Its party time for Apple fans! The company has announced that macOS Sierra, the latest version of Apple’s desktop operating systems, is now available as a free update! You can download it now from the Mac App Store. Meanwhile, lets take a look at some of the fantastic new features that are coming to Apple’s Mac devices, features that include — drum-roll please — Siri!
Siri Finally Comes To The Mac:
Yes. With both Microsoft and Google deploying voice-controlled artificial intelligence on their own desktop operating systems, Apple was actually falling behind. However, the company has made up for it in its latest Sierra update by introducing Siri to the platform.
Siri is probably one of the most publicized AIs around. Present on the iPhones since 2011, the bot has gained an identity of its own. However, one of the biggest complaints associated with it was the fact that it wasn’t available on the macOS platform. Well, Apple is now taking care of the issue and is putting Siri into a lot of places on the Mac.
Users can now ask Siri’s help in sending messages and emails, finding documents, looking up information, searching a user’s photo library, adjusting system preferences and a whole host of other, assorted tasks.
Users can also drag and drop Siri results into documents or pin them into their Today view for later reference. However, the most impressive thing we discovered so far, was how well it could respond to complex queries. For example, you could ask it to come with all the word files you worked upon in the last 7 days and it will do exactly that — definitely an awesome example what AI is capable of.
However, unlike iOS, Siri does not work with third-party app integrations for now. What it means is that you can not use Siri to hail an Uber on the Mac, at least not yet.
Apple Pay Makes Transactions Safer And Easier:
Apple Pay is undoubtedly one of the safest and most convenient payment systems around — not to mention the added style factor it comes with. Well, the experience is now available on the web as well and seeks to make the online shopping experience in the Safari browser more secure than ever.
Shoppers can now click the Apple Pay button at checkout on nearly 300,000 participating websites and then complete their purchase with Touch ID on iPhone 6 or later or with Apple Watch. So basically, your information is stored on Apple servers instead of being shared with the merchants. Authentication takes place using the Ultra-Safe touch ID. An extremely strong encryption protects all communication between a user’s device and the Apple Pay servers.
The service is not yet available in all markets though and you can check if your country is on the list of available places by clicking right here.
Memories Creates Automatically Curated Albums:
Another feature that was already available on several other platforms has now been brought to the Mac by Apple. Memories can automatically create curated collections of occasions like birthday parties or family vacations and create beautiful collections out of your pictures. The system works by using an extremely advanced computer vision to identify faces, objects and scenes in your images, photos can be matched together based upon their content
Meanwhile, there is another brand new Brilliance Editor to make your pictures look richer and better.
Incidentally, you can also search through photos by subject. Say you want to search for all photos that have a fir tree in them — well, you got it boss.
Clouds, here comes the Sierra:
Apple’s latest offering also lays a significant bit of stress upon using the cloud. For one, Apple will now take all the files you haven’t used lately and quietly upload them to the clouds, freeing up memory on your system. The feature is being called Optimized Storage at the moment, and it will ensure that you have plenty of space left in your machine.
The next feature associated with the clouds is the ability to store the contents of your Desktop and Documents folders and sync them to your other devices that are part of the Apple ecosystem — Macs, iPhones, or iPads. So its basically a dropbox built right into Sierra. However, there is one serious drawback. You can not store and sync files selectively. You can either choose to sync all the content or not sync it at all.
Both of these new features are pretty nice but could definitely do with improvements. Also, the amount of iCloud storage required to use any of the above two features will almost certainly require you to purchase extra space — space apart from the 5 GB Apple offers to all its users for free.
Messages have also received a long due overhaul and now allow users to preview web links and play video clips from right within the app. Users can also choose to respond to messages with a Tapback like a heart, thumbs up and so on.
Meanwhile, applications that support Tabs — such as Maps, Mail, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TextEdit etc. — can now deploy them to make multitasking all the more easier.
Users can also float videos from either Safari or iTunes in a window over the desktop. The window can be resized, dragged and pinned to any corner of the screen — similar to what VLC player already offered on the Windows platform — making life much more bearable for users who can now watch videos while they work.
Overall? Well, Sierra is certainly a good update and the fact that it is free is a strong argument in its favor. However, to deploy some of its most important features, you are going to have to purchase iCloud storage whether you like it or not. The free 5 GB storage provided by Apple is simply not going to be enough for the vast majority of users — and you too, unless you keep absolutely nothing in your devices — and that would require you to shell out cash on a monthly basis.
There is also definite room for improvement in several of its features. However, we can depend upon Apple to keep working on that. Meanwhile, you can know more about the topic by clicking right here.