disc from the menu.
Step 4: Choose the hard drive that will be used for backup.
Step 5: Confirm the drive you’ll be using. It is conceivable that the drive must first be emptied, formatted, or configured.
Step 6: Check the Backup Automatically to maintain backups
Performing backup with iCloud
You can store files in the cloud on the Apple server using iCloud. With your Apple ID, you have access to iCloud.
Unlike Time Machine, which creates a comprehensive backup, iCloud can only store the bits that fall inside iCloud. Contacts, Calendar, Keychain, Photos, and iCloud Drive are examples.
Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the lower left corner, then select System Preferences.
Step 2: Select Apple ID.
Step 3: On the left, select iCloud, and on the right, select what you wish to store in iCloud.
Step 4: Select iCloud Drive and then click Options. You can choose the programs, files, and data you want to save to your iCloud.
Step 5: iCloud Drive is now accessible from the Finder. You can manually drag files to that location.
Top Features of macOS 14 Sonoma
Here are some new features that will be included in macOS 14. Not all expected new features will be available in Sonoma’s initial version
1. Changes to the Login Screen
You’ll notice a change the moment your Mac boots up in Sonoma. Apple has updated the login screen so you input your password at the bottom rather than the middle.
2. Desktop Widgets
More Widgets can be added from the Widget Gallery and placed anywhere on the screen. Apple has gone to great pains to ensure they are not distracting and will virtually disappear into the background.
3. Apple Music Player
In terms of Widgets, a new Apple Music widget will be available. However, it will not be available at launch.
Other Music features include playlist collaboration, Favourite Songs playlist, and Favourites in Library. However, all of these will be available later.
You can also add Widgets from an iPhone via Continuity; the iPhone simply has to be nearby, connected to, or on the same Wi-Fi network as the iPad.
4. New Login Screen
Apple has changed the login page and introduced a new immersive animation that takes you to your desktop.
5. Game Mode
This new setting will ensure that the game receives the maximum priority on GPU and CPU, improving gameplay. According to Apple, it will make Mac gaming “more immersive.”
There are additional modifications that should reduce controller latency and increase in-game responsiveness. These appear to be enhancements that could help improve Mac gaming, but they may need to be too late.
Apple said that more Mac games are on the way and showcased “Death Stranding: Directors Cut” (which, unfortunately, is not new).
Apple also discussed how it will assist game developers in bringing their games to the Mac with a new Game Porting kit, which provides tools that developers can utilize to easily port their games to the Mac, considerably decreasing game creation time.
Apple is releasing some stunning animated wallpapers depicting destinations from across the world.
7. Personal Voice
A new Personal Voice feature allows you to train your Mac to communicate using your voice and then use it to convert text to speech.
8. Web applications
It will be simple to convert a frequently visited website into a Web App. Simply open the webpage and select File > Add to Dock to add it to the Dock as an icon, then open it to get an app-like appearance for that web page that opens outside of Safari.
9. Video Conferencing
Apple showcased how sharing your screen during a presentation can cause your presence to be missed. To address this issue, Apple has created a new video effect called Presenter Overlay, which will place your face above the presentation and separate you from the background. This can look like the image above but be a smaller bubble with your face inside (covering less of the presentation).
Another new feature is the opportunity to add a reaction to your video to express your feelings about something. A fireworks animation, for example, will play if you show two thumbs up.
These features are not limited to FaceTime and can be utilized as video effects with other video conferencing programs.
10. Brand New Safari
WebKit will receive additional improvements, including new typography. When you are not using private browsing windows, they will be blocked by a new function.
It will be possible to share Passkeys and Passwords with family members via iCloud Keychain, which will be end-to-end encrypted. You can create Safari Profiles to differentiate between work and home/school accounts.
11. Notes and PDFs
AutoFill makes it simple to fill out PDFs quickly and securely. In addition, you can view PDFs in Notes, link related notes, and open a Note in Pages to change it there.
12. Improved Keyboard
Improved Autocorrect and typing predictions will be among the keyboard changes. However, this is a feature that will be added later.
The Messages app’s search will be improved, with the ability to narrow your search as you go.
Before you open any potentially sensitive movies or photographs, you will be warned.
Later, there will be a redesigned Sticker drawer, a catchup for group conversations, and improvements to Messages in iCloud.
14. Robust Security
Lockdown Mode enhancements will help guard against cyber threats.
Finally, the launch of macOS Sonoma (macOS 14) delivers many new features and enhancements to the Mac ecosystem.
Sonoma is prepared to give a more engaging and smooth user experience with its upgraded game mode, desktop widgets, presenter mode for video chats, and many other enhancements.
However, consumers should remember that before downloading and installing this critical operating system upgrade, they should back up their Macs to protect their data.
Following the simple procedures indicated in this article, Mac users can easily move to Sonoma and take full advantage of its new features.
We should expect more upgrades and changes as the macOS 14 release progresses, resolving any initial problems or faults and making Sonoma an even more powerful and user-friendly operating system.
macOS Sonoma promises to be a game changer for Mac users with its sleek login screen, increased choice of desktop widgets, enhanced gaming experience, and new video conferencing tools.
As users welcome these changes, it’s apparent that Apple is committed to increasing user enjoyment and productivity while keeping the Mac environment at the forefront of technological innovation.