Apple has announced the latest version of OS X – er, I mean the latest version of macOS. Yup, that’s right. To kick off the unveiling, the company announced that they have changed the name of the desktop OS for Mac to macOS to better keep it in line with all the other operating systems the firm offers (e.g. iOS, watchOS, tvOS).
This version is called macOS Sierra and is numbered at 10.12, marking the thirteenth 10.0 release. And it definitely doesn’t disappoint…
For starters, Siri is finally on the Mac via the Dock and menu bar. You can ask her questions just like you can on iOS devices, however she has some customizations to make herself a bit more useful on such hardware as a Mac.
Siri on the Mac is now just one click away. The familiar features of Siri are now on the Mac with brand-new capabilities specifically designed for the desktop. Easily accessible from the Dock, menu bar or keyboard, Siri lets you use your voice to search for information, find files and send messages. For example you can ask Siri to locate a specific document you worked on last night, add a meeting to your calendar or start a FaceTime call. With Siri on the Mac, you can also drag and drop items from Siri search results into your documents or emails, pin Siri search results in Notification Center to keep an eye on information like sports scores or stock prices, and even adjust system preferences, set reminders and search your Photos library. With its debut on Mac, Siri is now on all four Apple software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — and handles two billion requests per week across 36 countries.
Another great feature of macOS Sierra is the ability to save all of your files on one Mac and be able to access them on your any iOS device, Windows machine, or second Mac. This means that if you rearrange the documents on your desktop in one fashion on your MacBook, they’ll appear the exact same way on your iMac. Plus, all your other files stored on your Macs are just how you left them as well on all your other devices via the iCloud app, iCloud.com, or iCloud for Windows.
Something that made the entire crowd at WWDC gasp was the new cross-device clipboard feature. Say you copy a web address on your iPhone and you really wanna go on the site on your Mac but can’t remember the address because it’s so long. No longer do you have to save it to a note or something then have to click it open after fifteen other clicks on your Mac. Now, you just click “Paste” in the search bar of your favorite internet browser on your computer and visit said website. Of course, it’s not just web addresses that can do this, as writing documents on the go and working on them at home in another program is gonna be fantastic with this new feature as well.
Do you like tabs? You’ll love macOS Sierra! See, Apple decided that since so many apps have so many different elements that can open up in so many different windows, they thought, “Suppose everything just shows up in tabs?” So they put that thinking to work, and now you can open different parts of almost every app available for the Mac inside tabs listed at the top of the single viewing window. And no, developers don’t have to recode their apps to take advantage of this, as Apple has programmed this feature so it works with every app.
A little tidbit feature Apple debuted about Sierra is Picture in Picture mode. It’s basically the same feature found in iOS 9 first on the iPad now on the Mac, allowing you to watch online videos and local videos in a floating window while you do your work. I’m personally really excited for this as up until now, I’ve been using an app called Helium which kind of mimics this feature, however isn’t very fluid across the board. Now with native P-i-P mode, I’m gonna be multitasking like a boss.
Of course, like in iOS 10, the Mac Photos app is getting a pretty hefty upgrade with Sierra, allowing you to organize your photos more efficiently and look for them via a bunch of different ways.
The new Memories feature in Photos helps you rediscover favorite and forgotten moments deep in your Photos library by automatically creating curated collections of occasions like a first birthday party, wedding or family vacation. With new advanced computer vision, Photos now understands the people, places and things inside your images using on-device facial, object and scene recognition and location information to group images into albums. The People feature automatically groups your photos into Albums based on who is in them. Places now displays your photos on a world map so you can see where they were taken. And, perfecting your photos like a pro is now even easier with the new Brilliance tool, which pulls in highlights and adds contrast to enhance details throughout your images.
Oh yeah, Apple didn’t forget about all you shoppers in Sierra. The company has decided to add Apple Pay functionality to Safari so you can check out using the existing credit and debit cards loaded to your Apple Pay wallet. Using the Touch ID sensor on your iPhone or your Apple Watch, you’ll be able to verify that you’re you and securely make purchases using the company’s popular mobile payment system.
Here’s a few other features of macOS Sierra Apple decided not to touch on too much.
- Auto Unlock lets you simply walk up to your Mac while wearing your authenticated Apple Watch and be automatically logged into your desktop.
- Optimized Storage frees up space when your Mac starts getting full by storing infrequently used items in iCloud and reminding you to delete used app installers, and even clearing out duplicate downloads, caches, logs and more.
- Messages makes conversations more interesting, now allowing you to preview web links and watch video clips within the app, post reactions like a heart, thumbs up and more directly onto a message bubble with Tapback, and use bigger emoji for more message impact.
- Apple Music in iTunes makes it even easier to discover new music and browse exclusives and new releases.
And as always with new Mac software updates, Apple vows that every new feature in macOS Sierra is super secure and that your security is their #1 priority.
macOS Sierra 10.12 is supported on these Mac models:
- iMac (late 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Air (2010 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (2010 or newer)
- Mac mini (2010 or newer)
- MacBook (2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (2010 or newer)
If you’d like to try out macOS Sierra 10.12, you can do so via the public beta which will launch this July on beta.apple.com. If you don’t wanna wait until then and you’re a registered developer, you can grab beta 1 of the software update from developer.apple.com and install it on your Mac. The public will receive Sierra as a free upgrade this fall.
You can learn more about macOS Sierra 10.12 on Apple’s website.
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