Each major release of macOS (formerly OS X) brings a set of new features and changes to Apple's operating system, meant to improve the user's workflow and optimize the Mac's performance. With every major release, users expect Apple to address major issues experienced on a daily basis, including the likes of memory management, web browsing, privacy options, and more.
As a result, many useful features can be overlooked or not used to their best, and so here’s a rundown of some of the operating system's flagship features, plus some of the hidden aspects that macOS High Sierra includes under the hood.
Better Memory Management
macOS provides an awesome web-browsing experience – Windows users who have tried it will have a hard time going back to their previous OS – but even that can become a nightmare if the web browser becomes a memory hog.
Think about Chrome and even Safari in their earlier versions: these programs utilized a big chunk of the Mac's physical resources, making the machine sluggish and forcing the user to free up RAM either with the help of Activity Monitor or a third party Mac optimization app such as CleanMyMac.
With macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Apple addressed this major issue. Better memory management is especially important for users with Macs that don't have a lot of RAM. This will also result in a less sluggish computer.
This feature is part of Apple's Continuity initiative, which makes it possible to copy text, photos, and videos from one Mac and paste them onto an iOS device or another Mac. This could be a quick alternative to AirDrop, a neat feature of macOS, as it enables speedy and easy file transfers between machines. The only catch is that to do so you will need to sign into iCloud on all the devices you want to use Universal Clipboard with and make sure that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on.
Apple File System or APFS
The Apple File System – now default with macOS 10.13 on Macs with SSD – replaces a decades-old file system. APFS was developed with flash and SSD storage in mind and is therefore optimized for this particular type of storage.
It features strong encryption, allows for the cloning of files and directories, snapshots, and much more. Cloning makes a nearly instant copy of a file or directory without occupying any additional disk space, while macOS High Sierra uses these snapshots to make backups work more efficiently and enables users to easily revert to a certain point in time.
Automator workflows can be used to improve your own productivity and optimize the Mac's performance, since the software comes with hundreds of pre-set actions that need only to be chained together to form a workflow that solves any given ‘problem’.
A new feature that was shipped with High Sierra is Content Caching, which includes a neat, tethered caching function in the Content Caching setting of the Sharing pane in System Preferences. It is mostly targeted at IT professionals, such as business administrators, who might need to set up many different iOS devices, for example.
This feature allows the selected Mac to share its internet connection with many iOS devices connected via USB and serve all of its cached content – macOS updates, iCloud data caching, and more – with all connected devices.
The above are just a few of the features that ship with macOS High Sierra. The full list is quite long and also includes expanded functionality for the Touch Bar color picker, a press-and-hold input method, split view in Mail, and much more. Which is your favorite? Share it with us in the comments section below.
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