AWT News Update: September 21, 2016

The Memories Feature in macOS Sierra's Photos app

The Memories Feature in macOS Sierra's Photos app

Today we take a quick look at a nifty new high-tech jacket from SCOTTeVEST, but most of the 6 minutes or so of this podcast is spent talking about what Steve thinks are some of the marquee features of macOS Sierra. If you haven't yet installed the latest version of the Mac operating system, you're in for a very nice surprise!

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for September 21, 2016.

SCOTTeVEST has been making tech-friendly clothing for a while now; I personally own one of their vests and a jacket, and I find them useful for carrying all sorts of gear in their many pockets. The company has just released a new $215 jacket that not only keeps you warm, but can be used to carry your laptop or tablet, too. The Off The Grid or OTG jackets have pockets big enough for a 12.9-inch iPad Pro or a 15-inch MacBook Pro, and include touch-through pockets for your iPhone in addition to the dozen or so other pockets. Men can get the OTG in black or blue, while women can purchase it in black or plum.

So, I’ve had a day to work with the shipping version of macOS Sierra and I have to say that some of the features — that didn’t work on my test Mac — are amazing. Here are my favorites so far:

Auto-Unlock with the Apple Watch — this is really useful, and I keep having to stop myself from typing my password into my Mac. With just a touch on the Magic Trackpad, the Mac unlocks itself. Very cool - I just hope I don’t forget my password.

Universal Clipboard — This is something else that I really wanted to have on iPhone, iPad and Mac for years, and it’s finally here. It’s now possible to copy text, images, video, or photos from one device and paste it into another. The only requirement is that the devices are logged into the same iCloud account and have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on. Then you copy something on one device, go to the other device and paste it. It’s very cool and requires no setup at all.

Apple File System — hey, I lied. This isn’t going to show up until next year. But it should revolutionize Mac storage provided it doesn’t destroy all of our data in the process. Just kidding… I hope.

Storage Optimization — A new feature in macOS Sierra, optimized storage removes iTunes movies and TV shows that you’ve already watched and keeps only recent email attachments on your Mac when storage space is needed.

Tabs in most apps — We’ve had tabs in web browsers for years, and when OS X Mavericks appeared a few years ago, it brought tabs to the Finder. Now macOS Sierra apps can create multiple tabs. This is really useful when working with multiple document windows in the same app. I’ve used it in Pages, Maps, and Mail and Microsoft Word, and all of those work great with multiple tabs.

Disk Utility — I tend to use Disk Utility a lot, when working on creating and destroying partitions for testing, erasing or testing third-party disk drives, and so on. SO I was quite happy to see the new Disk Utility. It’s just very clean, very simple, and full of good information.

Take out the trash automatically — Very cool - you can finally tell the Finder to automatically delete files that have been in the trash for 30 days.

Shared Notes — OK, this is pretty cool. You can add people to your Notes by selecting a note, then clicking the Add People icon. Friends and family can collaborate on those notes in real-time. My wife and I are finding it useful for doing things like planning home projects and vacations.

Photos — Once you’ve upgraded to macOS Sierra, open Photos and leave it open for a few hours or days — depending on how many photos you have. Photos can recognize facial expressions and thousands of objects and scenes, so you can search for photos with tags like “Barb smiling in front of a palm tree”. But my favorite feature in Photos is Memories, the automatically curated collections of photos that turn into a slideshow. You’d be surprised just how good these slideshows are.

We’ll share more of our favorite macOS Sierra features soon, and encourage everyone with a Mac that can take the upgrade to install it as soon as possible.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.