I have been a Mac user full-time on my MacBook Pro Retina for a few years now with my first solid taste of Mac software starting with OS X Mavericks, then Yosemite, then El Capitan and the most recent macOS Sierra.
There have not really been any rumours when it comes to updates to macOS, which does signal that people seem to care a lot about iOS and not so much the other three platforms. I do spend more time on my MacBook Pro than I do my phone, but because the Mac is such a matured platform, the changes that are needed to the platform seem to be more on the hardware side then on the software side. I continuously see comments online saying that people just want a better MacBook Pro, better Mac Pro, updated Mac Mini, updated iMac etc. and none of these complaints were about software.
That all being said, I don’t have a Top 10 wishlist but with a focus on what I personally want to see, here is briefly my Top 6 features I want to see in macOS 10.13 before I list off every single little feature I want to see:
Top 6 List:
- Re-energize the Mac App Store or get iOS apps to be ported to macOS.
- Lots of fixes to Xcode.
- Minor changes to default Mail app.
- Vastly more powerful Safari, which currently performs nowhere near as good day-to-day as Chrome.
- Split iTunes into multiple apps.
- Implement Apple File System (APFS) first introduced on iOS 10.3 publicly.
Listed below are all of the features I personally want to see included in the next version of macOS and not so much what everyone is seeking for.
App Store (2):
- Try to re-energize the Mac App Store to make it look at least more on par with the Windows App Store on Windows 10.
- Improve search algorithms for the platform.
Apple News (2):
- Bring Apple News app to macOS.
- Support for more languages beyond English.
- Re-write as many apps in Swift for improved performance and reduce file sizes etc.
- Improved battery life for all MacBooks.
- Support for Picture in Picture in more than just Safari.
- Reduce the file size download required to upgrade from macOS 10.12 to macOS 10.13.
- Ability to sync macOS notifications to iOS and push notifications (besides phone and SMS/iMessage) to macOS from iOS, even if it acts as a dumb link.
- Create a software platform which now can be better suitable for Virtual Reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to work on macOS.
- Allow iOS apps to run on macOS, even if it is entirely mouse input required for navigation, but setup an auto-detect options for keyboards. Think of this as more of an extension of what the iOS Simulator can do but is just another window like it currently is.
- Include a clock app on macOS which has all the same functionality as the iOS version.
- Add support for folders on the dock. E.g. folder for Adobe Creative Cloud apps and separate one for Microsoft Office documents etc. Easier to go Folder -> App then Launchpad -> Folder -> App.
- Feature to hover app in dock and swipe up to display a preview of all windows currently open for that app. E.g. all word documents or all Photoshop documents.
- Option to display dock at the bottom of each display or have separate docks for separate displays.
- Support for group calling on Facetime, between macOS and iOS devices.
- Option to switch between Facetime Video and Facetime Audio calls.
- Option to change colour of folders and not just background colour.
- Introduce the new Apple File System (APFS) first introduced in iOS 10.3 for public release but moved across to macOS, which will hopefully reduce file sizes and improve performance.
- Allow iOS devices to be display on Mac screens through Quicktime wirelessly instead of via cable currently.
- Get Handoff to work for iOS apps to webpages in default web browser on macOS (e.g. Facebook native iOS app to website in default web browser on macOS).
Home App/HomeKit (1):
- Support for HomeKit on macOS so you can control your home without needing to get your phone out. Also good for people who own Macs but don’t have iPhones.
- Split iTunes into the following apps:
- Video (Movies & Home Movies)
- TV App (TV Section of iTunes, TV iTunes Store and functionality from TV app on Apple TV).
- iOS Device Management (to sync content with iOS devices. Also used for Apps and Tones section of iTunes).
- Allow Music app to act as the hub for everything from Apple Music as well, including all the upcoming TV shows they are producing etc.
Lock Screen (2):
- Extend what can be displayed on the lock screen to include weather details.
- Allow users to open apps from the bottom left and right corner of lock screen based on apps used on iOS devices. So Handoff but iOS to macOS instead of reverse like it is currently.
- Be able to set different alert sounds for each mailbox you have setup in the Mail app. E.g. one sound for personal, one sound for work emails etc.
- Refreshed user interface especially with the Mailbox column to be more suitable to the flat design as seems a bit dated. Maybe make it look more like it does on iOS.
- Option to disable notifications for new emails for the first few minutes when you open the Mail app.
- Make the messages app as powerful as it is on iOS with all features introduced in iOS 10 for messages including stickers, so it works cross platforms.
Mission Control (1):
- Create a better system when it comes to laying out windows on displays in mission control. Is currently a convoluted mess when you have lots of windows open on a single screen.
- Ask before deleting a note to avoid accidental deletion.
Notification Centre (2):
- Shrink widgets in Notification Centre Today View that are not displaying any content when not in use. E.g. calendars when saying ‘No Events’ should be a quarter of the height and iTunes should be a third of the height when not in use.
- Allow the World Clock widget to have a short and long version. E.g. short is 3 clock and long is 6 or 9 clocks.
- Child friendly extension built into Safari, that blocks swear words and other explicit content as the page loads.
- Improved performance in Safari app and to WKWebView and UIWebView.
- Do Not Disturb option to have separate hours for different days of the week. E.g. not so strict on weekends.
- Option to have the battery indicator not show 100% when it is fully charged and plugged into power.
- Offline Siri support.
- Allow Siri on macOS to run timers like it can on watchOS and tvOS.
- More intelligent Siri to be on-par with Google Assistant and less reliant on web search results, which is generally crap but if it needs to stay make it send results to default web browser.
- Allow Siri to work by saying ‘Hey Siri’ aloud.
- Improved performance when dealing with storyboard files and large Swift files. Excruciating slow as of recent versions of Xcode.
- Significantly improve the upload process for apps. Maybe minimize how much needs to be upload and do more work on the processing side of the publishing process.
- Compatible with updated Swift 4.0 language in the future.
- Introduce a Power Saving Mode which is good for times when bulk chunks of code needs to be added but does not need to be continuously validated to make sure it is written correctly. Think of this like Power Saving Mode in Android Studio.
- Allow push notifications that may have been set in Safari to load in your default web browser.
- Support for window snapping like BetterSnapTools as this is a far better implementation than Split View in full screen mode currently on Mac.
- Support for play pause button to work for videos you are currently watching in web browsers, including non-Safari web browsers, like BeardedSpice which is a great implementation of this feature.
This list in total when published has a combined total of 49 changes that I want to see in macOS 10.3.
This number is certainly nowhere near as high as the 250 approximate list for iOS 11 I have, but given this software has been out at least twice as long as iOS, it is bound to be a much more mature platform.
Based on what was announced at WWDC 2016 in the State of the Platform presentation, it is likely that we will get the new Apple File System (APFS) first introduced on iOS devices but on macOS this year.
Another rumour I would add to this (even though there’s no public rumour on this) is that macOS 10.12.6 includes in its footnotes:
Enhances compatibility of the Mac App Store with future software updates.
The way this seems to be worded is hinting at me that it is to make the current version of the Mac App Store more compatible when it comes to transitioning to macOS 10.13 which will likely come with a major revamp. If there is no major revamp coming, then would this be major enough of a footnote to be included as I would assume this would be the case every year. And for point of reference in equivalent footnotes for the last update to all versions of OS X that have Mac App Store, there is no mention with the Mac App Store like the above footnote. That all being said, I’d put a major revamp of the Mac App Store up to a 50-60% of happening.
A columnist has written this article stating that he believes Apple is finally going to bite the bullet and go from macOS 10.12 straight to macOS 11 to align it with iOS 11 and likely tvOS 11, instead of going to macOS 10.13. It could honestly go either way, but if they go to 11, it would either be likely because of major changes coming to the platform including APFS and new Mac App Store with iOS apps being usable. I’ll put the likelihood for this one at 75%.
We are also hearing rumours that there are going to be MacBook, MacBook Pro and possibly MacBook Air updates coming at this event, but they are likely going to be just CPU upgrades, so I would not be surprised that if this does end up happening, that it just gets updated silently on their online store. I’d put this at a 40% chance of happening.
macOS Sierra 10.12 works on the following computers despite some features being on only newer models:
- MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
- Mac Mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
- iMac (Late 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
Based on the above list I would expect that all Macs running Sierra released in 2009 and 2010 (except Mac Pro) will lose support this year, but there is less certainty with dropped support compared to new iOS updates.
On bringing this post to a close, I would also like to say that I’d much prefer to see them do a more El Capitan update compared to a Sierra update if they need to put more development time and effort into iOS, but if they do and iOS doesn’t have as much drastic change then I’d question what Apple is thinking.
And before wrapping this up I’d like to ask the question:
“What issues do you have with Macs at the moment? Is it software, hardware or prices for new hardware?”
For me it would most definitely be on the hardware side. I have no interest in upgrading my own computer anytime soon, but if and when I do I want to make sure there is a much bigger upgrade then there is currently, especially with the prices they’re charging.
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