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An update and caution on macOS 14 Sonoma

On September 26, 2023, Apple released its newest version of the Macintosh operating system, macOS 14 Sonoma. This release includes a series of refinements to the macOS interface, including the addition of desktop widgets and enhancements to video conferencing, Safari, and Messages.

At the time of release, Information Systems & Computing (ISC) strongly recommended that all University users adopt a “wait and see” approach and continue using earlier macOS versions for at least a week following the release. This period allows for any initial bugs and compatibility issues in Sonoma to be identified and usually either fixed or avoided.

The initial release version of macOS 14 Sonoma has several incompatibilities that affect the functionality of various software relevant to the University, such as MATLAB, SPSS, and third-party audio applications such as Audacity. At this time, Sonoma is not cleared for general use at Penn. ISC suggests that administrators of institutionally owned systems continue to block the upgrade and that users of personally owned systems ignore Apple’s upgrade prompts. ISC will send an update on Sonoma’s status at the University when it materially changes.

macOS 14 Sonoma is compatible with most Macs manufactured in 2018 or later, with a few notable exceptions: only 2019 and newer iMacs and Mac Pros are compatible. Sonoma is not currently pre-installed on most new Macintoshes, but that will change over the next few months.