Release date, name, features and more

The latest operating system for Mac PCs is macOS 15 Sequoia, unveiled by Apple at its 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference. This cheat sheet explores important new capabilities as well as the requirements for the new operating system.

Sequoia has interesting quality of life changes for work, like the way dragging a window to the edge of the screen will automatically place it on a tile folded to the side so you can see the entire window. Continuity, a feature that allows sharing between devices, is becoming even more seamless with the ability to control an iPhone from a Mac, including interacting with apps.

The biggest change is that macOS 15 will come with Apple Intelligence, which brings generative AI capabilities such as email digests in Mac apps like Mail and Pages.

What is macOS 15 Sequoia?

macOS 15 Sequoia is the latest operating system for Mac, announced on June 10, 2024 at WWDC. The name Sequoia continues Apple's trend of naming its operating system after areas of California, with previous iterations named Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey and Big Sur. Sequoia is a national park in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

It is the first Mac operating system to support Apple Intelligence, the company's proprietary artificial intelligence platform. AI features include audio transcription in Notes, Smart Reply in Mail, and a smarter Siri that can understand natural language prompts.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said in a press release: “The stellar combination of the power of Apple silicon and the legendary ease of use of macOS has made the Mac more capable than ever. Today, we're excited to take macOS to new heights with macOS Sequoia, a big release that elevates productivity and intelligence.

“macOS Sequoia ushers in Apple Intelligence, unlocking incredible new features that will be a game-changer for working on the Mac. And with more ways to help users get things done effortlessly, new Continuity features like iPhone Mirroring, important Safari updates and a host of new games, we think Mac users will love it.”

What are the main features of macOS 15 Sequoia?

Apple Intelligence Features

writing tools

When you highlight a section of text in Sequoia and right-click, you will be presented with several AI writing tools:

  • The proofreader will review the text and make suggestions about grammar and spelling.
  • Rewrite will rewrite the entire section in a friendly, professional or concise style.
  • You can also click Summary or Key Points to draw the main conclusions from the text.

Writing tools will be available everywhere you can write, including Mail, Notes, Pages, and third-party apps. In Mail, emails in the Inbox will have AI-generated summaries as previews instead of a summary of the subject line or first sentence. When writing a reply, macOS Sequoia will provide you with numerous Smart Reply options generated using the content of the original email.

macOS 15 allows users to generate long text summaries with AI. Image: apple


Notes now comes with audio transcription and summary using Apple Intelligence. This means that the app can activate the Mac's microphone during a meeting and will generate a transcript and summary of the discussion in real time. Notes will also automatically resolve any calculations written in a Note.

Notes can transcribe and take meeting notes in real time.
Notes can transcribe and take meeting notes in real time. Image: apple

Playground image

Image Playground is an AI image generation tool included in macOS 15. It is a dedicated app integrated into native apps like Messages and Pages so that AI images can be created and used within them. macOS will suggest prompts based on the context of the open app, or you can enter your own.


Siri has been expanded with Apple Intelligence. New capabilities include on-screen recognition, in-app actions, text commands, and better understanding of natural language commands. It also has a new look, appearing as a bright light bar that surrounds the sides of the screen and pulses to indicate it's listening.

You can read about the AI ​​features in more detail in TechRepublic's Siri cheat sheet.

ChatGPT and private cloud computing

While Apple Intelligence runs on hardware built into Macs, for some functions the level of computing it provides will not be sufficient; Therefore, macOS 15 offers the ability to connect to ChatGPT without leaving an application. ChatGPT can be used for real-time information that cannot be accessed on the device, as well as more powerful text and image generation.

SEE: ChatGPT Cheat Sheet: A Complete Guide to 2024

But ChatGPT isn't the only option for Mac users to access additional computing resources. More intensive requests can be routed through Private Cloud Compute, Apple's new cloud intelligence system, which sends them to external Apple servers. Data transferred during this process is not stored or made accessible to Apple, ensuring privacy.

Other features

iPhone mirroring

iPhone Mirroring is a feature that allows users to fully access and interact with their iPhone from their Mac. The phone's wallpaper and icons appear as a window on the PC screen, so users can view notifications, open apps and perform tasks using your Mac's controls. Your iPhone remains locked, while iPhone Mirroring takes place to keep it private.

With iPhone Mirroring, Mac users can view and interact with their iPhone on their PC.
With iPhone Mirroring, Mac users can view and interact with their iPhone on their PC. Image: apple


Apple has made a number of updates to Safari as part of the macOS 15 update. A button in the address bar will now display page highlights when clicked, such as a summary of the page content, directions via Maps or links for more information.

The Reader tool has been revamped and offers a more optimized view of the content being read. There are new customization options for colors and fonts, and the table of contents and summary appear in a sidebar for longer articles.

If a video appears on a web page, Safari enlarges it and places it in the foreground, or places it in a smaller pop-up window when the user switches the window.

Safari on macOS 15 will detect videos and put them front and center.
Safari on macOS 15 will detect videos and put them front and center. Image: apple

window mosaic

If a user has multiple windows open on the desktop and drags one of them to the edge of the screen, macOS Sequoia will automatically move and resize them so they are in an intuitive tiled arrangement that maximizes visibility.

macOS 15 will organize multiple windows to maximize their visibility.
macOS 15 will organize multiple windows to maximize their visibility. Image: apple

Video conference

When using video conferencing apps like Zoom or FaceTime, macOS Sequoia will show the presenter an image of exactly what will be visible to other meeting attendees when they share their screen before sharing it. They can also use built-in or custom backgrounds during a video call.

macOS 15 will show the presenter a preview of their screen before sharing it in a meeting.
macOS 15 will show the presenter a preview of their screen before sharing it in a meeting. Image: apple

Password application

Replacing Keychain, Passwords is a new Mac app that securely stores all user credentials. Your content syncs between Apple devices using iCloud with end-to-end encryption and Windows devices with the iCloud for Windows app.

SEE: The best password managers for Mac

Calculator and calendar

The Calculator app in macOS Sequoia will now store a history of previous calculations and be able to perform unit conversions. Complete expressions, including parentheses, trigonometry, and other operations, can be viewed before pressing equals.

The calendar in macOS 15 shows events and tasks placed in Reminders and has an updated, easier-to-read monthly view.

What devices are compatible with macOS 15 Sequoia?

macOS Sequoia is compatible with the following devices:

  • iMac – 2019 and later.
  • Mac Study – 2022.
  • Mac mini: 2018 and later.
  • Mac Pro – 2019 and later.
  • iMac Pro – 2017 and later.
  • MacBook Air: 2020 and later.
  • MacBook Pro – 2018 and later.

Apple Intelligence and its associated features will only work on devices with an Apple M-series chip inside, i.e. M1 or later. Any pre-2020 Mac that uses an Intel chip will not have this capability.

SEE: New M3 chip family, MacBook Pro line and iMacs

Apple Intelligence will therefore run on the following devices:

  • MacBook Pro: 2021 or later, and 2020 M1 13-inch version.
  • MacBook Air: 2022 or later and 2020 M1 version.
  • iMac – 2021 or later.
  • Mac mini – 2020 or later.
  • Mac Studio – 2022 or later.
  • Mac Pro – 2023.

When is the macOS 15 Sequoia release date?

Developers can download a beta version of macOS Sequoia today through the Apple Developer Program, and it will be available to the public through Apple's Beta Software Program in July.

The final version will be released as a free software update to all supported Mac owners in fall 2024. Apple Intelligence will be included at launch on devices with an M Series chip.

How to download and install macOS 15 Sequoia

For now, only registered developers can download the macOS 15 Sequoia beta through the Apple Developer Program.

Developer Program members can download the operating system by following these steps:

  1. Open System Settings on a compatible Mac and sign in with an Apple ID that's registered with the Developer Program.
  2. Navigate to General and then Software Update.
  3. Make sure Beta Updates are activated; If it is disabled, click the i and select macOS Sequoia Developer Beta from the Beta Updates drop-down menu.
  4. A macOS 15 Beta banner should now appear in the Software Update tab. Click Update Now to download and install.

As this is a beta version of the software, you may encounter bugs and issues that you can report to Apple. Remember to back up your Mac before updating to ensure you can restore your system if necessary.

Not ready to make the transition to Sequoia yet? Explore TechRepublic's cheat sheets for macOS 14 Sonoma and macOS 13 Ventura.

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