Apple has today released information about the newest version of its Mac software platform, macOS Sierra, and which existing Macs will be compatible with the latest update.
macOS Sierra is the successor to OS X El Capitan. After 15 years of the OS X label, the newly named operating system for desktop and laptop computers will be a a free upgrade, but only for the more recent models.
The first beta version of the upgrade was seeded to developers today and the public beta will be available next month. Computers will able to download the complete version in September this year.
macOS Sierra will be a free upgrade for MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro models. However, there will be a number of computers that the OS X El Capitan upgrade was available to that will not be compatible with this latest iteration. It seems the cut off will be late 2009, with earlier models unable to acquire this latest system update.
The confirmed list of compatible Macs is as follows
Late 2009 onwards
- MacBook Air
- MacBook Pro
- Mac mini
- Mac Pro
For those with hazy memories, or a Mac you bought from a friend, it is easy enough to discover the year of your Mac. If you click on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen in the menu bar, the top option will be ‘About this Mac’. Click that and a box will appear with all sorts of information about your computer, including the model’s year.
What if your computer is earlier than late 2009? It seems you have two options, either continue with the OS X El Capitan, or if you feel the need to have latest software you will need to fork out for a brand new Mac. If you wait until later in the year, you will be able to get one that will come with Sierra preinstalled.
The latest news came during Apple’s keynote speech at the WWDC. The WWDC (worldwide developers conference) is Apple’s annual opportunity to showcase all the latest software and advancements they have planned.
The macOS Sierra took pride of place at the conference. The biggest development is probably the addition to the Mac of Siri, which has been present on mobile devices for a number of years. You will be able to ask Siri to find files, switch between applications and search the Internet. Also Siri will be open to developers, allowing external engineers the chance to make Siri do more and more useful actions for their Mac owner.
Sierra should also help improve the interaction between your Apple devices, especially the ‘universal clipboard’. Seen something on your phone and want it on your desktop; just copy on your handheld device and then paste by the right click on your computer and it will be there. The feature will work for pictures and screenshots too. No more of the classic, ‘email to self’ to get things from mac to device and vice versa.
This communication between your Apple products will also benefit Apple Pay. With the fingerprint scanner on the phone, you will be able to use this to make purchases on the desktop more securely.
Sierra also continues to take Apple further and further into the technology giant’s own part of the sky, the iCloud. The storage management feature will gather up your old files and put them in the cloud to make room for new files.
Exciting times. For those with compatible Macs you will have to wait till September, for the rest it means a trip to your nearest Apple store.