Once upon a time, Apple was adding features by leaps and bounds to OS X. Some generally got used and some seemed to fall flat. And some didn't work very well in the early releases. With the new moniker, macOS Sierra, Apple's Craig Federighi is focusing on the really important things users need instead of gadgety features.
Ever since the release of OS X El Capitan, there was some mild concern in the Apple community. If El Capitan was a bug fix and stability release, would Apple revert to its old ways, in the next release, and return the the evils of a massive set of questionable features that would introduce new stability issues? And burden developers?
The answer, apparently, is "no."
What We Want - Nothing More
So what is it that we've genuinely been aching for? Siri is a great start. That's where the power of Siri meets the power of the Mac's hardware. Universal cut and paste is a natural extension of the AirDrop technology that now is working fairly reliably in El Capitan. Apple Pay on the Web is a natural extension of how Apple Pay should work in lots of different places—and on the Web too. Logging in to a Mac with an Apple Watch through a secure mechanism is just brilliant. It'll be used every day.
When new features evoke the reaction, "Finally, what I've been waiting for!" instead of a groan about how it soon be forgotten, then you know Craig Federighi's team is on the right wavelength.
These new features are things that won't fall into disuse after the initial hype is gone. That philosophy makes me smile.
Another factor that comes into play is the customary pressure Apple puts on developers to invoke new OS features in their apps. The presentation during the WWDC keynote makes me think that developers will breathe a sigh of relief. This will give them time they need to consolidate and integrate functionality and work with the Mac App Store to their advantage.
I am very pleased with what I saw in the macOS portion of the WWDC keynote. Some observers may complain that Mr. Federighi didn't discuss their favorite feature, notion or gadget. But bloat is nothing to gloat about.
I also suspect that there will be some intrinsic security fix-ups that didn't merit public discussion in the keynote.
It's important to remember that while OS X gets a new name, it's still that same 15 year old OS underneath. Until something changes radically in the future of macOS and iOS, we should remain pleased that Apple is showing restraint with this very mature UNIX-based operating system with all its attendent GUI glory and functionality.
We're getting what we truly need and nothing more. Hats off to Apple.