Thoughts on macOS Sonoma Beta, What’s in the News, New Podcast Episode

Plus: Another Round of OS Updates

Time is flying by, and we're already close to August, and I'm seeing back-to-school sales! I don't know about you, but I'm not ready for that. Before you know it, we'll have new iPhones and Apple Watches, and the new operating systems will be released. Speaking of, I've spent some time with the first public beta of macOS Sonoma and have some initial thoughts to share; plus, we'll cover the latest news, and there's a new podcast episode. Let's get into it!

🎙️ Basic AF: The Art of Automation and Productivity with Adam Olson

In this episode, my former colleague Adam Olson joins us to share his efficiency-boosting tips and tricks for conquering the chaos of daily tasks. We delve into automations, workflows, and productivity hacks, discussing apps like OmniFocus, Things, Reminders, Outlook, TextExpander, Keyboard Maestro, and more. Join us as we explore ways to streamline your workflow, increase productivity, and reduce stress.

Listen now at and in all the podcast apps, as well as on YouTube and YouTube Music.

👨‍💻 Early Thoughts on the macOS Sonoma Beta

In the last newsletter, I said I'd install the public beta for macOS Sonoma once it was out, so I've done that as promised and have some initial thoughts.

When the installation finished, I logged in and EVERYTHING froze before the desktop even loaded. Well, crap, not a good start.

Having learned a long time ago that most anti-virus/endpoint security software is trash, er, I mean, susceptible to issues on beta systems until the vendor updates the app, that was my first suspect. After multiple failed attempts to boot into Safe Mode and then learning there's a new sequence for doing that on Apple silicon systems, I got into safe mode, uninstalled the software, and things have been fine.

The new Lock Screen in macOS Sonoma

There’s a new login window/Lock Screen that looks much like the one on iPad, and I’ve grown to like it. Once I got logged in, one of the first things I did was drop a few widgets on the desktop for Fantastical, Weather, and Batteries, and I’ve been enjoying that. Apple has added a function where clicking the desktop clears all windows to the side, exposing your widgets and desktop files and folders. I like this, though I’ve developed a habit over the years of clicking an empty spot on the desktop to switch to the Finder, so I’m clearing them more often than I’d like. The good news is that you can turn off the setting if it’s not something you want.

Desktop widgets in macOS Sonoma

Desktop widgets / Image credit: Apple

As you may recall, I’m excited to see the beautiful Apple TV-style screen savers officially make it to the Mac. You can imagine how bummed I’ve been that I can’t get them to work. 🫠 I’m not sure what’s going on, but they won’t play for me. Hopefully, that’ll get resolved in the next beta release.

Some other notes:

  • The keyboard predictions stuff has been good so far. I like this in Google apps, and I’ll like it here as long as Apple does a good job.

  • Reminders has a new feature to sort your tasks into columns to help manage and arrange them Kanban board style. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to enable this, but I was overthinking it and it’s pretty simple.

  • I haven’t tried the new PDF and Notes features yet.

  • The Google Drive desktop app will flake out and occasionally require me to disconnect my account and then sign in again. Not a big deal and things like this are to be expected.

Let me know if there’s any specific feature you’d like me to check on for you, and if you’re running the beta, let me know how it’s going.

🗞️ Here’s What’s in the News

🎧 MKBHD reviews the new Beats by Dre and they’re pretty compelling, plus they’re considerably less than the AirPods Max. Video below.

⚙️ Another Round of OS Updates

There’s a fresh round of OS updates from Apple:

  • macOS Ventura 13.5

  • iOS 16.6

  • iPadOS 16.6

  • watchOS 9.6

  • tvOS 16.6

The updates include many security patches, including a patch for a vulnerability Apple says may have been actively exploited. Apple also dropped updated versions of iOS 15.7.8, iPadOS 15.7.8, macOS Monterey 12.6.8, and macOS Big Sur 11.7.9 for devices that cannot run the current versions of the operating systems.

For more details on the updates, visit Apple’s security support site.


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