WWDC 2017: Apple Reveals macOS High Sierra With Metal 2 For VR Development

Apple has taken the cover off its latest version of macOS, dubbed ‘High Sierra’, bringing in a suite of features, notably better graphics features and Safari privacy protection.

High Sierra, which is available today as a beta for developers and will be released in full around autumn time, and ushers in a suite of refinements like the Apple File System being used as default for High Sierra and better syncing and editing in the Photos app.

High Sierra

For Silicon readers the real interest lies with the new version of Safari which Apple is claiming is the fastest browser around; some 80 percent faster than Google’s Chrome.

High Sierra also brings machine learning to Safari to help protect a users privacy by identifying browser trackers and blocking them without infringing upon the user’s browsing experience.

Metal 2, Apple’s updated graphics application programming interface (API) designed to better harness the graphics accelerators on its iMac and MacBook product line.

The new graphics API not only offers a hike in performance for graphics on macOS by enabling developers more direct access to iMac and MacBook  Pro graphics hardware, but can also accelerate machine learning, notably the use of deep learning algorithms, meaning more smart software can be developed and brought to the new macOS.

Furthermore, High Sierra also brings in support for external graphics card enclosures  through the use of a Thunderbolt 3 port, with the aim of providing a hike in performance for MacBook users looking at creating graphically intensive apps and software that makes use of virtual reality (VR).

Talking of VR, Apple was keen to show off refreshed iMacs, which come with the latest Intel Kaby Lake Core i processors, more RAM, and better graphics performance to enable the creation of VR experiences.

Apple noted how with Metal 2 and the new iMacs, the HTC Vive VR headset can be used with the all-in-one machines and development of VR apps can be done with the latest Unreal graphics engine and the SteamVR software development kit.

Apple revealed macOS High Sierra at its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2017.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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