Apple on Monday (5 June) previewed macOS High Sierra, the latest desktop operating system version featuring new storage, video and graphics technologies that are coming to supported Mac computers this fall.
A developer preview is already out to members of the Apple Developer Program. Before the general availability, which is around the same time as iOS 11, a public beta program will be released to Mac users later this month.
Along with refinements to apps such as Photos, Safari and Mail, the macOS High Sierra features a new file system, support for high-efficiency video coding and updated graphics technology. Check out below for more details about the new features coming to Mac later this year.
Apple file system (APFS)
The new file system enhances the performance and security and provides a foundation for future storage innovations. It makes operations such as copying files and directories faster and protects data from power outages and system crashes, while keeping the files safe with Apple's native encryption. It also maintains read-and-write compatibility with HFS drives.
High-efficiency video coding
macOS High Sierra adds support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) that enables playback of 4K video files that are up to 40% smaller than the current H.264 standard.
With a refined API and improved performance, Metal 2 helps developers accelerate their apps. It provides support for machine learning used in speech recognition, natural language processing and computer vision.
macOS High Sierra adds support for VR content creation, enabling developers to create gaming, 3D and VR content on Mac. To help drive VR features on Mac, Apple is partnering with VR companies. For instance, Valve will optimise SteamVR for macOS, while enabling connection of HTC Vive headset. macOS will also enjoy support for VR development tools from Unity and Epic.
The Photos app comes with an always-on sidebar that presents album and organisation tools. The Edit view now includes new tools such as Curves for adjusting colour and contrast, and Selective colour for making adjustments within a colour range.
The app supports external editors, so Photoshop, Pixelmator and other apps can launch directly within Photos. It supports third-party project extensions and gives users access to printing and publishing services such as Animoto, ifolor, Shutterfly, WhiteWall and Wix directly from the Photos app.
With macOS High Sierra, the Safari browser can automatically use Reader to open articles. Mail search is now faster and easier with Top Hits that puts the relevant results at the top of the message list. Siri is more responsive and it learns music preferences, creates custom playlists and answers music trivia. Spotlight provides flight status information and iCloud file sharing lets users share any file stored in the iCloud Drive.