These macOS Sonoma Features Are Not Available on Intel Macs

Apple this week previewed macOS Sonoma, the latest version of its Mac operating system. Launching later this year, the software update includes several new features, but not all of them are available on Intel-based Macs, as noted by 9to5Mac.

macos sonoma feature green brown
On the macOS Sonoma features page, fine print indicates that the following features require a Mac with an Apple silicon chip:

  • Presenter Overlay, a feature that displays the user on top of the content they are sharing in any video conferencing app.
  • Game Mode, which prioritizes CPU and GPU performance while gaming by limiting the performance of background tasks.
  • A new high-performance mode in the Screen Sharing app.
  • The ability to pair Made for iPhone hearing devices directly with a Mac.
  • The ability to invoke Siri by saying "Siri" instead of "Hey Siri."

Apple does not indicate why the features are not available on Intel Macs, but it likely relates to performance considerations, and only Apple silicon Macs have a Neural Engine for machine learning tasks. The last Intel Macs were released in 2020, and Apple has since moved to its own custom-designed processors. The transition to Apple silicon is now complete following this week's introduction of a new Mac Pro with the M2 Ultra chip.

macOS Sonoma will likely be released to the public in October and is compatible with Macs released in December 2017 and later.

Related Roundup: macOS Sonoma
Related Forum: macOS Sonoma

Top Rated Comments

SpringKid Avatar
11 months ago
Oh come on Apple, why in the world won’t I be able to say just Siri, what in my Intel CPU is restricting me from doing that?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
11 months ago

Haha, I hardly think anyone considers this restriction something vital that would make them think “Ok, that’s it, I’m getting a new computer now!”. ? It’s just really silly.
Not now. But those who plan their purchases MIGHT be looking at as little as one more year from this Fall... obviously with certain new features not available.

Sonoma could be the LAST version with Intel Mac support... or maybe there would be one more with additional new features not included to continue the wean.

The cheerleaders will come back with "About time" and such, glorifying Silicon and ridiculing Intel. However, in the first round of this, there was a significant PLUS or gain: Macs going from PowerPC to Intel could double as Windows PCs in ONE box. Now this proposition is a MINUS or loss: Macs going from Intel to Silicon are losing that valuable (to some) benefit (ARM Windows is not full Windows). I know some of us think all can be done better on Silicon but the reality is that "all" cannot be done on Silicon.

Remedy: if ARM Windows can work for some, the Parallels-type option may suffice. If some need more/certainty, my solution was to re-adopt "old fashioned bootcamp" by buying a dedicated PC too. About HALF the budget of a loaded Mac can buy a LOT of PC.

Silicon is great and all and I use my Ultra as much as I can. However, it is a loss to no longer have both major platforms inside of a single case, single keyboard, single mouse/trackpad, single screen, etc. To some, that's no loss at all. To others, it may send them back to PC because the latter is "need" and Mac is "want."
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think|Different Avatar
11 months ago
That's fine. Apple cemented the notion yesterday that it's time to move on...I wouldn't even be surprised if next year's MacOS was not even Intel compatible.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
11 months ago
It begins...

Now that all Macs are Silicon, those of us with any Intel Macs face numbered days even if there was still an Intel Mac for sale only 1 day ago.

Rosetta 2 is almost certainly on the same clock. See Rosetta 1 deprecation as a guide.

The many apps still needing to "throw that one switch and recompile for silicon" :rolleyes: had better get with it. I presume it is a very heavy switch... as it seemed to be the last time we went through this (and a number of apps- including prominent ones did not seem to be able to lift that switch before Rosetta 1 ended).

Suggestion: anything mission critical means keeping an "old Mac" running an old macOS around. I still have a Snow Leopard Mac for a few key things that never "threw the switch."
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ducknalddon Avatar
11 months ago

I wouldn't even be surprised if next year's MacOS was not even Intel compatible.
I hope it's not that quick. That would make me think twice about buying any more Apple devices.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
matthew12 Avatar
11 months ago

Time to move out from the shadows and get Apple Silicon, Intel hanger ons! #AAPL
Not all of us can afford new Macs though.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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