Here’s What to Expect with mac OS High Sierra, iOS 11 and HomePod

'fully baked'

Today, the new macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 were showcased at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California. According to Apple’s senior vice president, Craig Federighi, the new High Sierra is “fully baked.” Har Har.

In all seriousness, however, there are a few High Sierra changes worth noting. For starters, auto-play blocking will occur on Safari, meaning that videos will not automatically play when a new page is open. Photos will receive more editing tools, along with the ability to send your photos to be developed by third party apps directly from the Photos app. Mail will also use 35 per cent less disc space, which is good for those of us who don’t ever use Mail and always get a “storage is full” warning.

High Sierra will also update to a new video-compression standard of H.265, which supports 4K and offers 40 per cent improved compression in comparison to 264.

Perhaps the biggest news of the day for music lovers was the announcement of Apple HomePod, a speaker clearly aimed at battling the likes of Sonos. It will have Siri functionality and is designed to match its output based on its surroundings. So “Siri, play Indie88” is almost a reality.

Other updates include a standard “Intelligent Tacking Prevention” in Safari for better security, Photos will be able to identify faces of the people in your photos and sync the data across multiple devices, and Mail will provide the option for a full-screen split menu. High Sierra will also come with Apple Files System to help users to better organize their files and folders.

And one of our favourite new features for iOS 11, one that’s going to help you collect outstanding debts from friends, is an automatic prompt for iMessage recipients to use Apple Pay when you ask them for money.

A new version of Metal called ‘Metal 2’ will also be available with an offering of both external graphics as well as virtual reality, making High Sierra the first version of macOS to offer support for VR.

Beta for iOS 11 starts today, with updates and tweaks set to launch over the summer. High Sierra will be available to the public in beta later this month before launching for free in the fall.