Over the last couple of years, Apple has switched to a yearly release cycle for OS X. Just like with iOS, Apple makes modest but noticeable changes to the OS to improve its functionality. While El Capitan brought about some major speed and stability improvements, along with new multitasking features, the update was light in terms of new features.
Apple is expected to unveil OS X 10.12, codenamed Fuji, at WWDC this year alongside new versions of iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Thanks to some leaks over the lat few months, we do have an idea of what to expect from the next version of OS X.
For marketing purposes, Apple is widely expected to rename OS X to macOS. This will be in line with how the naming scheme of iOS, tvsOS, and watchOS. There have been more than a few inadvertent hints from Apple’s end about this, and beside marketing purpose, this name change is not going to benefit end users in any way.
More than three years after it initially introduced Siri, Apple is finally ready to bring its virtual assistant to OS X. The integration of Siri with OS X is going to be the highlight of OS X 10.12. Leaks have already given us a look at the Siri dock and menu icons. Siri is expected to become more powerful and smart with iOS 10, so its integration should be useful in OS X as it could potentially make certain tasks easier.
The virtual assistant would likely be accessed quickly using a keyboard shortcut, from the notification center, or from the dock. While summoning the virtual assistant using a hot word like on iOS is also a possibility, the feature will likely only work on newer MacBooks.
Improved Photos app
Like with iOS 10, the Photos in OS X 10.12 is also going to get some major enhancements. The update will see the app gaining annotation features like being able to add text to photos, cropping them, editing EXIF, and more. The current Photos app in OS X is pretty barebones, so this will be a welcome improvement from Apple, especially since it retired iPhoto and Aperture for its Photos app.
Faster and feature-rich Safari
With every OS X release, Apple has made great speed, and efficiency improvements to Safari and the next release of OS X is not going to be any different in this regard. While speed and power improvements are a given, Apple should also add support for new standards to Safari — an area where the browser is awfully lagging compared to the likes of Chrome and Firefox.
Unlocking Macs via Touch ID
Using Bluetooth Low Energy, Apple is expected to allow users to unlock Macs using their iPhones via Touch ID in OS X 10.12. The feature will work similar to how MacID works, which allows iPhone owners to unlock their Macs by simply verifying their fingerprint on the iPhone. The feature should also come in handy should Apple introduce Apple Pay for the web, which would then let you use the iPhone or Apple Watch for verification purposes.
Apple has been naming the last few releases of OS X after popular landmarks in California, and that trend is expected to continue with OS X 10.12. There have been no leaks regarding what the next version of OS X will be called, so at this point of time; it remains anyone’s guess as to what Apple will end up calling OS X 10.12.
The first beta of OS X 10.12 should drop during or soon after WWDC 2016, with the final build being released later this fall. OS X 10.12 should work with all the Macs that were supported by Apple with El Capitan, though Siri might not work on all of them.
Are you excited about these rumored OS X 10.12 features? What’s on your wish list? Let us know in the comments and join us next week for non-stop coverage of the event as it happens.
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