1macOS High Sierra Low on Big New Advances, But Has Valuable Features
Now that iOS 11 has been pushed out to iPhones and iPads, Apple is turning the spotlight to the desktop with macOS High Sierra. The operating system, which was introduced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, is a relatively a minor upgrade over last year’s macOS Sierra, but it includes some important improvements, such as a new Apple File System for better performance. Users also will find tweaks to built-in apps, as well as improved graphics and video support. There are enough improvements to make working with Mac desktops and laptops a more productive or even pleasant experience after it’s released Sept. 25. Take a look at this eWEEK slide show to learn more about High Sierra’s new features.
2The Apple File System Arrives
Apple is revamping the file system in macOS High Sierra, for the first time in decades. The new Apple File System uses a 64-bit architecture and is far more responsive. It also has built-in encryption and other tools to boost the platform’s security. Apple File System should improve the macOS user experience dramatically.
3High Sierra Supports a New Video Standard
4There Are Significant Improvements in Graphics Performance
To expand its graphics appeal, High Sierra works with the Metal 2 graphic processing system, which significantly advances how the operating system leverages the GPU chip for optimal performance. Metal 2 also uses utilizes machine learning and virtual reality to improve app performance across video games, creative apps and more.
5There Are Improved Tools for Image Editing
6Better Privacy in Safari
Apple has bolstered several privacy features in Safari. This includes a new Intelligent Tracking filter in the browser to stop advertisers from tracking user web browsing activity. The new Safari also stops videos from auto-playing. Advertisers have cried foul over the features, but Apple says they’re important to improving privacy and security.
7Siri Keeps Improving
Each year, Apple improves Siri, and the same is true in macOS High Sierra. Siri now can learn user music preferences and provide audio recommendations. It also has been updated with a more natural voice that will sound more far more like a human. Finally, Siri should be able to understand and respond to more queries.
8Spotlight Gets Smarter
The Spotlight search feature in macOS High Sierra now provides access to more than just files and folders on the computer. Spotlight also can find information on the web, and understand contextual queries and respond with relevant results. If users input a flight number, for instance, Spotlight will display arrival and departure times and terminal and gate information.
9There’s Small, But Important Mail Boost
Apple’s Mail will look the same in High Sierra, but the app’s search features have received a big improvement. It now does a better job of understanding a search query and delivering so-called “Top Hits” that it believes are most relevant. The Mail search also learns over time, so the more a user searches, the better it understands.
10Notes Apple Support Tables
11Apple Has Paid Attention to Backward Compatibility
To its credit, Apple has done a good job of ensuring macOS High Sierra works with the most Macs in the wild now. High Sierra will work with all Macs unveiled in mid-2010 or later and MacBooks and iMacs introduced in late-2009. Apple is planning to make High Sierra available Sept. 25 as a free download from the Mac App Store.