Categories: MacWorkspace

Mac OS Sierra Is Available Now As Free Update

Apple has made the macOS Sierra, the latest version of its desktop operating system, available as a free download for compatible systems.

All Macs introduced since late 2009 should be able to upgrade, bringing Siri to their machines for the first time – as detailed at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this year.

Siri on Mac replicates much of the functionality included on iPhone and iPad. The voice-activated personal assistant can send messages and emails, search for documents and photos, and adjust settings. Search results can be dragged into documents and even shared with another Apple device.

Mac OS Sierra release

Owners of an Apple Watch can automatically unlock their Mac with their wearable and Apple Pay is available on the web. Photos has a new ‘Memories’ feature and online video is improved with a resizable ‘picture in picture’ feature for iTunes and Safari.

Sierra also has a new ‘Optimised Storage’ feature that helps iCloud on desktop to replicate sopme of the funcationality of OneDrive and Google Drive. The software can free up local storage by automatically moving infrequently used files to the cloud and removing unused apps.

When it was announced, analysts called Mac OS Sierra one of the most significant updates to Mac in years.

“These are black and white features, not shades of grey, that dramatically impact the user experience,” claimed Patrick Moorehead, president of Moor Insights and Strategy. “Auto unlock with Watch and Apple Pay on the web are huge as they change what many of us do every day on our PCs or Macs, that is, to login and buy stuff.

“With Optimised Storage, Apple may have finally gotten cloud storage right and will be better positioned to compete with Microsoft and Google. If the service works as reliably and as quickly as what they showed on stage, this could drive many consumers to even reconsider a Mac. Once people let this feature settle in, the more fanfare it will get.”

Mac has a 7.37 percent share of the desktop OS market, according to figures from NetMarketShare.

iOS 10 was released last week but its launch was marred by reports the update was ‘bricking’ handsets.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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