OS X 10.12: Running out of features?

“As Apple works on the latest El Capitan bug fixer-upper, 10.11.4, it hasn’t quite gotten the love at the Mac App Store,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “It’s still saddled with just three stars out of five, and the complaints are all over the place. To be fair, online reviews of apps and operating systems will always be heavily weighted towards users with problems. For people who have no problems, they’re less apt to bother.”

“Still, the conventional wisdom has it that 10.12 will again be devoted to loads of new features, although I wonder just how many compelling capabilities Apple can add that would bring the numbers to 200 or more,” Sternberg writes. “Well, a new report speculates that Siri is at or near the top of the list.”

“Siri?” Sternberg writes. “If Siri is going to be the tentpole feature of OS 10.12, color me bored.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait. If you work in a private environment, as we do in our palatial headquarters, Siri will be very useful. We imagine it would be less so in an office with co-workers close by within hearing range, but, still, Siri on Mac should, and will, be a tentpole feature.

Apple plans to deliver Siri for Mac this year – February 24, 2016


  1. OS X user since version 1 here. I spun up my clamshell running 10.2 and the bottom line is, very little has changed. Yes it’s faster and more robust with more features. That’s all good. But the way everything works is the same.

    The Finder windows all look and behave pretty much the same. There’s nothing radically different about it now.

    I have thought deeply about OS X’s future and as I struggle in Mac Mail; as I slave away with lots of manual labour organizing things; dealing with messy iTunes and everyrhing else…

    OS X needs a major overhaul. It needs to be totally redone in look and feel and function. It needs to be much SMARTER. It needs to learn about me, my habits, and anticipate my needs.

    The problem I see is that we’re going to be stuck with the same old OS developed at PARC in the 70s for several more years. And that’s because Apple is going to give this two OS world another 5 years at least before they launch a one world operating system that works woth the phone and tablets along with desktops and laptops.

    While I hate Windows, they have shown us the future with Windows 10. It’s modern and with Continuity it also runs on all devices. And it’s touch friendly.

    Google is also working on a one operating system strategy which would kill Chrome OS with a new Android running on all devices.

    OS X is decent. But it’s gotten really long in the tooth. Radical change is needed.

    1. I would just really like it if I never saw another spinning beach ball or error message with my Mac Pro. I don’t understand how Apple’s software got so buggy in the last 5 years.

    2. To dswe,
      Hold on to your Windows as much as you want. I’ll stick with Apple OS’s, they have shown us the way to much more secure – malware deprived computing and I like it much better than any MS wiz-bang feature. And I have been a user of both environments since Win 3.1 and Mac System 6. Seriously MS just sucks at security.

  2. Here are some features that should be made years ago:

    1. Finder: Optional dual pane windows in like Total Commander on PC for fast copying between drives

    2. Finder: Breadcrumb on the window bottom should contain links to all elements of the file path

    3. General: If I select couple folders (ex. 25) and select “Get Info” I would like to get sizes of the folders combined not 25 separate windows.

    4. Launchpad: who uses this feature?

    5. Bring back RAID in Disk Utility

    6. Finder: I want to have direct shortcut to my photos in Photos

    1. #1 OK.
      #2 You already have it. View > Show Path Bar (cmd-opt-P)
      #3 You already have it. Hold option key, select Edit > Show Inspector (cmd-opt-I)
      #4 Lots of people
      #5 Agreed. I think we’ll see it with the next version.
      #6. Photos is a database. If you need a photo in the Finder, drag it to the desktop. Easy.

      1. 2# You are right, cmd-opt-P command is correct. It shows or hides breadcrumbs in path bar, but elements of the path are not links. It could be very helpful when navigating up in the folder structure.

        3# Thats big one! Thank you chrish1961! it works!

          1. Well, isn’t that what we all love in a desktop OS. Trial and error clicking and swiping and guesstures.

            A proper toolbar, Apple. Stop the iOSification!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Right, just don’t dare make any changes to the picture files or Photos will get itself completely confused.

          Photos is even worse than iTunes in that regard. Apple’s implementation of user-managed databases has much to be desired.

      1. In this manner OS X is getting more and more like Windows. Forcing people to play hide-and-seek or memory games with hidden controls and complex keyboard commands is bad GUI. While some like this, many people strongly prefer the intuitiveness of clear, user-customizable toolbars for the Finder and all programs. But since the same iOS designers continue to dumb down the OS X interface, Apple has begun to look and feel more like Windows each of the last several iterations. First it was the dumb move for Apple to adopt filename extensions, then the wave of full-screen apps that are only good for media consumption, then Apple copying Microsoft’s automated window snap sizing, … what’s next? Cortana for the Mac?

        Apple needs to make a superior desktop GUI with a modern file system. It’s not boring or broken, it’s been piled on with iOSification that just makes it buggier and less user friendly than it used to be.

        1. 1. So instead of using cmd-T in the Finder, go “File -> New Tab”

          2. Filename extensions have nothing to do with iOS designers, and has been around in OS X from the beginning (and before that in Mac OS).

          3. Don’t like full-screen apps? Don’t click on the green button at the upper left of the window. Full-screen is useful for a lot more than “only good for media consumption”; anything where you want to minimize scrolling around on the screen to see your work, from document editing to video or photo work. Don’t like it, you don’t have to use it.

          4. “Cortana for the Mac”? It’s little more than a late copy of Siri.

          1. I am not saying that there aren’t workarounds in OS X. I am essentially agreeing with dswe and kent.

            The new features that have been added in the last several years have done absolutely nothing to improve user efficiency, security, privacy, or ease of use. Many of the interface decisions made by Apple recently have been borrowed directly from Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. You know it and I know it.

            Just look at all the keyboard shortcuts (or right-click contextual menu items, or Finder buried toolbar items) recommended here in this forum to allow the user to manage files. Apple strongly pushes iOS users to essentially use Photos and only Photos to do anything with thwir pics. Prosumers want to have an Aperture-like editing power, which no longer exists. Pros need Apple to step aside and let them do what they need to do. But no, that’s not Apple’s business model today. Every time a user attempts to manage the data he owns locally, then Apple struggles to figure out how to force that user into the iCloud.

            Maybe the biggest features that sophisticated Mac users need is a big OFF button to permanently remove all traces of iCloud and likewise also a way to remove pre-installed crapware that Apple (just like Microsoft) claims are critical for the system to work at all. I get it that fans think Apple always knows best, but it’s been amateur hour in Cupertino ever since Jobs left the building.

    2. Of all you mentioned, Photos is just a mess. And if anybody can help, I’d appreciate it. I get that albums is where you see the pics you’ve placed in albums. All Photos is where you see everything. So I had 5000 photos when the program was introduced. I’ve tried to go in and put all my photos into appropriate albums which may or may not overlap. But, I can’t categorize 5000 photos in one session. And since I didn’t know much about the program when I started, I never saved my place. I did it as I had some spare time and skipped around not knowing for sure where I had left off. I always tried to get the new pics into albums but I know I missed a bunch. So now, I’m still in a situation where I end up searching through All Photos with now more than 6500 photos to find the set or the one I’m looking for or just to make sure that I haven’t missed one. Is there an easier way to have Photos, for instance, show me all the photos which are not in an album? If it would just do that, I could see what I have to work with and make sure that each is in an album and viewable in some album instead of having to go through the All Photos view. This problem with photos makes me wish for iPhoto again with its endless beach balls. Does anybody know of a solution???

      1. I totally agree. I did a travel blog on Blogger 2013 when Photos first came out and Blogger couldn’t access the pictures in order to place them in the blog. I ended up using Facebook instead. What a disaster. I still lose pictures that I place in Photos from Mail. So I copy onto the desktop and then import into Photos.

        1. Yes, but the problem is that I have so many devices that I use depending on the situation – 3 iPads and an iPhone 6S and 4 Macs though most of my pictures are taken on the iPhone 6S. The problem is that when I’m mobile, I don’t do much as far as organization – it’s not feasible. If ONLY Apple would show an ‘Album’ of pics that are not in any other album, I would have a snowball’s chance of bringing some organization to the mess. In the end, Photos is much better than iPhoto UI-wise but functionally, it freaking stinks if you had a few images when it came about.

  3. Imagine Siri + Automator. If you could use Siri to automate workflows and tasks, color me excited. That would be neat, and it would open up Automator to a whole new class of users.

    1. Absolutely correct on tagging. I build animated web pages with motion graphics. There can easily be over 100 files in one project.

      “Minimalists” you must be referring to iOS entertainment consumers who know absolutely nothing (or care) about where their content comes from and wouldnt understand it if we explained it. They have no concept of the need for file organization and most likely never will. Too worried about the Kardashians to think about real things.

      OSX features? I think where Apple has fallen down badly is that they don’t understand the difference between features and entertainment consumer oriented gimmicks. Do some reorganization like previous posters have talked about and fix the bugs.

      I agree with a previous poster about Windows 10 (let the flames begin) I use it to test websites, yes, they have a way to go but they seem motivated to try, and I have never said that about Microsoft ever before. It IS better and they seem to be trying to cut the complexity at a time when Apple is throwing “features” at the wall to see if anything sticks.

      Sorry if some are offended.

      I use OSX to make a living, so it does matter to me. I use iOS less and less as time goes by. When my 5S contract is up, I will most likely not upgrade, for me it is a phone and a camera, OSX even with its issues are far more useable even in a mobile context.

  4. I am sitting in my favorite chair. I like this chair. I am not squirming around waiting for this chair to get an exciting update. It’s fine the way it is. Don’t mess with my chair!

  5. “Running out of features?”

    What an idiotic question.

    Until the day when I’m thinking of a business letter in my morning shower and after I’m dressed all I have to do is fingerprint verify the document on my Mac so that it automatically sends it… there will always be new features that can be inserted into Mac OS.

    to name just one thing that will eventually be inserted into Mac OS: Siri is just a far evolved version of Casper (publicly introduced in 1993). Siri still has a long way to go, and it is not get integrated into Mac OS.

  6. I am not a power user, but I still have not upgraded to El Cap. I upgraded a 3 y/o MBA and had nothing but issues. I have three MBA, two have been purchased in the last 2 years. Most of the issues have been related to slow processing and Safari Web Content slowing. I still have issues with Web Content on all of my MBA’s even under Yosemite. I know some are going to suggest using Chrome, and I have, but I just don’t care for it, I guess its called Google Phobia.

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