At WWDC 2017, Apple announced the release of some new hardware and an updated operating system called macOS High Sierra. The new operating system was made available in beta to developers as of June 5, 2017. And now it's available as a free upgrade for users everywhere in fall 2017 (assuming your device is from 2010 or later).
Should you upgrade? There are some helpful best business features that may make that decision for you:
1. Faster, smarter Safari (with more built-in privacy)
Safari is getting a performance upgrade with High Sierra. Based on Apple's announcements, you should expect a serious boost in the browsing department. Apple claims that on its new OS, Safari will outstrip Google Chrome in speed and smarts.
The browser includes such new features as Autoplay Blocking, which will prevent loud (and often obnoxious) videos from playing automatically when you open a page. That means no more loud advertisements disrupting your concentration when you're trying to read an article. Of course, if you want to watch the video on the page, you can click play.
On the privacy front, Apple is doing more to stop ads that follow you from site to site. Its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), which is built into the new OS, uses machine learning to segregate cross-site scripting data. Basically, if you're Hansel and Gretel, the ITP is walking right behind you picking up your breadcrumbs, so advertisers can't follow you around the internet as easily.
2. New photo features
Apple is making it easier to search and edit your pictures in Photos. Once you upgrade to the new OS, you'll be able to filter based on keywords, favorites and media types. You'll enjoy better photo recognition across all your devices too. Apple is also including some new editing tools that make it simple to do things that were once the purview of Photoshop power users, which is great news for small business owners who are often in the position of wearing many hats (including graphic designer, web designer and marketer).
3. Improved Apple Mail functions
In the newest version of Apple Mail you'll find some improvements to the Spotlight search function. It makes it easier to filter and search for what you want. Mail will offer a helpful full-screen Split View, so you can multitask with ease. Your computer will be able to multitask better too, because on the new OS, Mail will use 35 percent less disk space than it does now.
4. More robust graphics capabilities
If you're a creative professional, or otherwise interested in virtual reality, you'll be psyched to know that once your machine is running High Sierra, it'll get an instant graphics boost and gain VR capabilities thanks to Metal 2. While it's early days for the use of VR in most small businesses, it's not a bad idea to get used to the idea, because it's probably here to stay (until the next big innovation).
Ready to upgrade? Go to Apple's site to download the updates.