Apple previews major update with macOS Sierra

Apple today previewed macOS Sierra , a major update to the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, with new features that make the Mac smarter and more helpful than ever. Siri is now on the Mac with brand-new capabilities to help with the things users do every day on their desktop. With Siri, users can look up information, find documents, pin or drag and drop search results, and even adjust system preferences. Seamless integration with iCloud makes everything from your Desktop and Documents folder available on your iPhone and iPad so you always have access to the files you need. Universal Clipboard allows you to copy content, including text, images, photos and video from one Apple device and paste it in another. Apple Pay comes to the Mac in Sierra so it is even easier to shop securely and privately online. And Photos now helps you rediscover your meaningful memories, organize your library and perfect shots like a pro.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

Siri makes its debut on the Desktop with macOS Sierra.
Siri makes its debut on the Desktop with macOS Sierra.

Siri Debuts on the Mac

Siri on the Mac is now just one click away. The familiar features of Siri are now on the Mac with brand-new capabilities specifically designed for the desktop. Easily accessible from the Dock, menu bar or keyboard, Siri lets you use your voice to search for information, find files and send messages. For example you can ask Siri to locate a specific document you worked on last night, add a meeting to your calendar or start a FaceTime® call. With Siri on the Mac, you can also drag and drop items from Siri search results into your documents or emails, pin Siri search results in Notification Center to keep an eye on information like sports scores or stock prices, and even adjust system preferences, set reminders and search your Photos library. With its debut on Mac, Siri is now on all four Apple software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — and handles two billion requests per week across 36 countries.

Your Desktop & Documents on All Your Devices

With macOS Sierra you can automatically have all the files on your Desktop and in your Documents folder on any Mac, iOS device or even PC. You simply save your files on your Desktop or within your Documents folder as you usually do and you will have them everywhere you need them. You can access your files on your iPhone and iPad in the iCloud Drive app and on or the iCloud for Windows app. And when you log into a second Mac, your files are automatically on the Desktop and in the Documents folder, exactly where you saved them.

Copy & Paste Between Devices

Continuity across your Apple devices also gets better in macOS Sierra. With Universal Clipboard, the contents of your clipboard are available across all your Apple devices via iCloud. You can easily copy and paste text, images, photos and video between your Mac and your iPhone and iPad.

Tabs in Almost Every App

To help you navigate your Desktop with more efficiency, macOS Sierra takes the popular Tabs feature from Safari and makes it available across Mac apps that support multiple windows, including Maps, Mail, Pages, Numbers, Keynote and TextEdit, and even third-party apps. With Tabs you can browse multiple locations in Maps without losing your place, copy and paste between Pages documents in full screen, or quickly jump between multiple email drafts in Mail.

Picture in Picture on the Mac

You can now keep an eye on one thing while working on another. macOS Sierra lets you float video from Safari or iTunes in a window over your desktop as you work, and even resize, drag and pin video to any corner of your screen. The video stays put when you switch spaces, so you’ll never miss a thing.

Shopping on Your Mac with Apple Pay

Users love to shop online using their Macs and with macOS the shopping experience in Safari is now even better. Apple Pay on the web makes it easy to make secure and private purchases when shopping on participating websites. You no longer need to share credit or debit card numbers with an online merchant and actual card numbers are not stored on your device, nor on Apple servers. Just look for the Apple Pay button at checkout on many of your favorite shopping sites and complete your purchase with Touch ID® on your iPhone or by using your Apple Watch®. Strong encryption protects all communication between your devices and Apple Pay servers, and Apple Pay does not track your purchases.

Rediscover Memories with Photos

The new Memories feature in Photos helps you rediscover favorite and forgotten moments deep in your Photos library by automatically creating curated collections of occasions like a first birthday party, wedding or family vacation. With new advanced computer vision, Photos now understands the people, places and things inside your images using on-device facial, object and scene recognition and location information to group images into albums. The People feature automatically groups your photos into Albums based on who is in them. Places now displays your photos on a world map so you can see where they were taken. And, perfecting your photos like a pro is now even easier with the new Brilliance tool, which pulls in highlights and adds contrast to enhance details throughout your images.

Additional macOS Features

• Auto Unlock lets you simply walk up to your Mac while wearing your authenticated Apple Watch and be automatically logged into your desktop.

• Optimized Storage frees up space when your Mac starts getting full by storing infrequently used items in iCloud and reminding you to delete used app installers, and even clearing out duplicate downloads, caches, logs and more.

• Messages makes conversations more interesting, now allowing you to preview web links and watch video clips within the app, post reactions like a heart, thumbs up and more directly onto a message bubble with Tapback, and use bigger emoji for more message impact.

• Apple Music in iTunes makes it even easier to discover new music and browse exclusives and new releases.

Privacy in macOS

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services. iMessage and FaceTime use end-to-end encryption to protect your data by making it unreadable by Apple and others. Services like Siri and Maps send data to Apple’s servers, but this data is not used to build user profiles, and Photos uses on-device intelligence to organize your images using facial, object and scene recognition.

Starting with macOS Sierra, Apple is using technology called Differential Privacy to help discover the usage patterns of a large number of users without compromising individual privacy. In macOS Sierra, this technology will help improve autocorrect suggestions and Lookup Hints in Notes.


The developer preview of macOS Sierra is available to Apple Developer Program members at starting today. Mac users can sign up for the macOS Sierra Beta Program today and download the software starting in July at The final version will be available for free from the Mac App Store this fall. For more information, visit Features are subject to change, and some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.

Source: Apple Inc.


  1. Mac-bloody-tastical!!!!
    Siri paves a deeper reason why Apple and the Mac is the machine to copy!

    Looking forward to talking with my Mac (finally a real assistant) the way it was envisioned 20 years ago.

    1. So… looks like they copied Microsoft Windows 10:

      1) Personal assistant (Cortana on W10 was first)
      2) Cloud between all devices… Onedrive (Skydrive before that) was doing that already.
      3) Unlocking via wearable – Microsoft showed that at Computex

      Also… some wtf shit:

      1) Why oh why do I have to pull out my phone to make a purchase or even just authenticate on my MAC. If I’m on my mac, I’m on my mac. Not my iPhone. Keep it simple guys…. don’t make me have to juggle between so many devices.
      2) Same goes for copy/paste. When would I use this? Why would I be researching on my iPhone only so I can copy/paste to my mac, when…. well… I’m on my mac.
      3) ios10 no mouse support! JeebusEffingCheesnuts

      OK, sorry.

      Anyway, love the new iMessage bubbles and emojis. Pretty awesome.

      1. Ok loser.

        -Siri was launched in 2011.
        -Google Now was launched in 2012.
        -Cortana was launched in 2014.

        Why do you have to use your phone to pay? Because it’s a good feature on its own and a stopgap until Apple laptops amd mouses have touch ID.

        Copy and paste? I would use this all of the time.

        And iOS and a mouse: get over your 20th century thinking and change.

        1. Cortana for PC was launched in 2015
          Siri for mac was launched in beta today (2016)
          Siri on a desktop/laptop was launched AFTER Cortana for PC

          Having to pay by phone is good because its a stopgap? Really? Stopgaps are BULLSHIIITE. Don’t make me pull out my phone to make a purchase on my mac. Just let me spend my money as easy as possible. Apple should have just announced TouchID for Mac if that’s the case. Go all in, not half-assed.

          Tell me one way copy from iPhone/paste on mac is more efficient than copy/paste on mac.

          Hmmm, you know this thing called THE WHEEL? Yeah, invented thousands of years ago. Just because its an old way of thinking about transport modality, it doesn’t get chucked just because its now the 21st century.

          1. One way that copy from iPhone to Mac is more efficient is because it is currently impossible to get a snippet of text on one device onto the other without copying from the source, pasting into a text, email, or document in the cloud, transmitting it to the other device, copying it from the transmission, and finally pasting into the final destination. How is that more efficient than simply copying on one device and pasting on the other?

            I am also unclear how Apple can announce Touch ID on Mac when there are no Macs with touch sensors, and millions of existing Macs that will never have a sensor. There are, however, millions of Mac owners who have a touch sensor and secure enclave on their iPhone.

            And what does any of that have to do with the wheel?

            1. Well said. I presume he wants ApplePay delayed on Mac so that he can claim that MS did it first (though that would have to be some delay). This works potentially with any Mac as the move over to universal Touch sensors (or equivalent) takes place, I would have thought that a positive move rather than initiating a class system between users.

              As for copy and paste between devices this will be a godsend to me. I work from home stop work officially at a given time but leave my Mac in sleep for when i may have to use it till i go to bed. So i sit using my iPad in social mode but very often with half an eye on work especially in terms of intermittently doing text picture research. You can’t believe how often i would just love to be able to copy and paste that onto my mac either so that I can have it ready for when Im back in work mode maybe the next morning or if inspired to be able to move to my Mac and take that into say Photoshop or other specific work software I don’t have on my iPad. Yes I can do that in other more laborious ways but that function will be a boon to me and answer my needs. And I suspect as it becomes available people very different to me will find it useful in ways they had never previously envisioned.

              Sure for many it will be of little use but then many (perhaps most) functions are only really useful to minorities, but it is the sum of all those parts together that broaden appeal and make it the supreme experience any OS should be surely. The Authoritarian approach that MS were famous for is narrow minded and old fashioned and its a shame some of its ‘fans’ still can’t get out of that instinct. It becomes a moronic ‘we got there first’ or ‘thats no use’ if others do it first, imagination no where to be seen. Its a childish and dated view of life generally that if nothing else is faintly amusing. But one thing is for sure we would still be in the stone age if everyone thought that way as even MS have accepted in recent years.

      2. lWhat makes Apple Pay so bullet-proof is the secure enclave on your phone accessible only by your authenticated watch or your fingerprint on the phone. So if somebody steals your Mac, you don’t have to worry that they can get your credit card info off the hard drive – it’s on the phone in the secure enclave. While I’m not the Apple fan I was two years ago, I have a HUGE appreciation for what this company does for my security. Copy/paste across devices? I’ve had the need numerous times and it will be handy to have not only a cloud in the sky but also a clipboard up there too. I’m digging Windows 10 but at least be honest. Siri was on the iPhone first. Then since MS couldn’t sell a phone, they added Cortana to Win10 as an apology for Win8. Again, I see advantages to both OSes – security being Apple’s top. As for tabs on almost every app…. I was programming multiple document interfaces for Windows on Windows 98. The difference is that the companies have catered to different user demographics over the years. MS flourished when stores stocked AISLES of Windows software and 1/4 aisle of Mac software. In the digital world today though, those aisles are empty – of customers. The App Store is blossoming and the Windows store gives me some idea what it’s like to cross the Sahara desert with a pint of water. I have my gripes about both companies but comments like yours show an arrogance which had a place when MS had customers. Let Apple have its day now. Competition makes both companies better. And we, the customers, win through their competition.

  2. Hoping for a less buggy, Snow Leopard-like experience.

    Using iOS fingerprint for a Mac is bullshit.

    AuthenTec, bought and shuttered by Tim Cook, sold highly reliable Fingerprint readers and the supporting software. After buying the company, they shut it down, dropped support and then broke the app with the next OS upgrade.

    Apple could easily put a reader on laptops and on they keyboards they sell for Macs.

    Where is the VoIP support for Mac?

    1. They might still. This was all about software. By using the fingerprint scanner (and Secure Enclave) that ‘everyone’ already has, tens of millions of Mac owners can use this day one without requiring extra hardware. If they choose to implement a fingerprint scanner into the power button, trackpad or something on new Macs, cool, but for right now, this is a good solution.

      Also, it is worth remembering that the Secure Enclave is required for authentications, which your iPhone has, but your Mac does not. Maybe they will add that elsewhere, but right now it is internal to the A series processors, and not available separately.

    2. I don’t think iOS Apple Pay is about a fingerprint reader. If you had 3 copies of your credit card, that data is more likely to be lost or stolen. The credit card info is already on your phone so why make a copy of it somewhere else? Have we seen an instance where the phone’s secure enclave was really hacked and data stolen? I LIKE the idea of my credit card data being in ONE place and I think I’ll actually find it more convenient to authenticate on my phone than to contort my body to get my finger positioned properly on a bigger device. Just my opinion.

      1. The simple fact is that I presently have to grab my wallet and search for the appropriate card to use. So presently if I used my iPhone it would certainly be no more difficult or time consuming and almost certainly a more convenient and simple task for me. So where is the problem. When new hardware is launched maybe integrated functionality will be incorporated there too but that has little to do with this conference and it won’t be available in software till later in the year anyway. But as alluded to above the safeguards are integral to the A series platform so simply transfering that same capability to the Mac is not trivial. Im not sure that changing for example to A (B) series Macs would please the majority of users to gain that functionality now would it.

  3. Looks fantastic.
    Two BIG questions:
    1.How much iCloud storage do you need to make this work in real life?
    2. And will iCloud storage be any cheaper now?

    1. I have a suspicion that in the fall iCloud storage will be bumped up significantly. 5GB isn’t enough anymore for the free tier. If I’m guessing (and it’s an educated guess) this fall we’ll get these tiers of service:

      Free: 50 GB
      .99/month: 200GB
      2.99/month: 1TB
      9.99/month: 4TB

      I could be wrong, but that would make perfect sense with new hardware coming and the growing need for more storage.

      1. I think they should multiply it by the number of devices you have. With three iPads and an iPhone 6S Plus backing up to the cloud I got in on the 200GB tier back when it was 3.99 or whatever.

  4. I guess I can give up on ever getting a mail program that makes sense and a we browser that doesn’t have to reload half the time ….. Should have stuck with 10.3 … Everything was great back then ….

  5. I personally don’t see a single reason to upgrade. Desktop and Documents sharing! Really? Is this Apple’s innovation? Doing the same with Dropbox since ages (even cross platform).
    Unlock the computer when the watch gets close? Simply crazy: I am sure we will laugh soon about this.
    Files that are automatically deleted from your computer when Apple decides and put in the cloud? Brrrrrrrrr

    1. I for one am excited with everything they announced yesterday, and believe the new version of macOS will be great.

      Everything is feeling even more integrated to me, and I love that.

      And for someone who has a ton of files taking up space that I seldom if ever need to review – leaving them in iCloud makes sense to me…..

  6. Oh my old Macbook Pro Late 2008 15″ had a great run. It’s still great and eventually I’ll just use it as a File/iTunes server when I finally replace it with a new one. The batteries are shot but it can run without the battery installed anyway.

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