WWDC: Apple reveals details about macOS Sierra

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Date: Tuesday, June 14th, 2016, 04:15
Category: Developer, iCloud, News, OS X, Sierra, Software, WWDC


On Monday, Apple revealed details of its upcoming macOS Sierra operating system.

Sierra, which might otherwise be known as “10.12”, includes a swath of new changes, including a much-updated Siri, which will be incorporated into the operating system and feature a Siri icon within the Dock that activates when clicked upon. During the macOS Siri demo at WWDC, Apple VP Craig Federighi used Siri to find files and followed up the search to refine the results. Federighi also showed how Siri results can be integrated into other Apple apps, such as Reminders.

During the keynote, Federighi announced that a third-party software development kit for Siri would be available, but didn’t mention any specific third-party apps that were corroborating with it.

Federighi kicked off the Mac section of the keynote by revealing the name change, explaining how the “OS X” moniker seems dated next to the names of Apple’s other operating systems (iOS, watchOS, and tvOS). This might also be familiar to some Mac users from when Apple used the monicker “Mac OS” up to version 9 before switching to OS X with version 10 in 2001.

The keynote offered the following major new changes for Sierra:

Apple Pay: When you’re shopping online, you can use Apple Pay to pay for your purchases using an Apple Pay button. To authenticate the transaction you’re performing on your Mac, you’ll need to use an iPhone or Apple Watch.

Auto Unlock: Sick of typing in your password to unlock your Mac? If you have an Apple Watch, you can use Auto Unlock. When you want to unlock your Mac, Auto Unlock senses your Apple Watch and instantly grants you access to your Mac.

iCloud Drive: Desktop access Mac users often use the Desktop as a place to save files. If you use multiple Macs, macOS Sierra will allow iCloud Drive access to those desktop files on a specific Mac. This feature will also allow iOS devices to access those Desktop files.

Optimized Storage: Apple, for the most part, has phased out hard drives in its Macs in favor of flash storage. But in order to keep costs down, flash storage capacities aren’t as spacious. With Optimized Storage, older files are kept in the cloud to free up local storage space. The feature also gets rid of files that you will never use again. During the keynote, Federighi showed a Mac with 20GB of free storage space; after running Optimized Storage, the amount of free space expanded to 150GB.

Picture in Picture: If you’re watching a web video, you can pull it out into its own stand-alone window. When you switch to another app window, the video window stays on top.

Tabs: Tabs are now built into every window of the operating system to help keep down the screen clutter. Tabs can also be used by third-party apps.

Universal Clipboard: A clipboard that is accessible by any Apple device. Cut or copy on your iPhone and you can paste on your Mac.

Photos: Apple also updated Photos for Mac with new features. A new Memories tab appears along with the Photos, Shared, Albums, and Projects tab. In Memories, Photos for Mac automatically makes slideshows and collections of photos based on events, people, places, and more.

Apple also stated that Photos for Mac will feature improved facial recognition, a world map where you can display your pictures, and search based on objects and scenery.

A developer preview of macOS Sierra is currently available to members of Apple’s Developer Program while a public beta will hit in July. Interested users can sign up via Apple’s developer web site and macOS Sierra is slated for release in the fall.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Macworld and beta.apple.com

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