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Top things you need to know about the upcoming macOS High Sierra

By Marcus Wong - on 6 Jun 2017, 1:07pm

Top things you need to know about the upcoming macOS High Sierra

Refined from the core

With the latest version of macOS, it seems Apple is taking a ground-up approach with new refinements to the system technologies.

Apple File System

The new Apple File System (APFS) features a new 64-bit advanced architecture that’s optimized for today’s storage technologies. As such, it will be a lot more responsive, with common tasks like copying files and directories or finding the size of a directory happening instantly. The new APFS will also have native encryption built-in, keeping your files safe and secure. It will also help to protect data from power outages and system crashes, while maintaining complete read-and-write compatibility with older HFS formatted drives and data.

High-Efficiency Video Coding

HEVC (H.265) encoding is now supported on macOS High Sierra, allowing for high-quality video streaming. HEVC compresses video up to 40% more than the current H.264 standard, so you’ll get the same visual quality with files that take up less space on your Mac.

Metal 2

Metal 2 features a refined API that helps developers better tap into the GPU power on the Macs to accelerate their apps. It adds support for machine learning, virtual reality and external GPUs for entertainment and professional creative apps. It also works well with Thunderbolt 3 to offer support for powerful external GPUs, thus giving you all the power you might need.

Virtual Reality

macOS High Sierra now adds support for VR content creation, with tie-ups from the likes of Valve, Unity and Epic already falling in place. Final Cut Pro X will also be updated later in the year to add support for 360-degree workflows with ability to edit, import, and export 360-degree video.

Many of the core apps also get improvements in macOS High Sierra.

Besides the core technologies, various macOS apps will also receive feature upgrades as seen below:

Improved Photos app


Expanded Sidebar for better sorting

Photos on macOS High Sierra now gets an always-on sidebar that lets you more easily get to your photos. Imports are now shown in chronological order, and your albums are now always displayed where you can see them.

Better editing

Powerful tools like Curves and Selective Color can now be found in the Photos app so you can easily fine tune your images, while new filters let you quickly give your pictures a vastly different look. If that’s not enough, you can now also easily open pictures in a third party application, and your edits will be automatically saved to your Photos library.

More effects for Live Photos

Now you can add effects like Loop and Bounce to your Live Photos. As the name implies Loop simply loops your video over and over again, while Bounce plays the action backwards and forwards. There’s also Long Exposure which blurs water or extends light trails, and you can now trim, mute and select a key photo for each Live Photo.

Safari gets better

Greater personalization and less tracking makes for a better browsing experience. So, with macOS High Sierra, Safari uses machine learning to identify advertisers and others who track your online browsing and removes the tracking data they leave behind. Also, autoplay videos will be blocked by default, so you can browse in peace. New per-site settings let you personalize everything from notifications, page zoom level, content blockers, to whether or not videos autoplay. Now, your browsing experience will be just as you like it.

Spotlight goes beyond your desktop

Spotlight search now gets even more helpful than before, with better integration to Wikipedia and web searches so you can easily get arrival and departure times or maps of your destination, or even information like the names of heads of state.

Notes gets pins and tables

With macOS High Sierra, you will be able to pin important notes to the top so you can easily find them when you want them. Also, notes will allow you to add tables within, so everything can kept organized without clutter.

Facetime now saves the moment

Take a photo during a Facetime call that’s saved as a Live Photo. Both participants will get a notification that the photo was taken, and the Live Photo goes to your Photos library.

iCloud gets better

iCloud storage plans can now be shared with the entire family, so your 200GB or 2TB plan can go much further. Also, files stored in iCloud can also be shared via a link, so you won’t have to create copies or bother with managing versions.

Mail searches smarter

With the new Top Hits feature, the messages most relevant to your search appear at the top of the list. Top Hits reflects what mail you’ve read, which senders you reply to, your VIPs and more so it makes it easier for you to find just what you’re looking for.

macOS High Sierra will be available this fall (i.e the last quarter of the year) as a free software update from the Mac App Store.

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