Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi has taken the stage at Apple’s WWDC keynote to introduce the next major version of macOS. They’re calling it macOS High Sierra.
Think of this like a Mountain Lion-style update—Craig himself said “we wanted to spend this year perfecting Sierra.”
The first major improvements come to Safari, with benchmarks putting Safari “tops them all,” saying that the web browser is the world’s fastest on High Safari. It also includes Autoplay Blocking, which means that Safari will detect sites that shouldn’t be playing video and will stop them automatically. Users can play the videos manually if they choose to.
Safari also includes intelligent tracking prevention, meaning sites won’t track you from one site to another. It won’t block ads, but it will promote a user’s privacy.
Mail in High Sierra is getting Split View, and will also promote searches in Spotlight as well.
Photos is getting a new persistent side bar, and a new view in chronological order, or by date, names, and more. People are synchronized automatically across devices as well. There are new editing tools in Photos, including Curves, to fine tune edges. Color in selective range. If you switch to another editing tool to make further edits, the changes will automatically sync to your Photos library.
Apple also unveiled its new Apple File System, with instant file synchronization, easy duplications when necessary, which are much faster on High Sierra.
Video is getting priority in High Sierra, with support for HVEC format. It has better compression than the previous H.264 standard, and the new MacBooks feature built-in support. Graphics and Apple’s Metal got a focus, with Metal 2 getting announced. It is “tremendously fast,” with new APIs and optimizations, which equal 10x better draw input. Apple also provided better debugging and performance analyst tools, and accelerates things with the Window Server atop Metal.
High Sierra will be available in a developer beta beginning today, and a public beta launches later this month. It will be available as a free upgrade later this fall.