macOS 14 Sonoma revealed at WWDC 2023 — widgets finally arrive

macOS senoma
(Image credit: Apple)

macOS 14 has been officially revealed at WWDC 2023, alongside the name for the new version of the operating system. Introducing macOS 14: Sonoma, coming to a MacBook, Mac Mini, and iMac near you very, very soon.

New features announced for macOS 14 include Widgets, stunning new screensavers, Game Mode, and a brand new Safari.

macOS Sonoma is also getting many of the new features coming to iPhone and iPad, such as improvements to Messages and FaceTime.

What's new in macOS Sonoma

macOS 14 conference calls

(Image credit: Apple)

The new macOS Sonoma features stunning new screensavers much like the Apple TV, settling in as your wallpaper whenever you interrupt them. 

Widgets are now on your desktop rather than notifications, with shortcuts on desktop and glanceable widgets. You can even run iPhone widgets on Mac without installing that app on your Mac; if you're a fan of apps like Pixelmator Pro, you can use them on your macOS desktop. 

macOS Sonoma is also getting serious about gaming, building on the power of Apple silicon. A new Game mode gives your game the highest priority on your CPU and GPU for better frame rates, and dramatically reduces latency on AirPods and input from Xbox and PlayStation controllers. There are also some great new titles coming to Mac -- including Death Stranding.

macOS Sonoma has a fantastic new presenter overlay feature as well, for presenting in video conferences including Zoom. 

Finally, Apple has made upgrades to Safari including sharing passwords and Passkeys with a group, and new profiles that can separate work and personal browsing, cookies, history, and more. Web apps are now available on Mac too!

Its introduction comes almost a year to the day since the unveiling of macOS 13 Ventura, a generally well-received version of macOS that had a few detractors thanks to a divisive Stage Manager multi-tasking system and changes to the System Preferences menu. Apple will be hoping for a more universally lauded update for Macs this year, and the early verdict coming out of the Cupertino showcase is a positive one.

Ahead of the WWDC 2023 event, the rumor mill was strangely quiet about the forthcoming platform update. Widgets and the newish Stage Manager feature seemed like ripe areas for improvement -- the former in particular due to rumors surrounding changes coming to watchOS. And rumors suggested we might see more mobile apps jump to Mac. Last year, Apple brought the Weather and Clock apps to macOS from iOS. 

Assuming Apple sticks to its regular schedule, macOS 14 will likely be released in October or November. In 2022, for example, macOS Ventura was released on October 24. A year earlier, macOS Monterey arrived on October 25. In 2020, macOS Big Sur didn't launch until November 12. The last time a macOS version launched in September was in 2018 when macOS Mojave was released on September 24. 

We're covering all the WWDC 2023 announcements live and as they happen. Don't miss all our Apple VR, iOS 17, macOS 14, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 analysis so far.

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