This has been rumoured for quite some time now, but it’s official today. At the Cupertino’s company ongoing WWDC 2016 event, Apple has given OS X a new name: macOS. For this particular iteration of the operating system, it will be known as macOS Sierra, and it boasts some very interesting features.
The highlight of the upcoming OS is definitely support for Siri. In essence, it is like Google Now for Macs, which acts as a digital assistant. Users can give Siri commands to find for certain files, play music, and even show you the trailer of any given movie. In fact, it’s almost as if Siri has been combined with macOS’ very efficient Spotlight Search, only more powerful and interactive.
Aside from Siri, macOS Sierra also supports picture-in-picture. Based on the demo, it appears users simply have to drag a video to an empty space to enter PiP mode. The video can then be dragged anywhere on the screen; naturally, it can also be resized to users’ liking.
Those who are always running out of space on their Macs will be happy to know that macOS Sierra has superior space optimisation over its predecessor. Now, the OS will automatically move certain stuff from your Mac into iCloud; it can even delete items that you will not need anymore, such as web cache and items that have been in the Trash for more than 30 days. Auto Unlock is also a convenient new feature, which seems to rely on the Apple Watch to unlock a user’s Mac. This effectively removes the need for a password.
Apple has also slightly revamped tabs in macOS Sierra. Now, users can open tabs in practically any apps without the need for developers to implement the feature. Of course, it remains to be seen what’s the limit of this new feature, especially with third-party apps. Other than that, macOS Sieera also sees the introduction of Universal Clipboard. This new feature enables anything copied on an iPhone or iPad to be pasted on a Mac; very nice.
Interestingly, Safari also received a neat little trick: it now supports Apple Pay. Basically, it’s new method of payment for Apple users. If Apple Pay is available on a certain site, users can opt to pay with the service, and all they would have to do is authorise the transaction with an iPhone or even an Apple Watch. Of course, as Apple Pay hasn’t been rolled out in Malaysia yet (or if it will ever be), it won’t be available on our shores.
Evidently, these new features are meant for those who are invested in the Apple ecosystem. To take advantage of these features, consumers will need to be more than just the owner of a Mac: they’d have to at least own an iPhone as well to truly enjoy these new features. This is especially so for the Universal Clipboard feature, while convenient, isn’t exactly accessible to those without an iPhone or iPad.
macOS Sierra’s Developer Preview is available today, while the Public Beta will be rolled out sometime in July. As for the final release, macOS Sierra is slated to be available in Fall 2016.