Apple is using the launch of its newest release of the Mac OS X, version 10.12, to rename the operating system entirely. The 16-year-old desktop operating system will no longer be called OS X—it will, instead, be called MacOS.
The newest version of MacOS has been nicknamed Sierra (like the mountain range), and it’s ushering in a number of features that make it easier to jump between different Apple devices and store files across different devices.
With its latest update to MacOS, Apple made clear that it wants its products to communicate more frequently with each other. As part of that effort, Apple has introduced an auto-unlock feature that will make it easier to login to a password-protected laptop if you’re using an iPhone or Apple Watch.
The new auto-unlock feature can use your phone or Apple Watch as an authenticating device that will automatically log into your Mac laptop or desktop when you wake it up. The login happens within seconds, saving you all of that precious time it would normally take for you to type out your password. MacOS Sierra will recognize the authenticated device you’re carrying and unlock the computer for you.
Another feature included on MacOS Sierra is a universal clipboard. Now, you’ll be able to copy text, videos, images, and anything else on your iPhone or iPad, and you can then paste it into your MacOS device. The universal copy and paste button is available in the top bar on MacOS and makes transferring information between two Apple devices (such as the directions to a local restaurant) faster than ever before. Now, you can finally stop mailing yourself links or directions.
Apple is also making iCloud better than before. With a feature called optimized storage, MacOS Sierra will automatically make room for new files by moving old ones to the cloud. The computer will get rid of files you’ll never use again, like Safari web caches, old mail, Mac App Store inactive downloads, old iPhone backups, and other documents automatically.
In addition to optimizing the storage on your devices, MacOS is now letting people easily access files from their desktop. Your MacOS desktop will be accessible from any other Macs that you own in addition to any iPhones that you own.
Apple Pay is now available on the web, too. When you’re shopping online, there will be a pay with Apple Pay button available on select retailer websites. You will be able to use TouchID on your iPhone. You can also authenticate the purchase using your Apple Watch by tapping on your wrist.
Apple is also offering picture-in-picture for video. Now you’ll be able to watch a video while getting some work done, similar to the way that video is treated on the iPad.
Finally, Siri is making its way to MacOS. The virtual assistant even introduced itself and gave its own demo, similar to the release of the 1984 Macintosh, when the computer introduced itself. “Hi, it’s me. It sure is great to be on the Mac. How about a demo?” Siri said during the presentation.
You can activate Siri by clicking on the button in the top right corner or by saying “Hey, Siri.” When you click on the Siri button in the top right corner of the screen, a small interface appears. The menu shows colorful sound waves to indicate that speech is being registered, similar to the same animation on a phone. Siri also lives in the dock, so you can activate it by pressing that button too.