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For the record, Apple didn’t do anything wrong. It simply named macOS after Sonoma which I’m sure is a lovely place. One month after the keynote, however, and I’m thinking macOS Death Valley may be a better fit.

It’s completely out of Apple’s control, but things that make macOS Sonoma features great are getting nuked before the OS ever makes it out of the gate.

Take widgets on the desktop, for instance. macOS Sonoma finally liberates widgets from exile in Notification Center. Widgets are no longer constrained to a narrow column.

Now they can live on the desktop where they’re free to stretch their wings and fly – or at least appear as XL-sized widgets like on the iPad.

Optionally, widgets can lose their color and take on a tint based on your wallpaper when the desktop is not in focus.

Widgets are no longer limited to which Mac apps you have installed either. Starting in macOS Sonoma, widgets from apps installed on your iPhone will be available on your Mac.

Apple demoed this feature using the world’s greatest Reddit client in history. Then the geniuses at Reddit hoped its luxury-priced API would be its secret shortcut to an overvalued IPO, and now Apollo is dead.

Craig Federighi should offer Christian Selig a remote job doing whatever Christian wants at Apple. A dog rescue donation button in the Wallet app has my vote.

macOS 14 is chock full of great new features though. Another is called Add to Dock. This feature lets you turn any website in Safari into a web app on the Mac. It’s great for creating a more app-like experience for services that disallow their iPhone app to run on Apple silicon Macs.

Add to Dock is also handy for creating desktop versions of web apps that used to offer desktop apps … for their web apps.

My go-to example when writing about Add to Dock last month was TweetDeck. I’ve relied on TweetDeck for Mac for years as a way to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single window.

TweetDeck was also the only way to access streaming Twitter in the dark-but-not-as-dark-as-now days without a standard Mac app. Manually refreshing the timeline for something you follow in real time is hard.

But macOS Death Valley strikes again. Fine, the real culprits are millionaires and billionaires who run their businesses like they’re broke. Still, TweetDeck as we know it is being axed before macOS Sonoma officially ships.

Of course, the reality is that neither of these two occurrences have anything to do with macOS Sonoma’s great new features.

They’re both just the result of web company executives making decisions that they believe are best for their respective businesses. It’s merely a sad set of circumstances that these macOS Sonoma features will have a little less utility for some of us as a result.

But if you do believe in the curse of macOS Death Valley, perhaps you should keep a close eye on Lucid Motors. Craig Federighi did demo checking his EV charge as part of Sonoma…

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10 New Features In Macos Sonoma

macOS Sonoma    

Apple named the next macOS version 14 as Sonoma based on the historic winemaking region in California. You will get big updates for Safari along with some common shared updates from iOS 17. The new software will be available as a beta version in July and subsequently the stable version will be released in fall this season.

macOS Sonoma Features (Credit: Apple)

1. Live Screen Saver

If you like the Live Photos on your iPhone, then you will like the live screen saver feature in macOS Sonoma too. You can set any motion picture as a screen saver for your Mac’s lock screen.

Live Lock Screen Wallpaper in macOS Sonoma (Credit: Apple)

2. Improved Desktop Widgets

Desktop widgets are not new to macOS and currently you can access them in the notification center from top right section of the display. From macOS Sonoma, you will get the following updates for widgets.

Drag and drop widgets to any position on your desktop.

Widgets will automatically blend with the desktop background and when you open apps.

Share iPhone widgets on Mac using Continuity feature.

Widgets are interactive allowing you to trigger actions without opening the app.

Widgets in macOS Sonoma (Credit: Apple)

3. Game Mode for macOS Sonoma

You might have heard of Game Mode in Windows 11. Now that macOS will get similar option to prioritize the game apps by reducing the background activities of other apps. This will also reduce the input latency with Play Station controllers and Xbox.

macOS Sonoma Game Mode (Credit: Apple)

4. Presenter Overlay and Reactions in Video Conferencing

If you spend much of your time on video calls and conferences on Mac, then these features will be really useful.

Presenter Overlay allows you to show your face as a small movable bubble or show you as a large overlayed section on videos.

You can send reactions while on video conference using gestures.

Presenter Overlay in Video Conferencing (Credit: Apple)

These features work on popular video conferencing apps like FaceTime, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

5. Updates to Private Browsing in Safari

You will get the following features in Safari private browsing with macOS Sonoma:

Locked private browsing windows.

Blocks trackers from loading.

Remove tracking parameters from URL.

6. Passkeys for Shared Passwords

Passkeys and Password Sharing in macOS Sonoma (Credit: Apple)

7. Safari Profiles

Finally, Profiles are coming to Safari browser in macOS Sonoma. You can create multiple profiles to separate your work and personal browsing activities. Safari will keep cookies, history, extension, tab groups and favorites separately for each profile account.

Safari Profiles (Credit: Apple)

8. Web Apps in Dock

Web App in Dock (Credit: Apple)

9. Live Stickers in Messages

Messages app got lot of new features in iPhone with iOS 17. You will get similar features in macOS Messages app also like Stickers. You can convert any images or live photo to a sticker and attach to the conversation and send as a reaction. All existing emoji symbols will be available as default stickers for you to select from.

10. Other Updates – PDF Autofill, Predictive Text and Siri

Besides the major features listed above, you will also get some minor updates.

With macOS Sonoma, you can simply activate Siri by calling it as “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri”. In addition, you can use Siri for back-to-back queries instead of every time calling for activating.

You will get predictive text suggestions to finish the word, phrase or even sentences.

PDF forms will be automatically filled with the details from your contact. You can then easily save and share the filled form.

PDF Autofill from Contact (Credit: Apple)

Windows 11 Looks Like Macos But That’s No Surprise

After upgrading to Windows 11, I quickly noticed the new UI is pretty similar to macOS. As I continued to explore the OS, I kept on finding other similarities between the two operating systems. Well, Windows 11 looks more like macOS than ever before. Let’s explore what pushed Microsoft to implement the new UI design and what elements are strikingly similar to macOS.

Is Windows 11 Way Too Similar to macOS? Windows 11’s Taskbar vs. Apple’s macOS Dock

The new Windows 11 taskbar looks really similar to the Dock from macOS. You even have a tiny dot right under the app icons indicating they’re running in the background. If you see an em dash instead of a dot, the respective app is running in the foreground. In other words, that’s the app that you’re actively using.

By default, the taskbar is centered in the middle of the screen. But you can always move it back to the left if you want to restore the Windows 10 taskbar UI.

The New Start Menu is Less Cluttered

By the way, you can remove Recommended apps and items if you feel they clutter the Start Menu.

Apps Have Rounded Corners

The entire Windows 11 UI looks much smoother now, thanks to round window corners. It’s also less cluttered as Microsoft removed many unnecessary elements that were just causing a lot of visual noise. Animations are also more fluid and smoother.

New Windows Layouts

Windows 11 brings better multitasking options allowing you to quickly snap window layouts. You can open multiple apps and then quickly re-arrange the windows to best suit your needs. I always found multitasking on Mac much simpler and more accessible than on Windows, and I’m glad Microsoft added these improvements.

So, Did Microsoft Really Copy macOS?

If you’re familiar with macOS, you may notice that Windows 11 has a Mac-like look. Microsoft removed many unnecessary elements and created a minimalist, clutter-free UI. I’m sure this decision was based on the latest principles of good user interface design and not on some obscure urge to copy macOS. The similarities between the two operating systems stem from using the same principles of good design and efficient functionality.

Apple has always been at the forefront of innovation, and macOS has always looked smooth and modern. The fact that Microsoft has significantly revamped the UI for the first time in years made many people jump to conclusions. Take the never-ending Apple-Microsoft rivalry into account, and you’ll see that’s like adding fuel to the fire. Let’s not forget that back in 2005, Steve Jobs himself said that Microsoft copied the original Mac with Windows 95.

Let’s take the new rounded window corners. Android has been using this design for years. Does that mean that Microsoft copied Android?

Overall, Windows 11 is still Windows with a new coat of paint and improved features. The most crucial part is that the UI feels modern for the first time in years.

Conclusion

The Windows 11 UI is more user-friendly and clutter-free than ever. For the first time in years, it actually looks smooth and beautiful. Some UI elements look pretty similar to those on macOS, most likely because they stem from the same UI design principles. Microsoft has done an excellent job at making the OS snappier. It’s also more intuitive and easy to use.

How To Turn A Website Into A Web App On Mac Running Macos Sonoma

macOS Sonoma has a new feature that lets you turn any website into a Mac app. All you need to do is add the website to your Mac’s Dock, and it turns automatically into a web app. In this tutorial, we’ll tell you everything about web apps on Mac and show you how to get an app-like experience with your favorite websites.

Note: Currently, macOS Sonoma is in the developer beta stage. We have an easy tutorial showing you how to install it on a different partition of your Mac.

If you don’t want to get macOS Sonoma, you can add a website shortcut (not a web app) to your Mac’s Dock running an older version of macOS.

About web apps on iPhone and Mac

If you recall, progressive web apps (PWA) have existed on iPhones for many years now. To install it on your iPhone, all you need to do is visit that website in Safari, tap the share button, and add it to your Home Screen. After that, when you tap the website icon on your iPhone Home Screen, it opens as a web app, and you can see it as an app tile in the App Switcher.

However, if the website owner/developer has not designed it to work as a web app, tapping its icon on iPhone Home Screen will simply open that site in Safari.

In other words, web apps on iPhone and iPad need the website’s developer support.

But this is better and more streamlined on Mac running macOS Sonoma. Here, you can turn any website into a web app, even if it doesn’t natively support being a web app.

For example, if you add iDownloadBlog’s website to your iPhone Home Screen and tap it, it will open in Safari because we don’t natively have web app support (as we already have an iOS app). However, you can easily turn iDownloadBlog into a web app on your Mac, as it requires no support from the site developer.

How to add a website as a web app on your Mac

1) Open Safari and visit the website you want to turn into a web app.

This website is now added as a web app to your Mac, and you will find its app icon (website icon/favicon) in your Mac’s Dock and the Launchpad.

Note: From now, when you visit a website in Safari whose web app exists, you will see a banner on the top giving you the choice to open the web page in the web app.

Using a web app on your Mac

2) You can browse this website as you normally do. The back and forward buttons allow you to navigate between pages. You can also use the standard two-finger left and right swipes on the trackpad to go to the next and previous page.

Opening internal links in web apps

Suppose you turn iDownloadBlog into a web app on your Mac running macOS Sonoma:

Opening external links in web apps Change the icon, name, and other settings of a web app

1) Open the web app on your Mac running macOS Sonoma.

3) You can change the Application Name and the web app Icon.

4) If you uncheck “Show navigation controls,” it will remove the back, forward, and browser icons from the top of the web app window.

5) Unchecking “Show color in title bar” will stop using the website’s color scheme in the top title bar of the web app window.

6) And finally, you can go to the Privacy section to clear this web app’s website data and manage its permissions related to microphone, camera, location, etc.

Related: How to change and customize app icons on Mac

Advantages of using web apps on Mac

1) Web apps are an easier way to have quick links for your favorite or most visited websites in your Dock and Launchpad.

3) Turning a website into an app gives you better window management without affecting all existing open websites of your browser. For example, you can easily resize the web app window, put it into split screen, or move it to your other connected display. And this won’t affect other websites you have open in Safari, Chrome, or Firefox.

4) Web apps can send notifications and access privacy features like microphone, location, camera, etc., as a native app. You can manage them in Mac’s System Settings as you do for other apps. By the way, the same website can also do all these inside Safari or Chrome.

A few things you may not like while using web apps on Mac

1) Auto-opening of external links in the default web browser and not inside that web app window can get annoying.

2) In Safari and other web browsers, you can see the full URL when you place the cursor over an in-page link. But web apps lack this handy feature.

4) Having even a few web app icons on your Dock can make it crowded.

Finder folder where web apps are saved

Though macOS Sonoma web apps appear in your Mac’s Dock and Launchpad, you won’t find them in the usual Applications folder (/Applications/). So, here’s how to see the folder where your web apps are saved:

1) Open Finder.

3) Enter ~/Applications/ and hit the return key to see all your web apps in one spot.

Delete a web app from your Mac

You can go to the ~/Applications/ folder and delete the web app from there. Additionally, the usual methods to uninstall standard macOS apps also work to delete web apps. For example, you can go to Launchpad, hold the Option key, and hit the X icon to delete a web app.

Does removing a web app from the Dock uninstall it?

No. If you don’t want a web app icon to take up space on your Mac’s Dock, you can drag it out to remove it. Doing so will not uninstall the web app, and you continue to see it in the Launchpad and the ~/Applications/ folder.

Other new tips:

How To Extend Display On Macos

If you want to increase your Mac’s desktop canvas, you can connect a second screen to it. When you extend the display, the primary and secondary screen work side-by-side. This makes it easier for you to multitask and manage your overall workflow.

You can extend the display of your Mac either wired or wireless. For a wired connection, you’ll need an HDMI cable to pair your Mac with a second screen. Whereas, AirPlay is a great way to extend your display wirelessly. However, your second screen must also support the AirPlay feature to do so.

Depending on your Mac’s model, it can support multiple numbers of external displays. To check how many extra screens your computer can handle, you have to check your video adapter specifications.

Open Finder.

Navigate to the Support tab.

In the Video Support section, you can see how many external screens your Mac can support.

The easiest way to connect a second screen on a Mac is by using an HDMI cable. But, MacBooks usually don’t have an HDMI port on them. If so, you can invest in a USB-C to HDMI adapter.

To use the USB-C to HDMI adapter, your computer must have either Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 ports. But if your Mac has Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2 ports, you have to use a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter instead.

First, plug in the HDMI cable to the HDMI-Out port of your computer. Use an adapter to bridge the connection if your Mac doesn’t have an HDMI port. Then, connect the other end of the HDMI cable to your second monitor’s HDMI-In port. Once the video cable is connected to the respective ports, you can extend your Mac’s display.

When you connect a second screen, your Mac’s display should extend by default. The extended display will act like a separate canvas, rather than a mirrored screen. This way, you can open one application on your Mac and run a different process on your extended screen.

However, if your second screen mirrors/duplicates your Mac and you see the same image on both of them, you’ll have to manually adjust your display settings.

Plug in your second screen.

Then, open Finder.

Navigate to the Arrangements tab.

On this Arrangements tab, there are multiple screen icons depending on the number of displays connected to the system.

The screen with the white horizontal bar is the primary screen.

More often than not, when you extend your display, the resolution of your second screen can be imperfect. This happens when your second monitor’s display properties do not align with that of your Mac. However, you can alter the resolution from your System Preference panel.

Plug in your second screen.

Then, open Finder.

On your second screen, a separate Displays window will open.

Now, select the optimal resolution for your second screen.

This is how you extend your Mac’s display using an HDMI cable. The resolution is now optimal for both of your displays and you can start working on this extended desktop canvas.

To connect a second screen wirelessly, you need to AirPlay your Mac to that screen. This is usually possible with devices that independently support the AirPlay feature, like Apple TVs, some smart TVs, and other Macs.

First, make sure AirPlay is enabled on your second display.

Then, open Finder.

Enable the option to Show mirroring options in menu bar when available.

The second display should now mirror your Mac.

Then, on the menu bar, select the Screen Mirroring icon.

Your Mac’s screen will now be extended to your second monitor.

On your second screen, a separate Displays window will open.

Now, select the optimal resolution for your second screen.

When you connect the second screen and your Mac does not recognize it automatically, restart your computer and try again. If this does not do much, you can force your computer to detect the connected displays.

Plug in your second screen.

Then, open Finder.

Your system will now scan for nearby/connected displays.

When it detects the compatible display, it’ll automatically connect the second screen.

How To Create Desktop Shortcuts On Macos

Whenever you download and install a program or app on a Windows PC, you get the option to create a shortcut on the desktop. The purpose of this shortcut is to give you quick access to the app. Creating a desktop shortcut on macOS is also very easy, but the option to do so is just not that obvious.

You can add shortcuts for folders and apps to either the dock or desktop on your Mac. In this article, we cover a few methods and tips to create desktop shortcuts in macOS.

How to Create Desktop Shortcuts on Mac

Note that you can also find this option in the Finder’s File menu.

This will create a shortcut in the same location and highlight the filename.

From here, you can drag and drop the alias to anywhere else on your system, including the Desktop, just like a regular file.

Apps – i.e. the contents of the Applications folder – work in a different way to other files and folders. While you can go through the steps here to create an alias, there’s a quicker approach. Simply drag the app out of the Applications folder, and this will create an alias in the new location.

Even if you change the location of the original file, folder, or application, the shortcut will still link to it. This is a handy user-focused solution for creating desktop shortcuts on macOS.

Finder’s Visibility Settings for Desktop Shortcuts

For example, you can choose whether to show hard disks, external drives, and more on the Desktop.

If you switch to the Sidebar tab, you can also customize the list of items you see within a Finder window.

This gives you a great way to access disks and other folder shortcuts from any Finder window.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Create a Shortcut

The second method to create a desktop shortcut involves the use of keyboard shortcuts.

First, open the location for your folder or application. From there, press and hold the Option + Command keys together, then drag the file, folder, or app to its new location to create the shortcut.

Sometimes you may copy or move the entire folder instead of creating its shortcut. If this happens to you, you’re able to undo the move by pressing Command + Z. From there, you can follow the process again.

Older macOS versions (pre-Catalina) also used the Command + L keyboard shortcut to create an alias in the same location. Of course, you can then move the alias around as you would any other file on your system.

Wrapping Up

Desktop shortcuts are great for curating your most used files, folders, and apps in one place. It’s not the only use, but it’s one that can give you more efficiency and productivity.

While this tutorial only covers how to create desktop shortcuts on macOS, there are many other efficient ways to use your Mac. For example, you can snap or split screen windows in macOS and keep application windows “always on top”.

Tom Rankin

Tom Rankin is a quality content writer for WordPress, tech, and small businesses. When he’s not putting fingers to keyboard, he can be found taking photographs, writing music, playing computer games, and talking in the third-person.

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