October 06, 2017 | 7 min read
Top 10 Things You Get With High Sierra
New File System
For the last 19 years, HFS+ has been the primary macOS file system. Last year, Apple implemented the new Apple File System (AFPS). What makes it so special? Before being released for macOS, this file system was first unveiled in iOS 10.3. Its advanced 64-bit architecture brings improved responsiveness, making many apps run faster. Apple claims the new file system will work perfectly even on older machines that are High Sierra compatible. What’s more, with AFPS, Apple offers improved security features. High Sierra offers an advanced built-in encryption mechanism, system crash protection, and simplified data backup.
In addition, the new file system is optimized for devices with a solid-state drive (SSD). It means if you upgrade to High Sierra, the file system on your SSD is automatically converted from HFS+ to the new AFPS format. Unfortunately, Fusion drives are not supported, so those storage devices will still use HFS+.
Apple has released the new version of Safari for High Sierra, which is also compatible with previous macOS versions. So, what’s new in the latest version of Safari?
First of all, you can now adjust settings for particular websites (e.g., bigger font sizes on certain websites). Second, Apple stops autoplay video and doesn’t store cookies, which track your browsing history and help advertisers target your interests. A special Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature keeps your browsing history available only to your internet provider and prevents third-party access. Finally, you can allow Safari 11 to play video ads on certain webpages in the Websites section of Safari preferences.
The Photos app now comes with an always-on sidebar, which greatly simplifies photo searches. The app has new editing tools, including Curves and Selective Color, to adjust color range. Editing improvements include Loop and Bounce effects for looping videos or playing them forward and backward. You can also capture live photos during a FaceTime conversation. Dozens of new features have also appeared in the Memories category, so users can easily filter photo collections by subject (e.g., pets, babies, outdoor activities, birthdays, etc.).
To sum up, here’s what has changed in the Photos app:
Various options are available right on the toolbar;
The selection counter indicates how many objects are currently selected;
Imported images can be arranged in chronological order;
The Photos app supports third party image editors (e.g., you can edit a picture in Photoshop and save your masterpiece to the Photos library);
Photo collections can be filtered by subject.
Now Siri’s voice sounds more natural and expressive, and less robotic That’s a great upgrade for the best-known Artificial Intelligence app in the market. Siri can now also play the role of your personal DJ. If you are an Apple Music subscriber, it collects the music genres you like and makes recommendations as well as combines new playlists for you.
iCloud Drive Sharing
Once upgraded to High Sierra, you can share any file stored in iCloud with a single link. Only those you provide a link to are able to open the file. In High Sierra you can also share your iCloud storage plan with family members. Amazing, isn’t it?
Mail App Improvements
The Mail app updates include an improved search mechanism. Now it’s much easier to find what you are looking for. The Top Hits section includes the results most relevant to your search requests. Remember the days when the Mail app used to open a new window every time you composed an email? Now it now has a split-screen view, so whenever you start writing a new email, the right-hand side of the screen is at your disposal.
Spotlight, a macOS search tool, got a lot smarter in High Sierra. Great news for those who love travelling: flight information is now integrated into Spotlight! Simply enter the flight number to display arrival and departure times, terminal, and gates in the new Safari tab.
Finally, messages are now synced across all your Apple devices. So you won’t see alerts on your Mac for the messages you’ve already read on your iPhone.
The new 2017 Mac models are supporting Virtual Reality (VR) content, allowing third party developers to create immersive gaming, 3D, and VR content for Mac. For example, Steam, a popular online game store, is already optimizing the SteamVR platform for macOS and enabling connection via an HTC Vive headset.
Metal 2 is the built-in macOS technology enabling apps to use the maximum power of graphic processors. With Metal 2, Apple brings new capabilities to virtual reality, machine learning, and external graphic processor units – in other words, the graphic brain of your machine. Moreover, it makes playing games, developing software, and adding content a better experience for macOS users as well as third party developers.
Whether you’ve made the final decision on a High Sierra upgrade or not, which improvement do you find the best? Share in the comment section below!