macOS Sonoma

iOS and macOS updates delete mystery bugs

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iOS 17.2.1 fixes mystery iPhone bugs
Take a couple minutes and install iOS 17.2.1. Your iPhone will be free of some bugs.
Image: Cult of Mac

iPhone users can now install iOS 17.2.1. And macOS Sonoma 14.2.1 is out as well. These are minor bug fix updates, though. The changes are so small Apple didn’t bother to describe them.

These are the only updates introduced Tuesday. There’s no iPadOS version, nor one for Apple Watch. And no new betas, either.

Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch get new features in OS upgrades

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MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod
All these have new operating system updates ... and most of them include new features.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

If you own an Apple computer of any shape or size, odds are it just got an operating system upgrade. Monday brought the public launch of macOS Sonoma 14.2, iPadOS 17.2, iOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2 and tvOS 17.2.

And these aren’t simple bug fixes. There’s new features.

New Apple Journal app is right around the corner in iOS 17.2

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Apple Journal on iPhone 15
Journal will arrive in iOS 17.2.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the release candidate for iOS 17.2 to developers Tuesday, signaling that beta testing for the upcoming operating system is almost over. The highlight of the update will be the new Journal app that Apple announced last summer.

The release candidates for macOS Sonoma 14.2, iPadOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2 and tvOS 17.2 were also seeded to devs Tuesday. The final versions are all expected to be publicly available to install on December 12.

Apple’s new Personal Voice feature rings clear in ‘The Lost Voice’ video

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Tristram Ingham 'The Lost Voice' video
Disability advocate Tristram Ingham prepares to record Apple’s “The Lost Voice" video.
Photo: Apple

The new Personal Voice feature in iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma can restore a person’s voice even after they lose it for any reason.

Apple demonstrated that quite well Thursday in an article and video featuring a disability advocate suffering facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).

How to fix software updates on your brand-new MacBook Pro

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Install macOS Sonoma on M3 MacBook Pro
Fix software updates on your new MacBook Pro.
Photo: Apple

Some lucky first-day owners of the new M3 MacBook Pro unboxed their machines Tuesday to discover a reversal of fortune: Their new Macs arrived with a broken version of macOS that can’t install software updates.

Some MacBook Pros shipped to customers with an unreleased (well, more like unintentionally released) build of macOS Ventura 13.5. This version can’t be updated to macOS Sonoma through the standard Software Update feature in System Preferences.

Here’s how to fix the admittedly rare problem.

How to turn off Mac webcam video reactions in macOS Sonoma

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Fireworks!!!!
Fireworks are fun, but occasionally, inappropriate for the situation.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How do you turn off the webcam video reactions on your Mac in macOS Sonoma? This feature, which puts full-screen animated effects on your video calls, made a good demo when it was introduced, but has since confused many people who trigger it accidentally in serious situations.

The Off button isn’t where you would expect — it’s not hiding in Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom at all — it’s in the Mac’s menu bar.

Let me show you what’s going on and how you can turn it off.

Macs get ready to heat up as iPhone 15 cools down [The CultCast]

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CultCast 615- MacBook Pro rumors.
Are we really going to see new MacBooks before the year ends?
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The latest MacBook rumor sounds enticing, but will it come true? It’s time to speculate. Meanwhile, the real fire talk is all about that big, toasty iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple’s iOS 17 update fixes the overheating problem. (Frankly, “Thermalgate” seems about as overblown as “Printgate.”)

Also on The CultCast:

  • Did Apple screw up the iPhone 15 Pro’s Action button? We debate our fearless leader Leander Kahney’s controversial stance on the subject.
  • Apple’s got a secret plan to own its microLED display chain.
  • If you don’t like macOS Sonoma’s brilliant one-click desktop reveal, we’ll tell you how to turn it off. (We’ll try not to think less of you if you do.)
  • On the 12th anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death, we ponder the state of Apple’s leadership and vision.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

How to stop macOS Sonoma from flashing your desktop

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macOS Sonoma brings widgets to the Mac desktop.
macOS Sonoma brings widgets to the Mac desktop, but maybe you don't want to see them every time you click.
Photo: Apple

Upgraded to macOS Sonoma? You probably noticed by now that clicking on your Mac’s desktop automatically hides all open windows, with the focus moving to your widgets and desktop shortcuts.

This is the new “Click wallpaper to reveal desktop” feature in the new Mac operating system. If you find this functionality annoying, here’s how to turn it off. That way, you can safely click your Mac’s desktop again.

Why we’re loving iPhone 15 Pro and new Apple Watches [The CultCast]

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The CultCast logo, episode 614: A heart!
Hear our first hands-on impressions of iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Photo: Nicola Fioravanti/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: After nearly a week with Apple’s new hardware, we’re serving up our first hands-on impressions. Is the iPhone 15 Pro Max too big — and/or too hot — to handle? Is Apple Watch Ultra 2 worth the upgrade? What about Apple Watch Series 9?

And seriously, Apple … you call that pink?

Also on The CultCast:

  • Griffin runs us through some of the coolest new features in macOS Sonoma.
  • OMG we’ve already got iPhone 16 rumors.
  • And we wrap up with a couple of big fat bummers from our favorite source of Apple insider info and tech haikus.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

macOS Sonoma is out — here’s how to install it on your Mac

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Apple software chief Craig Federighi laid out what's new in macOS Sonoma.
Time to update your Mac to Sonoma!
Photo: Apple

The next major macOS release is here. Dubbed macOS Sonoma, the update packs several usability changes that will help further boost your productivity.

macOS Sonoma is now available as a free software update, bringing a rich set of new features to the Mac that make work and play even more powerful,” Apple said in a press release Tuesday. “With macOS Sonoma, desktop widgets unlock a new way to personalize the Mac and get more done, while stunning new screen savers, big updates to video conferencing and Safari, along with optimized gaming make the Mac experience better than ever.”

Apple typically drops major new macOS builds in October. But this time, it is releasing macOS Sonoma in September, possibly because it is a relatively minor update.

What time will Apple release macOS Sonoma on September 26?

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While almost nothing about macOS Sonoma leaked ahead of WWDC23, Apple showcased plenty of upgrades during the keynote.
macOS Sonoma packs small but important upgrades.
Photo: Apple

macOS Sonoma is ready for its public release. The new Mac operating system will drop on Tuesday, just over a week after iOS 17, watchOS 10 and iPadOS 17 launched.

If you can’t wait to try out the next major macOS build, you might want to know its exact release time on September 26 so you can update your Mac as soon as possible. If that’s the case, find the exact macOS Sonoma release time in your area below.

The 36 best macOS Sonoma features you should try after you update

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While almost nothing about macOS Sonoma leaked ahead of WWDC23, Apple showcased plenty of upgrades during the keynote.
This is a big year for the Mac.
Photo: Apple

macOS Sonoma may not have the same buzz as iOS, but there are loads of new features this year to try out on your Mac. You can get beautiful Apple TV-style aerial screensavers, widgets on your desktop, powerful enhancements to Safari and more.

macOS Sonoma will be released at about 10 AM Pacific on Tuesday, September 26. Here are the 36 best features you can look for after you update.

This is when you can get iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10 and macOS Sonoma [Updated]

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iPhone with iOS 17 logo
iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10 are coming next week!
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

Wonderlust bug

iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10 and macOS Sonoma finally have a release date. The OSes have been in beta testing since WWDC23 this year.

Apple announced the official release dates of the next major iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS releases at its ‘Wonderlust’ event.

Make battery-hogging apps like Spotify better with DIY web apps

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Web apps that don’t suck
Suck away battery life, that is.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

There are a bunch of not-great apps like Spotify and Slack that suck battery life, because they basically run a full copy of Google Chrome inside each window. Chrome is a notorious energy hog, and running multiple copies of its Blink engine inside four different apps can take unnecessary memory and resources.

But you can create your own, much better versions using web apps in the upcoming release of macOS Sonoma.

Web apps in Sonoma are easily made directly in Safari and live in your Mac’s Dock. For apps that you use every day, like Spotify, Discord and Slack, it’s easier to launch them from the Dock and move them around separately from your browser tabs.

Safari web apps won’t drain your battery and they’re incredibly easy to use. Although they can be launched and quit independently from Safari, they share the same system resources, so they barely make a splash on performance.

Let me show you how they work.

These iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma features are not coming to older devices

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New contact posters, iMessage stickers and voicemail transcription
Certain new iOS 17 features will not come to all iPhones capable of running the new OS.
Photo: Apple

iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma are not big upgrades. However, they will bring plenty of little improvements that add up to a better experience on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Despite that, Apple dropped support for some older iPhones, iPads and Macs with its upcoming OS releases.

That’s only part of the disappointment equation, though. Several new features won’t work on older Apple gear, even though the devices can run the new operating systems.

Many of the new features in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 that won’t make it to older iPhones and iPads will go missing primarily because they are very resource-hungry. As for Macs, several macOS Sonoma features won’t come to Intel-based machines. This is sort of a given, since Apple switched to in-house chips that deliver better performance while maintaining ruthless power efficiency. The list of features not available on Intel Macs will only expand over time until Apple eventually drops support for them altogether.

Now that you the reasons for the omissions, here’s a rundown of new features in iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma that won’t work on older devices.

Apple opens the floodgates for Mac gaming

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A lineup of Macs running The Medium
Porting PC games to the Mac just got “easier than ever before.”
Photo: Apple

WWDC23A stealth announcement at WWDC23 is that Apple has significantly lowered the barrier of entry to port PC games to the Mac. A new Game Porting Toolkit “provides an emulation environment to run your existing, unmodified Windows game,” says Aiswariya Sreenivassan — a GPU, graphics and displays software engineer at Apple.

It’s a big gap to clear, which is why the Mac has been left behind in recent years. PC games are compiled for the Intel x86 architecture that the Mac just finished moving away from. The unified Apple silicon architecture bears little resemblance to the standard gaming PC with discrete graphics cards and memory. Apple’s Metal 3 library is very different from DirectX, Unity, Unreal and Vulkan — the usual suspects across the computing pond.

Apple’s new tools could open the floodgates for Mac ports of popular PC games. According to a game engine programmer I spoke with, the Game Porting Toolkit demo is “really impressive.” If the tools work as well in practice as in Apple’s demo, they “would be incredibly useful,” said the developer, who works for a major game developer and asked to remain anonymous.

How to install the macOS 14 Sonoma Developer Beta

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macOS Sonoma running on a MacBook Air, iMac and MacBook Pro
macOS Sonoma brings many long-requested features to the Mac.
Photo: Apple

How can you install the macOS 14 Sonoma Developer Beta? While the release is months away, you might want to take it for a test drive or see how your apps work in the new release. Right now, you need to make sure you’re signed into your developer Apple ID and that you have developer betas turned on in the Settings app.

These days, the process is far easier. You no longer need to install a beta profile and reboot your Mac a bunch of times to get it working.

Safari 17 in macOS Sonoma beefs up user privacy

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Enhanced Private Browsing helps protect against online trackers as well as folks who gain access to your computer.
Enhanced Private Browsing helps protect against online trackers as well as folks who gain access to your computer.
Photo: Apple

WWDC23Along with macOS Sonoma and its new features will come Safari 17, the new iteration of Apple’s web browser. It brings an enhanced browsing experience with an even greater emphasis than before on privacy, and most changes will probably apply to iOS and iPadOS, as well.

The changes aren’t terribly glamorous, but beefed-up Private Browsing protects against prying eyes online and off, in addition to some other security enhancements.

And in terms of organization, the new Profiles feature helps you keep separate parts of your life separate and website apps keep your favorite sites at your fingertips.

Apple gives the nitty-gritty details on new software features and Vision Pro

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A focus on Experiences, Hardware, Values, Tools and visionOS.
The Platforms State of the Union focused on experiences, hardware, values, tools and the new visionOS that powers the Vision Pro headset.
Photo: Apple

WWDC23At today’s Platforms State of the Union, Apple went into more depth on the updates coming to their software: interactive widgets for iOS, iPadOS and now on the macOS desktop; big updates to watchOS; and the introduction of visionOS, the operating system that runs on Apple’s new Vision Pro.

There are loads of new features that developers will be able to take advantage of that Apple didn’t highlight in the main Keynote. Thus far, they’ve covered improvements to the in-app camera, a standard tips balloon, and an easier way to make animations in SwiftUI.

macOS Sonoma brings better gaming, new AR features and souped-up Safari

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Apple software chief Craig Federighi laid out what's new in macOS Sonoma.
Apple software chief Craig Federighi laid out what's new in macOS Sonoma.
Photo: Apple

WWDC23Apple unveiled macOS 14 — aka macOS Sonoma — at WWDC23 Monday. It brings new gaming functionality, desktop widgets, video screensavers and Safari browser upgrades. That’s in addition to cross-device compatibility reflecting some of the new iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 features.

“Introducing macOS Sonoma a big new release that will make your Mac more delightful and even more productive,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

“First, many of the features we talked about earlier on iOS and iPad OS are going to be great on the Mac. And macOS Sanoma brings a rich set of features that elevate the experience of macOS,” he added.