Today during its keynote kicking off this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed the latest iteration of its desktop operating system, macOS.
Bumping the version to macOS 10.13, the new software brings new features to users, while also aiming to improve the performance behind-the-scenes as always. Craig Federighi took the stage to talk about macOS, revealing the new features and even the new name.
The new version of macOS is called “High Sierra.”
The first major improvements come to Safari, with benchmarks putting Safari “tops them all,” saying that the web browser is the world’s fastest on High Safari. It also includes Autoplay Blocking, which means that Safari will detect sites that shouldn’t be playing video and will stop them automatically. Users can play the videos manually if they choose to.
Safari also includes intelligent tracking prevention, meaning sites won’t track you from one site to another. It won’t block ads, but it will promote a user’s privacy.
Mail in High Sierra is getting Split View, and will also promote searches in Spotlight as well.
Photos is getting a new persistent side bar, and a new view in chronological order, or by date, names, and more. People are synchronized automatically across devices as well. There are new editing tools in Photos, including Curves, to fine tune edges. Color in selective range. If you switch to another editing tool to make further edits, the changes will automatically sync to your Photos library.
Apple also unveiled its new Apple File System, with instant file synchronization, easy duplications when necessary, which are much faster on High Sierra.
Video is getting priority in High Sierra, with support for HVEC format. It has better compression than the previous H.264 standard, and the new MacBooks feature built-in support. Graphics and Apple’s Metal got a focus, with Metal 2 getting announced. It is “tremendously fast,” with new APIs and optimizations, which equal 10x better draw input. Apple also provided better debugging and performance analyst tools, and accelerates things with the Window Server atop Metal.
Metal is also getting used for Machine Learning, which should boost algorithms, including shading in titles. Metal is also getting used for external graphics as well.
Metal 2 developer kit gets its first release today.
Metal for VR is now supported in High Sierra as well. This is a VR-optimized pipeline that brings high performance to the user and developer. Valve is working with Apple, and Unreal and other engines are also supported in High Sierra as well.
High Sierra will be available in a developer beta beginning today, and a public beta launches later this month. It will be available as a free upgrade later this fall.
As per Apple’s official press release for macOS High Sierra, here are more app refinements:
Additional App Refinements:
- Safari can automatically use Reader to open articles in a clean, uncluttered format, while Autoplay Blocking stops media with audio from automatically playing in the browser.
- Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari uses machine learning to identify and remove the tracking data that advertisers employ to follow users’ web activity.
- Mail search gets faster and easier with Top Hits, which puts the most relevant results at the top of a user’s message list.
- Siri on the Mac responds with a natural and more expressive voice, and when using Apple Music, it learns music preferences, creates custom playlists and answers music trivia.
- Notes adds simple tables, where a user can type in cells, make edits and move rows and columns.
- Spotlight provides flight status information, including departure and arrival times, delays, gates, terminals and even a map of the flight path.
- iCloud File Sharing lets users share any file stored in iCloud Drive and collaborate with other people.