This week Apple has officially released the new version of macOS Sierra (10.12), so should you upgrade?
First and foremost, is your Mac compatible with Sierra? Check the list:
iMac (Late 2009 or newer)
MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
OS X El Capitan v10.11
OS X Yosemite v10.10
OS X Mavericks v10.9
OS X Mountain Lion v10.8
OS X Lion v10.7
You have to have at least 8.8GB of available storage in order to install macOS Sierra and have at least 2GB of memory. If you don’t meet the requirements, you may want to think about whether it is worth the effort to install it. Older Macs just won’t be able to use some of the new features, so maybe it is time for you to upgrade? Contact us to review your situation and we can recommend the Mac just for you. Be sure to back up your Mac before upgrading. We can assist you with backups.
If you use Bootcamp, new Boot Camp installations require Windows 10 (sold separately). Sierra will only accept new installations of Windows 10 under Sierra. However, if you already have Boot Camp installed, Sierra supports existing Boot Camp installations with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.
Upgrading Trivial Issues
After upgrading I noticed a couple of issues, like the About this Mac window (Top left corner Black Apple > About this Mac) wouldn’t appear. I tried to restart and shut down the computer and neither worked. My Chrome extension for 1Password didn’t work (I deleted and reloaded the extension and it still didn’t work). I had to do a hard reboot (hold the power button for seconds until the screen goes black) and wait a few minutes and rebooted and all these features worked again!
Two of my applications won’t work with Sierra, Quicken Essentials, which Intuit will not support any more, forcing me to purchase Quicken 2016 for Mac (don’t need it), and Gutenprint, which I don’t care. It put a no access symbol on Quicken Essentials and Sierra listed Gutenprint in a root folder called ‘Incompatible Software’ in my startup hard drive. Roaring Apps gives you a compatibility table listing over 7000 apps that are either compatible or not compatible with Sierra.
There are a number of articles that are posted with all sorts of trivial issues when you upgrade, but for the most part all these issues can be worked around or eventually resolved in time. When we upgraded, it was fairly smooth except for the few wrinkles mentioned previously.
Why You Should Upgrade
Siri is located in the top mini menu bar far right next to Notifications mene and also in your Dock menu next to Finder. You can also open Siri by holding down the command and space bar keys. Now, just say, ‘Open Mail’ or ‘Open Contacts’ and notice what Siri does for you! Very cool! As Karen Haslem, MacWorld, says, “Siri can search documents, web images and ask for information on your Mac.” As Romain Loyal shows below, Siri can find documents on your Mac:
Roman Loyal, MacWorld, points out, “On iOS, you can activate Siri by saying “Hey Siri.” Vocal activation isn’t available on macOS Sierra through the Siri system preferences, but as Jdcampbell on Reddit points out, it can be done through Sierra’s Accessibility system preference.”
2. Universal Clipboard and Continuity
When your devices are near each other with a wifi connection you can copy content from one device and paste it in another device (even in a different application). With Handoff, you can start work on one device, then switch to another nearby device and pick up where you left off. Use iPhone Cellular Calls with any Mac iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that meets the Continuity system requirements. You can also set up SMS and MMS messaging. You can also set up Instant Hotspot for all your devices. With Auto Unlock setup, this gives you instant access to your Mac when wearing your Apple Watch. Just wake up your Mac and you’re ready to go—without typing a password. Watch this short video at the Apple WWDC conference:
3. iCloud Drive
In Sierra, you can access the files on your Mac desktop right on your iPhone. Now the files on your desktop and in your Documents folder — where most files are saved — can be automatically stored and updated in iCloud Drive, so you can always access them on your iOS devices and even another Mac.
4. Apple Pay and Online Shopping Using Your Mac
Your Mac has always been the perfect place to sit down and do some serious online shopping. Now with Apple Pay in Safari, it’s an even faster, easier, and more secure place to pay on the web — because you can check out without having to enter your credit card number. Look for Apple Pay on many of your favorite sites, then complete your purchase with Touch ID on your iPhone or by double-clicking the side button on your Apple Watch. Your credit card details are never shared by Apple when you use Apple Pay, and your transactions are protected with industry-leading security.
5. Optimized Storage
macOS Sierra can help make more room by automatically storing rarely used files in iCloud and keeping them available on demand. It can also help you find and remove old files you no longer use. So the files you’ve used most recently stay on your Mac and there’s always room for new ones. Files you rarely need are saved in iCloud until you need them. It prompts you to delete used app installers, and clears out duplicate downloads, caches, logs, and other unnecessary stuff. You can also easily find and delete large apps and files, or ones you simply don’t use. So you can be free of clutter. It can even get rid of it for you, deleting items that have been in the Trash for 30 days.
6. Photos App Improved
Now Photos can turn all your favorite photos into unforgettable experiences called Memories.
7. Messages App Improved
Huge emojis, and the ability to play videos and preview links right in the conversation are improvements.
8. iTunes Freshly Redesigned
You will note the new look with iTunes. The revamped For You makes it easier to discover new music and playlists we think you’ll love, thanks to expert curation and advanced machine learning. The new Browse section lets everyone see the best of what’s available on Apple Music, from exclusives and new releases to playlists and top charts. And now you can view lyrics while you listen in the refined MiniPlayer.
Now it’s easy to keep windows from piling up on your desktop. Tabs work just as they do in Safari — but now they work in most apps on your Mac, and in many third-party apps as well. Just update to macOS Sierra and your apps are good to go. Breeze between multiple Pages documents in full screen. And look at lots of different destinations in Maps without getting lost.
10. Picture in Picture
Now you can float a video window from Safari or iTunes over your desktop or a full-screen app. Play the video in any corner of the desktop and resize it to see more or less of what’s behind it. So you can catch up on your favorite show while you catch up on email. Or watch the big game while playing a game yourself.
So in conclusion, we recommend you upgrade so you can use all the above new features. You get access to new features that make your Mac even more useful and fun. The upgrade is free. If you are ready to upgrade follow these directions from Apple. Or contact us or give us a call at 916 972 9000 for assistance.