UPDATE: Including MacOS High Sierra in this post. It came fast on the heels of Sierra.
UPDATE: Including IOS 11 in this post.
You can follow along as we discover some of the new and sometimes hidden features in Mac and IOS devices. Keep in mind this is an ongoing project and we suggest checking back for updates.
Packed with new features. Some that we really like:
Flashlight now has multiple brightnesses for devices that support them, low medium and high brightness. The feature only shows up on devices capable of peek and pop, or harder pressing the screen. Interestingly IOS 11 adds more levels of brightness. To use this feature, bring up the control center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. On the flashlight icon press and hold to display variable brightness levels.
As operating systems go, MacOS Sierra piles more features than ever, perhaps more than average users will need. Some they don’t expect and others that are really really useful.
Mail shows a black screen in the preview pane when choosing a message from the list. Doubleclicking the message opens the black screen into a new window completely obscuring all text and attachments. You can select all inside this black window, copy and paste into a textedit document where it shows clearly. To fix the problem of black screen inside mail, head up to Mail’s View menu and look to see if Organize by Conversation is checked. If it is uncheck this option. You mail should look normal now.
Siri on Sierra
A great feature although we’d recommend disabling it on low bandwidth WIFI and older Macs with less power. As with the majority of new features pushed out in emerging operating systems, more horsepower is needed to realize their benefits. Pre 2012 Macs are not suited without upgrade modifications to make use of them.
Store documents and desktop in iCloud.
As of this writing, installing Sierra or High Sierra turns on this feature by default. The end result is a users’ desktop items and documents formally stored on their Macs get moved to Apple’s Cloud servers – without the owners’ knowledge or consent. Many of our clients are shocked to find that this is the default action.
To prevent documents getting moved by default, users will go to System Preferences and look to see if iCloud drive is turned on. If so, click the Options button next to iCloud Drive and uncheck the option to store Desktop and Documents in the cloud. If the iCloud Drive option is not checked under the iCloud preferences there is nothing to worry about.
Viewing how much of your Mac’s files have been moved to or live on icloud, well, that lives somewhere else on your Mac. To see it you’ll head under your apple menu icon in the top menu bar and select About this Mac.
From there choose Storage from the strip running across the top. You are looking at all the storage devices your mac sees. If icloud is not in the list then your Mac is not currently using icloud for storage.
MacOS High Sierra
Just Installed the OS and can see that it improves greatly on the Sierra Upgrade. For Sierra users there will be no visual differences when the upgrade completes.
MacOS 10.13 High Sierra presents more problems than previous operating systems when upgrading from earlier systems, particularly Yosemite and El Capitan. Little gotchas’ like stalled or freezing installs are more common and even if the upgrade completes without issues the user generally experiences things like slow performance, crashes in apps and network issues. To remedy these problems it is important to clear up any compatibility issues with both system and user software BEFORE performing the upgrade.
Remember that a Mac OS upgrade will in most cases not fix compatibility or configuration problems but make them much worse. Much better upgrade results can be had by performing a CLEAN Install, erasing the Mac before installing High Sierra and then importing user accounts from either a Time Machine backup, or the original Mac, if H. Sierra is on a new or different Mac.
Some of the best features have been integrated into IOS devices with larger screens like iPads. We like the added impact the Dock features such as not having to doubleclick the home button to switch apps, instead swiping up from the bottom screen edge to show the dock. Very useful when used with the split-screen feature. Or should it be called side-screen? To use that, from within one app, call up the dock and press-hold-drag another app upwards from the dock where you can place it either on the left or right side of the screen. Its in condensed form but totally usable. For example you can work in Pages.app while calling up Safari.app from the dock. I move it to the right side of the screen. Now Safari is used while Pages is still visible.
Drag and drop works well, but it seems only with Apple’s apps. At times it can be annoying like when reading Apple’s News app; all stories in the list are presented as individual boxed items and if you happen to wait too long holding your finger down when scrolling the page, the condensed story and its box gets selected and then moves along the page. Although a great feature for copying among all your different apps it can be confusing to casual users.
This is the new disk format option Apple is moving towards. It appears in Sierra and onward. The APFS filing system works with smaller bites of data and is intended for Solid State drives. It allows better organized storage as well as inclusion of new NVR memory sticks that are replacing hard drives, spinning and SSD types in all new macs.