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Apple seeds macOS Sonoma public beta 1, here’s what you should know

Published Jul 12th, 2023 1:10PM EDT
macOS Sonoma Apple Silicon

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After a month of beta testing, Apple has now released macOS Sonoma public beta 1. Anyone enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program can try the new features of this upcoming software. Interestingly enough, unlike other years, Apple isn’t offering several new functions for Mac users – nor combined features for iPadOS and macOS. Here’s what you need to know about this public beta.

macOS Sonoma public beta focuses on videoconferencing functions. Presenter Overlay keeps you part of the conversation when sharing your screen on a video call. You can choose between two overlays, large and small. While the large overlay keeps the spotlighting you, with your screen framed next to you on a separate layer, the small option puts you on a small bubble floating on the presentation.

There’s even a new screen-sharing picker that lets you share an app or even multiple apps when on a video call, and with your Studio Display or iPhone as a camera, you can adjust the frame with zoom and pan controls or use Recenter to automatically place yourself in the center of the frame in a call.

macOS Sonoma public beta adds Game Mode, which automatically gives games top priority on the CPU and GPU of your Mac, lowering usage for background tasks while dramatically reducing latency with wireless accessories.

In addition, this new operating system brings new slow-motion screen savers of “breathtaking” locations from around the world. When you log in, they seamlessly become your desktop wallpaper. In addition, you can finally place widgets on your desktop from your widget gallery.

These widgets are interactive, and with Continuity, you can add your iPhone widgets to your desktop without having to install the corresponding apps on your Mac. In addition, when you open an app or window or use Stage Manager, widgets fade into the background so you can concentrate on the task.

Besides macOS Sonoma public beta, Apple is also releasing the public test version of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17.

BGR’s coverage of macOS Sonoma so far

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.