During the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017, Apple made many great announcements. Among those include updates to the iMac lineup, as well as macOS High Sierra, the latest version of the desktop and notebook operating system.
Refinements to macOS High Sierra Sierra
While macOS Sierra has plenty of new features, there are also numerous refinements to the operating system.
Refining Safari to Make it Even More Powerful
On top of that, Apple has added autoplay blocking to Safari. So, those annoying videos and songs that automatically start won’t bug you anymore. In another update to Safari, the browser now includes intelligent tracking prevention. Apple stops websites from tracking you, making your browsing experience more private.
Improvements to the Built-in Mail App
Within Mail, your searches will now use Spotlight. That means that when you perform a Spotlight search, relevant emails will show up at the top. Also, to provide a little extra to people who love to use Mail in full-screen mode, a special split screen view is available for composing new messages. Finally, to help save disk space, Mail is 35 percent better at storing your messages, so you can use more of your hard drive for apps and less for email.
Making Photos Even Better
In macOS High Sierra, you’ll notice changes to the Photos app. There are new ways to filter your images, and improved facial recognition. For the first time, your saved faces will synchronize across devices, so you can sort images by person on your iOS device after marking them on your Mac.
New edit tools have also been added, including a new curves control for fine-tuning the color of your image. More tools include selective color editing, and the revisions you make in other tools automatically synchronize to your Photos library. Finally, Apple has added third-party integration with Shutterfly and others for printing your photographs straight from Photos.
A New Standard for Video
Cupertino also adds a new video standard to macOS High Sierra. Instead of H.264 being the default, H.265 is now in place. Also known as HEVC, or High Efficiency Video Coding, it fully supports 4K video and is much more efficient at compression and playback.
The Successor to Metal Is Announced
In a very exciting demonstration, Apple announced Metal 2, the successor to its powerful graphics engine. Metal 2 has great optimization, new APIs, and a faster frame debugger for developers. It can also be used for machine learning, and Cupertino has added support for the graphics framework on external graphics devices. Steam, Unity, and Unreal are integrated into macOS with Metal 2. See some of the images of the new graphics engine and editing tools below.
Better File Management with APFS
The Apple File System, APFS, is now the default in macOS High Sierra. The new file system, which arrived on iOS with version 10.3, is more capable than the old default HFS+. APFS is great for managing files, duplicating them, and performing file transfers. In fact, duplicating files on APFS is almost instantaneous.
macOS High Sierra Availability
The new version of macOS is available today as a developer preview. The public beta will begin in late June 2017, with macOS Sierra being released to the general public sometime in Fall 2017.
Updates to the Entire iMac Lineup
Updates are coming to the iMac across the board, with new Kaby Lake processors and improved Retina display. USB-A and USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports appear on the back of the iMac now. Updates are available for the 21.5-inch non-Retina machine as well as the 4K iMac and 5K iMac. The updated computers are available for shipping immediately.
Announced: The New iMac Pro
Dubbed the most powerful Mac ever, the iMac Pro will ship in approximately six months. The new computer will be equipped with four Thunderbolt 3 ports with support for up to two 5K displays, a 1080p FaceTime camera, real-time 3-D rendering, and much more.
The new iMac Pro has a 5K built-in display, is available with from eight to sixteen cores in the processor, and utilizes Radeon Vega graphics. Memory support of up to 32GB ECC RAM is standard. It also comes with 10GB Ethernet. The new iMac Pro will start at $4999 and be available in December.