Your wallpapers or vice versa, however, you want to lookat it. Also, we do have a few other wallpapers. Now, you see these widgets on my desktop here we’ll get to that momentarily. But if you go into these settings here and then go down to wallpaper, you will notice that we have a lot of new wallpapers in macOS Sonoma. We have hundreds of them here, including all of the aerial screensavers you have on the Apple TV.
Customizing Your Desktop: Widget Flexibility
So here is the macOS Sonoma wallpaper; it looks pretty clean, and we do have a dark mode version of this as well, so you can rock the macOS Sonoma wallpaper, or you can choose to rock one of the many wallpapers that we have down here for landscape, cityscape, underwater, Earth, and you have the Aerials as well. So, if you go to one of these Shuffle Aerials, you can see, it will rotate through 121 Aerials every 12 hours, or you could do it continuously or whatever option you want up there; you have a lot of selection in terms of your screensaver and for your wallpapers. Now, you’ll notice that when you first install macOS Sonoma, only some things are available; you must download these individually.
Interactive Widgets: A Deeper Dive
You’ll see these rights here; these are what I had on Ventura, and if you had widgets and you use them a lot in Ventura, you could drag these over from your existing devices, drag them onto the desktop, and you’ll notice you have a lot of flexibility; you can move these pretty much anywhere you want. You have some constraints when you start getting close to the menu bar and things like that, but you have a lot of flexibility with where to move these.
Customizing Widgets: Size and Style
One of my favorites is the Greenland evening so that we will keep it there. Now, at the top of the wallpaper section, you’ll see that we have ‘add a photo,’ so you can easily add a photo from photos or choose a picture to add as a wallpaper, and then ‘add folder or album’ is now up top. Before, this was down at the bottom of this section. Okay, so we can only go further with talking about these widgets that you see on my home screen on my desktop here, and that is new in macOS Sonoma because before, you only had devices in the notification center.
Desktop Organization: Hiding Items and Widgets
So you’ll see these right here; these are what I had on Ventura, and if you had widgets and you use them a lot in Ventura, you could drag these over from your existing devices, drag them onto the desktop, and you’ll notice you have a lot of flexibility; you can move these pretty much anywhere you want. You have some constraints when you start getting close to the menu bar and things like that, but you have a lot of flexibility with where to move these.
Desktop Appearance: Monochrome or Full Color?
If you want to see all of the widgets available, you can two-finger click and then go to ‘edit widgets,’ from here, you’ll get a little widget tray where you can see several widgets that you could add to your home screen. You might be looking at some of these and saying those aren’t macOs apps, and you would be right. That’s because this uses continuity to pick up on applications installed on your other devices like your iPhone or your iPad, and you could use widgets from your iPhone or iPad on the Mac.
Desktop and Stage Manager: New Features
So, for instance, I have Carrot, which is an application I only have it on iOS. I can click on that, and I can add that to my home screen even though I don’t have that application installed on my Mac, thanks to continuity. And if you look in the top right-hand corner when you click on that application, it even says ‘from iPhone.’ And what’s cool about this is all the flexibility you have with it. But if you put a widget over some of your applications like I have over here, look at how they shuffle around this widget and how smooth that is. It could be more aesthetic, but I need to know what it is about the animations of those app icons. But I like the smoothness.
Desktop and Stage Manager Customization: Controlling Visibility
if you don’t like one of the widgets, you can two-finger Press and either remove it from there, change the size, or edit widgets and add another. So I will pull this one, and we’ll go over here to my groceries. Please look at this because the devices are also dynamic they work on the desktop. So if I wanted to mark off dry for example, or bread if I select it, you can see it marks it off my grocery list, carrot cake done. I can do that even if I’m in another application let’s say I’m in my settings right here. I can go over and press that, and you can see it works even when I’m in another application.
Widget Style: Monochrome or Full Color?
The appearance of these widgets is changing, so right now, they’re grayscale, and then when I click, you can see that they turn into their full color and that’s because you can adjust that yourself. So if you go into your settings and then to ‘Desktop and Dock,’ then scroll down a bit, you’ll see a new section called widgets.
Continuity: Using iPhone Widgets on Mac
So, from here, you can either show or hide widgets altogether. So if I wanted to hide them, I could do that by clicking right there, and then we have widget style so ‘automatic’ makes them monochrome when you’re not on the desktop, like when you’re in another application, and then when you go to the desktop, they turn into their full color. Or set it to be monochrome or full color at all times. So, if I choose full color you’ll notice they change to their full color right there. I like the monochrome look so I will keep that on permanently. And then, you can use iPhone widgets and select which iPhone you want to use the devices from. Again, this uses continuity to pick up on the applications installed so that you can use those widgets on your Mac.
Widgets: Size and Style
And as I mentioned, one of my favorite things about the widgets is that you can change the size on the fly. You don’t have to remove the device and create a whole new one; you can change the size on the fly, which I wish iOS and iPadOS would get. Now, if we go back into our settings and go back to the ‘desktop and Dock’ section, right above where we had widgets, we have ‘desktop and Stage manager,’ and here we have a brand new feature as well where we can show items on our desktop or only offer them in Stage Manager or neither.
Desktop Organization: Hiding Items and Widgets
Items refer to what you see right here on our desktop. So, there used to be apps that I would download to clean up my desktop just because it looked so ugly with all my screenshots. But now, with macOS Sonoma, you don’t need a third party for that, or you don’t need to organize it yourself because you could hide them. So, if I uncheck on my desktop, take a look at that I don’t have any items that show up on my desktop now, and it looks so clean except that I have all these widgets in the way.
Customizing Widgets: On Desktop or in Stage Manager?
We can solve that because right here, under widgets, we can turn off ‘on desktop,’ Now, my devices will only show when I’m in stage manager. So you can still see them when you’re a stage manager if you use them a lot, and they can be hidden on your desktop. So that’s some excellent customizability you get there, and Stage Manager also has its kill switch right here and then ‘show recent apps in Stage Manager’ and ‘show windows from an application on at a time or all at once.’ These are separate sections now, whereas before, in Ventura, you had to click on ‘customize’ to change these things.
Revealing Desktop: The Controversial Feature
And the controversial feature that I love. And then last but not most minor, under the ‘desktop and Stage manager’ settings, we have ‘click wallpaper to reveal the desktop, which is a pretty controversial feature. A lot of people either love it or hate it. So, let me show you if I turn this to ‘always,’ if you go into an application and you go over onto the desktop to the left of this, anywhere where there’s blank space, and press on the desktop, it will hide all windows that are currently active so you can see everything on the desktop, including your widgets and all of your icons, the saved files that you have here. And then press it again, and it brings everything back into view.
Typing Enhancements: Indicator and Caps Lock
We have a new typing indicator system-wide. So you’ll see right here in reminders it is blue; it’s also a little bit thicker than what we saw in the previous versions. And then here in notes, for example, it’s yellow. So, the typing indicator takes the dominant color of the application, and it changes accordingly. And if I put caps mode on, you will see we now have a new indicator to show us that we are in caps lock. So when you stop typing, it shows up, but as you’re ordering, it’s not there to distract you. This is great if you have a password you’re typing in and might need to know if you’re in caps lock; this can notify you that you may be putting in the wrong passcode because of caps lock being on.
Text Input: Predictive Text and Autocorrect
We also now have predictive text. If I start typing out something, and if I press space when it has a prediction pointed out to me, it says ‘predictable’ is what it thinks I’m going to type; if I tap on the space bar, it will put in that word, and sometimes it will keep going as it can keep guessing what you’re going to type. Machine learning takes a lot of time to understand how you order on your machine, which will improve with time. So far, I like predictive text, but at the same time, if you are a fast typer or if you don’t make many mistakes, you might want to turn that off so you can do that if you go into your system settings and then down to ‘keyboard’ and then to ‘input sources If you tap on the edit right there, you will see that we have a new option here for ‘show inline predictive text you can turn that off, which will disable the predictive text feature.
Better Autocorrect and Improved Dictation
Autocorrect is also much better in macOS Sonoma, as seen on iOS and iPadOS 17. So if you type out something wrong, you will see the underline, and if you arrow back to go back to that, you will see we have a new little option here to revert to what we typed the first time instead of the correction where it autocorrected it so that we can go back to that quickly. Dictation has also been improved, and we can now dictate text and then type and then dictate again without having to press the dictate button more than once.
So if we insist on the dictate button here on our keyboard, first off, you can see that we have a new indicator there, and it’s starting to dictate what I am saying, but if I start typing, you can see it will stop, and it just lets me tag whatever I want. But when I stop typing, it will continue with what I am saying. So that is new in macOS Sonoma; that’s something that we had on iOS before, but this is new to macOS Sonoma. I also have much more accuracy than on macOS Ventura, so you can see what I typed out right there from my voice because Ventura wasn’t the best for me.
PDF Editing in Notes: Enhanced Features
Since we’re in the Notes application, let me show you one of my favorite features in macOS Sonoma, and that has to do with PDF editing. So when you load a PDF into the Notes application, you can drag that file onto Notes, and you will see it here. First, it gets a name now, so it names the letters instead of just having it be a new note or a blank name it now shows you the title. And then, right here, you will see a big difference in how that PDF is displayed. So look at this: we can scroll vertically and know every PDF page quickly we could also show or hide the thumbnails.
We have this view up top if you click on this drop-down right here, it shows the size right there and says PDF document and the size. We also have a view as we have three dimensions we can view this. So that is the small; you just saw the medium, and then here is the large, where we can see everything. And again, we’re scrolling over here horizontally so we can have everything in a big, friendly, and easy-to-read view.
Markup and Autofill: Streamlined PDF Editing
Now, also right here, we have a markup where the magic happens. If you go into markup, you can see you have all your pages right here, and if you hover over these text fields, you can easily mark up and type into there. But it gets even better because if you go to, say, ‘address we can now autofill an address. So if you two-finger press and then go to autofill, you can see that we now have ‘contact’ and ‘passwords.’ So if I go to contact, for example, and then I go to a contact that I have an address associated with and then I press on that address, it auto-fills it right there. And again, the same goes for passwords. If I go here and then to passwords, I will have to put in my password, and then it will load up all of my passwords.