macOS Sonoma - Bridging the Gap Between macOS and iOS

· 4 min read
The Mac sure is starting to look like the iPhone / Apple
The Mac sure is starting to look like the iPhone / Apple

As technology continues evolving, so does how we interact with our devices. One prime example of this evolution is the general trend of macOS releases moving closer and closer to the look and feel of iOS.

Over the past few years, macOS has undergone a transformation to resemble its mobile counterpart, iOS. One noticeable change is the similarity in icons and their shape, which have become more reminiscent of iOS. This convergence brings a sense of familiarity and consistency across Apple's product ecosystem.

One standout feature of macOS Sonoma is the ability to use an iPhone as the Mac's webcam. This integration streamlines the workflow and eliminates the need for an external webcam. However, it is important to note that while this enhancement adds convenience, some functionalities may be compromised in the process.

Place widgets on your desktop from the new widget gallery. And you can now play a podcast, turn off the lights, and more — right from a widget.
Add widgets to your desktop / Apple

With each macOS release, Apple introduces splashy features that generate excitement among users. However, these features often fade into the background as users revert to their familiar workflows.

Stage Manager, Universal Control, and Quick Notes are examples of such features. While they initially create a buzz, their long-term adoption rate remains relatively low.

Sonoma takes the macOS-iOS convergence a step further by intensifying the visual resemblance. The update aligns macOS more closely with iOS in terms of appearance, providing users with a cohesive experience across their Apple devices. The familiar iOS aesthetic extends the sense of unity and harmony within the ecosystem.

One notable addition in macOS Sonoma is the ability to place widgets on the desktop. These widgets intelligently adapt to the desktop color scheme, providing users with at-a-glance information.

However, the usefulness of desktop widgets on a computer is subjective and raises questions about their relevance in a desktop environment. While they offer convenience, their impact on productivity remains uncertain.

Sonoma brings significant improvements to video conferencing on macOS. One standout feature is Presenter Overlay, which allows speakers to overlay a video feed of themselves during presentations.

This feature humanizes video calls, fostering engagement and better conveying the speaker's message. Additionally, 3D reactions, including hearts, balloons, and even a thumbs-down, add a touch of fun and expressiveness to video conversations within the Messages app.

Safari, Apple's web browser, introduces the concept of profiles in Sonoma. These profiles allow users to customize their browsing experience for different use cases, such as work and personal activities.

Each profile can have distinct bookmarks, settings, and even a specific Focus mode. This feature enhances personalization and organization, offering users greater control over their browsing environment.

Sonoma introduces a range of additional features designed to enhance the overall macOS experience. The new Game Mode optimizes system resources for gaming, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable gameplay experience.

Messages now offer search filters, enabling users to find specific content within conversations quickly. The Screen Sharing app benefits from a high-performance mode, improving the quality and responsiveness of remote screen sharing.

Furthermore, Sonoma incorporates an improved autocorrect system, enhancing the accuracy and effectiveness of text input.

Sonoma adds a touch of elegance to macOS with high-resolution video screensavers. These screensavers display captivating aerial footage reminiscent of the ones found on Apple TV.

Fan-favorite titles take gaming on Mac to new heights
Fan-favorite titles take gaming on Mac to new heights / Apple 

Watching serene scenes from Hawaii or the majestic landscapes of Patagonia provides a brief escape, allowing users to experience a mini-vacation right at their desks. Additionally, users can turn these screensavers into wallpapers, creating a visually stunning lock screen and desktop experience.

To bring more interactivity to video chats, Sonoma introduces hand gesture-based special effects. By performing hand gestures, users can trigger effects like fireworks or floating balloons, injecting a touch of fun and expressiveness into their conversations. These effects add a layer of engagement and playfulness, creating memorable moments during video calls.

Presenter Overlay is a valuable addition for those engaged in screen-sharing activities. This feature allows users to place a small or large window of themselves on top of shared windows during presentations.

macOS Sonoma’s public beta is live and continues the ‘continuity’ trend Apple has been pushing for the past few years.
macOS Sonoma’s public beta is live and continues the ‘continuity’ trend Apple has been pushing for the past few years. / Apple

It humanizes the content being shared, making it easier for viewers to connect with the speaker. Whether it's showcasing a data-driven presentation or discussing ideas, Presenter Overlay adds a personal touch and enhances the overall communication experience.

Safari's profile feature provides users with the ability to create distinct browsing environments for different use cases. By separating work and personal profiles, users can maintain focused workflows while easily transitioning between contexts.

Each profile can have unique settings, bookmarks, tab groups, and even a specific Focus mode, ensuring a tailored browsing experience for every situation.

Sonoma further strengthens Apple's ecosystem by synchronizing stickers and Memoji across devices via iCloud. This seamless integration allows users to access their customized stickers and Memoji effortlessly, ensuring consistency and personalization across their Apple devices. It's a delightful way to express oneself in conversations while maintaining a unified experience.