Notes on macOS Sonoma

Unlike , I upgraded to Sonoma’s “point zero” release–and did that because it felt like a Snow Leopard-style clean-up release rather than a bunch of ground-breaking (and app-breaking) “improvements”. And so far, nothing (unforeseen) is broken, which actually kind of sums it up nicely.

I’ve already written a little note about the deprecation of e-mail plugins and how that , so I won’t belabor that point. I will say, however, that I’m a bit annoyed that the “move to mailbox” suggestion feature was retained in Sonoma but apparently lost for some absurd reason.

Other than that, brew still works fine, none of apps I use daily broke (although I did have to upgrade to Bartender 5), and life has carried on without major disturbances.

I’d say the changes I noticed were indeed very minor, and so far are evenly split between a mix of niggling annoyances and intriguing quality of life improvements:

  • There still aren’t any sort of useful keyboard shortcuts for . I have stuck to it, but am still frustrated by how hard it can be sometimes to bring together all the windows you need for a given task.
  • Widgets are… interesting, but I’m somewhat annoyed that it took us a decade and a half to recover from (remember that?), and that I can’t easily make my own widgets. I put a couple up in a far corner of one of my monitors and found them aesthetically pleasing, but time will tell if they’re actually useful.
  • The changes to Reminders are… interesting. Especially since it now has a Kanban-like column layout, which all of a sudden makes it 400% more useful–until you switch to iOS and realize there is no way (even on an iPad) to have an identical column view (you get vertical dividers, which is meh). Also, forcing Others to be the right-most column without the ability to rename it feels very counter-intuitive (Update: This seems to have been fixed in iOS 17.0.3).
  • The ability to link notes is also intriguing, but since I am now so I can actually have my notes in a filesystem (and access them from Linux), I haven’t explored that yet. I might if Apple had a better track record at online services, but I’ve been doing the same in for ages now, so it feels like another catch-up feature.
  • Finally, I really dig the new Safari “dock app” feature, because had been broken for me for a while and I was a pretty heavy user. The only issue I have with it is that I can’t use Safari plugins in those apps (like an ad blocker). I haven’t set up browsing profiles yet, but I use them in and , so it’s just a matter of time. But, again, catch-up rather than groundbreaking.

I think this means I am very happy with Sonoma so far. After all these years, I’ve found that the best OS upgrades tend to be the boring ones…

Update: I just realized that the new camera reactions work unbidden inside Remote Desktop sessions, which is cute, but that they apparently cannot be turned off in Preferences, which is stupefyingly dumb (I had to open FaceTime to do that), because Remote Desktop does not make the Video menu appear in the menu bar.