Apple has been served by the OS X name for the past 15 years, but the company is looking to change things up with a rebranding. Its desktop/notebook-centric operating system is now being called macOS, and given that Apple has recently been naming its desktop OSes after places in California, it’s called macOS Sierra.
One of the biggest additions to macOS Sierra is of course Siri, which is accessible by clicking either an icon in the menu bar or down in the Dock. If you’re familiar with Siri on the iPhone, you have all of that same functionality on your desktop or desktop (grabbing sports scores, opening apps, looking up movie times, etc.).
Siri on macOS Sierra
There are also improvements to Continuity, which allows a Mac to seamlessly interact with an iOS or watchOS device. One of the big additions is a universal clipboard which allows you to copy content from your iPhone and paste it on your Mac (pictures, URLs, etc.) or vice versa. You can also now unlock your Mac using your Apple Watch, just by being in close proximity to your computer — no more typing in a password after lifting the lid on your MacBook.
Apple Pay on macOS Sierra
iCloud support has been expanded with macOS Sierra, including a nifty feature that allows you to offload data from your hard drive or SSD to save space. Old or infrequently accessed data can be uploaded to iCloud, which gives you more room to store apps and data locally. However, given Apple’s notoriously stingy free iCloud storage options, we have the feeling that this option will be more beneficial to those that pay for iCloud’s more capacious storage tiers.
Another feature that we reported on previously that’s making its way to macOS Sierra is Apple Pay. You can now authenticate purchases in Safari using your Apple Watch or iPhone.
macOS Sierra is available to developers today, and will be open to public beta tester in July. It will be available as a free update to all this fall.