MacOS Sierra was officially rolled out in September 2016, but it was initially shown off at WWDC 2016 in June. It came as no surprise to see a new version of the Mac operating system at WWDC 2017, then, but what’s changed and when can we start using it? Find out the macOS Sierra release date and new features here. Also see: iOS 11 latest news.

When is macOS High Sierra update coming out?

macOS 10.13 UK release date: September 2017 (TBC)

Apple took to the stage on 5 June during the opening keynote of WWDC 2017 to give us our first glimpse of macOS 10.13 High Sierra. That same day, the first beta became available to developers for testing.

Apple is expected to release the update in beta form for the public in July, but won’t release the final version until September at the soonest.

How much will the macOS update cost?

It will be a free upgrade for Mac users later this year.

What are the new features in macOS High Sierra?

On the surface, High Sierra doesn’t seem all that different to its predecessor. However, when you start to dig deeper you’ll find that there’s actually rather a lot of improvements going on behind the scenes.

There’s a new Apple File System, for example, as well as new 4K video playback enhancements and graphics improvements made with VR in mind.

Safari, Photos, Mail, Siri, iCloud, Spotlight, Notes and Messages have been updated, too.

Safari has more personalisation features, and there are changes to stop auto-playing videos and cookies, too.

Photos gets new organisation tools and a new side bar that looks a lot like the one we were used to in iPhoto, and ther’s also a new Edit view with more advanced tools.

Siri is now smarter and sounds more human, you’ll be able to Pin your most frequently used notes as well as add tables, Messages will be synched between devices thanks to iMessage for iCloud, and Spotlight has new flight information integration.

If you’d like to learn about each of these new features in more detail, we’d recommend checking out Macworld UK’s complete guide to MacOS 10.13 High Sierra here.

What features didn’t get announced for macOS 10.13?

Dark Mode

There is a Dark Mode for the Menu bar and Dock, but we’d like to see this extended everywhere. This would be useful when working in dim lighting, but also when you’re using dark apps such as Final Cut Pro. And it would also be nice to choose your own tint or highlight colour, as you can in Windows 10. This would offer more personalisation and flexibility.

High performance mode

Talking of FCP, it would be great to have a mode to turn off all unnecessary effects and disable low-priority background tasks to give all available resources and processing power to the app you’re using, be that a video editor or a game.

FaceTime conference calls

Skype has offered this for a while, and isn’t the only video service that allows more than two participants. It’s time that FaceTime added this capability.

Face recognition

There are two elements here. One could be a facial recognition camera – similar to the predicted 3D scanning camera on the next iPhone – which would unlock your MacBook, iMac or Mac Pro.

But arguably more useful would be for the Photos app to sync face recognition from your iPhone / iPad to your Mac, via iCloud.

Backup to iCloud

Talking of iCloud, you can back up your iOS devices, but not your Mac. Cloud storage prices are falling and we hope cloud backup will feature in the next version of macOS.