Apple previewed macOS High Sierra today, the latest iteration of its desktop operating system. It’s all about refinement with this update. High Sierra brings new core storage, video, and graphics technologies as well which will pave the way for future innovation on the Mac. It also brings an all-new file system and support for support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). Native apps like Photos, Safari, and Mail have all been refined in this update.

Apple File System (APFS) is included in macOS High Sierra. It provides improved performance, security, and reliability of data. It makes common operations like copying files instantaneous, protects data from power outages and system crashes while native encryption keeps files secures. High Sierra will maintain complete read and write compatibility with previously formatted HFS drives and data.

The industry-standard HEVC (H.265) is supported, it significantly improves quality rates of video streaming and 4K video playback. Metal, described as “the fastest, most efficient way to tap into GPU power on the Mac,” is onboard as well. It brings support for machine learning used in natural language processing, computer vision, and speech recognition.

For the first time, macOS High Sierra also adds support for VR content creating. This will enable developers to create 3D and VR content on the Mac. Valve is already optimizing its SteamVR platform for the Mac and enabling connection of the HTC Vive to macOS computers. More VR companies will work with Apple to expand virtual reality’s reach on the Mac.

Countless refinements have been made to system apps like Photos, Safari, Mail, Siri, Notes, Spotlight, and more.

A developer preview of macOS High Sierra will be available starting today to members of the Apple Developer Program. A public beta program will be launched later this month. macOS High Sierra will be released as a free update for everyone later this year in the fall.

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