Apple's macOS High Sierra that will elevate your Mac(s) to the next level is Now Available as a Free Download
It's finally arrived! Apple has released macOS High Sierra, the world's most advanced desktop operating system, as a free download update. With macOS High Sierra, Mac users gain powerful new core storage, video and graphics technologies. A new file system ensures more efficient and reliable storage, and support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) brings stunning 4K video at lower file sizes. Metal 2 powers virtual reality content creation, faster performance and more. The Core ML developer framework makes it easy to create apps with powerful machine learning that predict, learn and become more intelligent. macOS High Sierra also includes a number of refinements to the apps Mac users enjoy everyday, including Photos and Safari.
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering said that "macOS High Sierra is an important update that makes the Mac more capable and responsive, while laying the foundation for future innovations. High Sierra introduces new technologies for VR, high-efficiency video streaming, advances in storage technology and more, while apps such as Photos, Safari, Mail and Notes are refined to give users even more reasons to love their Mac."
One of the big changes includes the Apple File System (APFS) which is the next-generation file system designed to scale from an Apple Watch to a Mac Pro. APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage, and engineered with encryption as a primary feature. Apple also has a page that may help some prepare for APFS in macOS High Sierra here.
Another feature in macOS High Sierra is High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) Support
High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) are powerful new standards-based technologies for storing and delivering images and audiovisual media. HEVC enables users to watch 4K video files at full quality, while requiring 40 percent less storage space than the current H.264 standard. With HEVC, Apple is enabling high-quality 4K video streaming on networks where only HD streaming was previously possible. If you want to lean more of the geekier side of HEVC, Apple has a video on it for developer-types here.
Another key feature of High Sierra is Metal 2 which is Apple's advanced graphics technology and the fastest, most efficient way to tap into GPU power on the Mac. Metal 2 supports next-generation experiences like machine learning used in speech recognition, natural language processing and computer vision.
For some, especially developers, High Sierra supports VR content which is going to be exciting for content creators, enabling them to create immersive gaming, 3D and VR content on the Mac.
Leading VR companies are working with Apple to drive VR innovation on the Mac with features coming later this year.
Major Photos Update
In High Sierra Photos gets a significant update with a revamped User Interface and new editing tools. Below are some of the main changes.
An updated, always-on sidebar and new filtering and selection tools make photo organization quick and easy.
A refreshed editing UI includes powerful new editing tools like Curves, for fine-tuning contrast, and Selective Color, for making adjustments to a specific color range.
Live Photos can now be edited with fun effects, like Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure, and users can also choose a different key photo.
Third-party editors like Photoshop, Pixelmator and other apps can be launched from Photos, with edits saved back to the Photos library.
Support for third-party project extensions provides access to printing and publishing services from Shutterfly, WhiteWall, Wix, ifolor, Mimeo and Mpix from right within the app.
Other Refinements to Note
Safari stops media with audio from automatically playing in the browser, and Reader can automatically open articles in a clean, uncluttered format.
Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari detects and eliminates cookies and other data used by advertisers for cross-site tracking, to help keep a user's browsing private.
Siri on the Mac responds with a more natural voice and learns music preferences, creates custom playlists and answers music trivia when using Apple Music.
Touch Bar on MacBook Pro gets new Control Strip options plus an improved color picker and more video controls.
Notes adds simple tables, allowing a user to type in cells, make edits and move rows and columns.
Spotlight provides flight status information, including departure and arrival times, delays, gates, terminals and even a map of the flight path.
Apple's final note is that macOS High Sierra is available as a free update starting today from the Mac App Store. macOS High Sierra supports all Macs introduced in late 2009 or later. Some features may not be available in all regions or languages.
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