What you need to know about the new Mac OS Sierra

With new OS Sierra, Apple  like in previous versions, integrates lots of additional options that were provided in iOS, the OS for the apple’s mobile devices. However Sierra doesn’t simply add options from iOS, it helps both deices understand each other better and work together. Taking in consideration the fact that most of the people today primarily use iOS devices as computers, mac OS Sierra is adjusted more to assist users with their needs.

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iMac (Late 2009 and later), Mac mini (2010 and later), Mac Pro (2010 and later), MacBook (Late 2009 and later), MacBook Air (2010 and later), MacBook Pro (2010 and later)

Requirements to use Apple Pay

The Macs listed above can run Sierra, but older models may not support features such as Apple Pay. To use these features, you need the following: iMac (Late 2012 and later),Mac mini (Late 2012 and later),Mac Pro (Late 2013),MacBook (Early 2015 and later),MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later), MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later).

Requirements for Auto Unlock

Any Mac model from 2013 or later, iPhone running iOS 10, Apple Watch running watch OS 3, Signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, Two-factor authentication must be turned on.

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You also got to see if your programs can still work with Sierra. If they worked with El Capitan, Yosemite, or Mavericks, there’s a higher probability it’ll work with Sierra as well. Just in case, please check prior to upgrade, if application(s) is supported by OS. Once you know that your mac is compatible and you are ready to upgrade, comes second question: how much you utilize your iDevice? If a lot, then you will love features like: Siri, Universal Clipboard (with iOS 10 and mac OS Sierra, Apple has escalated its game with Universal Clipboard: Copy something on iOS, paste it on your Mac. Copy on your Mac, paste it on iOS. Universal Clipboard is an addition to apples super-duper features like Handoff, Calls, Instant Hotspot, Mac Unlock and iMessages)  and Apple pay.  

Note: If you plan to upgrade to Sierra, be sure to back up your mac before you run the Sierra installer. Always back up before installing any OS upgrades

Finally Siri on Mac OS

Siri – Apple’s voice assistant, is the one of significant feature of mac OS Sierra. It’s the most obvious feature significantly visible on Mac OS.

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When Siri is active, it works exactly as on iOS device. However, there’s no default setting to make Siri get activated by saying “Hey Siri”. The default keyboard shortcut to activate Siri is to hold down Command – Space-bar, or a click the Siri icons within the menu bar and within the Dock.

Siri can be used to configure system preferences. You can tell Siri to:

  • “Increase my screen brightness”
  • “Put my computer to sleep”
  • “Start my screen saver”
  • “Turn on Do Not Disturb”
  • “Turn on/off Dictation”
  • “Turn the system volume up”
  • “Turn Wi-Fi off”

Universal Clipboard

Universal clipboard is part of Apple Continuity feature that works with Mac OS and iOS devices.  in order for it to work, you will need compatible devices that meet the Continuity system requirements. Mac Book pro model 2011 or earlier models are not compatible with the program and therefore, don’t support Sierra’s Universal clipboard.

Other requirements are: Each device is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, Each device must have Bluetooth turned on and Each device has to have Wi-Fi turned on.

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  1. On one device, copy the text, image, or video as you normally would. That content is automatically added to the clipboard of your other nearby device. It remains there briefly, or until you replace it by copying something else on either device.
  2. On the other device, paste the content as you normally would.

iCloud Desktop and Documents

With mac OS Sierra, you can store your Desktop and Documents folder in iCloud Drive and access them on all your devices. That means you can start a document on your Desktop, then work on it later from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and on iCloud.com. Everything automatically stays up to date everywhere.

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Optimized Storage

A few years ago, Apple decided to give up HDDs drives for the speed for flash Drives. The speed gains were spectacular, however consumers are taking lots of videos and photos, and all this is using up the space. 

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  • Automatically remove watched iTunes movies and TV shows. When storage space is needed, iTunes movies or TV shows that you already watched are removed from your Mac. Click the download icon  next to a movie or TV show to download it again.
  • Download only recent attachments. Mail automatically downloads only the attachments that you recently received. You can manually download any attachments at any time by opening the email or attachment, or saving the attachment to your Mac. 
  • Don’t automatically download any email attachments. Mail downloads an attachment only when you open the email or attachment, or save the attachment to your Mac.

Optimizing storage for movies, TV shows, and email attachments doesn’t require iCloud storage space.

it Empties Trash Automatically, permanently deletes files that have been in the Trash for more than 30 days.

Reduce Clutter

Reduce Clutter helps identify large files that you might no longer need. Click the Review Files button, then choose any of the file categories in the sidebar, such as Applications, Documents, GarageBand, iOS Files, iTunes, or Trash.

  • Some categories allow you delete files directly. Move your pointer over the file name, then click the x button to immediately and permanently delete the file. If you purchased the file from the Mac App Store, iBooks Store, or iTunes Store, you might be able to download it again.
  • Other categories show the total storage space used by the files in each app. You can then open the app and decide whether to delete files from within it.

Other ways that mac OS Sierra helps save space is, it automatically takes these additional steps to save storage :

– Detects duplicate downloads in Safari, keeping only the most recent version of the download
– Reminds you to delete used app installers
– Removes old fonts, languages, and dictionaries that aren’t being used
– Clears caches, logs, and other unnecessary data when storage space is needed

Picture in Picture

With Picture in Picture, you can play video in a resizable window that isn’t blocked by other windows, so you can watch while doing other things. Catch up on a favorite show while you catch up on email, or watch the big game while playing a game yourself.

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Tabs

In many apps, you can reduce clutter on your desktop by having documents open in a tab instead of a separate window.

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  • Specify when documents open in a tab: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Dock.Click the “Prefer tabs when opening documents” pop-up menu, then choose an option—Always, In Full Screen Only, or Manually. By default, documents open in tabs only when an app is full screen.
  • Add a tab: Click the New Tab button in the tab bar or choose File > New Tab, if it’s available.In some apps, you can add tabs using a keyboard shortcut, based on how the tab option is set in Dock preferences. When the option is set to Always or In Full Screen Only, press Command-N. When the option is set to Manually, press Option-Command-N.
  • Move between tabs: Click a tab or swipe left or right in the tab bar with two fingers. You can also press Control-Tab or Control-Shift-Tab to go to the next or previous tab.
  • Reorder tabs: Drag a tab left or right.
  • Close a tab: Move the pointer over the tab, then click the Close button .
  • Close all tabs except the current one: Option-click the Close button of the tab you’re in.
  • Show the tab bar in a window that doesn’t have tabs: In an app, choose View > Show Tab Bar, if available.

Tip: A fast way to open a new window when the tab option in Dock preferences is set to Always or In Full Screen only is to press Option-Command-N.

Apple Pay

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Apple Pay is simple to use and works with the devices you use every day. Easily pay with your debit cards and credit cards with just a touch. And because your card details are never shared by Apple when you use Apple Pay, making purchases with your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac is the safer, more private way to pay.

When you’re wearing your Apple Watch, you can use your watch to unlock your Mac after waking it, instead of entering your password. 

  • Turn on Auto Unlock on your Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then select the “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” checkbox.  If necessary, click the lock icon at the bottom of the pane, then type an administrator name and password.
  • Unlock your Mac: Wake your Mac from its idle state by pressing any keyboard key or, on a portable, by opening the display. The screen indicates your Mac is being unlocked.

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Share your notes

Invite your friends, family, or colleagues to collaborate on a note. Then you can partner on projects, plan a trip, make a grocery list, and more. With iOS 10 and mac OS Sierra, you can add someone to any iCloud note in your Notes app. Then they can make edits and see your latest changes. And as long as your device is connected to the Internet, iCloud keeps your note up to date everywhere. So when you check off a to-do item, edit a sketch, or add an attachment, everyone sharing the note will always see the most recent version.

Add people to a note on iDevice

ios10-iphone6-notes-send-note.pngInvite someone to collaborate on a note through Mail or Messages. Or copy a link to the note and send it to them any other way you like. Then they can open your note and start editing, just like that.

  1. Open the iCloud note that you want to share.
  2. Tap or click  .
  3. Choose how you’d like to send your invitation.
  4. On your Mac, click Share.

Want to know if you’re already sharing a note? Look for at the top of your note or  in the notes list.

 

Messages

Express yourself in fun new ways. Send a huge emoji. Respond back with a heart or a thumbs-up on a friend’s message bubble. And play videos and preview links right in the conversation.

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Overall, mac OS Sierra is quite nice update which was, I guess long expected.

If you own a Mac and want to have the latest and greatest OS upgrade, you must install mac OS Sierra. I typically advice not to upgrade right of way, and await for Apple to release 10.12.1 update. That’s simply to play it safe and make sure that major bugs didn’t leaked with current update. Even thought  Apple probably  did their best to deal with bugs and create fixes throughout the beta cycle.

If you are new in Mac world, you might want to look at  How to Begin Using a Mac

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