Enlarge / High Sierra wallpaper.
The low-hanging clouds in the background may or may not be related to the name. (credit: Apple)
If you’ve felt like the last few macOS releases have been a little light, High Sierra won’t change your mind.
That’s not because there’s nothing here but because most of Apple’s development work this time around went into under-the-hood additions and updates to foundational technologies.
Changing filesystems, adding external graphics support, adding support for new image compression formats, and updating the graphics API to support VR are all important, and none of them are small tasks.
But the UI doesn’t change, apps get only minor updates (when they get them at all), and multiple features continue to be more limited than their iOS counterparts. Updates like Mountain Lion and El Capitan have drawn comparisons to Snow Leopard for focusing on refinement rather than features, but High Sierra is the closest thing we’ve gotten to a “no new features” update in years. High Sierra is so similar to Sierra in so many ways that it’s honestly pretty hard to tell them apart.
It’s not like the constancy of macOS is a bad thing; while the Mac operating system has been trundling along in a comfortable groove, iOS has been working its way through an exciting-but-occasionally-awkward teenage phase, and Windows has swerved wildly from desktop OS to tablet OS and back again. On the other hand, it has been a while since I came away from a new macOS version thinking, “Yes, this software absolutely makes my computer indisputably better than it was before.”
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