Monday, June 5, 2023

macOS 14 Sonoma Announced

Apple (preview, MacRumors, Hacker News, ArsTechnica, Slashdot):

Stunning screen savers and powerful widgets unlock an entirely new way to personalize. Users can now place widgets right on the desktop, interact with them with just a click, and through the magic of Continuity, access the extensive ecosystem of iPhone widgets on their Mac. In macOS Sonoma, video conferencing also gets more engaging with great new features to help users present remotely, like Presenter Overlay, which places a presenter on top of the content being shared, and Reactions, which enables fun gesture-triggered video effects in cinematic quality. Significant updates come to Safari, taking the web experience to the next level. Profiles keeps browsing separate between multiple topics or projects, and web apps provide faster access to favorite sites. And gaming gets even better, with the introduction of Game Mode, exciting new titles, and a new game porting toolkit that makes it even easier for developers to bring more games to Mac.

Joe Rossignol (Hacker News):

macOS Sonoma drops support for 2017 models of the iMac and MacBook Pro, as well as the final 12-inch MacBook model.


Update (2023-06-06): Nick Heer:

MacOS Sonoma drops support for the 2017 iMac, which was the latest model when I bought it just over four years ago.

Howard Oakley:

Of the seven versions of Intel Macs that don’t have T2 chips, and are supported by macOS Ventura, only one, iMac 2019 (iMac19,x), has official Sonoma support.

Filipe Espósito:

When you choose one of these wallpapers, it’s shown as a static image on the Desktop. But as soon as your Mac enters the Lock Screen, the wallpaper moves as an aerial screen saver. When you unlock the Mac, it smoothly stops moving and stays frozen in that frame.

Chance Miller:

Here’s a rundown of the new features in macOS Sonoma that are only available to Apple Silicon users, not users with an Intel-powered Mac.

Update (2023-06-09): Mr. Macintosh:

Can someone explain to me like I’m 5, why a 2017 4.5Ghz i7 iMac can’t run macOS Sonoma?

I’ve seen a few people mention the T2 chip.

Remember, the 2019 iMac does not have a T2 chip, so that is not the reason.



Update (2023-06-13): Howard Oakley:

Prior to Sonoma, getting the right display in a VM has been rather hit or miss. Although shown in a resizeable window, virtual display resolutions have relied on HiDPI support and picking the best size for their crispness. Sonoma adds a simple option that should fill the VM window with the crispest possible image, even when its dimensions don’t match what’s shown in the Display settings of the VM. This solution looks ideal.

State restoration is a little more complex. When running in Monterey and Ventura, the only safe way to quit a VM is to shut it down, and whenever you want to open an existing VM, you have to start it up and log in afresh. In Sonoma, the VM state can be saved and restored, allowing you to resume the VM in a previous state of your choice. You can thus set up your VM exactly as you want it, and keep returning to that state whenever you wish.

Christian Tietze:

Hmmm these new NSMenu section headers look nice in principle, but the whitespace feels odd to me.

Sonoma also removes support for Mail plug-ins.

Update (2023-06-23): Tim Hardwick:

In macOS Sonoma, Apple has changed the widgets landscape. No longer do widgets have to be hidden offscreen and largely forgotten in the Notifications Center panel. Now they live right on your desktop – and they're interactive, too.

Danny Lin:

Whimsical chaos when the Desktop is full

John Voorhees:

It’s a small change, but I appreciate that when I AirDrop files to my Mac running Sonoma that it no longer interrupts my work by flipping over to the Downloads folder in Finder.

Update (2023-08-10): Ezekiel Elin:

Apple made Game Mode for Sonoma, but there’s no way to turn it on manually so if it decides your game isn’t worthy then it’s just…unavailable

16 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

It does not look a promising macOS release when the first thing Apple feels the need to mention is "new screen savers".

@someone I'm hoping this is really a bug fix release and they're too timid in the Tim Cook era to say as much.

Alright, I’m dumb: how does one install a MacOS .ipsw image on a Mac?

I guess I’ve been looking in the wrong place, but no installation instruction seem to address this. (I realize you can use Software Update on an existing installation, but I want to image a fresh APFS volume.)

Furthermore, the WWDC Slack workspace (where I would be inclined to ask this question) doesn’t seem to work; I have no access to any of the channels despite being logged in.

@Tim R: According to comments from supposed Apple employees on the orange website, things are too siloed and compartmentalized-for-secrecy for software quality to recover. What is the point of all the secrecy when there's no iPhone-like secret to shroud from the public?

Maybe we could sell Tim Cook on the idea of a subscription service for PREmIuM macOS. $129 per OS release, like the old days. C'mon Tim, you love money. grab the opportunity and run with it.

@Ben Apple Configurator, which I think requires a second Mac.

Ben, I was also flummoxed by what to do with those ipsw files. Then I found this easier way:

nobody, what is "the orange website"?

@someone, @Tim R:
> I'm hoping this is really a bug fix release
Yes, hopefully we see a second 10.6 Snow Leopard like macOS Version, with feature completion and nearly bug-free. There are a lot of gaps to close from the last macOS Versions.
But it could also be that too many developers were pulled out for the Vision Pro project.

I really hate that old but perfectly capable iMacs are being dropped by Apple. Such a waste of resources. I would even pay for upgrades just to avoid buying new hardware. But I guess for a 3 trillion market cap company this is a proposition not even worth considering.

@Bob: Thanks for the link! Rather disconcerting to find such an installer linked from a third-party web site whilst being absent from Apple's own developer resources… but it worked.

@Michael: I had tried Configurator too but it showed no devices; maybe because I'd run it on the same Mac. Prior to executing Bob's suggestion I plugged my MBP into my Mini by USB/Thunderbolt, and indeed it showed up in Configurator there—but with the message: “MacBook Pro is not booted. Click Restore to erase the device and install the latest System. All content and settings will be erased. This cannot be undone.” Needless to say this was sufficiently ominous for me to not proceed. (Will it summarily erase the whole SSD? Or prompt me for a volume? I didn't want to find out the hard way.)

Is Apple really not expecting anyone to want to conduct a clean install on another volume?

@Ben Yes, I think it erases the whole SSD.

Restore *definitely* erases the whole disk.

To install on another volume, I've always downloaded the installer app from the Mac App Store and then ran that. Just make sure you do choose the new volume!

Getting really, really fed up with software support running out long before the machine does. Like, considering-switching-to-Linux levels of fed up.

According to SmallCubed, the developers of MailSuite, Apple has now dropped support for Apple Mail plugins. Only extensions going forward.

@Joss Yes, I don’t think Apple has made an announcement, but that seems to be what’s happening. I discuss it a bit here and here.

@nobody, can you post the links to those comments from "supposed Apple employees"? I'm very interested in seeing those.

"According to comments from supposed Apple employees on the orange website, things are too siloed and compartmentalized-for-secrecy for software quality to recover."

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