Tim Cook Delivers Disappointing MacOS High Sierra Updates For New MacBook Pro – Forbes
Apple continues to work on MacOS ahead of its full release, likely in late September or October. Developers and engaged consumers are able to download the betas of the OS (Apple has just released beta 4), but a closer examination of the changes and focus in MacOS highlights the new role for the MacBook Pro and the MacBook family.
Supporting the iPhone.
The core of the High Sierra update focuses on providing compatibility to the latest hardware. This includes accommodations for new storage options, video output and graphics chip support. Apple’s new filing system (APFS, the inventively acronymed Apple File System) is also included, as is increased support for VR and external GPU cards.
With High Sierra, Apple is ensuring that the MacBook Pro line can retain compatibility with the current chipsets on offer for inclusion in laptops. Although the MacBook family offers an economy of scale, Apple still has to work within the physical constraints of what the market can deliver. Ensuring that the MacBook can support modern chipsets ensures long-term stability, but there’s nothing here to suggest that Apple is working on any radical hardware changes for the next eighteen months, just the slow integration of existing services that are present on iOS but missing in MacOS.
Apple’s radical hardware changes are focused on the iPhone and iPad. The updates to MacOS reinforce the iOS supporting role that the desktop machines are being pushed into. All the goodies are going to mobile, while the desktop environment is moving to backing up and offering secondary functionality to mobile devices (and of course the critical developer environment for those who want to develop for iOS).
Look at the first-party apps that are getting updated inside High Sierra. iPhoto has new tweaks to the user interface, new filters, and some new editing tools. And all of those pictures are going to be, in the main, taken on iPhones and synced to Apple’s cloud where they can be edited on the desktop. Services such as Apple Music, FaceTime, Messages and Notes are all picking up code refreshes that improve their interaction with the mobile hardware.
MacOS is being tied tightly to Apple’s cloud services, which in turn are being tied closely to mobile devices. MacOS is no longer the star quarterback or the MVP wide receiver. It’s the old warhorse that quietly sits in the corner helping out the new blood to go out, get noticed and change the world.
The MacBook family isn’t going away in a hurry, but neither is it going to march forwards with new ideas and technology of its own. It’s all about the supporting role. Arguably, if you want any innovation in the laptop, desk bound, or desktop market, then you need to be looking at Windows 10 and how Microsoft’s Surface hardware is leading the charge on form factors, software, and innovation.
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