Written: October 9, 2016

macOS Sierra, Is it a big deal?

My MacBook Pro prompted me to upgrade to the latest OS, now named macOS Sierra, so I said OK and have been playing with the new features today. The installation process took maybe 30 minutes or so, and while that was happening I was able to watch some Netflix series on my iPad.

Siri

Users of iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone have long been able to chat with their devices to ask questions or control apps, so now we have that useful feature on the desktop. I first asked about the weather, but then quickly discovered that I hadn’t setup my location:

Oddly enough the icon for Siri is supposed to be in my Menu Bar, but it isn’t showing up, instead I have to find it in my Dock instead. The hotkey to invoke Siri is “command shift”, however that is already defined to be the Spotlight feature. Oops, Apple duplicated their own hotkey sequences and failed to notice that gaffe.

Universal Clipboard

This nifty feature allows you to copy from one device, say the MacBook Pro, then paste into an iPad. Sadly for me this feature requires that my MacBook Pro be a 2012 or later model, but I’m using the 2011 model so this doesn’t work at all, ugh.

Auto Unlock

This trick requires that you purchase an Apple Watch, then it will unlock your MacBook Pro. I’m not going to buy a watch just to do this task, but I understand how wearables could impact my laptop.

Apple Pay

You can be shopping on your Safari browser on the desktop, click the Apple Pay button, then use your iPhone or Apple Watch to make the payment. Since I own the iPad Air, this doesn’t work, it requires an iPad Air2 device.

Photos

Memories will arrange your photos into collections that are grouped by people, events and location. Worked OK on my MacBook Pro, but I couldn’t find it on my iPad device.

Messages

I can use the Messages app and add fun emoji. Most of my contacts use Facebook Messenger or regular text messaging.

iCloud Drive

Works across all my devices like iPad and MacBook Pro, kind of like Apple’s version of DropBox.

Optimized Storage

Clever feature to move infrequent files from my Mac into iCloud, leaving more space on my Mac. Haven’t tried it, but it does make sense should I run out of space.

Picture in Picture

In iTunes or some web sites on Safari you can start playing a video, then float that video to a corner of your screen while you work on other things. The only streaming that I do is on Netflix, so I haven’t tried this yet.

Tabs

Apps like Maps can have multiple tabs, just like in a web browser. I’m a Google Maps user, so seldom play with Apple Maps.

Summary

For how I use my MacBook Pro this latest OS is mostly eye-candy, so really won’t change my daily work and entertainment routines. It was free, so thank you Apple

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