Apple today released the newest version of its operating system for Macs, macOS High Sierra, to the public. macOS High Sierra is a free download that's available today for everyone who has a compatible Mac.
macOS High Sierra can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store or through the Software Update function in the Mac App Store. Some users are seeing an error that prevents installation, so the update may still be propagating. macOS High Sierra is compatible with all Macs able to run Sierra, with a full list below:
2009 and Later
- iMac (Late 2009)
- MacBook (Late 2009)
2010 and Later
- MacBook Air (Late 2010)
- MacBook Pro (Mid 2010)
- Mac mini (Mid 2010)
- Mac Pro (Mid 2010)
macOS High Sierra is designed to improve on the previous macOS Sierra operating system with some major under-the-hood upgrades and a handful of outward-facing changes.
Apple File System (APFS), a file system designed for solid state drives, is the new default for these drives in macOS High Sierra. APFS is safe, secure, and optimized for modern storage systems. It features native encryption, safe document saves, stable snapshots, and crash protection, plus it brings performance improvements.
APFS is available for all Macs with solid state storage, but it is not available for Fusion drives or standard hard drives.
macOS High Sierra introduces support for High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC) for better compression without loss of quality, and HEIF for smaller photo sizes.
Metal 2, Apple's next-generation Metal graphics API, is included in High Sierra, offering a range of improvements to games, apps, and overall animations on the Mac. Metal 2 brings support for machine learning, external GPUs (coming in Spring 2018), and VR content creation for the first time.
Along with these invisible upgrades, several apps have been updated with new features. Photos has a new look and new editing tools for Curves, Selective Color, and Live Photos, and the Memories feature in Photos has been expanded.
Safari now blocks autoplay videos and includes Intelligent Tracking Prevention to protect your privacy, and there's also a new always-on option for Safari Reader. Mail search is better than ever, Mail storage has been optimized to take up 35 percent less space, and iCloud Drive file sharing and iCloud storage family plans have been added.
As with iOS, Siri has a much more natural voice with changes in expression and intonation, and Siri has gotten smarter with cross-device syncing. There are also tweaks to FaceTime (you can snap live photos), Notes (tables and pinning), and Spotlight (improved search), along with dozens of other tiny changes and tweaks.
Additional information on macOS High Sierra can be found in our macOS High Sierra roundup, which includes details on all of the new features found in the update.
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