macOS Sierra desktop Notification Center Siri image 001

Apple on Tuesday released macOS Sierra for its laptop and desktop computers. The software update is free, and compatible with iMacs and MacBooks from 2009 or later, as well as MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, Mac Minis and Mac Pros from 2010 or later.

If you own any of the above hardware, you can update to macOS Sierra by navigating to the Mac App Store and locating the macOS Sierra page (or you can just search the App Store for macOS Sierra). Click on ‘Download’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

Here are the major new features in macOS Sierra:

Siri

The handy features of Siri on iOS are now on your Mac, along with brand-new ways to help you with the things you do every day on your desktop. You can ask the assistant to do things like search for documents, images and other information, and then you can actually drag and drop the results to a window on your desktop. You can also pin results like sports schedules, Twitter searches and a list of files in Notification Center, so everything stays a click away.

Universal Clipboard + Desktop & Documents sync

Universal Clipboard allows you to copy images, video, and text from an app on your iPhone, and then paste them into another app on your nearby Mac — or vice versa. There are no extra steps. Just copy and paste as you normally do. And as for Desktop and Document sync, it enables you to access the files on your Mac desktop right on your iPhone or another Mac.

Auto Unlock with Apple Watch

Automatically log in to your Mac when you’re wearing your Apple Watch. No password typing required. Need to take a quick call or step away? Get right back to work when you return. It’s safe, it’s fast and it’s super easy to use.

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.

Other notable macOS features:

  • Apple Pay support in Safari allows you to authorize payments on compatible websites with your iPhone or Apple Watch.
  • Improved Photos app adds enhanced face recognition, support for Apple’s new Memories slideshow feature, and more.
  • New Messages app supports [some of] the fun new messaging features added in iOS 10.
  • Updated iTunes app offers all-new Apple Music experience with revamped For You tab.
  • System-wide Tabs work just like they do in Safari, allowing you to avoid getting overwhelmed by open windows.

Remember that it’s always a good idea to perform a backup before installing a major software update. Also, if for some reason the macOS Sierra download is taking a long time, pause it and try again later. Apple’s servers tend to buckle on launch days such as today.

Have you installed macOS Sierra yet?