Apple on Monday officially released macOS High Sierra to the general public. The software update is now available in the Mac App Store.
macOS High Sierra has fewer outward-facing changes than Apple’s other software updates this year, but it is still a significant upgrade to the Mac operating system. Most of its changes happen behind the scenes and the end result allows a Mac to run faster and more efficiently.
For starters, macOS’ core file system is being upgraded to Apple’s new APFS (Apple File System). It’s faster and more reliable than the previous file system. Users will notice a difference when moving or backing up files.
High Sierra also adds support for a new photo and video standards: HEIF and HEVC, respectively. They’ll slash the amount of space that photos and videos take up on your system, while retaining the same image and video quality.
It also features a revamped Metal 2 graphics API that’ll allow for high-quality virtual reality content, machine learning and will support external GPUs.
Aside from those and other under-the-hood changes and improvements, macOS High Sierra also has a number of user-facing tweaks.
The first-party Photos app has gotten a big upgrade with the addition of a suite of new and powerful editing tools, a rehauled user interface, and native support for iOS features like Live Photos and Memories.
Siri, like in iOS 11, has some significant updates, including a more natural-sounding voice and the ability to learn a user’s Apple Music preferences and tastes.
Safari is getting privacy-minded updates, with cross-site anti-tracking prevention features and a new blocking ability for auto-playing videos.
Spotlight will now show flight details, and Notes is getting some added functionality with the ability to pin notes.
All Mac computers from 2010 and later are compatible with the update — certain models from 2009 can also run the new software. Certain features, like the new HEVC standard, are restricted to Macs with a 6th-generation or newer Intel Core processor.
As of 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST), macOS High Sierra should be available to all users via the Mac App Store.