MacOS Sierra is Apple’s latest version of the Mac operating system, which was released just a few days ago on September 20th and while I would have loved to rave about the newest additional features, there isn’t much that I can find about this system. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the newest features.
Siri on the desktop
The addition of Siri in macOS on the desktop is a nice touch, although I’m ultimately not sure how much use I will get out of her. Mostly, this is due to the software’s limitations (fingers crossed that they will be removed) that she has on my system. For instance, it would be great to give Siri the ability to force quit a pesky hanging app, but even simple commands like “Launch Safari” seem to take longer than they would if I just moved my mouse down to the menu bar and opened it myself. Similar to her use on my iPhone, the usefulness may end with quick notes and setting reminders.
I did set up voice activation instead of a keyboard shortcut, thinking I would be able to get a bit more use out of her this way, but the lag in-between me waking her up and her performing the action made the alternative of me doing it myself much quicker, except for very simple tasks such as asking “Hey Siri, what is the weather?”
A guide for setting up the voice activation can be found at MacWorld – http://www.macworld.com/article/3096187/macs/how-to-make-siri-activate-when-you-say-hey-siri-to-your-mac-running-macos-sierra.html
The Universal Clipboard should work simply. You copy an item on your desktop, iPad, or iPhone, and are able to paste it into another iOS device that you are associated with. The first issue is the general compatibility (Apple’s official complete compatibility list).
While the clipboard feature should work if your device is compatible, as with most new Apple features, it’s not so cut and dry. For instance, my desktop is a mid-2011 iMac which, based on Apple’s compatibility chart, should work no problem. However, after several hours of trying to get it to work, I am still unable to use it. In testing, there was almost no issue getting my iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 to use this feature, but my desktop continued to refuse. So for now, I’ll have to continue to use the work-around of sending text and images to other devices via a copy/paste directly into notes, then going on that device and getting the note that is synced via iCloud.
Safari can now allow for a video playing in the browser to be viewed in picture-in-picture mode. To enable this feature, you will want to right-click twice in the video window and then select “Enter Picture-in-Picture.” This feature works well, but on-screen video controls are completely missing. The only way to rewind or fast forward is to use your keyboard keys, which works, but doesn’t allow for the precise control the video scrollbar does.
In conclusion, the last couple of Apple updates were great. They provided a visual facelift, a handful of new features that worked, and a bit of a performance boost. However, this latest update seems like it should have been included in an update to El Capitan rather than being set up as the core features of the newest operating system. Hopefully, the limitations that are currently occurring can be addressed, and if they can, I may start to use some of the new features.