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, according to Apple.

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

  • Presenter Overlay 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-based Macs, but it likely relates to performance limitations and the lack of a Neural Engine for machine learning tasks. The last Intel-based Macs were released in 2020, and Apple has moved to its own custom-designed processors since then. 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.

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