Apple Delivers macOS High Sierra

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 31 Comments

Apple Delivers macOS High Sierra

Apple announced today that macOS High Sierra, the next version of its desktop operating system, is now generally available. As with previous macOS versions, High Sierra is a free update.

“macOS High Sierra is an important update that makes the Mac more capable and responsive, while laying the foundation for future innovations,” a prepared statement credited to Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi reads. “High Sierra introduces new technologies for VR, high-efficiency video streaming, advances in storage technology and more, while apps such as Photos, Safari, Mail, and Notes are refined to give users even more reasons to love their Mac.”

As with iOS, I’ve been testing macOS High Sierra all year, though in this case, I only have a single device, a MacBook Air. I won’t be looking more deeply at individual macOS High Sierra features on the site, as I’m doing with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, iOS 11, and Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo.

But here’s a quick rundown of some key new features.

Apple File System (APFS). Apple’s new file system is extensible and offers better performance, security, and reliability. In this initial release, APFS is only supported on flash storage-based Macs; support for Fusion and HDD-based Macs is coming in a future update.

High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) support. Like iOS 11, macOS High Sierra supports the HEVC–or H.265—video format. 4K video recorded in this format takes up 40 percent less storage space than with H.264, Apple says.

Metal 2. Apple has updated its Metal APIs for GPU access to version 2, adding machine learning capabilities for speech recognition, natural language processing, and computer vision.

Virtual reality support. As Microsoft first did in the Windows 10 Creators Update, macOS High Sierra natively supports virtual reality (VR) technologies for content creation and compatibility with SteamVR and the HTC Vive VR headset.

Photos app improvements. Apple’s Photos app has been updated with improved UI, navigation, and photo organization; new photo editing tools, Live Photos effects, and support for third-party editors and project extensions.

Safari improvements. Safari users get two major improvements: The ability to prevent auto-play media content from firing when a page loads, and an automatic Reader view so that you always read web articles in a clutter-free way.

You can upgrade to macOS High Sierra on compatible Macs by opening the App Store and navigating to Updates. And you can learn more about this product version from the Apple website.


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Comments (31)

31 responses to “Apple Delivers macOS High Sierra”

  1. dontbe evil

  2. glenn8878

    Wish they'll update the Mac hardware as frequently as iPhone.

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  12. ilovemissy85

    I use Mac occasionally , but my Macbook Pro just gathers dust on my desk because I cant put my Alienware down.

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    I was hoping Safari would have the ability for me to keep advertisers from tracking me. I guess I'll keep waiting.

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  15. TallGuySE

    I use both Mac and Windows, so I’m mostly platform agnostic. But one of the significant advantages of the Mac is just how integrated the whole ecosystem is. Mac, iPhone, iPad, even the Watch and AppleTV. If you haven’t experienced it lately, it’s very impressive.

    I still wish MS had found a way to be successful with phones (and I still irrationally hope they figure out how to make it work). But at least MS has done a good job making Office and OneDrive available and synchronized across different ecosystems.

    • wright_is

      In reply to TallGuySE:

      I used Macs for several years and had an iPhone 3GS, but they abandoned my iMac when it was still going strong (no new version of OS X and no security updates) and a replacement device was too expensive for any benefits that it brought.

      It is interesting, my Mac friends said to get a Mac, because Apple support the devices longer than Microsoft... Today, the OS X partition hasn't had any security updates for nearly 3 years and the Windows partition will still get updates for another 2 years...

      The integration on the OS X side is good, but I generally don't need the integration. I now use Windows 10, Android 8 and they are integrated enough for my needs and I don't feel macOS offers any significant benefits to justify the hardware prices. That said, my daughter prefers macOS and when she killed her 2009 MacBook Pro this year (coffee is not a good way to clean the inside of a MBP, although it made a beautiful pattern on the inside of the LCD) we got her a new 15" MBP.

      • Delmont

        In reply to wright_is:

        How old is your iMac? And you reference using an iPhone 3GS?? Is your iMac still powered by a PowerPC ?

      • TallGuySE

        In reply to wright_is:

        I assume your Mac is older than the 2009-2010 base requirements for High Sierra. Apple dropped support for Macs that weren’t “clean” 64 bit a little too quickly IMHO. I gave my brother a 2008 iMac that’s otherwise still working well, but like you said no support. They’ve supported everything since that transition, but it’s aggravating because they made robust hardware back then that still works well today.

  16. simont

    And a nice new security hole which exposes all your passwords in the keyring in plaintext.

  17. davidblouin

    Hurray for the 12 people out there who use a mac daily i guess

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