macOS Sequoia

macOS Sequoia is the next-generation version of the software that runs on the Mac. In developer beta now ahead of a fall launch.

By MacRumors Staff
macOS Sequoia

macOS 15 Sequoia

macOS Sequoia is the latest version of macOS, the operating system that runs on the Mac. It is named after the sequoia tree, which is a redwood that California is known for. macOS Sequoia, like iOS 18, is built around Apple Intelligence, which is what Apple calls its AI features.

Apple Intelligence includes a much more capable version of Siri and has content generation tools for doing everything from improving writing to creating images from prompts. Writing Tools are available across Messages, Mail, Pages, and more for rewriting, polishing, proofreading, and summarizing text, including emails, notes, texts, and other documents.

Apple WWDC24 macOS Sequoia hero 240610

macOS Sequoia has an Image Playground app that can be used for generating images using prompts or Apple's suggestions and themes. You can incorporate pictures of your friends and family to make all kinds of fun custom photos in styles that include Animation, Illustration, or Sketch. Image Playground image generation is also built into Messages, Notes, and other apps.

In the Messages app, there's a Genmoji tool for creating any emoji without being limited to the built-in options. You can enter a short description of the emoji you want to create, and Apple will make it for you. The Photos app has a Clean Up tool for removing unwanted objects from the background of a image, and there's also an option to create custom Memories by typing in a description and having Apple Intelligence choose appropriate photos and videos for you.

Siri has been overhauled, and the assistant has better language understanding and more awareness of what's personally important to you and contextually relevant to requests. Siri can respond to what's on your screen and take actions in and across apps. On the Mac, for example, Siri will be able to surface any file you need, with requests like "show the files Eric sent me last week." Siri has complete knowledge of everything on your device, and can send emails, edit photos, move files from app to app, and much more.

Apple has also equipped Siri with an Apple product knowledge base so Siri can answer iPhone, iPad, and Mac questions. When Siri doesn't know something or you want to generate an image or create text from scratch, there's an option to bring in OpenAI's ChatGPT for your requests. ChatGPT is free, gets no info from you, and can be used for creating and illustrating content from scratch.

Apple Intelligence is limited to Macs with an M1 chip or later because most of the processing is done on-device for privacy purposes and to keep user data safe. Apple cloud servers run on Apple silicon machines are used for more intensive tasks. Apple promises that its Private Cloud Compute feature does not store data or make it accessible to Apple in any way.

Aside from Apple Intelligence, there are many other changes that Apple is making in macOS Sequoia, along with new features. Continuity is improving with iPhone Mirroring, a feature that lets you control your iPhone from your Mac. Your iPhone shows up as a window on the Mac's display, complete with all of your apps, icons, and wallpapers. You can use apps, interact with notifications, and drag and drop files from the Mac to the iPhone and vice versa. Your Mac's keyboard, trackpad, and mouse can be used to control the iPhone when in this mode, and it works even if your iPhone is locked and tucked away.

Apple improved window tiling to make it easier to get multiple windows on your Mac's display in a way that works for you. Dragging a window to the edge of the screen causes macOS Sequoia to suggest a tiled position on the desktop, and it can be dropped right into place with options to rearrange tiles side by side or put them in corners. There are also new keyboard and menu shortcuts for organizing app tiles.

Safari now includes Highlights, a feature that surfaces the information you want most from websites, including directions, quick links to learn more about people, music, movies, and TV shows, and summaries. Reader mode has been overhauled to include a summary and a table of contents for longer articles, and there's a new Viewer that can be used to watch videos on websites without distractions.

The Messages app supports text effects that can be applied to a single word or emoji, with options like bloom, shake, explode, and ripple. Messages can be scheduled for the first time, and Tapback, the feature for sending quick responses to texts, now supports emoji and stickers so you're no longer limited to Apple's handful of options. You can use any emoji.

With Apple Maps, you have access to thousands of hikes at all 63 national parks in the United States, with filtering options for length, elevation, and route type. You can create your own custom walking routes and hikes, plus there are curated hike suggestions. The Photos app has been updated with a new design that focuses on Collections, which organizes the library by helpful themes, plus search is much improved.

In the Notes app, there is a new audio transcription and summarization feature so you can record audio and then get a transcript right away. A Math Notes integration allows you to type in an equation and get it solved automatically right in the note. Sections are now collapsible for better management of text-heavy notes, and there are options to highlight with five new colors.

The Calculator app lets you see previous calculations with a new history feature, and you can see expressions as you type. Calendar now integrates events and tasks from Reminders, so it's easier to keep track of your tasks, and there's an updated Month View so you can see events and reminders for the whole month at a glance.

The Weather app now shows the Feels Like temperature more prominently if it differs significantly from the actual temperature. In the Home app, there's improved management for guest access along with support for robot vacuums and integration with some electric companies to show daily usage.

Apple introduced a new Passwords app that's basically an expansion of the Passwords section of the Settings app. It stores all of your iCloud keychain passwords so you can get right to your logins from the app. It supports passwords, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and two-factor authentication codes, with iCloud syncing and end-to-end encryption. Passwords can be automatically input into Safari and Apps, and there's even an integration for using the app on Windows PCs.

For video apps like FaceTime and Zoom, there is an updated presenter preview that lets you see what you're about to share before it's shared. There are built-in backgrounds in a variety of color gradients, plus you can use the system wallpapers. Background replacements can be applied to calls in FaceTime or third-party apps.

AirPods Pro 2 can use Personalized Spatial Audio for games in macOS Sequoia, and there is an option to respond to Siri with a nod for yes or a head shake for no. If you have an incoming call, for example, and want to decline, you can shake your head no to refuse the call. Voice Isolation cuts down on loud background noise for better call quality.

Game Mode improvements boost frame rates and performance. For developers, Apple introduced Game Porting Toolkit 2, which is designed to make it easier for developers to bring their games to the Mac.

macOS Sequoia is limited to developers right now, but Apple plans to release a public beta in July. The software will see an official launch in the fall.

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Release Date

macOS 15 was previewed at the WWDC 2024 keynote on Monday, June 10. The first beta was provided to developers that same day, with Apple to seed out a public beta sometime in July.

macOS 15 will then see a public launch in the fall, either in September or October based on past launch timelines.

macOS Sequoia Timeline