macOS 15: Rumored features, supported devices, and more

M3 MacBook Pro review
(Image credit: Future)

macOS 15 will be revealed in just a few months at WWDC and we're getting increasingly excited to see the successor to macOS Sonoma.

The next iteration of macOS will be announced at WWDC 2024, which now has an official date of June 10, 2024. We expect to see an emphasis on AI, especially considering Apple's marketing with the latest M3 MacBook Air, calling the laptop the "World's Best Consumer Laptop for AI."

We don't know much about macOS 15 just yet but we do know it's in the pipeline and Apple's ready to unleash its AI capabilities not only for macOS but also for iOS 18.

As far as names go, your guess is as good as ours. That said, macOS 15 will ship preinstalled on all new Macs once it is officially released, so what features can we expect, and which details have already leaked ahead of time?

Here's everything you need to know about macOS 15 in the build-up to WWDC and its impending reveal. 

The story so far

MacBook macOS Sonoma widgets on desk

(Image credit: Future)

As we already mentioned, Apple released macOS Sonoma in September 2023 to replace the macOS Ventura update that arrived the year before. Named after an area in Northern California's Wine Country, the update brought with it a number of new additions that were worth looking forward to even if they were unlikely to change the way people used their Macs.

At the top of the list for some people was the addition of new interactive widgets that could live on the Mac's desktop. That removed them from the Today view and made them more readily available, greatly increasing their utility. Apple also began allowing iPhone widgets to be used on the Mac for the first time, too.

Other improvements included Touch ID protection for Safari's Private Browsing Mode, new video conferencing improvements including hand gestures that can initiate Reactions, and more.

Apple also added Game Mode, a feature that configures a Mac to run games more speedily by reducing CPU and GPU load from other tasks and improving Bluetooth latency when using AirPods.

All of these features made macOS Sonoma the best version of the Mac's software to date without really kicking it on to a new level. With little currently known about macOS 15, it's possible we should expect something similar in 2024, too. With macOS now being such a mature operating system the days of sweeping changes are probably long gone.

macOS 15: Rumored features

macOS 15: A focus on AI

Apple has yet to confirm anything with regards to macOS 15, but the company is already rumored to have a focus on AI for the coming year. That is likely to manifest itself in the software updates that ship including iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and watchOS 11.

How Apple would use its newfound AI chops on the Mac isn't yet clear, but Siri and perhaps Spotlight would be two of the most likely beneficiaries. Siri in particular is in dire need of some help, while Spotlight could become the go-to source of information across the internet and into the realms of generative AI.

But again, with nothing confirmed by Apple and Mac-specific rumors hard to come by right now, we can't say for sure what Apple's plans are. Mark Gurman has hinted at major changes coming to the design of macOS but we've not heard anything concrete as of yet.

macOS 15: 'Ambitious and compelling'

A MacBook display showing the time, 14:08, on a mountain background

(Image credit: Future)

Despite macOS being mature, Apple is thought to be working on what it calls "ambitious and compelling" upgrades. That's according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. With the iPhone 16 not expected to offer big new hardware features, Apple is instead expected to focus on software in 2024.

Unfortunately, it isn't immediately clear what Apple would label as ambitious or compelling although Gurman points to "major new features and designs" with "security and performance improvements" also tipped. But that's as much as we have been given so far.

macOS 15: What we'd like to see

Mac Studio M2 on a wooden desk in an office

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

There are a few things that we'd like to see Apple do with macOS 15 but we'd just be happy if it made System Settings less of a mess. That aside, AI is clearly a focus for Apple at this point and we're all for it. Imagine a life where something similar to ChatGPT is built into Spotlight, for example.

Another thing that we think everyone could get behind is a proper password management app. The iCloud Keychain situation is less than ideal right now, with people left to manage everything via the poor System Settings app. It's time that Mac users had a dedicated app to manage passwords, and it would be even better if we could add other details like notes and attachments as well.

Finally, a Health app seems obvious at this point. Apple brought the Health app from the iPhone to the iPad with iPadOS 18 and it's time the same app moved to the Mac as well. It could literally be the same app if needs be. Minimal effort for Apple's engineers, surely.

macOS 15: Expected release date

The 2023 M3 iMac on a wooden desk, showing the features of macOS Sonoma

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Apple has set itself an unofficial release pattern of announcing software in June and then releasing it in September or October, and it's expected to do the same in 2024. WWDC will likely take place in the first couple of weeks of June and that's likely to be when we get to see macOS 15 for the very first time.

Apple is expected to roll out public and developer beta programs of macOS 15 that run for the subsequent four months following WWDC on June 10 and then an official release later in the year.

macOS 15: Compatible devices

We can safely assume that all of Apple's M1, M2, and M3 Macs will be compatible with macOS 15 when it ships, but there is a chance some Intel machines could be cut adrift. That is far from confirmed at this point, but it will have to happen eventually.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

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