Here’s when you can upgrade to macOS High Sierra


macOS update
A macOS update adds support for Messages in iCloud.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Following three months of beta testing, macOS High Sierra is almost ready to make its public debut.

There are a whole bunch of new features and improvements to look forward to in this update, including an overhauled Photos app, enhanced Siri, and the new Apple File System.

High Sierra improves upon the foundations laid with last year’s Sierra upgrade. Some of its biggest changes, which will greatly improve the performance of your Mac, are under the hood.

High Sierra is the first macOS operating system that uses the Apple File System (APFS). It’s designed with modern flash storage in mind, and it makes it significantly faster to find and move files. It’s also more secure, thanks to stronger encryption.

You’ll also find support for the HEVC video codec, which replaces H.264 as Apple’s standard. It can compress videos up to 40 percent more so that they’re faster to stream, and take up less space. This is hugely important for those super-sharp 4K videos you’ll shoot on iPhone X.

Safari also gets a substantial speed boost, and is now up to 80 percent faster than Google Chrome, Apple claims. It comes with greater security, too — and the ability to automatically block those pesky ads that autoplay video in the background.

Some of the biggest user-facing changes include an overhauled Photos app that promises better organization and new editing tools. Apple has also revamped its filters, added the ability to edit with third-party tools, and implemented Live Photos editing.

Siri now sounds more natural and includes all the features you’ll find in iOS 11, while iCloud Drive users can now share files with one another. Spotlight can now be used to search for things like flight times and maps, and Notes has a new pinning feature.

FaceTime now lets you take pictures during a call, and Messages can backup your data to iCloud to save space on your Mac — just like on iOS.

You’ll be able to download macOS High Sierra from the Mac App Store on September 25.


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