macOS Sonoma public beta out now, here’s what’s new

Following its initial announcement at WWDC and three developer betas, macOS Sonoma is now available to public beta testers. This means that now anyone can try macOS 14, even if you’re not registered as a developer with Apple.

Head below for a quick rundown of what’s new in macOS Sonoma, plus details on how to install today’s public beta.

Should You Install the macOS Sonoma Public Beta?

In general, Apple decides to release public beta versions of its new operating systems when it believes that the update is relatively stable and ready for non-developers to try. That said, you’re sure to run into some bugs in the first public beta of macOS Sonoma. Apple warns:

The Apple Beta Software Program allows users to try pre-release software. The feedback you provide about quality and usability helps us identify problems, fix them, and further improve Apple software. Please note that because public beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as commercially released software. Make sure you back up your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and your Mac using Time Machine before installing the beta software.

You’ll also likely run into some apps that are incompatible with macOS Sonoma, as the developers are still working on updating their apps before the update rolls out to everyone this fall.

What’s new in macOS Sonoma?

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If you decide to take the plunge and install macOS Sonoma, here’s a quick summary of all the new features you can try:

Lock screen and desktop

  • New slow-motion screensavers of breathtaking places from around the world look great on the expansive display of your Mac. When you log in, they become the perfect wallpaper on your desktop.
  • Place widgets on your desktop from the new widget gallery. And now you can play a podcast, turn off the lights, and more right from a widget.
  • With Continuity, you can add your iPhone widgets to your desktop without having to install the corresponding apps on your Mac.

Video conference

  • The new presenter overlay keeps you part of the conversation when you share your screen. Choose between two overlays, large and small.
  • Use the small overlay to appear in a floating bubble on the split screen, so it’s easy to be seen showcasing your work. Move around the screen and point out important details
  • Add a reaction that fills the camera frame with fun 3D augmented reality effects like hearts, confetti, fireworks and more. And you can share a reaction with a simple wave of your hand.
  • Easily share an app or even multiple apps during a video call, right from the window you’re in.
  • Control the composition of your video when using Studio Display or iPhone as a camera

Safari and passwords

  • Search in Safari is more responsive than ever, with suggestions that are easier to read and more relevant.
  • Add any website to the Dock as a web app, right from the File menu. Launch a web app to get an app-like experience with a streamlined toolbar. Access web apps as you would any app, and get notifications.
  • Private Browsing now blocks private browsing windows when you’re not using them, completely blocks loading on known tracker pages, and removes tracking added to URLs while you browse.
  • Create a group and choose a set of accounts to share. Passwords stay current for all group members, and you can remove someone at any time.
  • Keep your browsing for topics like Work and Personal separate with different profiles in Safari. Profiles help you separate your history, extensions, tab groups, cookies, and bookmarks. You can quickly switch between profiles as you browse.


  • Find the message you’re looking for faster by combining search filters to quickly narrow your search.
  • A new fetch arrow lets you jump to the first unseen message in a conversation. And now you can swipe right on any message to reply.
  • Share your location or request a friend’s location from the plus button. When someone shares a location with you, view it directly within the conversation.

PDFs and notes

  • Enhanced AutoFill lets you safely use saved contact information to fill out a scanned or PDF document faster.
  • Quickly add links from one note to another. It’s an effective way to link research notes, reference a recipe, or even create wikis for your team.

Keyboard and autocorrect

  • Autocorrect offers even better support as you type. Autocorrect words are temporarily underlined so you know what has changed and you can restore the original word with a simple click.


  • Game Mode automatically gives games the highest priority on your Mac’s CPU and GPU, reducing usage for background tasks. And dramatically reduce latency with wireless accessories, like AirPods and your favorite controllers, for responsiveness you can feel.

How to install the macOS Sonoma public beta

To install the macOS Sonoma public beta, go to the Apple website. After you sign in with your Apple ID on the website, you’ll have the option to download the macOS Sonoma public beta in the System Settings app on your Mac.

Just open System Settings, choose “General”, then choose “Software Update”. Click the “i” icon next to the “Beta Updates” menu and choose the macOS Sonoma Public Beta option.

Thinking about installing the macOS Sonoma public beta on your Mac? What features are you most excited to try? Let us know in the comments.

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