Applications & OS News
Apple Gets Up To Speed With Microsoft's Windows 10 In MacOS Sierra Release
Apple on Monday lifted the curtain on a rebranded version of its desktop software for Macbooks, called MacOS, with new productivity and multi-tasking features that put it on par with other desktop software vendors -- including Microsoft.
"MacOS Sierra is a major update that makes your Mac smarter and more helpful than ever with improvements to the apps you know and love and great new features throughout," said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, during the keynote. "With MacOS Sierra, you can get information, find files and multitask using Siri, access your desktop and documents from anywhere, copy and paste between Macs and iOS devices, and rediscover precious memories in photos."
The new OS, announced during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, came as a rebranded successor to the company's former OS X El Capitan, and is based on three key features, according to Federighi -- continuity, iCloud upgrades, and overall improvement of the "Mac experience."
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Arguably one of the biggest new features on MacOS is the integration of Siri, which helps Apple get up to speed with artificial intelligence on desktops.
Now Apple users will be able to use Apple's personal digital assistant on their MacBooks -- similar to Microsoft’s personal assistant on Windows 10, Cortana. For example, when MacBook users vocally command her to, Siri can quickly bring up files that were worked on during the previous week.
But beyond the voice-activated digital assistant, Apple has also worked to make its newest desktop software fit into its larger ecosystem of devices, including the Apple Watch and iPhone, with continuity features. The idea behind this feature is similar to Windows Continuum, which enables computing experiences across multiple devices, allowing for a consistent user interface.
One such feature on MacOS is auto-unlock, which allows MacOS users to unlock their MacBook securely by just wearing their Apple Watch.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 does not have a feature that is specifically the same, but it does tout Windows "Hello," which is a personalized way to sign into devices using just user facial recognition or a touch.
MacOS Sierra also touts iCloud Drive, so that when users have both an iPhone and Macbook, they will be able to copy text from an iPhone and paste it on their MacBook. Or, users can store documents into their iCloud Drive from their MacBooks and retrieve the documents on their iPhones.
Finally, Apple introduced optimized storage features on MacOS Sierra. The new feature sweeps through old files on MacBooks and pushes them into the iCloud, clearing up local disk space. Microsoft’s Windows 10, meanwhile, uses a file system to manage how files are stored and accessed on PCs.
David Felton, founder of Norwalk, Conn.-based Canaan Technology, an Apple partner, said he looks forward to the Mac OS upgrades as a way to fix glitches on OS X El Capitan that customers have been reporting.
’We look forward to upgrades to fix some of the problems that our end users have been experiencing,’ said Felton. ’Based on the past few years, Apple’s placing more emphasis on subscription services. I think that this could be Apple’s way to bring more Apple-based services in under [one] umbrella.’
MacOS Sienna will be released as a free upgrade for users in the Fall, according to Apple.