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What Intel Macs aren't getting in macOS Sonoma

macOS Sonoma

Last updated

As Apple prioritizes features for Apple Silicon, Intel machines are going to be left behind. For macOS Sonoma, there are five key features missing for Intel Macs.

WWDC is underway, and we're diving through all the announcements and developer data to find every detail. macOS Sonoma is one of Apple's smaller releases, but there are still some features reserved for Apple Silicon and the Neural Engine.

Five features not coming to Intel Macs

Most of the features in macOS Sonoma are ecosystem-wide, but the ones specific to Mac were built with Apple Silicon in mind.

  • Presenter Overlay utilizes a Neural Engine-powered feature called Lift Subject from Background. It places your cutout from the webcam feed over content in a presentation.
  • Screen Sharing gets easier — for Apple Silicon Macs — thanks to the advanced media engine. This makes sharing more responsive over high-bandwidth connections.
  • The newly abbreviated wake word "Siri" is only available for Apple Silicon-equipped Macs and AirPods Pro 2.
  • Game Mode takes advantage of Apple Silicon's SoC design by prioritizing gaming for the CPU and GPU while also reducing latency with wireless accessories.
  • Made-for-iPhone hearing devices can pair directly with Apple Silicon Macs (excluding those with a base M1).

As Apple continues to update macOS with new features, more will be exclusive to Apple Silicon processors until the entire operating system doesn't support Intel chipsets. That isn't macOS Sonoma, but it could happen within a few years.

Here's a list of Macs that can run macOS Sonoma:

  • iMac 2019 or later
  • iMac Pro
  • MacBook Air 2018 or later
  • MacBook Pro 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro 2019 or later
  • Mac Studio
  • Mac mini 2018 or later

macOS Sonoma will release to the public in the fall of 2023, likely sometime in October.