Apple has released the release candidate version of macOS Sonoma 14.1 to developers and public beta testers. This update includes various bug fixes, security updates, and enhancements for Macs. While no major new features have been discovered in the beta so far, there are a few notable changes and updates worth highlighting.
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macOS Sonoma 14.1 comes one week after the release of macOS Sonoma 14.0.1, which brought bug fixes and security updates. Now, Apple is testing out release candidate builds of 14.1 ahead of a public launch anticipated next week.
This release mainly focuses on under-the-hood improvements, though a few user-facing changes have been noted. According to Apple’s release notes, 14.1 includes unspecified enhancements for the Music app, System Settings updates, and general bug fixes.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s new in macOS Sonoma 14.1 beta based on developer and public beta tester reports.
Music App Updates
One of the few user-facing changes in macOS 14.1 is an update to the Music app. Apple has added a new Favorites section that allows you to favorite songs, albums, artists, and playlists.
This provides an easy way to access your favorite music content in one place without having to create playlists. Anything you favorite will appear in the Favorites section for quick access.
Apple has also updated the Music app with a new Recently Played playlist option to see your latest tracks.
New Coverage Section in System Settings
In System Settings, Apple has added a new Coverage section. This allows you to view information about your AppleCare+ coverage for the Mac, such as expiry date, covered devices, and repair options.
The Coverage section displays if you have an active AppleCare+ plan for your Mac. This provides a handy way to access your plan details right from System Preferences.
Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements
While Apple’s release notes don’t provide specifics, macOS Sonoma 14.1 includes general bug fixes and performance improvements. Early reports from developers and public beta testers suggest the update improves overall system stability.
So far, no major new bugs or issues have been discovered in the beta. By this point, most significant bugs are likely to have been fixed ahead of the public release.
When Will macOS Sonoma 14.1 Be Released?
Apple has provided macOS Sonoma 14.1 to developers and public beta testers for one week of testing with the release candidate version. This suggests the public launch will come sometime next week.
The company will continue testing the software and monitoring feedback to catch any last minute bugs ahead of the launch.
Barring any major issues found during the release candidate testing period, Apple will likely roll out macOS Sonoma 14.1 to all users next week via the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.
What’s Next for macOS?
Looking ahead, Apple is expected to begin testing macOS 14.2 after the release of 14.1. This will likely introduce more significant changes. Rumors suggest macOS 14.2 will bring support for new external displays including the unannounced Apple Studio Display.
There have also been hints that macOS 14.2 could expand Web Push Notifications, bring new smart home architecture features, and more.
Apple is holding an October event which may see the unveiling of new Macs. It’s possible macOS 14.2 could arrive alongside new hardware launches later in the fall.
So while macOS Sonoma 14.1 itself is a minor update, the launch kicks off the development cycle leading to larger changes coming down the pipeline.
Should You Install the macOS Sonoma 14.1 Beta?
For most users, it’s best to wait for the public release of macOS updates rather than installing early betas. Betas can contain bugs, be less stable, and lack certain features.
However, developers and public beta testers can gain early access to new updates like 14.1 to test out the new features and changes coming to the Mac. Just keep in mind betas can come with potential downsides.
Backing up your Mac using Time Machine before installing any beta software is highly recommended. This provides a safety net in case any issues arise from running pre-release software.
Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of installing the macOS 14.1 beta:
- Early access to new features and changes
- Ability to provide feedback to Apple
- Help improve macOS quality by identifying bugs
- Potential bugs and stability issues
- Some features may not be fully implemented
- Can’t downgrade back to older OS easily
- Lack of support from Apple if issues arise
While macOS Sonoma 14.1 doesn’t introduce major new features, the update brings worthwhile enhancements like Music app improvements and AppleCare+ integration in System Settings. This release also lays the foundation for more significant updates coming later in the macOS Sonoma cycle.
For most users, waiting for the public release is recommended for the best experience. But developers and beta testers can download the macOS 14.1 beta to get a glimpse of the refinements coming soon to Macs worldwide.
After a week of release candidate testing, Apple should push macOS Sonoma 14.1 out to all supported Macs sometime next week. Keep an eye out for the update appearing soon in the Software Update section of System Preferences.
Table 1: Key Features in macOS Sonoma 14.1
|Music App Favorites||Ability to favorite songs, albums, artists, playlists|
|Recently Played Playlist||New playlist with your latest played tracks|
|Coverage Section in Settings||View AppleCare+ plan details for your Mac|
|Bug Fixes||Improvements to system stability and reliability|
|Performance Improvements||Under-the-hood enhancements to improve speed|