macOS Sonoma: A Comprehensive Guide to Apple's Cutting-Edge Operating System

macOS Sonoma: A Comprehensive Guide to Apple's Cutting-Edge Operating System


Apple has released macOS 14 Sonoma to the public today. As always, we won't be covering mainstream features here, instead, we'll focus on what's new and changed for blind and low-vision users.

The AppleVis team members testing with macOS Sonoma are not heavy braille users. We have no information about how well braille works in this release, so please keep that in mind when upgrading.

Redesigned and Intuitive User Interface:

Prepare to be mesmerized by the amazing visual transformation of macOS Sonoma. With refined icons, streamlined menus, and a consistent design language, the new interface offers a visually pleasing and intuitive experience. It becomes easier to navigate through applications and system settings, setting a new standard for aesthetics and usability on Mac computers.


macOS Sonoma


Enhanced Productivity with Focus Mode:

Take control of your productivity with the unprecedented Focus Mode in macOS Sonoma. This feature allows you to customize notifications and prioritize specific apps or contacts, reducing distractions and optimizing your workflow. Whether you're working on an important project, studying, or just need uninterrupted focus time, Focus Mode empowers you to stay in the zone and accomplish more. Let macOS Sonoma help you reach new levels of efficiency and effectiveness in your daily tasks.


Use widgets on your Mac desktop:

Starting with macOS Sonoma, you can personalise your desktop with widgets, interact with them with just a click and even use widgets from your iPhone. In addition to using widgets off to the side in Notification Centre, with macOS Sonoma you can use widgets directly on the desktop for information at a glance. Widgets intelligently tint based on the colour behind them to maintain legibility and the look of your desktop. Widgets adapt to be more colourful when in the foreground and fade away when you’re focusing on something else. You have the option to set colour preferences for widgets all the time.


macOS Sonoma

Advanced Privacy and Security Features:

Securing data is a top priority in macOS Sonoma. With advanced privacy settings, you have more control over your personal information. Sonoma offers better tracking prevention, stronger app permissions, and advanced security measures to keep your data safe and private. Rest assured knowing that your privacy is protected as you work, browse, and communicate on your Mac. Trust Apple's commitment to providing a secure computing environment with macOS Sonoma.

Sonoma provides you with better control over how apps access your photos and calendars. You can now choose to allow an app to share specific photos without giving it access to the library and can allow an app to add an event to your calendar without letting other events see it. There's also a new Lockdown Mode that Apple says offers more protection to your Mac from cyberattacks.

Universal Control: Seamless workflow Across Devices:

Break down the barriers of device separation with Universal Control, an innovative feature of macOS Sonoma. Seamlessly control multiple devices, including your Mac, iPad, and external displays, using a single keyboard and trackpad. Easily move your cursor between screens, drag and drop files across devices, and enjoy a truly integrated and streamlined workflow.


macOS Sonoma

New and Improved Safari:

Surf the web with speed, privacy, and convenience using Safari in macOS Sonoma. Experience better performance, faster page loading, and a redesigned tab bar that makes your browsing experience easier to manage. Safari's new Tab Groups feature enables you to organize and group your tabs for better productivity and navigation. With advanced privacy features including intelligent tracking prevention, Safari in macOS Sonoma ensures that your online activities stay private and secure. Enjoy a smooth and enjoyable browsing experience on your Mac.

Other Changes

You can now pair Made for iPhone (MFi) hearing devices with your Mac. This feature is limited to the MacBook Pro (2021), Mac Studio (2022), and all Macs with M2 and later chips.

Like iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, you can use Live Speech on macOS Sonoma to type content, which will then be spoken in the voice of your choice. To use this feature, first, go to System Settings > Accessibility > Live Speech and toggle it on. Then whenever you want to use it, click "Live Speech" in the status menu, type what you want to say or choose from a list of saved phrases, and click Speak. Additionally, you can use Personal Voice to create a clone of your voice that you can use instead of the synthetic voice.

As you type, VoiceOver will speak a text prediction that can be entered by pressing the space bar. These predictions can help complete words and simple sentences, some users may find VoiceOver speaking about text predictions as they are trying to type, distracting them. To turn off this feature, go to System Settings > Keyboard, click the Edit button under the "Text input" heading, and turn off the "Show inline predictive text" switch.


macOS Sonoma is supported starting with the September 2023 Update (16.77). For the best experience with the new operating system for Microsoft Office 365, make sure you have installed the latest updates for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. With its redesigned interface, productivity-enhancing features like Focus Mode, seamless device integration through Universal Control, advanced privacy and security measures, and an enhanced Safari browser, Sonoma sets the stage for a new era of computing excellence. Embrace the strength of macOS Sonoma and unlock Mac's full potential for better productivity, security, and overall satisfaction.