Every website can now be an app thanks to Safari — it's macOS Sonoma's secret weapon

Web apps on Mac
(Image credit: Apple)

Overshadowed by the stunning new Apple Vision Pro headset, Apple did in fact unveil a brand new macOS operating system in macOS Sonoma at WWDC 2023. The new update looks absolutely fantastic, with some amazing new screensavers and awesome desktop widgets.

One update that might have slipped under your radar, however, is web apps. Safari got a big upgrade with some new Private Browsing changes and profiles to help you keep your work and home life separate, but web apps are where it's at this year. Let me tell you why.

iPhone users have long enjoyed the Add to Home Screen feature for websites that don't have apps. If you want to app a website to your iPhone's Home Screen, you can do that, and now macOS is getting the same feature. Web apps will let you turn any web page into its own app, complete with a streamlined toolbar, for your surfing pleasure.

macOS 14 Sonoma

(Image credit: Apple)

The example Apple provides is Pinterest, where a user can now create a Pinterest "app" in their dock complete with an icon for faster access. Clicking on it opens Pinterest in Safari but without all of the usual web browsing paraphernalia. Web apps "behave like normal apps" according to Apple, and could be a great way to simplify using a Mac and improving access to sites without developers having to devote time and resources to creating a Mac app, which probably isn't all that high on their priority list. 

You can turn any web page into an app from the File menu on macOS, and you can even receive notifications from web apps too!

There were so many awesome macOS upgrades to choose from at WWDC this year. Another personal favorite of mine is screen savers. These are awesome slow-motion landscapes that seamlessly transform into your desktop background when you log in. 

Another long-awaited feature is widgets, which can now be placed directly on your desktop. More impressive still, you can access iPhone widgets on a Mac using Continuity without having to install the app on your Mac, for instance performing tasks on your Mac in an iPhone app like Pixelmator. 

Finally, video conferencing got a massive upgrade with Presenter Overlay, which puts you at the center of a presentation on apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams while you present content. 

macOS Sonoma is coming later this year and is available now as a developer beta

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9