Mac OS X has made it into history books. macOS is the future of OS X, chiefly because of Apple’s naming convention: iOS, watchOS and tvOS. Well, that’s not bad, because the new macOS Sierra comes with some attractive new features.
macOS Sierra isn’t bringing any aesthetic changes to the old OS X design. Sure, the few additions of tabbing inside multi window apps and the Apple Music overhaul are fairly major changes, but they barely scratch the surface. Let’s start with the lock screen: you don’t need to unlock your Mac if it detects your Apple Watch. This might sound like a gimmick at first, but it’s a simple yet effective feature to reduce the wastage of time.
Heading to the desktop, you’ll immediately notice the Siri icon on the dock. Siri has finally made it’s way into the Mac! You can locate files, search the web and include third-party app results right inside your conversation. By asking Siri the score of a live game or the weather of a place, you get replies that you can pin to you notification centre. This way, you can continue to keep track of the information without requiring to ask Siri again. Another interesting feature with Siri on macOS is drag and drop - ask Siri to search for an image on the web and drag it into you email or presentation hassle-free.
macOS is also taking big strides in Continuity. Continuity was introduced two years ago to help users could easily switch between iOS and Mac devices. Today, Continuity will allow for Apple Pay on macOS - when you click on an Apple Pay button in Safari, a pop up directs you to authenticate the transaction using TouchID on your iPhone. With the universal clipboard, what you copy on one device can be pasted on another flawlessly. For example, you find a picture on your iPhone that interests you, so you copy it there. You can then switch to your Mac and simply paste the picture (as if it’s normal copy-paste) wherever you want. The picture is instantly transferred from your iPhone to your Mac. Also, iCloud Drive will now hold Desktop and Documents folders, so you can access them from any device.
With so much interaction and activities occurring on you’re Mac, it is likely that there is a shortage of SSD space. macOS Sierra includes a clean-up tool that delete your trash, caches and even old mail attachments to reduce space consumption. It will even upload rarely accessed files to the cloud and deleted them from your computer. By how much will it increase free space? Say you have 20 GB remaining on your 250 GB Mac. Storage optimisation will make it 150 GB free. It is brilliant, especially for MacBook Air users.
Finally, let’s talk about Picture-in-Picture! When you play a video on the Mac, you can easily minimise it into a PIP and continue watching the video while you work. This works even in the fullscreen mode and is similar to how it is implemented on the latest iPads.
macOS Sierra also includes the redesigned Apple Music (iTunes) and Photos apps, which you should read about here.
Overall, I would consider macOS Sierra to be a minimal but great upgrade from OS X. macOS Sierra will be available in the fall, but you can download the Public Beta July onwards.
Also read: 10 new features in iOS 10 - the ‘Androidification of iOS'
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