Apple’s macOS High Sierra is now Available for Free
New features and updates hit Macs
Apple’s macOS High Sierra, the company’s latest operating system, is now available as a free update for users. The new macOS High Sierra brings with it a new file system, and support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) brings 4K video at lower file sizes. Metal 2 will now power virtual reality content creation, offering faster performance and better controls.
The Core ML developer framework, powered with machine learning, aims to make apps creation easier than ever, while Photos and Safari also received updated features.
“macOS High Sierra is an important update that makes the Mac more capable and responsive, while laying the foundation for future innovations,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “High Sierra introduces new technologies for VR, high-efficiency video streaming, advances in storage technology and more, while apps such as Photos, Safari, Mail and Notes are refined to give users even more reasons to love their Mac.”
As we mentioned before, there is a new file system called APFS. The advanced storage architecture providing an extensible foundation to support new features and future storage technologies on the Mac.
APFS brings support for the latest high-capacity storage devices and delivers enhanced performance, security and reliability. With APFS, common operations such as copying files and directories are nearly instantaneous. Data is protected from power outages and system crashes thanks to advanced data integrity features. APFS currently supports every Mac with all-flash internal storage — support for Fusion and HDD Mac systems will be available in a future update.
HEVC (H.265) is a new industry standard that enables extremely efficient compression, streaming and playback of video. HEVC enables users to watch 4K video files at full quality, while requiring 40 percent less storage space than the current H.264 standard. This means more downloads and storage for you and your creations. With HEVC, Apple is enabling high-quality 4K video streaming on networks where only HD streaming was previously possible. The Hardware acceleration on the new iMac and MacBook Pro was designed to deliver incredibly fast and power-efficient HEVC encoding and playback.
With macOS High Sierra, Apple adds support for VR content creation for the first time, enabling developers to create immersive gaming, 3D and VR content on the Mac. Leading VR companies are working with Apple to drive VR innovation on the Mac with features coming later this year. Valve is optimizing its SteamVR platform for macOS and enabling connection of the HTC Vive headset, while Unity and Epic are bringing their VR development tools to macOS. Later this year, Apple stated that Final Cut Pro X will add support for professional 360-degree VR workflows with the ability to import, edit and export 360-degree video on the Mac.
An updated, always-on sidebar and new filtering and selection tools make photo organization quick and easy. There is also a refreshed editing UI that includes powerful new editing tools like Curves, for fine-tuning contrast, and Selective Color, for making adjustments to a specific color range in Photos. Live Photos can now be edited with fun effects, like Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure, and users can also choose a different key photo. Third-party editors like Photoshop, Pixelmator and other apps can be launched from Photos, with edits saved back to the Photos library. Support for third-party project extensions provides access to printing and publishing services from Shutterfly, WhiteWall, Wix, ifolor, Mimeo and Mpix from right within the app.
Users will probably love that Safari stops media with audio from automatically playing in the browser, and Reader can automatically open articles in a clean, uncluttered format. Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari detects and eliminates cookies and other data used by advertisers for cross-site tracking, to help keep a user’s browsing private.
Siri on the Mac now responds with a more natural voice and learns music preferences, creates custom playlists and answers music trivia when using Apple Music. The Touch Bar on MacBook Pro gets new Control Strip options plus an improved color picker and more video controls. Notes also adds simple tables, allowing a user to type in cells, make edits and move rows and columns, while Spotlight provides flight status information, including departure and arrival times, delays, gates, terminals and even a map of the flight path.