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macOS Sonoma improves video conferencing calls with 5 new features

Published Jul 11th, 2023 9:33AM EDT
macOS Sonoma video conferencing features
Image: Apple Inc.

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macOS Sonoma was previewed during the WWDC 2023 keynote in June. After that, Apple released the first beta for developers to try out this upcoming operating system update for Macs. With a public beta nearing and a final release expected for this fall, some of the best features coming to macOS are related to video conferencing. Here’s what you need to know.

macOS Sonoma expands video conferencing features for users, whether they have a work presentation, school seminar, or just want to explain something to a friend. These are the main functions:

Presenter Overlay: Exclusive to Apple Silicon Macs, this macOS Sonoma feature keeps you in the conversation when sharing your screen. You can choose from two overlays, larger and small. The large overlay keeps the spotlight on you, with your screen framed next to you on a separate layer. You can move, walk, and talk in front of your content.

Float over your shared screen: Use the small overlay to appear in a movable bubble over your shared screen so it’s easy to be seen while showcasing your work. Move yourself around the screen and point to important details.

Image source: Apple Inc.

Hand reactions: Exclusive to Apple Silicon Macs or when using Continuity Camera with iPhone 12 and later, users can add a reaction that fills the camera frame with fun 3D augmented reality effects. There are eight possible reactions: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, Hearts, Balloons, Fireworks, Thunderstorms, Lasers, and Confetti.

New Screen Sharing Picker: Easily share an app or even multiple apps when on a video call right from the window you’re in. In a previewed image, for example, you can share it directly on Zoom.

Stay in frame: With macOS Sonoma, you can control the composition of your video when using Studio Display or iPhone XR or later as your camera. Adjust the frame with zoom and pan controls, or use Recenter to automatically place yourself in the center of the frame.

macOS Sonoma also brings several other features related to Safari, Screen Saver, Passwords, and more – as you can learn about them below.

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.