With macOS Sierra, it’s not just the name that’s different. While it might not look that different, there are significant changes inside and over the hood. First of all, Siri’s here. And there are many ways macOS is using the cloud to make your storage management bit easier.
Here are all the awesome new features in macOS Sierra
1. Universal Clipboard
As someone who uses the iPhone, iPad and the Mac constantly and interchangeably, this was one of the features I was looking forward to the most. Copy text (or images) from one device, paste it on another. And I have to say, for text, it works most of the time. There’s no UI to worry about, no settings, no app, nothing. In classic Apple fashion, it just works. But of course there are caveats.
The unmissable headline feature in maOS is, of course, the introduction of Siri. If you’ve spent decades controlling most of your computer’s actions using the keyboard, it might take some time just to start using Siri in your day to day life.
Siri on macOS does a lot. You can ask her to search and open obscure files for you, open websites, set reminders, ask general questions and lot more.
I would suggest you start using Siri to do things that would normally take a lot of clicking around. Things like searching for files or enabling Do Not Disturb mode.
3. Desktop and Documents Folder Sync
macOS slowly wants to push your content to the cloud. And the first towards this is the Desktop and Documents folder sync option for iCloud Drive. Once enabled, all the contents of these two folders will always be uploaded to iCloud Drive. If you have multiple Macs, this means that your Desktop will stay identical, always. That’s pretty neat.
You’ll also be able to access your files from your iPhone or iPad using the iCloud Drive app.
4. Tabs Everywhere
The organizer in you is going to love this one. By default, macOS will now open new instances of the same app, inside the app. So instead of juggling 4 windows, you’ll now only have 1 window, and 4 tabs. You can already use this in Apple’s apps like Keynote and you can expect third party developers to add this feature soon after the release.
5. Picture in Picture
As long as you’re using Safari as your browser, you can now put any video from streaming sites such as YouTube or Video in a floating window that always stays on the top. So you can now watch a video while you work.
Read more: How to use Picture in Picture mode in Safari.
6. Photos Features
The new features in Photos app in macOS are almost identical to those in iOS 10. All the AI stuff is here.
Memories tab: Here you’ll find automatically generated albums of photos and videos that contextually go together. You’ll find albums about your last trip here. One you click it you’ll see an automatically generated video here as well. There will be options to customize it.
Faces: Apple now has a new way for tagging people in the photos that the app has recognized. From the Faces tab you’ll see a list of all the recognized faces. Click on one to see all the photos associated with the face. You can also add a name here.
Object Search: You can now search within the photos. It works based on thousands of objects and expressions that Apple is now able to identify in photos. So you can search for a location or something generic like “Bottle” or “Horse” and find photos that contain those keywords.
And just like iOS 10, all the processing happens on the device, there’s no servers involved anywhere.
7. Messages Features
Most of the cool new features in Messages went to iOS 10. But the macOS app did get some new stuff. Just like the iOS 10 app, you now get rich previews for links. And you can watch videos inline. Plus you can use the Tapback feature to quickly reply with a thumbs up to a message.
8. Storage Analysis
There’s an entire new storage management feature in macOS Sierra. You can now look for large files that are taking up space or sort all files based on when it was that you used them last. Plus there’s also an easy way to get rid of old iOS backups.
Read more: Check out our guide on using the storage management feature to clear out GBs of unwanted space on your Mac.
9. Auto Unlock with Apple Watch
If you’ve got an Apple Watch running watchOS 3, using your Mac (at work), just got a lot less annoying. Auto Unlock feature automatically unlocks your Mac when you’re near it and are wearing the Apple Watch. As long as you’re nearer than 3 meters and have the feature enabled from Settings, you’ll see an “authenticating with Apple Watch” text instead of the password field when you open your Mac. And in a second you’ll be logged in. Now, don’t worry about your security. Apple has taken measures to make sure someone can’t spoof the Apple Watch’s location and disable the password even when you aren’t there.
10. Apple Pay in Safari
Just like iOS 10, Apple Pay is now supported in Safari in macOS. When you’re shopping, click on the “Pay with Apple Pay” button. You’ll see a popup on your iPhone, along with the information about the purchase. Just put your thumb on the Touch ID sensor and your purchase will be authenticated. No passwords, no OTPs, no nothing. This has got to be the simplest way to safely shop online.
11. Shared Notes
You can now finally share your notes (from the Notes app) and collaborate with multiple users on the same note. Go to a Note and click the “Collaborate” icon to get started.
Read more: Check out our guide on how to share notes in macOS Sierra. And our guide on doing so from iOS 10.
12. Apple Music Redesign in iTunes
iTunes looks pretty much the same. Just that the Apple Music part has been redesigned to match with the new design language in iOS 10. So bright colors and big, bold typography.
Your Favorite macOS Sierra Features
What are your favorite new features in macOS Sierra? Share with us in the comments below.