Apple’s developer conference WWDC kicked off today at San Jose. At the event, Apple announced the newest version of macOS, called macOS High Sierra. High Sierra is the Version 10.13 of macOS and include new features like an improved file system and updates to core macOS apps like Photos and Mail.
Apple also took the wraps off an awesome looking iMac Pro as well as updated the iMac line and the Macbooks, which you can read all about here.
There were virtually no leaks ahead of today’s reveal, probably because the team wasn’t really looking to reinvent the wheel with this release. Apple’s Craig Federighi today noted that the team wanted to spend the last year to perfect macOS Sierra. High Sierra is all about deep technologies that provide a foundation for new technologies, Federighi noted.
The built-in Mail app now uses less space for storing your mail, and Photos also has received a major update that now makes better use of various machine-learning techniques to better recognize faces and improve sorting. The company also is opening its Photo Book printing service to third-party apps.
The biggest change to macOS this time around is the introduction of the Apple File System to the mac. The default file system on macOS is now the Apple File System (APFS), which we saw on the iPhone earlier this year with iOS 10.3. It’s a 64-bit system with built-in crash protection and instant file and directory cloning, for example.
MacOS also has support for HEVC as the default video container, which will replace H.264. This will be hardware accelerated on new Macs and integrated into apps like Final Cut. On the graphics side, Apple also announced Metal 2, the second version of its graphics-rendering framework. The focus here is mostly on graphics speed, but it can now also be used to speed up machine learning workloads on the GPU. In addition, Metal 2 can now access external graphics, using a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with an AMD graphics card, which is now available for developers.
Metal is also getting VR support. The company is working with Steam, Unity and Unreal to bring better VR support to the Mac (which, of course, only works because the new Mac hardware now comes with an improved graphics card to drive these kinds of VR experiences).
The developer beta is now available to developers; consumers can sign up for a public beta that will go live in late June.
I will be coming out with a dedicated video on a recap of WWDC 2017, so stay tuned to <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/androdollar”>www.youtube.com/androdollar</a> for that video.