Apple finally released the latest version of macOS which was presented at the 2017 WWDC event. This OS version is called macOS 10.13 High Sierra and it is just as free as the last few releases. Previously, users only had a beta version of the operating system.
The update includes a number of updates for macOS, including (but not limited to) the new AFS file system, the Metal 2 framework, the high-performance video codec with hardware acceleration (HEVC), and the new HEIF image format.
A new file system (APFS)
One of the main features of the High Sierra is a faster and more secure file system Apple File System with 64-bit architecture. The advanced storage architecture of the APFS opens up a wide range of capabilities to support new features and future storage technologies on the Mac.
APFS provides support for large-capacity storage devices, improves performance, security and reliability. Everyday activities, such as copying files and folders, become almost instant with APFS.
Advanced integrity testing protects your data in the event of power failures and system failures.
APFS is already supported on all Macs with flash drives, and in the next update will be added support for Mac with Fusion drives and HDD.
Support for HEVC codec
The new industry standard HEVC (H.265) provides exceptional efficiency of compression, streaming and video playback.
HEVC opens the possibility for users to watch 4K video files with full resolution and at the same time requires 40% less disk space than the current H.264 standard without compromising the quality. Thanks to HEVC, Apple devices now support 4K video streaming in networks where only HD video transmission was previously possible.
Hardware acceleration on the new iMac and MacBook Pro provides incredibly fast and energy efficient encoding and playback of HEVC. Adobe, Blackmagic Design, GoPro and other developers have already joined Apple in support of HEVC.
Metal 2 technology
Metal is Apple's most advanced graphics technology and the fastest and most efficient way to tap into the full power of the Mac graphics processor.
Metal 2 supports next-generation technologies, including machine learning, which is used for speech recognition, natural language processing, and computer vision.
The updated API and enhanced performance of Metal 2 help developers, including Unity, Epic, Valve and Pixelmator, accelerate future applications.
Thanks to the combination of Thunderbolt 3 and Metal 2, the most demanding Mac users now have access to external graphics processors.
Virtual Reality Support
In macOS High Sierra for the first time appeared support for virtual reality: now developers can create impressive games, 3D content and virtual reality on the Mac.
Leading developers of virtual reality collaborate with Apple, and this year new incredible features will appear on the Mac.
Valve optimizes its SteamVR platform for macOS and connects to the HTC Vive, while Unity and Epic will add their virtual reality development tools to macOS.
Later this year, Final Cut Pro X will add support for professional workflows of 3D virtual reality with the ability to import, edit and export 360-degree video on a Mac.
Core ML Platform
The Apple Core ML platform offers all Apple developers the power of machine learning and the ability to create completely new types of applications.
Core ML fully utilizes Metal and Accelerate technologies, providing incredible power, speed, and efficiency of machine learning functions such as computer vision, natural language processing and support for convolutional and recurrent neural networks.
All calculations and data processing in Core ML are performed on the device, therefore all data and confidentiality of the user are reliably protected.
Developers are already using Core ML to improve applications such as Pixelmator Pro: using machine learning, the application recognizes various image elements and offers intelligent editing options.
Other improvements in applications
- Safari 11 blocks the automatic playback of materials with sound in the browser, and the Reader can automatically open articles without distracting elements.
- The intelligent locking feature in Safari helps to maintain the privacy of viewing: it recognizes and deletes cookies and other data through which advertisers track transitions between sites.
- Siri on the Mac responds with a more natural voice and remembers your favorite music, creates unique playlists and answers music questions when viewing Apple Music.
- The Touch Bar in the MacBook Pro includes new Control Strip features, as well as an improved color picker and new video management capabilities.
- The Notes now have simple tables where you can enter and edit data in cells, move rows and columns.
- Spotlight can display flight information, including departure and arrival times, delay information, exit numbers, terminal names, and even a flight map.
- The new OS also received new tools for working with photos: an expanded sidebar, new filters and editing tools and effects for editing Live Photos. You can now add fun effects to Live pictures such as looping, reflection and long exposure to Live Photos, and you can select different keyframes for Live Photo. On the new OS you can run third-party image editors, like Photoshop and Pixelmator, right from the Photos application, and then save the edits you made to the Photos library.
The macOS High Sierra is available as a free upgrade in the Mac App Store and is supported on all Mac models presented at the end of 2009 or later. The mac OS High Sierra would take about 4.8GB of your hard drive.