Apple injects a little more iOS into the Mac today, as launches macOS Sonoma, also known as macOS 14.0. Sonoma brings with it features like persistent desktop widgets, a new iOS-style lock screen, and a game mode that promises better gaming on your Mac. The file takes up 7.7GB for us, so you’ll want to make sure you have some space to store it.
In a refreshing change, the Sonoma update comes out just over a week after Apple released iOS 17. The new version of the iPhone operating system arrived, as always, very shortly after its iPhone 15 event earlier this month , but the company usually takes about a month longer to release its next version of macOS. That can create a sometimes frustrating dissonance given the interplay of Apple’s ecosystem, for those of us who tend to update our devices as soon as we can. (I need the ability to send The edgeAlex Cranz annoying personalized stickers in iMessage from my Mac, y’all).
Sonoma lets you put iPhone widgets on your Mac without installing their corresponding apps, and features updated video conferencing that lets you float (or just your head in a bubble) over a presentation, which is as silly and charming as it sounds. The macOS lock screen now looks like the screen on your iPad or iPhone, only with a password field instead of a numeric keypad. It would be great to have Face ID on Mac right now!
There is also the new game mode. Macs have rarely had their time in the sun as gaming machines, but there’s good news for the dedicated few who game on their Macs, as Apple says Game Mode prioritizes gaming performance with more CPU and GPU and makes wireless gaming accessories are more responsive. Other updates include search filters for iMessage, profiles in Safari, support for web apps that you can include in the Dock, and more.
To download, simply snap the Apple logo (sorry, sorry) at the top right of the screen, then follow this path: System Settings > General > Software Update. That will get you to where you need to be to get the update. You may have a small message in the System Settings sidebar like the one in the screenshot above, which requires a couple of steps. And you probably already know this, but it’s best to do it outside of work hours in case something goes wrong.
Update September 26, 2023 1:12 pm ET: Added file size and a link to Apple’s announcement.