At their annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), Apple used part of their keynote to talk about OSX(the operating system that runs on Apple desktops, laptops and servers).
One of the first things that we learned is that OSX has changed its name from OSX to Mac OS. This was to bring the naming convention for the mac operating system in line with other operating systems: TVOS(for their Apple TV box), WatchOS(for the Apple Watch) and of course iOS(for the iPhone and iPad) and now MacOS.
This time round Apple has chosen MacOS Sierra. Sierra is the name of a county in California USA.
Siri Comes to Mac OS Sierra
One of the new things coming to MacOS is Siri. That’s right, the voice-powered assistant from your iPad and your iPhone is coming to the mac. One of the things that you can do with Siri is ask it to find files. For example you can say “show me all the documents that I was working on last week”. You can then follow that up with something like “just the ones tagged trip to Germany”. If you want to save the results that it comes back with, you can then hit a button and just like that, your search result will be parked away in your notification center looking at later. You can also use Siri to search for things like restaurants (e.g. “show me restaurants in London” and follow that up with a query like “just the Italian ones”).
Photos is also getting a revamp of sorts. Apple has implemented a feature called Intelligent Search. Using a technology that they call “Advanced computer vision” it will then search your photos for things like beaches, mountains, open fields and many more things and create albums based on those things that it finds on your photos.
nother thing that’s happening is that faces is now being renamed to People. As such, you will now be able to create albums based on faces of people.
Next in Photos is Memories where Photos will automatically create albums based on places, holidays that you went on, people and a whole lot more. You don’t need to do a thing to create a “memory”, it does all the work for your. It even creates slideshows so that you can enjoy them later.
Photos can also create albums based on places that you have been to. If you do a lot of holidays to places and give those holiday albums names like “Singapore 2015” then this will be the tool that you will most likely need.
There are some other things being brought to the table in terms of Continuity in Mac OS. In the past continuity has allowed to start off an email on your iPhone and continue writing it on your Mac. One of the interesting things that’s happening thanks to Mac OS Sierra is the ability to use Apple Pay in the Safari web browser. Let’s say you are shopping for a pair of Jeans, when you check out you might see a “pay with Apple Pay” button. What will happen is you will receive a notification on your iPhone to put your thumb on your iPhone’s TouchID fingerprint reader and then the payment will be taken from a chosen credit card.
The whole experience of logging in is going to become an easier task. Rather than having to enter a password on your Mac, if you have an Apple watch you can just use your Apple watch and you will be logged back in.
The next thing that I wanted to cover is the universal Clipboard. Let’s say you find a certain paragraph of text or a picture on your iPad/iPhone. You will be able to copy it on your iPad/iPhone and then go to your mac and hit paste. Just like that your picture or paragraph will be there in whatever you are are working on.
iCloud Drive is Apple’s online storage solution. According to Craig Federighi when we download pictures or documents that we get sent to us we tend to store that on the desktop of our computers (yup, I am guilty as charged of that practise). As such when you store things on your desktop they will get uploaded to iCloud Drive and they will be available to you on another mac that you own, your iPhone or iPad.
You might already be familiar with the concept of having many tabs open in your favourite web browser. With Mac OS Sierra, you can have multiple tabs for more than just your web browser and your folders in the Finder. In Mail, Maps, Pages(Apple’s paid word processing app) and much more you will be able to have a tabbed experience, making it possible for you to have multiple documents (emails, and other things) open in one window.
Last but not least is the Messages app. There are a few changes to mention here such as larger sized emoji, previewing a web link right within a message, watching a video within a message to name but a few improvements that were made.
So, when will you be able to get your hands on Mac OS Sierra? Well, if you are on Apple’s developer program (and you pay the annual subscription) then you can get the developer preview today.
If you are keen to get your hands on it then you can sign up for the Mac OS Sierra public beta right now. The beta itself will be available to the public in July.
Otherwise you will be able to get Mac OS Sierra when it’s ready in the autumn.
Overall, there is nothing really innovative to talk about. Siri was already on iOS so it was sort of nice to see Siri come to the Mac. You could already create albums for your photos based on a face. Again, there are basically some minor changes.
Will you be upgrading to Mac OS Sierra when it releases? If so, why? Let me know in the comments!