The keynote of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this morning introduced some exciting new software updates across all of Apple’s devices. After introducing watchOS 3 and the new tvOS, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi introduced the latest version of Mac’s operating system, formerly known as OS X.
Federighi began the introduction by bringing up the OS X “naming controversy” – as has been expected for quite some time, Apple has changed the name of Mac’s operating system to macOS, bringing it in line with the iOS, watchOS, and tvOS naming convention. Keeping in line with the last several versions of the operating system, the first version of macOS will also be named after a major California landmark, with this version being called macOS Sierra.
One of the focuses with macOS is continuity, bringing several convenient features that allow you to move across devices more seamlessly. Federighi began by showcasing “Auto Unlock”, which allows you to bypass the password when booting up your Mac if you’re wearing an Apple Watch that has already been authenticated. An extremely useful “Universal Clipboard” allows you to copy and paste text, images, and even video between your Mac, your iPad, and your iPhone quickly and easily. And thanks to some major updates to iCloud Drive, you can have all of your documents, and even your desktop available to you on other Macs or even your iPhone.
“Optimized Storage” is another improvement to iCloud Drive, which makes room for new files by keeping older ones in the cloud. Full resolution photos, movies you’ve already seen, and old mail attachments can all be added to the cloud quickly and easily, and the improved user interface allows you to clear out unnecessary files (think of your trash that you forgot to clear, or old Safari cache files) with a single click. In a demo onstage, Federighi demonstrated how up to 130GB could be freed up on your hard drive just by using the Optimized Storage feature.
Apple Pay has also been made available on your desktop, with many online vendors offering a “Pay With Apple Pay” option for purchases. Continuing with the continuity focus, you can securely authenticate for your web purchases right on your iPhone or Apple Watch using Touch ID.
Several more interesting features were showcased during the demo, as well – macOS takes the convenient tabs that users often use in their web browsers, and makes them available in Maps and even in third-party apps. Picture-in-picture, a popular feature on iOS, is now available on macOS as well, with a resize-able and re-position-able window available with a single click. And a long awaited feature for Mac users, Siri, is finally available right on your dock in macOS.
A developer build of macOS is now available to developers, with a public beta that will be available this July. The official release will be available to users with late-2009-model Macs and newer this coming fall.
What’s your favorite macOS enhancement? Let us know in the comments!