Once a year, we are graced with the release of a new operating system for our Macs. It’s an exciting time for users as much as developers. This year, there were quite a few changes to Apple’s desktop OS, and the most noticeable one at first glance is the name: It’s now macOS. I’ve been using Macs since I convinced my parents to help me get one for college in 2008, and nothing has been the same. I’ll miss OS X, but I’m excited to spend at least 8 years with macOS.
The first release under this new name is a step in the right direction. I always love attention to detail, and the web team at Apple put a lot into the new macOS page. There’s really nothing like a bit of
transform3d with a mountain range I grew up in.
Copy something and paste it on another device
I asked the team what their favorite features in macOS Sierra were, and Universal Clipboard was at the top of their list. Over the years, apps that provide a clipboard across multiple devices have come and gone. It’s great to see Apple implement their own solution right in the OS. With Sierra and iOS 10, copying something on your Mac will also add it to your iPad and iPhone’s clipboards so you can paste it on those devices, and vice versa.
This can be handy for bits of information, and also for passwords. If you copy a password from 1Password on your Mac, it will be available to paste on your iPhone almost immediately, which makes signing in to the App Store or iTunes spontaneously using your strong password even faster. Now the password can be pasted on your iPhone without opening 1Password on your iPhone.
Since Universal Clipboard requires both devices to use the same iCloud account, security of the clipboard contents comes to mind. Andrew Cunningham and Lee Hutchinson over at Ars Technica wrote an in-depth review of macOS Sierra and its new features and they explain, “Though both of your devices need to be signed in to the same iCloud account to trust each other, your data never appears to touch Apple’s servers—like Handoff, all communication is local.” It doesn’t require an active internet connection to work, but it does require that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on each device.
Pretty great, eh? Learn how to copy and paste between devices with Universal Clipboard.
Unlock your Mac with Apple Watch
If you have an Apple Watch, you’re probably wearing it while you read this. Your iPhone can unlock your Watch, but what if your Watch could unlock your Mac? In macOS Sierra, it can. I spend a bit of time in cafes with my MacBook, and because I’m wearing a Watch I follow its orders and stand when I’m told. Since my MacBook is on battery power, it falls asleep and locks. Now my Watch can unlock my Mac automatically when I’m near it and wake it up. Who knew time-of-flight positioning was a byword for magic?
And many other things
If you use Siri often, you’ll be happy to see it on your Mac as well. There’s now a Siri icon in the menu bar and Dock, and clicking it activates the unique personal assistant. It can find files, help you spell things, find out the weather, help manage your calendar, and all sorts of other things.
Apple has a dedicated page to all the new features in macOS Sierra, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s awesome: http://www.apple.com/macos/sierra/
1Password + macOS Sierra = happyDance
Oh yeah, 1Password loves the new update too. Near the same time macOS Sierra was released, we also published an update to 1Password for Mac, and it’s fully compatible — if you notice any peculiar behavior, let us know.
It’s been a busy summer for me so I didn’t get a chance to try out the betas over the past few months. Yesterday was my first day with macOS Sierra and I’m excited to explore a bit and find some of the hidden features all the reviews I read missed!
If you haven’t upgraded already, now’s a great time! After upgrading be sure to check out the New to Mac welcome pages Apple created. Whether you’re new to Mac or have used it for a while, I think you’ll appreciate the spectacular introduction to its core features. And best of all, 1Password makes a cameo appearance in the App Store section! We’re very honored to be included here as well as selected by Apple in their Our Favorite Mac Apps section of the App Store.
I hope you all enjoy the new macOS! Let us know what your favorite features are in the comments. :)