Top 12 Features of macOS 15 Sequoia You Can’t Miss!

MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac running macOS 15 Sequoia

Now that macOS 15 Sequoia is official, it’s time to dig around its best features. Here are some of the main functionalities Apple will add to or improve in Mac.

AI All Around

Even though Apple only actually talked about it at the end of the event, WWDC 24 was, in fact, all about AI. The company jumped on this bandwagon later than its competitors, but at least it did. It’s not surprising that most of the new features on macOS Sequoia are related to that.

A Smarter Siri

Introduced in 2011, Siri was the first of the major virtual assistants as we know them today. However, competitors have become more capable and useful, and Siri started falling behind.

Apple is aware of this, and it has given the assistant a huge AI overhaul. Siri is now capable of more complex tasks, a better conversational flow, and deeper integration with apps — including third-party ones.

This includes what Apple calls onscreen awareness: Siri will be able to understand what you’re doing when you start a “Hey, Siri” interaction, and will use the context to offer help.

ChatGPT to the Rescue

When its abilities aren’t enough to complete the task, Siri will suggest you try the new ChatGPT integration with macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. It might not work as well with your device’s features, but at least it’ll be able to provide you with online help.

Shared AI features between macOS, iOS, and iPadOS

ChatGPT Now Integrated Into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, and Siri
Credit: Apple

Siri isn’t the only cross-platform tool to get an AI overhaul. Apple also has new features for Safari, Mail, Notes, and Photos.

Safari

The browser now scans the entire site you’re visiting to highlight the more important information, e.g., the address and working hours when you visit a restaurant page. It’s also able to bring more focus to videos by making them larger than the rest of the content, reducing distractions. Lastly, Reader mode has been improved — it now displays a summary and a table of contents for longer articles.

Mail

Apple’s AI features will help you reply to emails faster, plus it offers to rephrase sentences that might need a slight shift in tone. Mail also summarizes conversations, categorizes e-mails, and creates a priority inbox with the most important messages.

Photos

Photos leverages machine learning to organize images. The feature, called Collections, sorts images by themes, and allows you to search the context of a photo to find it. The Clean Up tool uses AI to remove objects from images, without affecting the rest of the picture.

Notes

Notes is now able to summarize longer texts and transcript recordings from Voice Memos. It’ll also solve equations you type directly into the app, without having to open the Calculator app.

macOS 15 Is Better Suited for Gaming

Mac is notorious for its below-average gaming capabilities. That’s mainly because PCs with superior graphics performance have always been available for the same price. However, Apple Silicon revolutionizes Mac gaming. The M-series Macs have enough firepower to tackle AAA titles.

One issue that remains is the lack of options. Companies like Ubisoft (The Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown and Assassin’s Creed: Shadows) and Capcom (Resident Evil series) have announced games for Mac during WWDC 24. Other titles arriving soon are Frostpunk 2 and Palworld.

Quality-of-Life Improvements on macOS 15

These go beyond cosmetic alterations, but they’re not life-changing either. Nonetheless, you’ll likely be thankful for how they help with the daily usage of your Mac.

iPhone Screen Mirroring

If your iPhone is far from your Mac, you can now remotely control it with the new iPhone Mirroring feature. It’s a more powerful version of Continuity that allows you to interact with your phone using the Mac’s keyboard and trackpad.

If you receive a notification, it will show like a native macOS one, and clicking it opens the app on the mirrored iPhone screen. You’ll also be able to drag and drop elements across devices, sending a file to your phone as easily as copying it from one Finder window to another.

Un-messed System Settings

Settings app in macOS 15 Sequoia

The Preferences app remained virtually unchanged from Mac OS X, in 2001, to macOS Monterey, in 2021. That doesn’t mean it was great, but the System Settings introduced in Ventura has been largely considered even worse.

It was designed to resemble the Settings app from iOS — mostly, from iPadOS. The idea was good, but the implementation left much to be desired.

Apple isn’t rolling back the interface change, but at least it’s making things more organized. Menus got rearranged based on usage frequency and categorized based on their categories. And now the app opens in the General pane instead of Appearance by default.

Passwords App

In a way, macOS has had a password manager for over 20 years: the Keychain app. It was introduced in 1999. Anyone who has used it, however, agrees that its experience is far from being user-friendly.

Sequoia comes with the new Passwords app, which promises to offer a more seamless way to manage login credentials. It’s similar to services like LastPass and 1Password, but integrates natively with macOS.

A (Slightly) Better Calculator

macOS 15 Sequoia Calculator app showing multiple modes

The Calculator app received some minor improvements. Long-requested features, like window resizing, still haven’t made the cut. You now can, however, at least see what operations you’re typing. The “paper tape” operation history now lives in a sidebar, no longer in a separate window.

In case you’re wondering, yes, iPad users will finally get the Calculator app.

App Tiling

Up until now, you were only able to split your Mac’s display between two apps, and only in full-screen mode. Some apps, like Rectangle, add more advanced tiling options, but it wasn’t a native feature.

Sequoia finally brings native tiling to macOS. You can snap a window using your mouse/trackpad, dragging it to a corner (or half) of the screen. Keyboard shortcuts are also available.

Sequoia: macOS Beta Already Available

If you’re eager to try the above features, though, I have bad news. As it’s usual for Apple software updates, you won’t be able to try the best macOS Sequoia features until fall this year — at least not in their stable releases. The company has already released the macOS Sequoia Developer Beta for testing.

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