Elias Pelcastre

First impressions: macOS Sierra on a MacBook Air 2011

I dared to install the public beta of macOS Sierra on my only MacBook computer, and I can tell you I don´t regret it for a second. I have to admit upfront I´ve only been playing around with the system for a little while, but I am impressed.

First of all, Sierra brings Siri to the Mac. And not the dummy assistant that doesn´t understand foreign English accents; this Siri is good at getting my Mexicanized English tone of voice. Tap the coloured-waved button, either on the dock or the top right to invoke Siri – or assign a keyboard command – and ask it naturally to look up the local weather, the time in London, or even to open a document. Siri will automatically find the answer or open the cover letter for you.

I think Apple could have added the “Hej Siri” voice command to make the process more seemingly, but I guess the company is taking its time, like always. (It took years to get the voice command on an iPhone and iPad.)

You can also paste things between Mac and iPhone, although only through Apple´s productivity apps. By this, I mean no iCloud.com. Pages, Keynote, and Numbers will set you back $20 each, both on your Apple computer and phone, but once you have the updated version installed, the process of copying and pasting is “magic”. (I would like to correct this, as the feature doesn’t work right now, but will – apparently between a lot of apps.)

And remember when you had to guess what the hell was using space on your computer? Now the “About this Mac” section gives you a full rundown on the files and apps that are straining your internal storage, with the amount of MB, or GB, specified and an “X” to delete things in the spot.

Picture-in-picture, an iPad-only feature, is now available on the Mac. I was able to play a WWDC 16 keynote clip from Apple´s website on the corner, but not a YouTube music video – to activate picture-in-picture, you have to look for a window with an arrow in the lower part of the playback menu of a video. That means you can now play a video in the background while you multitask, and won´t miss any of the action.

Messages comes with huge emojis, and Music has been redesigned. As I mentioned in my iOS 10 beta review, I´m still not sure I like Music´s new font and experience.

Overall, Sierra ran fast on my MacBook Air 2011; no major hiccups, although I will keep an eye on the beta software and let you know if something ugly happens.

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