These macOS Sonoma features will be exclusive to Apple Silicon Macs

Apple recently unveiled macOS Sonoma alongside iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17. Packed with a number of exciting new features, the update continues Apple’s trend of offering exclusive functionalities tailored specifically for Apple Silicon Macs.

We have listed those standout features that will be exclusively available on Apple Silicon Macs, differentiating their experience from Intel-based Macs.

macOS Sonoma

Intel-based Macs will not support Game Mode, hand gestures, and other features in macOS Sonoma

Here are the features that will not the supported on Intel-based Macs running on the upcoming macOS Sonoma update:

Presenter Overlay

One of the highlights of macOS Sonoma is the Presenter Overlay feature. Specifically designed for Apple Silicon users, this feature enables seamless screen sharing while ensuring your presence remains part of the conversation. Users can choose from two overlay options: large and small. The large overlay places the spotlight on you, framing your screen on a separate layer, allowing you to move, walk, and speak while your content remains visible.

Presenter Overlay

Hand gestures

With macOS Sonoma, Apple introduces the ability to add expressive reactions using augmented reality effects through hand gestures. When using the built-in camera on Mac computers with Apple Silicon or Continuity Camera with iPhone 12 and later models, users can fill their camera frame with fun 3D effects like hearts, confetti, fireworks, and more. Sharing your reactions becomes even more immersive and engaging.

Game Mode

To enhance the gaming experience on Apple Silicon Macs, macOS Sonoma introduces Game Mode. This feature prioritizes CPU and GPU resources for games, reducing background task usage. It also significantly reduces latency with wireless accessories such as AirPods and compatible game controllers, providing a highly responsive gaming environment.

macOS Sonoma gaming

Enhanced Siri functionality

Siri receives an upgrade in macOS Sonoma, responding not only to the traditional “Hey Siri” wake command but also to the simple utterance of “Siri.” This improvement offers added convenience and ease of use for Apple Silicon Mac users. English-speaking users in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States can enjoy this expanded Siri functionality, available on Mac computers with Apple Silicon and AirPods Pro (2nd generation).


Availability and compatibility

macOS Sonoma, set for release to the general public in the coming fall, will support a limited number of Intel-powered Macs.

  • MacBook Pro: 2018 and later
  • MacBook Air: 2018 and later
  • Mac mini: 2018 and later
  • iMac: 2019 and later
  • iMac Pro: 2017
  • Mac Studio: 2022 and later
  • Mac Pro: 2019 and later

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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