On Monday September 25, Apple will release version 10.13 of its Mac operating system (macOS), dubbed “High Sierra.” New features include big improvements to editing photos in Photos, faster and more responsive Safari web browser, smoother video playback, and next-generation computer graphics support. These are pretty substantial features for something that Apple is labeling a “maintenance upgrade,” which typically refers to incremental improvements over the previous version of the operating system. The upgrade includes some features that will improve your user experience, and some features that you might not think are a big deal.
Apple File System
This is a cool new file system from Apple that adds new 64-bit architecture to documents and directories along with substantial improvements to security. This is the first time in a long time that Apple has updated the fundamental means by which data is written on the computer — and unfortunately, not everybody will benefit from it. Users with Fusion Drives (Apple’s SSD and hard drive combo drives) plus non-SSD hard drives will not be able to take advantage of the new file system, and will need to keep using Apple’s older HFS+ file system until support is provided for these drive types (or until they upgrade their computer hardware).
Software and Apps
The new file system architecture means that applications have the potential to run more smoothly and securely than ever, but it also means older applications might be in trouble. Apps that are stuck in 32-bit mode — such as Apple’s own Final Cut Pro Studio, a professional movie editing software suite that came out in 2005 and was dropped in 2011 — will no longer officially be supported. For those of you not in the business of editing Hollywood movies, Office 2011 is also on the list of incompatible software, along with the usual list of financial software that seems to break with every major OS upgrade.
Actually, we really can’t complain here, as our engineers have been using the High Sierra beta on their own computers for weeks now and haven’t come across too many issues. However, there are always bugs in the first release of new macOS software, though Apple is usually quick to release updates addressing many of them. At Connectech, we will upgrade to the new version as soon as it’s released, letting us experience and understand the new operating system and also evaluate bugs.
We Advise: Wait to Upgrade
Based on these initial incompatibility and bug reports (plus potential others not yet documented or discovered), we advise waiting a couple of weeks before you upgrade your computer. In the meantime, if you have any questions about compatibility, or concerns about this new macOS, please call us or email us and we’ll happily assist you.
Want to Downgrade?
If you have upgraded to High Sierra and now want to downgrade back to Sierra follow these instructions from appleinsider.