Apple Releases macOS Sierra, Provides Feature Updates and Security Updates
Every fall without fail, Apple does two things: unveils a new iPhone and releases new operating systems for its mobile and desktop devices. As of Tuesday, September 20th, the new operating system update for desktop and laptop computers is available. Called macOS Sierra, the operating system is the first Mac OS not to bear the OS X name. It also adds several new features, including Mac support for Siri (previously only available on iOS devices), iCloud optimization, greater integration with the iPhone and the Apple Watch, and more.
Unsurprisingly, the new features have taken top billing in most of the reviews for macOS Sierra. Most of those reviews have been positive. For instance, The Verge praised macOS Sierra for its two major iCloud features—one that can sync documents across your Apple devices and the other can automatically archive older files to the cloud to free up space. CNET, meanwhile, appreciated how macOS brought Apple’s desktop devices closer to their mobile devices in terms of features and integration.
However, macOS Sierra 10.12—the initial software version of the new operating system—is more than just a major overhaul of the Mac operating system and its features. On the contrary, the release of macOS Sierra also doubles as a security update.
According to Apple, macOS Sierra 10.12 patches a number of security oversights that were present in the most recent version of OS X El Capitan—version 10.11.6. For instance, the new update patches issues with Apache, AppleEFIRuntime, Audio, Bluetooth, Intel Graphics Driver, Kernel, S2 Camera, and multiple other features or components that would have allowed for possible arbitrary code execution vulnerabilities. It also solves a problem with Terminal that made it possible for a local user to leak “sensitive user information” and a flaw with the Application Firewall that could have allowed a local user to bring about a denial of service.
You can read more about the security content of macOS Sierra 10.12 by clicking here.
As with all other Apple operating system updates, macOS Sierra 10.12 is available for free download. You can download the new operating system update from the Mac App Store.
Apple says that the operating system is compatible with most Macs with release dates of 2010 or later. However, certain features—such as Apple Pay integration and the “Universal Clipboard” won’t be usable for most models that came out before 2012 or 2013. If you have one of these older models, you might wait to update to hear from other users about the performance of the operating system on those machines.