Apple lately announced macOS 10.13 High Sierra at the WWDC event. The newest macOS will be supported on iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The new OS is expected to offer some really big features besides some under-the-hood fixes. Here we have tried to cover everything you need to know about the latest macOS High Sierra.
Jump To Section:
- What, Why, When And How
- Which Older MACs Can Be Upgraded To macOS High Sierra?
- What’s The Cost Of This Upgrade?
- What New Features Are Coming With macOS High Sierra?
- MacOS High Sierra Apps Updates
What, Why, When And How
What Is macOS High Sierra?
It’s the latest version for Apple’s Mac operating system. High Sierra is the second version of macOS under new nomenclature.
Why Choose High Sierra?
Technically, it’s just one minor update from macOS Sierra but all new features introduced are quite amazing. The simple idea was that Apple wanted to take the wonderful Sierra OS to the next level.
When Is macOS Sierra Going To Be Available?
macOS High Sierra is already available for the developers to download and try the new experience. As the rumors float, public beta will be available by the end of June as well with Apple setting things up for its traditional events this fall where the software is expected to be launched officially. If you don’t think it’s worth the risk to install public beta as you’re not some developer then just wait until this fall when the software will be available for download.
Also, if you want to download developer/public beta, make sure that you do it smartly. If you just have one Mac and you want to install the beta on it then create separate partition for the installation but if you have a secondary machine then you should better use that.
How To Upgrade To High Sierra?
Upgrading to newer versions of software from Apple is pretty straight forward no matter what device you may be using. You can find comprehensive guides online on upgrading to High Sierra and believe it or not it’s pretty straight forward.
Which Older MACs Can Be Upgraded To macOS High Sierra?
Here are the devices on which you can be able to run your new macOS High Sierra:
- iMac (2009 or later)
- MacBook (2009 or later)
- MacBook Air (2010 or later)
- Mac Mini (2010 or later)
- Mac Pro (2010 or later)
- MacBook Pro (2010 or later)
Will All The Features Of High Sierra Work On Older Macs Featured In The Compatible List?
Just like it was the case with Sierra and El Captain, Macs built before 2012 restrict you from using Metal Graphics framework as well as quite a few other Continuity features. But other than that, you’ll have access to all High Sierra features.
What’s The Cost Of This Upgrade?
Well, it’s absolutely free as Apple had stopped charging the users for its software some time back. You can download and install macOS High Sierra complete for free on your compatible iMac, MacBooks and Mac Mini.
What New Features Are Coming With macOS High Sierra?
Some features we’d want to name here are HEVC support, better graphics, APFS support, and VR support besides a few wonderful app improvements. Let’s discuss each of these features in details.
HEVC is actually High Efficiency Video Coding. Another name for this one is H.265. HEVC is the new standard when it comes to video compression and it is almost twice as better compared to H.264 standard that has been implemented currently. It can quickly compress your 4K videos in a more efficient manner and makes for better video bit-stream. The new standard also uses low bandwidth allowing you to stream those high quality videos even when you don’t have good enough internet speeds. The sizes of these videos are a lot smaller which means they consume less space on Mac.
HEVC is far better compared to older H.264 when it comes to video compression and the speed that it offers with 4K video streaming is simply unbelievable.
Apple File System
There is some file system in every computer. Just take it as a small filing cabinet in your MAC which is accessed every time a file is opened or something is searched for.
Currently Apple uses HFS+ (Hierarchical File System Plus) that works great but the organization system is around 30 years older. Though it has been updated over the years but still everything was not revamped completely. The changes were basically aimed at making the process of filing and accessing faster and easier.
But now Apple has come up with a new organization mechanism for keeping track of things on Mac. The filing cabinet that we just talked about has been revamped and there are better locks as well as additional cabinets for Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad. There are file folders which can be adjusted wider to fit greater number of files as well.
This means that the files can be accessed and loaded much quicker, there is stronger encryption, it won’t take any time in copying files, and there will be protection offered against crashes with the help of metadata copying.
Metal graphics processor has also been rejuvenated through the addition of machine learning, virtual reality and support for external GPU.
The focus of Metal 2 is on the GPU support rather than CPU which allows for better loading and processing i.e. 10x quicker as claimed by Apple. That’s certainly something great for the developers and is certainly calling for more games to be developed for the Mac platform.
There is support for external GPUs as well in the new macOS High Sierra. This means even the MacBooks will offer support for programs with heavy graphics.
With the introduction of Metal 2, macOS High Sierra now supports VR and there will be more and more virtual reality apps coming up.
VR support will be offered on iMac 5K Retina Display as well as iMac Pro. And with external GPU support now available in macOS High Sierra playing VR games will now become a seamless experience. Even SteamVR platform will now be added to Mac.
MacOS High Sierra Apps Updates
Yes, there have been updates made to the apps in new macOS High Sierra that is expected to release this fall. There have been improvements made to Photos, Mail and Safari app among many others. Other updated apps include Notes, iCloud, Siri and FaceTime. Let’s find out what updates have been made to these apps.
The Photos app has been redesigned in the new macOS. Besides, there are some wonderful new filters, editing tools as well as looping of Live Photos. Here are some specific upgrades to Photos app.
- Expanded Sidebar: Searching for photos has become quite easier with sidebar always ON. In Import view, all the past imports are shown in the chronological order just like standard collection of Photos.
- Better Organization: There are different criteria now available for filtering photos. In selection counter you’ll be able to drag/drop various images into the albums or you can choose to import desired photos to the desktop as well.
- More Categories For Memories: There will be more categories for Memories that are generated automatically according to different criteria. For instance, there will be some wonderful slideshows from the first anniversary of yours or you may be able to go through your pets’ pictures.
- Better Tools For Editing: By being able to better adjust color and contrast options for the photos with Curves to fine tune and the Selective Color option for saturation, you certainly have better editing options. Besides, there are quite a few new photo filters as well.
- Live Photos Looping: The editable loops have been a great new addition to Live Photos along with other options like Long Exposure, Bounce, mute and trim. Even key photos can be selected for all your Live Photos that appears as a type of thumbnail before the photo is touched for watching it.
- Bigger Faces: There are bigger thumbnail images used for faces in People album and the pictures are grouped in a better way as well. When signed into the iCloud Photo Library, the changes made to People will be updated across all the connected devices.
- Better Support For Third-Party Apps: macOS High Sierra offers better integration of third-party applications with Photos app. Just select Photos and open them in third-party applications and made any of your desired edits. The changes made by you in third-party applications will be saved automatically in the Photos app. There won’t be any need to re-save the new edits made in the third-party apps. There is also greater support for app extensions with more number of apps.
The biggest update made to Safari is with the Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Machine learning is used by the web browser for finding cookie trackers. It also restricts them from following from one site to another. Hence, it is less likely for an advert visible on one site to be there on the next website that you browse.
The new web browser will have auto-play block tool as well. What this means is that if you are on a website where there is a video or advert on the page that automatically starts running and irritate you with all the noise, Safari will not let it play automatically.
Safari that will be coming with macOS High Sierra is going to give you a personalized browsing experience on every site that you visit. There are different options that can be enabled like Reader View, page zoom, content blockers as well as auto-play blocking. It all resides in same section where you have Reader View.
Not to mention, we have an even faster Safari on the cards.
Searching in the Mail app in High Sierra shows up results that are most relevant as “Top Hits” and you can quickly find whatever you’re in search of. There is a split-view available as well that allows you to compose mails while still be able to look at your mails. So, it increases productivity a great deal.
Sharing In The iCloud
Any file saved in your iCloud Drive can now be shared with others quite similar to what you do in Notes app. With the help of Share tool you can be able to send invitation to people for editing your files and anyone on supported app will be able to collaborate with you in real time.
macOS High Sierra will also be having a feature called iCloud Family Sharing. This feature allows you to invite your family members for sharing your storage on iCloud rather than everyone setting up their own separate account. There are 2TB storage plans available for such Family Storage options allowing you to upload everything from videos, photos, and a lot more.
Siri will also be getting a boost as the new macOS arrives and we’ll now have a voice that is far more expressive. The tone has hot better and your Siri assistant now talks more realistically. It can even crack jokes and you’ll surely love it.
Connecting your Siri assistant with Apple Music will let it learn the music interests that you may have. It can be instructed to play something that you like and it will do just that according to the previous activity that you have had on Apple Music. And, it doesn’t just stop at Apple Music actually there is a lot more that you can expect here.
Flight Info Available With Spotlight
Just enter the flight number in Spotlight app and it will do the searching for you to come up with the information that is needed for reaching there right on time. The information provided will feature departure and arrival times, terminals, delays, gates and the airport maps.
Spotlight in macOS High Sierra extends support for celebrity facts, constellation information, and quite a few Wikipedia results to enhance your knowledge.
Notes app has also been updated in the new macOS that is about to come. If some particular note is used too often, you can now pin that on top of the list to keep it right in front of your eyes. You can find it right where you had left whenever you need to update it.
Tables are also added to the Notes app in the new macOS. Now it becomes type of mini spreadsheet that can be used to track everything from expenses and party invitees to your wedding plans.
FaceTime Live Photos
A new FaceTime experience will be offered by the new OS as the users will now be able to enjoy Live Photos right from their FaceTime camera. And adding the capability Mac means that your Live Photos will be saved directly to Photos app. What’s even more interesting is that everyone in the photo will be notified as soon as you have taken it.
Messages Backup In iCloud
All your chats that you do not want gone from your device just because they are special to you can now be backed up in iCloud. All the Messages are stored in iCloud with encryption on both the ends. And, even if you opt to change the device you have long been using, all your chats with your mom or a loved one from even years ago will be available right on your iCloud account.
So, there have been many great improvements made to the new macOS High Sierra that will surely get into the radar once the operating system is launched officially. Coming up with better file systems, VR support, and better graphics, your Mac experience is certainly going to be revived big time.