For all the gamers in the audience, this week might be all about E3 in Los Angeles. For Apple fans, the focus is a little further north in California in San Francisco where the company is hosting WWDC 2016. One of the first big announcements? Apple is killing off OS X. It’s dead. It’s no more. In its place is a “new” desktop operating system called macOS Sierra. This naming scheme aligns with the rest of Apple’s growing ecosystem, including iOS, tvOS and watchOS.

For the most part, macOS Sierra isn’t dramatically different from the OS X it replaces. Everything will still feel pretty familiar. In practice, macOS Sierra is like a new update to OS X, except with a new name. Perhaps the most notable new feature is the inclusion of Siri after years of rumor and hearsay.

Siri on the desktop will function much like how you use it on your iPhone, but with a few more computer-centric tricks. You’ll find Siri as the familiar icon on the dock and in the top-left of the menu bar. Use it to look for files, search the web, send iMessages, open Safari, and so on.

In addition to Siri, macOS Sierra also lets you unlock your Macbook with your Apple Watch automatically, take advantage of a universal clipboard across platforms (e.g., copy on iPhone, paste on macOS), synchronize iCloud Drive across platforms, and back up older files to iCloud automatically to clear space on your computer. Apple Pay is also going online as a means to pay for your online shopping, not just in person.


Full access to macOS Sierra is open now for developers. Regular folk can anticipate a public beta next month — sign up at beta.apple.com — with a final version to be released this fall.

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