Mac has a new OS update and its called macOS High Sierra. High Sierra comes with lots of new features and improvements, bug fixes and refinements. Here’s a list of all the exciting new features in macOS High Sierra you can check out in one go.
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macOS High Sierra isn’t one of the major OS upgrades but that doesn’t mean it is any less significant. Some of the new features you are likely to find exciting is in Photos, Notes, and Safari. Apart from this, Apple has added support for virtual reality and much better file compression for media elements and standard documents with HEVC, HEIF, and APFS technologies.
So if you are keen to start using these new features, you can check compatibility of your device and hit that Download button on the Mac App Store.
New Features in macOS High Sierra
New APFS File System
APFS (Apple File System) is the new standard document version in macOS High Sierra. It runs on a 64-bit architecture and offers a quicker way to access your documents and a better way to store them. Other benefits include reduction in the file size and less data bloat. Simply put, there is now more room on your Mac for storing other good stuff like those 4K videos. It also has built-in encryption and offers crash-safe protection for your data.
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Improved Features in Safari
The Safari browser has received some significant improvements including faster search and better security. One feature that you definitely have more control over is tracking prevention. For instance, if you browsed for your favorite pair of shoes on Amazon with the intention to buy it some time later, when you head over to another website, you’ll find an Amazon ad popping up there. Apple is aiming to prevent that sort of tracking from happening. You can adjust the settings in the Privacy section of Safari (prevent cross-site tracking).
Another major headache while browsing the net is auto-playing videos that disturb your reading experience. Just head to the Safari Settings and select whether you want to allow all autoplay content, only stop media that plays sound, or never autoplay anything. And while you’re at it, you can customize individual websites with different settings if you need to. That also includes blocking or allowing features like ads, location tracking, notifications and so on.
Finally, you can set the Automatic Reader view in websites to hide extra content like the sidebar elements, social networking stuff, comments, ads and so on.
Notes gets some useful improvements notably a table creation tool. The Tables feature lets you lay out information in a table format, with rows and columns but just know that this is no Excel sheet. You can add links in a table by selecting a phrase and pressing Command+K. You can also format the text inside with color, font, size, weight and other formatting options.
Another great feature improvement in Notes is the ability to pin important notes to the top of the list. Just right-click a note in the list and select Pin Note from the contextual menu to pin it to the top. When you no longer want it pinned you can right-click it again and select Unpin Note.
Plus, This also exists in iOS 11, so you can sync your pinned notes across your devices.
Improvements in Mail in High Sierra
If you are one of those people who are happy using the default Mail app, you’ll be happy to learn that Mail Search now uses Spotlight for indexing mail and as a result it works faster than before. A new Top Hits section places the most relevant searches right at the top. You’ll find stuff like Read email, people you reply to, VIP contacts, and such in this section. If you use Mail in full screen on your Mac, you can use the Split View option to compose a reply to an email you just read in a separate window.
Since Mail still lacks many modern features like snoozing and third-party integrations, I am still sticking to my favorite email application Newton Mail. However, if you are using Mail, you can enjoy whatever improvements have been made in High Sierra and hope for better things to come in future.
VR Support for Mac
With macOS High Sierra, Apple now supports virtual reality on those Macs that have the required hardware compatibilities. HTC for instance requires a 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 Graphics card and Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 for a Windows PC. While we are not yet sure what the Mac requirements are, any of the newer Macs should definitely fit the bill. High Sierra also supports 2 big game engines Unreal Engine and Steam VR. There’s also support for the HTC Vive headset.
New Features in Photos
Some of the most noticeable changes in High Sierra can be found in the Photos app on Mac. You can now add 3 new effects to Live Photos – Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure.
Loop puts your photos in an endless loop while Bounce plays the Live Photos forwards and then backwards. Long Exposure works on Live Photos that feature moving objects, giving the appearance of a long exposure on the image.
Other improvements to Live Photos include the ability to mute and trim them and select a different key photo. There are also a ton of new editing tools that will allow you to modify pictures like the pros. You can adjust the white balance, sharpness levels, vignettes and curves to make your photos look great. You can also create and edit new mini GIF style clips with your Live Photos. Plus, you can right-click a photo and open it in a third party app like Photoshop. All edits will automatically be saved in Photos.
Also, there’s a slight variation to the way you navigate the Photos app on the Mac. The sidebar, which used to be an optional navigation is now a permanent fixture. Plus, a lot of the old top toolbar functionality is now incorporated into the new sidebar. So if you want to access your shared library, photo albums, and projects, or create new albums and folders, you’ll now do it from the sidebar menu. Also, an easy drag and drop option is available so you can move photos into an album or to the desktop easily.
Photos is also now able to sync facial recognition data across all your devices using iCloud in a secure manner. So when you set up a new Mac it can just import your data from your iPhone or iPad.
And one of the nicest things with Photos is that once you’ve edited your images, you can use third party apps like Shutterfly to print photo albums and calendars. Finally, Memories has a bunch of new categories like birthdays, weddings and so on.
Overall, you’ll find that organizing your photos on the Mac is a lot easier.
What’s New in Messages in iCloud
In macOS High Sierra, all messages you receive on the Messages app on Mac are stored in iCloud. Which means, the app will sync uniformly across devices signed into the same iCloud account. This makes it easier to view and manage all your messages.
Improvements in Siri and Spotlight
Spotlight for Mac has also seen some useful improvements. Now you can search for flight information directly by typing the details in Spotlight. Plus, if you search for any term, you’ll also get multiple results from Wikipedia. Spotlight can also handle longer questions so don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions any more. You can also ask for recommendations for books and other stuff.
Siri on macOS High Sierra has received a visual update with the text on the left and in bold format. The results are in a white background with the new Siri animation orb showing up instead of the mic. Siri also has a more natural voice now and if you want to chat with her instead of talk, you can enable that option in the System Preferences.
Others of Interest
Some other interesting feature improvements that are worth noting include:
iCloud File Sharing : When you save a file in Cloud Drive, you can right-click it to get a shareable web link.
iCloud Family Storage Sharing – If you have more than 200 GB or 2TB of iCloud storage, you can share it with up to 6 family members via the iCloud section in System Preferences.
Improved Family Sharing – Setting up family sharing in High Sierra is now much quicker and smoother.
HEVC & HEIF Media File Formats – New industry standard formats of HEVC and HEIF are introduced that will utilize a smaller file size, saving disk space.
FaceTime Live Photos – During a FaceTime Video call, you can click to save a Live Photo of any interesting chat moment.
Touch Bar Buttons – AirPlay, Night Shift, and Picture-In-Picture buttons can now be accessed on the Touch Bar when watching videos.
Mark iMessages as Read – You can now mark iMessages as Read right from the notification banner.
What do you think of the improvements in High Sierra? I hope there is something in this upgrade that cheers you up and improves the way you work with your Mac.