Apple’s latest operating system for the Mac – macOS Sierra – has a wealth of new features and it is now available to all users to download and install for free.
Even the name has changed. No longer will Mac software be referred to as OS X – instead it will be called macOS.
But what is continuing with this version is the naming convention of Californian landmarks.
We’ve had Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan. This year we have Sierra.
To install macOS Sierra go the Mac App Store and click on Featured. You should see macOS Sierra with the option to download.
There are lots of new features onboard including Siri’s first appearance on the Mac.
Other features users will also find include Auto Unlock, Apple Pay, a Universal Clipboard, iCloud desktop and documents Optimized Storage, Picture in Picture, redesigned Apple Music and an easier way to access your photos and memories.
Siri has come to the Mac for the first time and it can help you do a lot more apart from the obvious searches and questions.
You can get Siri to send messages, open applications, look up locations, search for files and create reminders – just like a real assistant.
Users can also ask Siri to perform tasks like turning wi-fi on and off, adjusting volume and increasing your screen brightness.
With macOS Sierra, you can automatically unlock your Mac if you’re wearing your authenticated Apple Watch without having to type a password when the machine wakes.
You need to be wearing your Apple Watch within 3m of your computer for this to work.
You can set this up by signing in to iCloud and turn on Auto Unlock in your System Preferences.
If you’re shopping on your Mac, it is now possible to use Apple Pay with participating online stores.
Look for the Apple Pay button and you’ll be able to complete the purchase with Touch ID on your iPhone or by double clicking the side button on Apple Watch.
With Apple Pay you’re not sharing credit or debit card information.
You can now copy and paste across Apple devices so you can move text and images from the iPhone and iPad to your Mac.
This will work with any app that supports cut and paste and there is no set up required.
Users can access their desktop and important documents across any of their devices.
So anything you save to your desktop or drag into your documents folder will now be accessible no matter what device you’re using.
You can also access these documents from iCloud.com and even on a Windows PC using the iCloud app.
Space on your Mac is precious and now macOS Sierra lets you optimise your storage and get back valuable memory.
It does this by storing seldom used photos, videos and files in the cloud and makes them available on demand.
Things like watched iTunes movies and large attachments will save you the most space.
You can also sort your files based on size and date last used while the system can also clear caches and logs, remove duplicated files and dictionaries and languages you don’t need.
PICTURE IN PICTURE
Multitasking is the catch cry of macOS Sierra and another way it demonstrates this is with Picture in Picture.
Now you float a video on the desktop from Safari or YouTube while you’re getting on with your other work.
You can even resize the window to suit your desktop and access the media controls when you hover your mouse.
Apple Music has a new look and a simpler way for you to access your own music and discover new music as well.
The “For You” section has been completely reworked so you see new suggestions every day while the “Browse” section lets you find exclusives and new releases.
Now your photos can be organised like never before.
Memories is a new feature that can present favourite occasions so you can relive them.
Your library can also be organised by people and places while advanced computer vision technology can search your photos according to what’s in them like beaches, pets and vehicles.