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MacOS Sierra out today; How to download, new features

Apple announced MacOS Sierra back in June and it will start rolling out to compatible devices today, i.e Sep 20 at 10:30PM I.S.T.

This comes right after Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 7 alongside the iPhone 7 Plus and the Apple Watch: Series 2 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on Wednesday.

OS X is now macOS Sierra

After 16 years of service, Apple has finally retired the name OSX in favour of macOS, in order to streamline its naming strategy. The unique names remain though, and this version will be called 'Sierra'.

macOS Sierra brings with a multitude of new features and changes. The most important of them and the one we have all been waiting for a long, long time is the introduction of Siri on the mac.

Additionally, macOS Sierra also brings with it the ability to use Apple Pay through Safari, brings a raft of updates to Continuity and the ability to unlock your Mac using your Apple Watch.

Supported Devices

MacBook (late 2009 and after), iMac (late 2009 and later), MacBook Air (2010 and later), MacBook Pro (2010 and later), Mac Mini (2010 and later), and Mac Pro (2010 and later).

However, not all of these devices will be able to take advantage of all the features of macOS Sierra partly due to their age and partuy due to planned obsolence.

To enjoy the full macOS Sierra experience, you need to be running these Mac's:

Mac Pro (late 2012 or newer), iMac (late 2012 or newer), Mac mini (late 2012 or newer), MacBook Pro (mid-2012 or newer), MacBook (Early 2015 or newer), MacBook Air (mid 2012 or newer).

Install requirements

Your Mac must be running OS X 10.7.5 or later.   
You'll need 2GB of memory.   
You'll need 8.8GB of available storage.   
To use iCloud, iTunes, and the Mac App Store, you will also need an Apple ID. 

Release Date

September 20, 10:30 PM I.S.T.

New Features

Siri on the Mac!

Mac OS Sierra brings with a couple of new features, the most important of them being Siri integration. Apple might be late to the game, with Windows 10 bringing in Cortana in 2015, but Apple promises powerful Siri integration across the operating system.

It will be available in the dock as well as in the top-right corner near spotlight and would be able to search the web, the computer, find photos, answer questions, set up reminders and so on. Apple also highlighted how Siri could understand context and follow up questions in a conversation string.

Apple Pay

Mac OS Sierra also brings with it the ability to use Apple Pay through Safari. As the current generation of Mac hardware lack touchID, users will be able to authenticate their transactions through an iPhone or their Apple Watch.

Apple Pay is currently available only in the USA, UK, Singapore, Canada and Australia, though Apple is working hard to increase its coverage.

Apple also introduced a way for users to unlock their Mac's seamlessly by using their Apple Watch for authentication and a way to make space on their macs by moving old and unused files to the cloud. Apple could bundle in higher capacity SSD's, but that's another story altogether.

Updates to Continuity

In addition, macOS Sierra also focuses on interoperability across devices or 'continuity. Sierra introduces a feature called Universal Clipboard, where users can copy and paste content across all Apple devices. One can copy text on the iPhone and then paste that text anywhere on their Mac!

Continuing their 'continuity' theme, macOS Sierra will also allow you to share your desktop across devices as well as save it onto the cloud.

Should you upgrade?

A new update always brings with it the possibility of bugs, compatibility issues with current applications and some issues.

However, I have been using the beta for quite a while now and it's been going great. And macOS Sierra has been in testing for quite a while. Still, I do recommend taking a full TimeMachine backup of your Mac before installing Sierra.

How to Install?

At 10:30PM Sep 20, just simply head over to App Store > Updates, click on the Sierra update and you're good to go!

What do you think?

Sound off in the comments or at your Facebook page about your thoughts and first impressions regarding macOS Sierra. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Could you not care less about Mac? We want to know!

Shobhit Varma

Features Writer at NDTV Gadgets 360. Past - Sub Editor at India Today Tech, Content Writer at TechRadar India.
A PG diploma holder in English Journalism from IIMC, New Delhi. Avid tech enthusiast, cinema buff, voracious reader and Formula 1 fanatic.