Let’s be honest: The biggest Mac news from Apple’s developer conference Monday wasn’t about software features—it was about new hardware.
All Apple (AAPL) laptops and iMacs will gain Intel’s latest, fastest processor, known as Kaby Lake. The new iMacs will get huge bumps up in available storage, memory, and graphics power. And in December, Apple will see just how much it can pack into an iMac by releasing the iMac Pro: the most powerful Mac ever made. Dark gray metal, 5K screen, an Intel Xeon chip with up to 18 cores, 128 GB RAM, 4 terabytes of solid-state storage, and a 10 GB Ethernet jack. $5,000 and up. A truly monster machine—and yet it’s not the long-awaited update to the Mac Pro; that’s coming, too, Apple says.
But there was a software unveiling, too—of the next free Mac OS version, coming this fall. It will be called Mac OS High Sierra, and the name suggests exactly what it is: a set of refinements to the current Mac OS, called Sierra.
What you’ll soon discover is that (a) it’s a whole lot of miscellaneous, and (b) it’s a lot of stuff that’s also coming to iOS 11 on the iPhone this fall.
Still, there’s a lot of useful stuff. Here’s what you can look forward to.
Apple has continued to work on Safari, its web browser—and says that the new version will be the fastest desktop web browser in the world.
It will also use less power. Apple claims that you’ll be able to watch Netflix (NFLX) for two hours longer in Safari than other browsers.
Maybe even more thrilling to the world’s internet surfers (and less thrilling to advertisers), Safari will be able to auto-block auto-play videos. Now, no video will begin playing unless you click it. (You can grant certain sites permission to autoplay every time, if you like.)
That’s not the only way Safari will frustrate advertisers. Apple says that “Safari now uses machine learning to identify advertisers and others who track your online behavior, and removes the cross‑site tracking…