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macOS High Sierra Packs Serious ‘Under-the-Hood’ Improvements

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The changes coming in macOS High Sierra are mainly under-cover enhancements, but there are some nice refinements to look forward to. Here’s a quick rundown at what APFS, Metal 2, and HEVC/HEIF support mean for you and your Mac.

One of the ways in which these under-the-hood improvements will enhance the experience of Mac users, without them necessarily being aware of it, is the addition of the new Apple File System, reads a new report from Ars Technica. APFS has already arrived on our iPhones and iPads in an update to iOS 10 earlier this year, and when it did many of us found we gained a few gigabytes of space following the update. This is because the new file system re-architects the way that your data is stored.

In practical terms, Mac users will find that common tasks like duplicating a file or finding the size of a folder should happen instantaneously. Apple says Mac users will also benefit from built-in encryption, crash-safe protections and simplified data backup, but again, these are things we expect to have, rather than things we get excited about.

The other major under-the-hood update is Metal 2, which will bring smoother animations to macOS and will provide developers with tools to create incredible apps and games. Metal 2 includes support for machine learning, external GPUs, and VR content creation, with Apple even providing an external GPU development kit for developers so they can get their apps ready for eGPU support that’s coming to consumers this fall. Apple is also working with Valve, Unity, and Unreal to bring VR creation tools to the Mac.

High Sierra also brings with it improvements that will make watching (and encoding) 4K video a better experience. Apple will be supporting HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) on the Mac, which will mean these videos will stream better and take up less space as they can be compressed up to 40 per cent more than H.264.

The question is, are these app refinements and under-cover enhancements going to be enough to excite Mac users, or is macOS High Sierra going to be a bit of a let down? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • JasonVibe

    I think so far it has been a let down,but we do have a few more beta to come,so maybe something more exciting will come.

  • Caio Bianchi

    The real question is… does the native Terminal app finally support True Colors?

  • Corey Beazer

    The H.265 is interesting. I am wondering how it will be handled on older machines.
    My cheese grater Mac Pros (I know, I am due for a update) take their fair time encoding H.264 files from compressor

  • sully54

    High sierra is certainly short on new user face if features but the back end technologies it does have lays a solid foundation for next year’s version.

    At this point, is rather have a consistent and reliable experience on the Mac that the stuff Microsoft puts out every few years.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Exactly. macOS High Sierra is akin to OSX Snow Leopard

  • So Young

    I think MacOS is ready to some major redesign changes in the interface menus like Microsoft did with Windows 10.

    IMO its been a couple of years now that MacOS dont bring exciting new features.

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