Apple Adds Smart, Interoperable Features to macOS Sierra

| Editorial

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.

Popular TMO Stories

Comments

geoduck

I do agree, the subtle quality improvements to macOS are very welcome.

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.
OK, maybe. So far Siri has been a limited parlour trick for me. If it simultaneously gets better that’ll be great. More able to figure out what I want, more able to get my requests right. It has gotten better but with the releases from other vendors in the last six months it’s got a lot of catching up to do, on either platform.

Universal cut and paste is a natural extension of the AirDrop technology that now is working fairly reliably in El Capitan.
Took me a bit to understand what they meant. Now it strikes me as something that could very well elicit a “groan about how it soon be forgotten”. For people with one Mac like me it’s irrelevant. But will it work with everyone on the same account? Then maybe. But will it use a different command than regular cut and paste. If not I can see problems where I copy something and by the time I tell my wife to paste it on her machine, she has copied something else and overwritten it. The Universal clipboard really needs to be separate from the local one.

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.
I gotta get it working on my phone yet. I’ll look at it though. I’d like to see it supplant PayPal,

Logging into a Mac with an Apple Watch through a secure mechanism is just brilliant. It’ll be used every day.
Not in my house. Not this year. Probably not this decade.

So it was a nice WWDC Keynote, but I’m not a developer so not much for me to get excited about.. About what I expected. I would have really liked some discussion of hardware though. “New MacBook Pro and Mac Pro models in September” would have made my day. As far as the things they did release, the devil is in the implementation. Right now there’s a bunch of neat ideas, but I’ll wait until developers get them in their hands and find out how well they actually will work.

brilor

About what I expected. I would have really liked some discussion of hardware though. “New MacBook Pro and Mac Pro models in September” would have made my day

Ditto. These new OS features will help folks but only Mac Apple Pay sounds like something I might use. Siri might be okay but as geoduck points out the current version has limitations and competitors’ offerings surpass it. Hopefully, it will improve and Apple will announce more Macs in the Fall. Brian

webjprgm

The copy-paste feature sounds cool but if it works like AirDrop then it won’t work well for me. I always have to use the “search for older Mac” button to get my desktop and laptop to talk to each other, even when my Mac and AirDrop were both pretty new (so not an “older” Mac then). I don’t think I’ve ever gotten any of my iOS devices to AirDrop with any of my Macs, even the newer ones.

iJack

What machines will Sierra run on, John?

Scott B in DC

@iJack: A good resource can be found at iMore http://www.imore.com/macOS-12

As for AirDrop, I wish they would find another way of doing cross-device copying when the Macs are wired. My wireless network is a separate subnet from my wired network and I am not about to allow my Mac on my wireless network. Some of us take security very serious and wireless security is nearly an oxymoron.

Thinking out loud… I wonder if there’s a way to write a DD-WRT script to “fake” AirDrop and write my own restrictions?

Macsee

TO ADMINS: auto-login does not work in this site using Safari on Mac.

———————————
Apple should bring to Mac OS:
- True and full resume playback to iTunes application for Mac, as it was available in SoundJam MP from where iTunes was developed 15 years ago!

- Colored labels to items and Finder left pane, as previously available. - Scroll bars with arrows (both vertical and horizontal), as previously available.

- Useful customizable Finder search engine (or at least search by Name Contains instead of the useless Kind Any current default), much as EasyFind (no Spotlight indexing required) and HoudahSpot work. Much as Sherlock worked on Mac OS 9 before OS X.

Old UNIX Guy

I’m fine with the features they introduced as long as they actually work, which given Apple’s more recent history with software “quality,” remains to be seen (and Craig didn’t announce the one feature I was most interested in ... an e-mail client that actually works with a standard IMAP account).

I’m also fine with the name change from OS X to macOS.  However, when they announced that the new version will be called “Sierra” I groaned out loud.  Come on, Apple ... Yosemite, El Capitan, and now Sierra?!?  California is a big place with *lots* of interesting potential names.  Whoever is deciding on these names is spending a little too much time in the thin air of the mountains and their brain is suffering from lack of oxygen.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is a extremely minor quibble, so if anyone reading this disagrees with me that’s fine.

John Martellaro

iJack. Jeff G. listed the Macs that support macOS Sierra.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/macos-sierra-drops-support-for-several-mac-models

ellsab

2nd Old UNIX Guy, let’s hope they work, amount of times AirDrop doesn’t work is a real frustration.

Only feature I would like to see is ability to turn off sync when on certain Wifi networks. I use mobile Wifi at work, and would love a feature that enables background sync to be disable to avoid chewing up all my Data. With the intro of 4G in the blink of an eye 1GB transfer is done before you know it.

Would love the Mac to have the ability to choose a daily data limit based on which network you are connect to, I do use a 3rd party app to monitor data transfer, but having it built in would just make life so much easier.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account