Thursday, July 13, 2023

macOS 14 Sonoma Public Beta

Juli Clover:

Public beta testers can download the macOS 14 Sonoma update from the Software Update section of the System Preferences app after signing up on Apple’s beta testing website and opting into the public beta under the Beta Updates section.


For more on what’s new in macOS Sonoma , including a new Game mode, we have a detailed macOS Sonoma roundup that highlights all of the features in the update.

The public beta is build 23A5286i. I was on Developer Beta 3, and it offered me another “Beta 3” update, which only brought the build to 23A5286g. Then it offered a third “Beta 3,” update, which ended up being the same as the public beta.

Jason Snell:

macOS Sonoma, out in public beta now and due to be released this fall, is an update that feels small in all the best ways. Even in early development, I’ve managed to use it on my main Mac without any serious compatibility issues or major bugs. This means that if you’re desperate for change in macOS, you will be disappointed—but at this point I suspect that most Mac users just want incremental improvements without disruptive changes. Slow and steady wins the race.

My experience is that Bluetooth connections are broken (FB12550887, FB12550939). Otherwise, it seems pretty good, though.

This unsung hero of macOS [Screen Sharing] has gotten a major update. For starters, there’s an actual interface—instead of a simple Connect To start, there’s a proper window listing nearby computers and devices you’ve previously controlled. And there’s also a stunning new High Performance mode, which lets two Apple Silicon Macs running macOS Sonoma connect with low latency, high quality, and even support for two displays. I was able to edit some video in Final Cut Pro using this feature, and while it wasn’t perfect, I was impressed at how well it worked.

John Voorhees:

No single Sonoma feature has had as immediate an effect on how I use my Mac as interactive desktop widgets. I’ve never been a fan of the way macOS Big Sur put widgets in Notification Center, an offscreen panel that is only accessible by clicking on the clock in the menu bar. That’s still available, kind of how the Today view is still a feature of iOS, but migrating widgets to the desktop from Notification Center makes them infinitely more useable.


Apple’s new autocorrect system is orders of magnitude better than the old system on every OS. Apple is using a new, more accurate language model. The core system works a lot like the old one, but you’ll notice differences as soon as you begin to type in an app. As you go, Sonoma will also suggest the autocompletion of words, and event phrases.

Six Colors:

In recent years, Apple has taken to making more of its new features available across all of its major operating systems. As a result, it’s made less sense for us to cover the same feature in multiple preview articles. Instead, we’ve rolled some of the key improvements you’ll see across macOS Sonoma, iOS 17, and iPadOS 17 into a single article—this one.

Monica Chin (Hacker News):

Ventura looked a heck of a lot like iOS, and Sonoma looks even more like iOS. I turned my office’s Mac Studio on after installing the developer beta and thought, for a second, that I might be hallucinating my iPhone’s lockscreen. It’s remarkably reminiscent.


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As you go, Sonoma will also suggest the autocompletion of words, and event phrases.

I wonder if this was written on Sonoma.

Beatrix Willius

I don't get anything beyond the first beta.

Has the Mail folder changed for the public beta?

@Beatrix Still V10. I think usually they wait to change it until late August.

"I might be hallucinating my iPhone’s lockscreen"

Everything is wrong in the new login window design.

I'm still running macOS 10.14. One of the things keeping me from upgrading is the iOS-ification of macOS, because, as we should have learned back with Windows 8, mixing desktop and mobile interface paradigms is a really, really bad idea. And on top of that, macOS has gone all in on the terrible modern UI trends that Apple's own research demonstrated was a bad idea decades ago, such as thoughtless use of negative space, no visual distinction between interactable and static elements, and hover states.

I'm extremely disheartened but not at all surprised to see that Sonoma is going even further in this direction. I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out on 10.14, though. There's enough low level frustration in my day to day life using a computer already. I don't want to upgrade to an operating system that'll just make it worse. But there's nowhere better for me to go -- it's not like Windows or Linux is any better (though at least with Linux I'm actually in control of my own computer).

ever since Yosemite a trend has started where I had to swallow Apple's shoddy UI experiments if I wanted access to new OS features. you could argue that it has been that way since Lion, but I didn't dislike that phase nearly as much as those that followed.

while the (in my humble opinion) disaster that was Yosemite has since been significantly refined, it seems we're once again drifting far away from UX stability.

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