macOS Sonoma vs macOS Ventura: What’s the Difference

As of writing this post, Apple has released the macOS Sonoma Public Beta for all users who want to try out the new Mac software upgrade. Like old times, you can expect its stable release in the month of September.

Suppose you plan to upgrade from macOS Ventura but are unsure about the difference between macOS Sonoma vs macOS Ventura. In that case, this post will list the best new features you can expect with the latest macOS version.

Before moving ahead with the new features and helping you decide whether macOS Sonoma is better than macOS Ventura, here’s the list of Mac and iMac models that support the macOS Sonoma update:

  • iMac 2019 or later
  • Mac Pro 2019 or later
  • iMac Pro 2017 or later
  • Mac Studio 2022 or later
  • MacBook Air 2018 or later
  • Mac mini 2018 or later
  • MacBook Pro 2018 or later

1. Desktop Widgets

Just like on your iPhone and iPad, you can now place Widgets on the Desktop of your Mac. In previous macOS versions, you had to rely on the Notification Center to check app notifications on your Mac. But now you can just drag those apps straight to your Mac Desktop. You will be able to use the widgets of your iPhone apps as well. Here’s how.

Step 1: Right-click on your Mac Desktop and click on Edit Widgets.

edit widgets mac desktop

You will see all the app widgets appear on your Mac screen. You can see the apps that are installed on your iPhone on the left side.

widgets desktop mac sonoma

Step 2: Scroll down to select your widget and click the Plus icon to add your widget to the Desktop.

add widget to desktop macOS sonoma

The widget will appear on your Mac. When you open an app window or use Stage Manager, your Desktop widget will fade a bit so to avoid distractions.

desktop widgets macOS Sonoma

You can right-click on the Desktop widget to change the size of your widget or remove it. Do note that using too many Desktop Widgets can impact the battery life of your Mac.

edit desktop widget macOS sonoma

2. Presenter Overlay

The next feature that will improve your presentations during video calls on apps like FaceTime and Zoom is Presenter Overlay. After you share your screen during a video call, you as a Presenter, will be put in the foreground, and your shared screens will appear between you or in the background. The participants on your call can share their thoughts or reactions using hand gestures. But this will apply if you are use Continuity Camera from your iPhone during the video call.

presenter overlay macOS sonoma

3. Game Mode

If you like to give yourself a break from work by playing games on your Mac, the new macOS Sonoma update offers a new Game Mode to improve your experience. Available on Macs or iMac models running on Apple M-series chips, the Game Mode will enhance CPU and GPU usage while reducing the usage of background tasks on your Mac. You can enjoy a better gaming experience, especially while playing graphic-heavy titles like Resident Evil Village on your Mac. If you have connected game controllers or your AirPods during gameplay, the Game Mode will also reduce latency for better responsiveness.

4. Profiles in Safari

Just like Tab Groups in Safari, the new macOS Sonoma update lets you create separate Profiles in Safari on your Mac. Creating a Safari Profile will separate your search history, Extensions, Tab Groups, Cookies, and Favorites. If you like browsing and saving web content on different topics, you can create separate Safari Profiles based on those topics of your interest. Refer our post on how to create Safari Profiles on your Mac.

create a new profile in Safari

5. Improved Private Browsing Experience

Safari has received a few more improvements in terms of Private Browsing. After installing the update, your Private Browsing windows will lock automatically if left unused for a certain period. macOS Sonoma will also completely block trackers from loading pages. Here’s how to enable Touch ID to unlock locked Private Browsing windows.

Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type Safari, and press Return.

open safari on mac

Step 2: Click on File at the top-left corner and select Settings.

settings safari mac

Step 3: Click on Privacy.

Step 4: Enable the option for Require Touch ID to View Locked Tabs.

require touch id to view locked tabs mac

6. Web Apps In Safari

What if you could make an app for your favorite website and keep it in the Dock on your Mac? With macOS Sonoma, you can do that by creating Web Apps in Safari. Here’s how you can use this feature.

Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type Safari, and press Return.

open safari on mac

Step 2: Open any website of your choice. For this post, let us take the example of Guiding Tech.

Step 3: Click on File at the top-left corner.

file safari mac

Step 4: Select Add To Dock from the list of options.

add to dock web apps safari mac

The website will be added as a Web App on the Dock.

web app mac dock

7. Location Sharing in Messages App

After the new macOS update, you can share your live location using the Messages app on your Mac. This feature was accessible in macOS Ventura by using Find My Mac. But now you can use the Messages app.

Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight Search, type Messages, and press Return.

open messages on mac

Step 2: Select the contact with whom you want to share your location.

Step 3: Click the ‘i’ next to the contact name in the top-right corner.

more info contact messages app mac

Step 4: Select Share My Location.

share my location messages app mac

Step 5: Select the duration you want to share your location.

8. Open PDF Files in the Notes App

If you wish to annotate or autofill your PDF files on your Mac, you can do it in the Notes app. You can also flip the pages of your PDF files and use information from your contacts to autofill PDFs in the Notes app itself. You don’t need a separate PDF editor now for your Mac. Copy and paste a PDF file into the Notes app to use all the features.

open pdf in notes app mac

9. Password and Passkey Sharing

With Sonoma, you can select a group of contacts with whom you want to share your passwords and passkey. This is a function of iCloud Keychain that enabled password and passkey sharing with trusted contacts. Here’s how to set it up using your Mac.

Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type System Settings, and press Return.

open system settings mac

Step 2: Scroll down and click on Passwords from the left menu.

passwords settings mac

Step 3: Authenticate using Touch ID or enter your password to proceed.

Step 4: Click on Get Started below Password and Passkey Sharing.

get started password and passkey sharing mac

Step 5: Click on Continue at the bottom right side.

continue password and passkey sharing Mac

Step 6: Click on Add People to add your trusted contacts.

add people shared group passkey sharing mac

Step 7: Enter the name of your contact and click on Add.

add people to passkey group mac

Step 8: Add a name for your group of contacts and click on Create.

create group to share passkey Mac

10. Improved Autocorrect and Predictive Text

While quickly typing a message or preparing a document, it is common to make spelling or grammatical errors. Now with macOS Sonoma, you will experience improved Autocorrect. Inline Predictive Text will prevent a typing error and suggest a group of words to complete your sentences by guessing what you would most likely want to type next. If the suggested text is correct, press the Spacebar to complete your sentence. It is enabled by default and is initially available for the Notes App, Mail App, and TextEdit. But it is intended to be system-wide.

11. Lockdown Mode

Lockdown Mode was introduced with macOS Ventura and has now been updated with macOS Sonoma. You can enable it to protect your Mac from cyber attacks that can harm the privacy of your data. With the new software update, Lockdown Mode provides improved security to protect you from sophisticated cyber attacks. You can read our post to learn how to enable Lockdown Mode on your Mac.

enable lockdown mode

Upgrade to a New Software Experience

These new features should help you decide what’s new in macOS Sonoma vs macOS Ventura. But in case you can’t install the new software version, you can still download the official macOS Sonoma wallpapers in 4K.

Last updated on 19 July, 2023

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