You can run macOS on a Nintendo DS – and here’s how to do it

The Nintendo DS holds a special place in many of our hearts, and if you’re lucky enough to still have one today that may be collecting dust, we’ve found a fun little project you could try with the popular handheld console. 

YouTuber Michael MJD specializes in vintage tech and often makes videos with older computers and game consoles, running contemporary software on much older, whackier hardware just for the fun of it. 

Recently, he put out a video explaining how to run macOS on a Nintendo DS, which was too delightful for me not to share. There are quite a few steps involved, but if you’ve got the time and determination, you can even start creating doodles with MacPaint! The video below goes into more detail as to how exactly you’d achieve this, and we do recommend watching it a few times to get a handle on how everything is supposed to look if you’re going to attempt it yourself. 

You’ll need your Nintendo DS, an SD card, a Macintosh Plus emulator and Mini vMac DS. Once you download the Mini vMac DS files you’ll then have to put them on the SD card and install the appropriate version of macOS (Michael uses 6.0.8, as newer versions won’t run). With that done, you can plug that bad boy into the console and wait for it to boot up macOS. 

In the video, you can see that the bottom screen on the Nintendo DS is used as the keyboard and mouse tracker once macOS boots up, with Michael using the stylus to type on the keyboard and move the mouse around on the top screen. 

Michael MJD also shows how if you press the start button on the DS it pivots between using the touch screen and using the D-pad to manipulate the mouse and select the apps available on the operating system. 

The process may seem a bit complicated at first, but it’s still rather rewarding in the end if you’ve been hanging onto your old gaming console and looking for something to do with it instead of just leaving it to collect dust. You won’t be editing videos or drafting the next best selling novel on your DS, but this is definitely a fun weekend project worth trying if you’re a Nintendo and Apple fan. 

If you’re looking to actually use the most recent version of macOS, version 14 ‘Sonoma’, you can check out our list of the best Macs and MacBooks right now – no tricky installation required!

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macOS Sonoma 14.4 will bring new emojis and bug fixes soon – here’s how to try the public beta

A new beta version of macOS Sonoma 14.4 has just been made available for the public, allowing Mac users to get an early look into what the new update may entail in its final form – as well as getting to try out some of the new features and fixes. 

Among the regular refinements and bug fixes we normally see with most small software updates like this, macOS Sonoma 14.4 also offers new emoji characters! The new emojis include a melting face (perfect for a hot day – or a response to bad news on a particularly slow work day), two hands making a little heart, and a moose, amongst others. 

The fixes address some issues reported by testers and developers from the first public beta, which include potential issues with Safari and Messages. I’ve been running on the previous public beta version, and I’ve noticed issues with my messages not syncing between my iPhone 15 and Mac Mini, and since downloading the beta I’ve noticed some improvements with getting notifications and syncing message threads, which is good news for anyone else currently experiencing that issue. 

Want to give it a go yourself? Here’s how

If you’d like to download the public beta of macOS Sonoma 14.4 yourself and give it a go, you can sign up for access straight from your device's settings menu. You can access the public beta by heading over to your System Settings, going to the software update page ‘General’ section of the menu, and clicking on the option labeled ‘Beta updates’. 

Once you do that, a small pop-up will appear to let you decide between enabling developer or public beta updates. We would recommend not selecting the developer option if you’re a regular user planning to try it on your personal Mac or Macbook because beta updates in general can be quite unstable and are not really intended for everyday use – and the developer-targeted version is liable to have even more bugs.

Plus, compared to the public beta versions of updates, developer versions are likely to have features or changes that might never be made available to the public in the long run. Instead, if you enable the public beta of Sonoma 14.4 you can get an early look at features that are more likely to be part of an actual public release. 

Via PC Tablet 

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Keep an eye on your Mac: macOS Sonoma could be auto-installing right under your nose

Some Mac users are being affected by an unexplained bug that causes macOS to automatically update to the new macOS Sonoma. The issue appears to have been ongoing for a few weeks now, with gradually more users affected, but only Mac devices that were previously running macOS Ventura. The complaints have been highlighted on Apple’s forums and Reddit, though we’ve yet to hear any official statement from Apple.

MacRumors reports that the complaints have also been posted on its own forums, detailing that the forced Sonoma update can occur even with automatic updates turned off. A majority of the complaints reported that a desktop notification would pop up alerting users that the Sonoma update was available, and despite the notification being dismissed their Mac would begin to install Sonoma anyway. 

So far Apple hasn’t commented on this unusual situation and it’s currently unclear why some Macs are auto-updating without permission while others remain on macOS Ventura. There doesn’t seem to be any particular device being affected; everything from iMacs to the M1 MacBook Air seems to be vulnerable.

Right under my nose!

While this is definitely an annoying issue, if you’ve had this strange forced upgrade happen to your device you can at least go back to the previous Ventura update. We should note that Apple allows you to downgrade older software a lot easier on Macs than it does with iOS updates on iPhones, so you’ll be able to downgrade back to Ventura. 

If you do want to return to Ventura – perhaps because you’ve got an older Mac product that is struggling with the Sonoma update – you’ll have to use the Time Machine recovery function to do so. If you made a Time Machine backup before the Sonoma upgrade, it’s a pretty streamlined process. You can restart your Mac in recovery mode and select the option to Restore from the Time Machine Backup, which once restored should take you back to Ventura.

That being said, we wouldn’t recommend doing this just yet; at least, not until we get more information from Apple as to how to move forward. Recovery from Time Machine may work, but it does put you at risk of losing valuable data. Another possible option is to factory-reset your Mac (if it’s an older model) which will return it to the original macOS version it shipped with and then allow you to update to Ventura – but again, this is an extreme measure and you’ll need to back up all your files first.

If you’d like to double-check what version of macOS you are on and make sure your automatic updates are turned off (though that might not protect you from this glitch), open up your System Settings app and head over to the ‘Software Update’ section of the general settings. Once you’re there you’ll be able to see what version of macOS your device is currently running on and whether or not your automatic updates are enabled or not. 

Hopefully, Apple will soon release an official comment (and bug fix!) to resolve this issue. Until then, keep an eye on your Mac…

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Your Mac’s playlist game is about to get stronger with macOS Sonoma 14.3 and collaborative playlists, along with other new features

Apple has released macOS Sonoma 14.3 which brings collaborative playlists to Apple Music, bug fixes, security updates, and more. Users can also look forward to an improved AppleCare & Warranty section that displays all the devices you are signed into with your Apple ID. 

The new collaboration feature for Apple Music will enable users to invite others to join their playlists, allowing them to add, reorder, and delete songs from playlists. It was expected that collaborative playlists would be coming to the desktop version of Apple Music as the feature has recently been added to iOS 17.3

It was being tested in beta versions before Sonoma 14.3, but this is the first time it’s made it to the general release of an update. In a rather playful development, when a collaborative playlist has been made, users with access to it can also add emoji reactions to tracks in the playlists.

Users can also now navigate to an enhanced AppleCare & Warranty section, found in General System Settings, which will show users coverage of all devices (if users have it) that are signed in with users’ Apple ID. AppleCare is Apple’s own customer service and extended warranty program, and this development will allow users to see and understand their coverage and warranties more easily, so if their devices stop working or break, they will at least know if they are covered for repairs or replacements.

macOS 14 Sonoma features

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Who can get macOS Sonoma 14.3

I would always recommend that users install newly released updates for their devices, first and foremost for security reasons. This update is brand spanking new as it follows the beta version which was distributed and tested earlier in January. You can find the most up to date information about security updates in release notes published by Apple.

Apple does caution that these new features might not be available for all regions or for all Apple devices. If your device is eligible, you can go to the Software Update section in System Settings to download and install macOS Sonoma 14.3.

The following Macs and MacBook that can run macOS Sonoma 14.3: 

MacBook Pro models from 2018, MacBook Air models from 2018, iMacs from 2019 to 2021, iMac Pro 2017, Mac mini 2018, 2020, and 2023, Mac Studio 2022 and 2023, and Mac Pro 2019 and 2023.

This update follows macOS Sonoma‌ 14.2‌ which was released in December of last year. The previous update saw the introduction of an ‘enhanced’ AutoFill feature for PDFs, improvements to Messages app like stickers, new widgets for the Weather and Clock apps, the ability to favorite songs in Apple Music, bug fixes, and security updates.

This isn’t the biggest update in terms of size, but it’s still important to install for security reasons. It’s good to see that Apple is staying vigilant and offering users frequent updates to make sure their devices stay protected.

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Getting a new M3 Mac? Apple is already pushing out a macOS Sonoma update to optimize performance

If you’re planning on being the owner of any of the new M3, M3 Pro, or M3 Max MacBook Pro or iMac models that were announced during Apple’s October Scary Fast event, you’ll need to install an update for macOS Sonoma immediately when you get your device.

All of the new devices are expected to arrive with a custom version of macOS Sonoma 14.1, build 23B2073. Once you begin to set up your new device, you should then follow that up by downloading the newer version, build 23B2077, and install it. Apple released macOS Sonoma 14.1, the very first update for macOS Sonoma, on October 25 just ahead of the Scary Fast event, and the current macOS Sonoma version that freshly-built Macs will ship with is build 23B74.

As explained by AppleInsider, Apple has not yet put out release notes for the custom update macOS Sonoma build. However, it’s expected that it’ll include the most up to date bug fixes and performance upgrades probably to do with the M3 processor chip.

No cause for alarm, just business as usual

This isn’t a cause to panic according to MacRumors, because we see what are known as day one updates fairly often. Day one updates just mean updates that are released upon the launch of a product (on day one of users having them). This happens because as the devices are being manufactured, they have to be prepared, packaged, and shipped with what ends up being a slightly older version of macOS. 

In the future, it’s feasible that new Macs will automatically check for an update as soon as they’re booted up for the first time, or even while still in the box. Reportedly, Apple has engineered a way to do this for the very newest iPhone models, which can upgrade their software to the newest iOS versions before leaving the Apple store.

Apple opened up ordering for the new Mac M3 devices after its Scary Fast event and you can order one now. The first M3 Macs are expected to start arriving to customers on November 7, namely the MacBook Pro 14-inch (M3), MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3) and iMac (M3). However, certain configurations of MacBooks Pro laptops will be delivered later in the month. 

This was first discovered by known Apple observer and code investigator, @aaronp613, on X (formerly known as Twitter). 

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It’s good to see Apple looking out for users, and frequent updates have become an industry standard for operating systems and browsers, as well as other software – and as I mentioned earlier, a day one patch doesn’t necessarily mean a problem has been found at the last minute. Instead, it can ensure your new device has all the latest features and is fully protected as well.

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All the changes coming to macOS Sonoma in the latest 14.1 update explained

We’ve just got the first big update for macOS Sonoma (Apple’s latest operating system for Macs and MacBooks, which was released in September).

The Sonoma 14.1. update is available for all Mac users running macOS Sonoma, and can be downloaded and installed through the Software Update section found in System Settings

If you’re not running macOS Sonoma, you’re not being left out, as Apple also released updates for older devices and operating systems, macOS Ventura 13.6.1 and macOS Monterey 12.7.1, which include many of the security fixes that macOS Sonoma 14.1 has. 

The macOS Sonoma‌ 14.1 update brings some new features to a range of apps, including a new warranty section which details your AppleCare+ plan (if you have one) and the status of your coverage (including for connected devices like AirPods and Beats headphones), along with new sections in the Apple Music app allowing you to add your favorite songs, albums, and playlists.

MacRumors lists the full rundown of changes and fixes that Apple has made in the update, and you can see an even more detailed breakdown of the security-related changes on Apple’s support website.

This isn’t a massive update, and seems almost like routine maintenance with some new additions, so there’s still plenty of room for improvement for macOS Sonoma, which is a decent operating system – but still not perfect. Some users are reporting buggy performance while using macOS Sonoma, although not all performance issues are Apple’s fault. That said, it seems like this update at least shows that Apple is aware of user feedback, and is working to improve the OS. 

An Apple MacBook Pro on a desk with an iPhone being used as a webcam. The webcam is using Continuity Camera in macOS Ventura to show items on a desk using the Desk View feature.

(Image credit: Apple)

What's coming next down the Apple pipeline

Hopefully, we won’t have long to wait for more improvements, as AppleInsider reports that macOS Sonoma 14.2’s developer beta has already been released to testers. If you would like to try this even newer version of macOS Sonoma, you’ll be able to grab it once the public beta version is released via the Apple Beta Software Program. This is only recommended for those willing to experiment with their devices, so we don’t recommend installing the beta on devices used for critical activities. 

We recently learned that Apple has been tripling down on its AI efforts, and I think users are eager to see what this means for the company’s devices, such as the best MacBooks and Macs. Considering that Apple has been thought of as behind the curve in the recent round of the AI game, with competitors like Microsoft partnering with OpenAI and Amazon partnering with Anthropic (a rival of OpenAI working on innovative generative AI like its own AI chatbot, Claude), many people feel Apple needs to start showing off its AI products soon – maybe even in a future update for macOS Sonoma. 

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The best new macOS Sonoma feature makes it more like Windows 11 – in a good way

I’ve been playing around with macOS Sonoma, Apple’s latest operating system update for Macs and MacBooks, and one of the more subtle changes included in the update may prove to have the biggest impact on how I use my MacBook – making it similar to Windows 11.

Now, the idea that Apple could learn anything from Microsoft’s operating system could be considered blasphemy in some quarters, but the truth is that while macOS Sonoma certainly does a lot of things better than Windows 11, the opposite is also true. Sorry, but there are things I prefer in Windows – and the management of open windows is one of them.

You see, I’m a rather unorganized man, so after a few hours of working on a PC or Mac, my screen is awash with apps, browsers, programs, and other random windows. It can get a bit overwhelming – especially when I’m trying to find something on my desktop.

In the past, on a Mac I would have to hold down the Option key, and then click on an empty space on the desktop, which would then minimize everything on the desktop except for the top window that I was using. A useful shortcut, but not the easiest.

Over on the Windows side of things, however, there was a much easier method. Introduced way back with Windows 7 (which many people feel was the pinnacle of Windows releases), ‘Aero Shake’ didn’t just prove that Microsoft is awful at naming things, it introduced a quick way of minimizing every app or window apart from the window I am working in. All I had to do was click and hold the top of the window I wanted to keep open, then shake it from side to side. It was a fast and intuitive way to declutter my desktop, and I didn’t have to use my keyboard.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

Keeping your options open

However, as Apple Insider reports, Apple has brought in a new feature that simplifies this process and makes it just as easy – if not easier – than Windows 11’s way of doing things.

Basically, you no longer have to hold down the Option key along with clicking on an empty space on the desktop to minimize all background apps and windows – instead, you can just click on the desktop and all apps apart from the one you’re using will disappear. Clicking the desktop again will open them all back up.

This is much faster and more accessible than the previous way of doing things, and while it might not be the biggest change included in macOS Sonoma, it’ll likely have a big impact on the way I work. It might not be to everyone’s tastes, of course, and there will be people who are used to the Option-click method – which has been around for decades. 

The first time I noticed this new feature was when I accidentally hit the desktop rather than a folder I meant to open. The sudden disappearance of all my windows was a surprise, and at first I wasn’t sure what I did. But, once I figured out how to use it, and what was happening, I quickly adapted to the new way of working.

In some ways, macOS Sonoma’s way of hiding background windows is easier to use than Windows 11’s method – as I sometimes find Windows doesn’t quite pick up when I am shaking an app, leaving everything open.

On the other hand, you still need to find the desktop to click on it in macOS Sonoma – which is often a problem when you have loads of apps open. Part of the reason for using this feature is because you can’t see your desktop, so having to close or move a few windows to click the desktop to hide everything you’re not working on can still be a bit of a chore.

Still, as a user of both Windows 11 and macOS Sonoma, I am always glad when good ideas from one operating system make their way to the other OS – long may it continue.

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WhatsApp launches its first native macOS app with group calling support

After what feels like forever, Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has finally launched a native macOS app. The new version gives Mac users similar functionality that Windows PC users have enjoyed since March.

The new Mac app is already available for download for free via WhatsApp's servers, but those who prefer to use the Mac App Store might have to wait a little while — WhatsApp says that it's coming soon.

No matter where you download the upgraded WhatsApp app, you'll benefit from new features, including some that have been brought about by the move to a native macOS app. For the first time, familiar Mac features such as drag and drop are available to WhatsApp users. Files can easily be dragged and then dropped into a chat for convenience, while those with longer chat histories will now see more of them, we're told.

More Mac in your app

WhatsApp announced its new app via a blog post, noting that there are improved calling features for those who want to take advantage of them.

“With the new WhatsApp app for Mac, you can now make group calls from your Mac for the first time, connecting with up to 8 people on video calls and up to 32 people on audio calls,” the blog post explains. “Now you can join a group call after it’s started, see your call history and choose to receive incoming call notifications even when the app is closed.”

Alongside the new drag-and-drop support, WhatsApp users can also expect all of the usual features that they're used to. That means that their chats will continue to be end-to-end encrypted, and cross-platform support will continue to make WhatsApp one of the best instant messaging platforms around. In a world where Apple continues to refuse to support RCS on its devices, third-party apps remain a requirement for communicating with people across the Android-iPhone divide.

The new native WhatsApp Mac app can be downloaded from the company's website right now. You'll need macOS 11 Big Sur or later, and you'll need a Mac running on Apple silicon — so that's M1 or later, folks. Don't have a Mac that meets those requirements? WhatsApp web is still available.

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Apple’s macOS Sonoma update won’t support your legacy Mail plug-ins

If you plan to upgrade to macOS Sonoma later this year but also happen to make use of legacy Mail plug-ins, you're going to be in for a bad time. That's because the update will remove support for those plug-ins for the first time.

Plug-ins can be used for a variety of things, like bulk email management and automation. They can often be used by businesses and power users and now it appears that they're going to have to consider upgrading to something newer or ditching those plugins and their features altogether.

With Apple now putting the macOS Sonoma update through what is sure to be months of beta tests proper to a September or October launch, there is plenty of time for those decisions to be made. One other option is to just not update yet, but that's less than ideal and no use at all if there are new macOS features that you could make use of.

Legacy Mail

As MacRumors points out, Apple confirmed that it would kill off legacy Mail plug-ins previously, but didn't say when that would happen. The warning was given when macOS Monterey was released in 2021, and there was even a replacement for legacy plug-ins announced at the same time.

That replacement is the MailKit framework and developers have been tying into that ever since. However, there is still a good chance that some legacy plug-ins haven't been updated, leaving their users in a difficult position.

Some developers are already aware that Apple is deprecating legacy Mail plug-ins and are working to get their projects ready for the big day.

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However, while MailKit extensions can be more secure than their legacy counterparts, they don't have the same level of access which could impact the features they offer. As a result, it's also possible that some legacy plug-ins simply won't make the move over to MailKit at all.

Apple announced the macOS Sonoma update during the WWDC event on June 5, but it was far from the only update previewed. The new iOS 17, iPadOS 17, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10 updates were also shown off for the first time — they're all now available in beta and should be ready for the public this September.

That was just the software, too. Apple announced the first non-Intel Mac Pro, an updated Mac Studio, and the first 15-inch MacBook Air during the same event. The biggest announcement was undoubtedly the arrival of the Vision Pro AR/VR headset, however.

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Our favorite free video editing software gets unexpected performance boost from new macOS Sonoma

One of the big announcements at Apple’s WWDC 2023 was macOS Sonoma (we looked it up; it means “Valley of the Moon”). 

Apple claims the new operating system has a sharp focus on productivity and creativity. It says “the Mac experience is better than ever.” To prove it, the company revealed screensavers, iPhone widgets running on Macs, a gaming mode, and fresh video conferencing features. 

But the new macOS has another surprising feature for users of our pick for best free video editing software.  

The final cut 

Beyond WWDC’s bombshell reveal – yes, Snoopy is an Apple fan now – the event served up more than enough meat to keep users happy. There’s a new Macbook Air 15-inch on the way, said to be the “world’s thinnest.” The watchOS 10 beta countdown has started. And the Vision Pro is dividing opinion. Is the VR headset the future or will it lose you friends?

The reveal of the new Mac operating system, meanwhile, feels quieter somehow. Muted. Perhaps new PDF editor functionalities and a host of “significant” updates to the Safari browser aren’t as eye-catching as a pair of futuristic AR/VR ski goggles.  

However, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said, “macOS is the heart of the Mac, and with Sonoma, we’re making it even more delightful and productive to use.” 

What he didn’t say, but the company later revealed, is that Sonoma adds an extra bonus for video editors. 

Designed for remote and hybrid in-studio workflows, the operating system brings a high-performance mode to the Screen Sharing app. Taking advantage of the media engine in Apple silicon, users are promised responsive remote access with low-latency audio, high frame rates, and support for up to two virtual displays. 

According to Apple, “This mode empowers pros to securely access their content creation workflows from anywhere – whether editing in Final Cut Pro or DaVinci Resolve, or animating complex 3D assets in Maya.” It also enables remote colour workflows that previously demanded the best video editing Macs and video editing PCs

It seems Final Cut Pro is getting a lot of attention lately. May saw the launch of Final Cut Pro for iPad – how did it take so long? – and now better support in the operating system. What next? Perhaps that open-letter from film & TV professionals pleading for improved support really did focus minds at Apple Park.  

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