Apple Releases macOS High Sierra Golden Master Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers
Apple today seeded a golden master (GM) candidate of macOS High Sierra to developers and public beta testers after nine rounds of betas. The golden master represents the final version of macOS High Sierra that will be released to the public on Monday, September 25, should no additional bugs be found.
The macOS High Sierra golden master can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air using the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.
macOS High Sierra is designed to build on features first introduced in the macOS Sierra update in 2016, focusing primarily on new storage, video, and graphics technology. The update brings a new Apple File System (APFS), High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), new HEIF image encoding, and an updated version of Metal with support for VR and external GPUs.
Multiple apps have been updated with new capabilities in macOS High Sierra. Photos features a new sidebar to make it easier to access editing tools and albums, and there are new filters and editing options like Curves and Selective Color.
Safari is gaining speed enhancements, an option to prevent autoplay videos, and a privacy feature aimed at cutting down on cross-site data tracking. Siri in macOS High Sierra has a new, more natural voice, and Spotlight offers flight status information. iCloud, FaceTime, Notes, and Mail also include useful new features.
Apple plans to release macOS High Sierra to the public on Monday, September 25. macOS High Sierra will run on all machines that are compatible with macOS Sierra.
For a complete overview of changes coming in macOS High Sierra, make sure to check out our macOS High Sierra roundup.
Top Rated Comments
My biggest cause for concern, however, is APFS. I'm currently running APFS on both my MacBook Pro with dedicated flash storage, and my iMac with a fusion drive. High Sierra automatically updated my MBP to APFS, but did not updated the fusion drive. In fact, I could even manually convert the fusion drive to APFS - I actually wiped my machine completely, recreated the fusion drive and formatted it as APFS (so obviously APFS works with a fusion drive). So far it seems to be running just fine - and there are some obvious benefits to it already. I had a major issue in a recent build that prevented my iMac from booting, I figured I'd have to just restore from a Time Machine backup. Fortunately, because of APFS, Time Machine creates local snapshots on the internal hard drive, and I was able to restore to one of those snapshots prior to the issue I had. It was easy, fast, and actually worked (unlike a similar feature in Windows allowing you to restore the system to a previous point if you're having issues, which rarely works to resolve the issue). With that being said, and speaking of Time Machine backups, external Time Machine backups still need to be formatted as HFS+. It thus appears that at the moment, external Time Machine backups gain no benefit from the new features in APFS (specifically the aforementioned snapshots). I'm sure this will change at some point down the road...but who knows when. Which brings me to my biggest concern about APFS, there's just not a lot out there about it. Apple has published a number of different documents delving into some of the features and specifications about APFS, but there are still a lot of unknowns. The fact that there is no mention of external Time Machine backups in the documents (only local backups are mentioned) and that a lot of API's haven't been published (snapshots, clones, etc) just has me leery, it feels like APFS is still in beta stages. This wouldn't necessarily be an issue, but any machine running just flash (no fusion drive) will be automatically upgraded to APFS, with no option to NOT be upgraded. Hopefully when the final release is available Apple will publish more info on APFS.