Apple's macOS Sonoma 14.2 update brings big improvements in four key areas

A MacBook display showing the time, 14:08, on a mountain background
(Image credit: Future)

Apple unveiled macOS Sonoma back in June of this year and then released it to the world in September alongside other updates to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV software. It's been steadily improving the Mac's software ever since, and the latest update is now available for download after going through its own weeks-long beta program.

That new software is macOS Sonoma 14.2 and it's ready for download on all compatible Macs now via the usual System Settings software update mechanism. The size of the download will vary depending on the version of macOS that you're currently running, but once you download and install macOS Sonoma 14.2 there are a number of improvements that you can look forward to.

In this release, Apple has focused on a few key areas for improvement, although there are tweaks to other aspects of the macOS software as well. The main areas to have benefited include the Weather, Clock, and Messages apps as well as tweaks to the way PDFs are handled.

Four key areas

macOs sonoma home screen

(Image credit: Future)

Starting with those PDFs, Apple's new update now features an enhanced AutoFill feature that "identifies fields in PDFs and other forms enabling you to populate them with information such as names and addresses from your contact." That will make it much easier and quicker to fill out a PDF for example, and is sure to be a feature that people might not use often but will be thankful for every time they do.

Moving onto the Messages app, Apple has improved matters in a number of ways. Contact Key Verification "provides automatic alerts and Contact Verification Codes to help verify people facing extraordinary digital threats are messaging only with the people they intend," adding an extra layer of security. Users can now also add stickers directly to a chat bubble, while a "catch-up arrow lets you easily jump to your first unread message in a conversation by clicking the arrow visible in the top-right corner."

Next up, the Weather app has three main additions this time out. The first enables the app to display precipitation amounts over the next ten days, while new widgets show information for "next-hour precipitation, daily forecast, sunrise and sunset times, and current conditions such as Air Quality, Feels Like, and wind speed." Finally, the wind map snapshot is designed to help people quickly see wind patterns and then access an animated wind map overlay for the next 24 hours.

Finally, the Clock app now supports multiple timers and then add a name for each one, while the timer presets "help you quickly start a timer with a range of preset options." The last addition shows recently used timers so that they can be more easily restarted.

And everything else

Apple also made some other tweaks to the macOS experience including new keyboard layouts for seven additional Sámi languages, support for Shazam music recognition even when wearing AirPods, and the ability to disable Apple Music listening history based on the active Focus mode. A new Favorite Songs Playlist has also been added to Apple Music.

Apple also says that there are a number of security updates in macOS Sonoma 14.2. For that reason, we'd suggest downloading and installing this latest version even if none of the new features have anything of interest to you. It's always a good idea to run the latest security patches, and this release has more than its fair share across various aspects of the software including accounts, accessibility, and more.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.