Apple Releases Second macOS Sierra 10.12.2 Beta for Public Beta Testers
Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming macOS Sierra 10.12.2 update to public beta testers, approximately one week after releasing the first public beta of 10.12.2 and one day after seeding the second beta to developers. It's also been more than two weeks since Apple released macOS Sierra 10.12.1 to the public.
Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the macOS Sierra beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.
Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to both iOS and macOS Sierra betas. Betas should not be installed on a primary machine due to the potential for instability.
In addition to bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements, macOS Sierra 10.12.2 introduces support for dozens of new emoji, ranging from those introduced in Unicode 9 to several professions in both male and female genders.
Some new emoji include fox face, clown face, selfie, face palm, crossed fingers, owl, shark, eagle, avocado, bacon, croissant, potato, carrot, and more. Apple has also updated the artwork on many existing emoji, adding much more detail.
Top Rated Comments
People here complain about little things like emojis but forget that Sierra is one of the most stable OS releases of OS X history, Apple has done an amazing job to get it usable from the first release.
I am not complaining, just hope the day APFS arrives is sooner than later.
First off, I do understand that macOS does get attention from Apple, e.g. they definitely spent a lot of time on Touch Bar, unlocking with Apple Watch, and Apple Pay. But those are motivated by respectively wanting to sell Macbook Pros, Apple Watches, and increasing Apple Pay adoption (for the service revenue and to sell more Apple Watches). But as far as basic feature improvements for basic uses of the Mac, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit that has been hanging there for years. I mainly wish they kept continuously improving the things they released in the past, rather than mostly abandoning them and moving on to the Next Big Thing.
That being said, a list of apps I feel Apple has been dragging their feet on for too long...
* iTunes (as a media player). For how many years have people been complaining now that iTunes is bloated and needs to be split into a Music app, Podcasts app, Videos app, ... much like on iOS? 7 years? 8? Yet the only improvements Apple does to it is focussed on selling more Apple Music subscriptions. I understand that they need to use their developers wisely, and re-writing iTunes is not going to sell more macs. So from a return-on-investment standpoint, finally fixing iTunes is not a priority for them. But at some point enough has to be enough. Also, handoff of movies / music between devices while continuing playback would be welcome.
* iTunes again (as a device manager): linked to the above, iTunes still sort of half fulfills a role as device manager, but in a very half-baked way. Why not move some of that device management functionality to system preferences, or to a seperate "devices" app which could exist on Mac / iOS / iCloud?
* Finder. Read some of John Siracusa's old ArsTechnica articles about what he'd like to see in the Finder - those requests are 10 years old and still nowhere near being looked at. Perhaps at some point they will rewrite the Finder in Swift and deliver some extra functionality in the process, but as it stands it seems like Apple decided years ago that anything resembling a File Manager is the wrong approach, and they're keeping the Finder in status quo until they finally figure out what might replace it.
* Facetime. People have been asking for group chat and screen sharing for years. This is something iChat used to have. Also, why can we still not sync favorites across devices, or Handover ongoing conversations? Also picture-in-picture facetime while another app is full screen would be welcome.
* Calendar. I don't think many Mac users really use the built-in Calendar anymore, replacing it instead by Fantastical, Outlook, or Google Calendar. Compare this to Windows, where everyone I know just uses the built-in Outlook calendar.
* Mail. Sure, they've been tweaking it left and right with things like markup, but for basic inbox management it's fallen behind a lot of the more modern mail apps.
* Contacts. Okay, not a big app, but basic things like easier group management (also lacking on iOS btw), having VIP contacts on OS level rather than only within Mail, indicating preferred communication method for a contact (e.g. call X by default on Facetime, message Y by default through whatsapp). Also, would like to have be able to better sync contacts between different users (i.e. if I update the phone number for my mom, have that updated on my wife's phone as well).
* Reminders. The Reminders app in both iOS and macOS is a joke, left so far behind modern todo list managers that it's not even funny anymore. Adding some basic features would be nice - they deligently update Notes every year, why not Reminders? I really don't get why they treat those two little-but-useful apps so differently.
* Time Machine. Time Machine's spacey interface was nice & flashy when it debuted a few years ago, but I don't think they've actually expanded on its capabilities after the initial release. A Time Machine backup to iCloud feature might be nice (assuming it included detailed controls to not backup massive files like movie projects). Encryption would a nice thing to have some native support for, and I've heard that Time Machine and FileVault don't mix well at all. Some other things like spinning down the backup drive outside of the backup times would be nice too. Finally, I also wish it'd let me backup my iPad documents in a similar way, but I guess that'll stay mostly cloud-only. I'm hoping that the advent of APFS will eventually trigger some upgrades to Time Machine.
* [B]Photos. [/B]Okay, this was updated recently so not fair to put it on this list. There's things that bother me, mostly the fact that Facetags aren't synced across devices (not in iPhoto, not in Photos, not in the new Photos w/ Machine Learning). The user interface for editing or tagging is getting clunky (why hide all extensions under that awkward "more" button?). And while it's a pretty good app to browse through a large library, i'd say it's still clunky to actually manage those large libraries (e.g. mass updates to geotags, timestamps, facetags, ...). It also doesn't play well with other tools by not embedding the metadata inside the EXIF data of the picture but keeping it in a seperate db - would love for some more interoperability. Also, some more fine-tuned settings about which albums should be shared to which devices (e.g. a screensaver album to be synced to the AppleTV, a Favorites album to keep locally stored on all of the iPhones as part of Optimize Local Storage) would be welcome. Finally, i hope they bring back star ratings instead of favorites, like they did with Music. The fact that 10 photos may be my favorites within a vacation album does not make them my favorites across my 20,000 pic library.
* Messages. Again, not fair to add them on this list, I know it's been updated recently. But with the Messages App Store on iOS, it seems like Mac Messages is falling behind - was there really no way to mac iOS Message apps run natively on macOS? I understand AppKit and UIKit are quite different, but for these type of extensions to native apps it sure would be nice if devs could run them cross platform (since a Mac messages app store seems dead on arrival to me).
* [B]Podcasts. [/B]This is mostly an iOS gripe, but since macOS could use a podcast app i'll add it in. Apple practically invented podcasting 10 years ago, but they haven't improved the basic features they offer through iTunes since then. Podcast subscriptions, access to older episodes, automatic transcription, easier social sharing, hotlinks to specific points in an episode, better annotation (e.g. URL's appearing at specific points in the episode), ...
* iBooks. Launched as a Big Thing in 2010 when they were just launching the iPad, then finally ported to macOS three years later, but hasn't seen any significant updates since. Most people that I know use the Amazon Kindle app instead.
* Maps. Slowly getting better, but still a lot of work to do. Indoor maps have been rumored for years, turn-by-turn directions could use improvements, public transit support is limited, flyover is nice but needs more cities, street view, dynamic re-routing in case of traffic accidents, offline maps, ... I also wish they would add a web interface for this one (maps.apple.com?), but I guess that would defeat the point of using the software to sell the hardware. It'd allow them to get more feedback to fix the contents of the maps, though.
* Remote. Why is there no Remote app on Mac? Am I the only person who regularly sits on the couch with the laptop, and wouldn't mind being able to control his AppleTV from his laptop?
* Health. Again, why is there not Apple Health app on the Mac (or the iPad for that matter)? I understand there are (legal) challenges around syncing the data in an encrypted way, but if you can get data to sync from the Watch to the Phone then surely you can get that data from the Phone to the Mac as well? While the iPhone is nice for entering data, i'd love to have a better Health dashboard on the iPad or the Mac to get a longer term view on how i'm doing.
* News. Why no News app on the Mac? (Not that it would matter much to me at this point since Apple News doesn't exist in Belgium yet). I wouldn't mind paying some type of monthly subscription to Apple that got split out into micropayments for certain articles.
* And finally... Front Row. Guess you weren't expecting this one :) . Hasn't been updated in 5 years because Apple stopped developing it. But being able to just sit back and use my Mac as a kind of Apple TV was nice (the setup of my living room allows me to watch the Mac on the desk from the couch), and the only reason I can see why they would completely remove that app is to "focus", i.e. look at return on investment of software development and focus on the features that sell more devices. This one would be small but welcome for me.
10.12.2 beta fixed by external Mini DisplayPort monitor on a rMBP in clamshell mode not turning on when rebooting.