27th September 2016

macOS Sierra – Hit or Miss?

Unlike its predecessor El Capitan, macOS Sierra focuses on new features and functionality rather than just performance.

Here we examine whether those new features make macOS Sierra a hit or a miss.

As macOS Sierra suggests, Apple has moved us from OS X to macOS to help align the Mac operating system with iOS, tvOS and watchOS. It’s also more resource hungry than OS X so it’s worth checking that your Mac can run the new macOS properly. Any Mac from 2010 is compatible and if you have a 2009 iMac or MacBook, you can also upgrade.


Siri comes to Mac
Without doubt, the change that has caused the most excitement is that Siri has come to Mac. Whilst there is no “Hey Siri” command, you simply click on the purple Siri icon and speak into your Mac’s microphone. Siri can perform a whole range of tasks from opening a folder, launching a Map, reading your last email, writing messages to undertaking Spotlight searches and even telling you the distance to the moon.

What is most impressive about Siri is that regardless of your accent or how you pronounce words, it is really accurate. It of course does make some mistakes but you often associate that with how you as a user are speaking. As with all communication, slower and clearer seems to win the day.


Use your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac
Another new feature is that if you have an Apple Watch running watchOS3 you can set up your Mac to allow your Watch to unlock your Mac. Once set up, all you have to do is tap the keyboard and your Mac is immediately unlocked. No more need for passwords! Of course, you have to be wearing your Watch at the time.

We do like this feature but have to admit that we haven’t taken the plunge of buying an Apple Watch yet. Is this feature cool enough for us to buy an Apple Watch just to take advantage of this?

Probably not, but will we be slightly envious of those who do own a Watch and unlock their Macs instantly in front of us? Probably – yes!


Save time with The Universal Clipboard
The Universal Clipboard is a feature that we are only really starting to comprehend its full potential. The ability to copy something on your phone and then simply paste it onto your nearby Mac, or vice-versa, is simply genius. How many times have you had to send something to yourself via email from one device to another? Universal clipboard reduces the time and effort of having to do this.


Access files on any Apple device
iCloud Drive allows you to automatically save the files on your desktop and in your Documents folder to be stored and updated in iCloud Drive. This means that you can access them on any of your iOS devices or another Mac.


More storage
A big need for our leasing customers is to have the right amount of storage on their Mac. Optimised Storage in macOS Sierra helps to make more room by automatically storing rarely used files in iCloud and keeping them available on demand. The program can also help you to find and remove old files that you no longer use.


That’s not all…
macOS Sierra brings a total of over 60 new changes to your Mac’s operating system. The fact that Apple offers this upgrade for free and the process is so simple, we find it hard to fault the new operating system. You can argue that to get all of the benefits you need to have an iPhone, a Watch and a Mac but in fairness most of us have at least 1 or 2 of those. Whilst macOS isn’t a complete overall from OS X we think the changes are really positive and we’re really enjoying learning how we can take full advantage of them.