Have you seen Shivaji, the Boss? It’s a Tamil film where the hero, Rajnikant, fakes his death and returns with a new name and bald look. That’s what came first to my mind when I saw the keynote for macOS. Just a new name and some new features. It’s the same guy but just rebranded. Not to say it was bad. Some were quite cool, actually.
To make it easier for me, dear reader, I’m gonna skip some common features between macOS Sonoma and iOS 17. You just have to read our iOS article here; no other choice. This particular piece of writing will feature the Mac exclusives only. So, without wasting any time, let’s jump right into it!
Put Little ‘Windows’ on Your Mac!
Like other Apple software, this one also brings new widgets to your screen. It’s like a quarter of their annual budget goes to the widget department, who are not really doing a very good job, by the way. If you saw the keynote, you know what I’m getting at. They borrowed the idea from the best OS to ever live; Windows 7. Remember those cool clocks with many themes and the weather forecast, and don’t forget that dope number tile game! Ah, those were the days. And looks like Apple is digging them back up.
Of course, Apple put its own twist on it. It’s not ‘Apple’ if they don’t. Like how the widgets become out of focus when you open an app or how you can use iPhone widgets on your Mac. They could have given a nod, a tip of the hat if you are sophisticated, to Windows with a clever pun or something, at least. Anyhow, widgets on the laptop screen are a thing again! Whoo!
The New Gaming Beast?
I have to give it to Apple. They have a knack for rolling up an already widely accessible feature in a new wrapping and selling it off as a revolutionary idea. Not before they slap on the Apple sticker, though. What am I talking about? The Game Mode.
Many high-end graphics cards and gaming laptops come with their own versions of this mode, whether in the name of performance profiles or booster mode. Heck, even my Redmi phone has a turbo mode made for gaming. So, Sonoma’s new Game mode is not actually new. It’s like remixing an old classic and calling it a new song.
Like other game modes, Sonoma keeps your running games at the top of the CPU/GPU list, boosting performance. It also reduces wireless latency for audio devices like AirPods and controllers and gives a Porting toolkit for game developers. They pulled all the stops here. From hinting at Mac being a console of its own like PlayStation or Xbox to putting Kojima (yes, the legendary game creator) on their stage, literally! My guess? They are trying to creep into the gaming market, which is currently on the up and up.
Shine on the Small Screen
This one got a confused reaction from me. Just a tad, but still. Timmy put a lot of time into the video call area with some brand-spanking new ideas. But honestly, they are somewhat useless. Sure, the video overlay with multiple size options and background blur is nice and practical and will take those pesky morning meetings to a whole new level. And app sharing is clever too. Not quite sure of the animated reactions, though. You clap your hands, and confetti blasts in the background, kind of like those choreographed Power Ranger intros. That just seems like something you play around with a couple of times with your friends and gets boring after a while.
Vest On, Boys, It’s Surfing Time!
First of all, let’s clear this up. During the keynote, the Apple team used the phrase ‘best browser,’ or versions of it anyway, a lot. Like a lot. Actually, that’s the only gripe I have about safari updates. With this update, it might be the safest browser, but definitely not the best. It’s obviously Microsoft Explorer.
Privacy measures like locking browser windows when not in use, sharing passwords safely, and preventing tracker loading, make browsing very safe. And although we have seen it in Chrome before, Apple’s version of browser profiles is a solid step up. It just seems a bit more user-friendly. The take on webpages as apps is also interesting. But not enough to make me buy a Mac.
There are many more unsung heroes of this update, like beautiful wallpapers, Predictive texts, and Sensitive content warnings. But most of them are already here in either Windows or other apps like Reddit and Instagram.
In a gist, Apple is the guy that comes late to a party and copies your homework but changes some stuff. To top it all, he does it with a lot of swag.
In a twist, I’m actually very happy with this update. Yes, the gaming bit got me with my palm in my face, but overall, it was a packed update. Now, waiting for the beta till July, that’s gruesome. But I don’t have to worry about it. It’s up to you Mac users to wait and enjoy macOS Sonoma after a month or so.