macOS 14 Sonoma - Everything you need to know!

Apple has the new operating system for the Mac in June 2023 macOS 14 Sonoma introduced. Compatible computers can take advantage of numerous new functions, especially if they have an Apple chip installed instead of an Intel processor. Already on the desk alone there are new usage options, such as widgets or that View the desktop by clicking the background image. In addition, with the Game Porting Toolkit and Game Mode, better prerequisites for the mac gaming created. If you surf the web a lot, you get new Safari functions, such as profiles and web apps for the Dock. In this guide you will find everything else about macOS 14 Sonoma as well as sources for information, instructions and downloads.

Note: This post was created in June 2023 with the information from WWDC23 and the first developer beta. It will be updated after the release of macOS 14 in fall 2023.

With macOS 14 Sonoma, Apple introduced a new Mac operating system during WWDC23. Here you can get all information about new functions, download and installation, problems and solutions, wallpaper and manuals. We also offer you instructions, advice and news about Sonoma.
With macOS 14 Sonoma, Apple introduced a new Mac operating system during WWDC23. Here you can get all information about new functions, download and installation, problems and solutions, wallpaper and manuals. We also offer you instructions, advice and news about Sonoma.

Problems after Sonoma installation and suitable solutions

For a few years now, with every macOS release we have published a collective article on the teething problems of the respective system. We also try to address the respective solutions as best as possible. If we can recreate the problem, there are tested solutions with screenshots, workarounds and other tips. We didn't encounter any major issues in the macOS Sonoma Developer Beta. However, with the installation of the official upgrade now available to everyone, errors may creep in here and there. That's why there is now this collective article: macOS 14 Sonoma problems and solutions.

macOS 14 Sonoma - What's new in this Mac operating system?

Since macOS 11 BigSur From 2020, the upgrades of the macOS releases are more and more aimed at the Mac models with Apple Silicon (M-Chip). And so there is also in macOS Sonoma Features that cannot be used on Intel Macs: the moderator mask (presenter overlay) to display presenters in front of the transmitted screen content, the gesture reaction to activate AR effects with the hands, the game mode for better video game performance, the connection with MFi hearing aids and the addressing of the Language assistance with "Siri" instead of "Hey Siri". But since that's not all of Sonoma's innovations, there are also other updates that will run on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.

In the Messages app there is e.g. B. Better search filters and the feature called Catch-Up, thanks to which you can jump to the first of the unread messages. So you no longer have to scroll and search in group chats. Auto Correct is improved and expanded to include smarter completion of words and sentences. PDF usage in the Notes app is expanding, including for real-time collaboration with others. In addition to profiles for various areas of application (work, leisure, school, university, hobbies, etc.), sharing passwords and passkeys with others and storing websites as web apps in the dock, there are other innovations in Safari - such as the Removal of tracking parameters from URLs.

The new screensavers, which show landscapes and nature scenes, transition seamlessly to a suitable background image when the Mac is woken up. But that's not the only graphic magic offered with macOS 14 on the Apple Mac. Because as already mentioned, there will also be a special game mode. This ensures that the video game being executed gets preferential access to the CPU and GPU units of the M chip. This is how games run smoother. The mode also ensures faster Bluetooth, so that input and audio latencies are reduced. There are new tools for porting Windows games to the Mac, making the games available much faster.

When trying the Beta version From macOS 14 Sonoma, we're discovering more and more small changes that weren't even addressed in the WWDC23 keynote. For example the new possibility that Disable mouse pointer acceleration. This keeps the mouse pointer at a constant speed no matter how fast you move the mouse (by default there is an acceleration that depends on the mouse movement). This new intervention in the system is also seen as an opportunity to play video games more precisely and with better performance. Also important for security on the Mac is the possibility of Sensitive content warning to activate. This will alert you if photos or videos contain nudity.

And that's not all. For example, widgets can now be placed on the desktop. They adapt in color to the background image and the light or dark mode and also fade when an app window is nearby. So they don't distract from the app usage. Placing the widgets is very easy. Just click the clock on the right side of the menu bar to open the notification center, choose a widget and drag it onto the desktop. If you are logged into an iPhone with the same Apple ID, its widgets can also be used on the Mac.

Links that give you more insight into this and other macOS upgrades:

These Mac models are compatible with macOS Sonoma

As noted above, the air for Intel Macs is getting thinner and thinner. However, a few years are still supported. So if you want to use macOS Sonoma, you don't necessarily have to go with a Mac Apple silicon transfer. In order to be able to use all the new functions and options, you definitely need at least one M1 Pro– or M2 chip. This is what the macOS 14 Sonoma compatibility list looks like:

  • Apple iMac from 2019 or newer
  • Apple iMac Pro from 2017 or newer
  • Apple MacBook Air from 2018 or newer
  • Apple MacBook Pro from 2018 or newer
  • Apple Mac mini from 2018 or newer
  • Apple Mac Studio from 2022 or newer
  • Apple Mac Pro from 2019 or newer

Details on the topic can be found in the individual post Is my Mac compatible with macOS 14 Sonoma? If your Mac is not mentioned in the list linked or shown above, then you officially do not have the option to install the upgrade for macOS 14 on it. Every year there are so-called patchers that enable installation on older Macs. Due to the greater concentration on M-chips, their ARM architecture and Apple's own integration of CPU, GPU, RAM, etc., these will certainly become less and less available for older Intel Macs as time goes on.

Download and install macOS Sonoma: Here's how!

We are currently still before the release of the first public beta (as of June 21, 2023). However, if you are impatient and want to use the developer beta, you will find comprehensive installation instructions here: Install macOS Sonoma Beta (side by side with existing system). Inside you will find a link to download the pkg file from which you can create the installer for macOS 14. So you don't need a paid developer account to do this. As soon as the public beta is ready, watch on this Apple site over for more info.

The official upgrade to macOS Sonoma should be ready by September or October 2023. If you have a compatible Mac, you can then initiate the upgrade via the system settings. Click that Apple logo () in the menu bar, selects System settings ... from, click on in the left list General and right up software update. If the upgrade to the new operating system is ready, it will be displayed there. Depending on the settings you have made, you may also receive a push notification.

Create macOS Sonoma boot stick with ANYmacOS

With the installer for macOS 14 you can create a boot stick. This is a USB stick that you can use to install the operating system on a Mac from the corresponding data medium. The advantage is that you can download the 13 GB beforehand and do not need an Internet connection on the target Mac later. I asked the developer Sascha Lamprecht whether his app ANYmacOS will also be usable with the betas and with the final version of macOS 14 Sonoma. He confirmed to me that macOS Sonoma is also supported by ANYmacOS. As soon as Apple issues the public seeds, they will also be displayed in the app overview. This is automatically updated every six hours. 

macOS Sonoma Wallpaper - Download high definition desktop backgrounds

The individual Mac operating systems can be recognized not only by their version numbers and names, but also and above all by their standard background images. These desktop backgrounds form since OS X Mavericks 10.9 the eponymous places in the US state of California. With macOS 11 Big Sur, digital graphics were made available for selection in addition to photos, which from macOS 12 Monterey form the standard. You can download all these images as well as the Sonoma wallpapers in the light and dark editions at 512pixels for use on non-compatible Macs and on PC – here you get to the picture selection.

macOS Sonoma manuals and guides

Here in the Sir Apfelot Blog, we are already preparing numerous instructions, information articles and guides for the new Mac operating system from Apple before the official upgrade to macOS 14 Sonoma. There will also be a corresponding online manual on the Apple website. If you also want to equip yourself with a printed manual or an e-book for the Kindle reader in order to be able to search for the right information, then you will find a corresponding selection on Amazon. As of June 2023, these are not yet available, but some can already be pre-ordered.

If you want to stay informed about the latest free instructions, guides and information from the Sir Apfelot Blog, then please subscribe to it Sir Apfelot newsletter (appears once a week) and / or install the Sir Apfelot app on the iPhone and iPad. You can find the Sir Apfelot Podcast at Apple podcastsWherein Let's CastWherein Spotify and active in Amazon Music. In it, individual topics are dealt with every week. Episode 13 is all about the new macOS 14 Sonoma for the Apple Mac. Have a listen! 

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.

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