Apple’s just released macOS Sierra, and while it’s a minor update, it does include Siri, a universal clipboard and a handful of other new features. Let’s take a quick look at all the new stuff. Music by Visager.
Siri Lands on Your Mac
Sierra packs Siri onto your Mac, and that includes just about everything Siri can do on iOS. As you’d expect, you can ask Siri to check the weather, help you with spelling, create emails, search for stuff online and all the other features it’s had on your iPhone for the last few years.
It can also do just about everything Spotlight can do on your Mac, which means you can use Siri to search for files and open apps with commands like “show me PDF files in my Documents folder” or “Open Photoshop”.
Siri Gives Notification Center More Purpose
Siri adds a new feature to the Notification Center where you can pin search results. Here, you can add sports schedules, a list of files, trending topics on Twitter and any other results from Siri searches to your Notification Center. This makes Notification Center a much more useful place to store information.
Universal Copy-Paste Between Your Mac and iPhone, Unlock Your Mac with Your Apple Watch
Sierra adds two new Continuity features — copy-paste between your Mac and your iPhone and the ability to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch. If you have an Apple Watch, you can skip typing in your password to unlock your Mac. For the rest of us, simply copy a bit of text on your iPhone, then tap Command+V to paste in on your Mac. It should work just like that, with no set up whatsoever. Like all the Continuity features, this works over Bluetooth 4.0, so you’ll need Bluetooth enabled on both devices before you can copy and paste between them.
iCloud Drive Expands to Include Your Desktop and Documents
If you store the documents you’re working on in your Documents folder or on your desktop, then you’ll appreciate that iCloud Drive can now sync both of those folders to make transferring files between Macs a little easier. Just head into System Preferences > iCloud to enable it.
Photos on Mac Gets All the New Features of Photos on iOS
Photos in Sierra gets pretty much all the features included in Photos of iOS 10. This means you’ll find the Memories tab, face recognition and a photo map in the Mac app. Like the iOS version, Photos on the Mac can now search for objects inside photos, which means it can recognise things like sunsets, beaches or birthday cakes.
Optimised Storage Clears Up Disc Space
Optimised Storage is a new automated system for dealing with storage space on your Mac. If you’re using iCloud, your Mac can now decide which files to keep on the cloud and which to keep on your hard drive based on usage. It can also go through and delete old files, duplicates and old app installers to help you free up space. You can find this under Apple > About This Mac, then click Storage, then Manage.
Apple Music Gets a Little Easier to Use
Apple Music gets a minor redesign inside of iTunes. A new For You tab makes it easier to find new music and the Browse section gets a new look to spotlight new music.
Nearly Every App Gets Tabs
If you love tabs in your web browser, then you’ll love tabs in your apps. You can now add tabs to just about every Apple app and a number of third-party apps by pressing Command+T.
Safari Adds Picture-in-Picture Mode
Like the iPad, Safari on Mac gets a picture-in-picture mode where you shrink a video and put it in the corner of your screen so you can watch whatever you want while you’re working.
There a few other minor new features as well, including Apple Pay integration in Safari and giant emoji in Messages.