Apple is set to release the new version of the Mac’s operating system and so you would be saying good bye to old MAC OS X (10.11) soon. While the new version of the operating system, i.e., MacOS Sierra (also known as MacOS 10.12) would be identical to the previous version, El Capitan in terms of design, there are interesting features to look out for.
MacOS Sierra was debuted in June during the 2016 WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference). The private beta version of macOS was made available for developers during this conference. The MacOS Sierra public beta recently received its first update but there are multiple conditions to keep in mind before downloading the update. With the developer preview beta version, here are some of our impressions of the new macOS Sierra:
- Introduction of Siri
The biggest feature of MacOS Sierra would be ‘Siri’, the virtual personal assistant. Siri, was introduced on the Apple iOS phones in 2011 and this fall, Macs are going to support it. Users would then be able to command Siri to perform various functions with their voice. Extended features like storage inquiries, file searching and the ability to tweak the toggle settings would be available. Siri would be able to access other parts of MacOS applications, for example, you could instruct Siri to play songs from iTunes. Web searches would also become easier since the AI would be compatible with Safari. As for developers, Apple has issued SDK’s for them so that they can make their own apps to function with Siri. Imagine now being able to talk to you Mac to get your status updated for instance.
- System Upgrade
Apple has had the Hierarchal File System (HFS) since 1985 but now, with the introduction of macOS, Apple File System (APFS) would change the whole scenario. From 2017, all of Apple’s computers would support the new filesystem on its boot-up drive. What this inevitably means is that Apple systems will now feature nanosecond precision and better back up features along with a more systematic & efficient space allocation. This can only be tested once the official public version of MacOS would be available. As of now, with the beta version, developers are saying that the new filesystem can only be useful for transferring files to and fro from a non-startup drive.
- Better Continuity
Continuity enables Apple product users to seamlessly shift between iOS devices and Mac. Now, along with users being able to access their laptops or computers from outside, they would also be able to quickly move anything from one device to another using a Universal Clipboard. This whole process has been made easier due to the Universal Clipboard function along with AirDrop. This would make it great for users to copy content from one Apple device to the other. An extension of this feature is the Auto Unlock, whereby users can use their iOS devices or Apple Watch to unlock their Macs when close to the devices. An ‘Apple Pay’ button would soon be integrated into the browser too and a TouchID would be integrated on your nearby iOS devices like iPhone or iPad to ensure secure authentication. This is only a step further into better security measures taken up by Apple.
- Multimedia Functionality
A new ‘Memories’ tab would be incorporated which would allow users to rediscover their favorite moments/pictures from the library. Continuity would allow easy shifting between tabs. The AI of this tab would be able to automatically sort photos based on people, holidays, places and much more. The new MacOS Sierra would have a picture-in-picture mode through which users can take their video windows along as they shift between screens. The people tab has also been reworked allowing the machine to assemble pictures based on Apple’s fancy algorithm that identifies and arranges different faces into collections. It’s a nice subtle touch but can surely bring some of that nostalgia back.
As of now, the exact features are very much subject to change. It is also very early to comment whether this version would be a hit or a big miss. Subsequent beta version releases would determine the outcome of the new features. Experts do suggest that the new features like introduction of Siri and Universal Clipboard look quite promising overall. The functioning of these applications with the devices is an aspect to look out for but the impressions for today look pretty good.