Apple’s macOS Sierra update is set to arrive for Mac today, Sept. 20. The update’s most important new feature is the introduction of Siri on Mac. New tools also benefit iOS and Apple Watch users.
With macOS Sierra, you have the ability to copy images, video, and text from an app on your iOS device. Apple calls this a Universal Clipboard. The process works the same in reverse.
iOS to Mac
I recently received a hilarious GIF file featuring Donald Trump, which I viewed in iMessage on my iPhone. I’d like to share this file with a coworker on Slack. To do so, I can copy the image from iMessage on the phone and then paste the image into Slack on my Mac.
Before Apple added Universal Clipboard, I would have had to open iMessage on my Mac (remember, I first saw the image on my iPhone) and then drag the file into the Slack for Mac window. Not exactly difficult, of course. However, it still required that I open an application that I wasn’t using on the Mac.
With Universal Clipboard, the process took about five seconds, even when using two devices.
Mac to iOS
Copied from Mac
Copied to Reminds app on iPhone
I love finding recipes to try online. In this example, I’ve copied a Food Network recipe from the web on my Mac. I then pasted it in the Reminders app on iOS. Total time: around four seconds.
Final word on Universal Clipboard
Thanks to iCloud, many of our files are already accessible from various devices. Universal Clipboard is a nice extension of this.
Auto Unlock with Apple Watch
With macOS Sierra, you can now unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch. To get started, you’ll need to visit Security & Privacy from your Mac’s System Preferences.
From this screen, check the box that says “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.” Once you do, you’ll have to authenticate using your Mac login.
Whenever your Apple Watch is within a few inches of your Mac, your computer will unlock automatically. You’ll receive a message on your Apple Watch at the same time.
What to know
To use AutoUnlock with Apple Watch, you’ll need to make sure you’re using Two-Factor Authentication with your iCloud account. For more information on this, please visit the Apple website.
Additionally, AutoUnlock only works on Macs manufactured in 2013 and later.
To find your Mac’s manufacturing date, click on the Apple icon at the top left of your computer. From there, select “About This Mac.” On this popup screen under Overview, you’ll see the date of manufacture.
While macOS Sierra focuses primarily on Siri on Mac, other great features exist, including ones that benefit iOS and Apple Watch users.
You can download the free macOS Sierra update from the Mac App Store.
What new Mac features are you most excited to explore?