As Apple history buffs know, OS X started back in Steve Jobs’ other company, NeXT as OPENSTEP, a Unix-like operating system that worked well, was loved by a few, but never made it to the mainstream until Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned. The result was OS X. Now it’s time to say goodbye.
Hello, Goodby, I Love You
The first versions of OS X were code named with big cat names. Jaguar. Panther. Lion. Cheetah, et al. Obviously, OS X was going to be around longer than the list of available cat names, but not much longer. A few years ago we got OS X Mavericks, named after the great wave beach in California, then OS X El Capitan, named after a mountain in California.
Goodbye, OS X.
Apple’s operating systems beyond the Mac were iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, so it only seemed natural that Apple would follow suit with macOS and that’s exactly what took place. With a twist to help differentiate and personalize future versions of the OS. macOS Sierra. Not OS X Sierra. Just plain old macOS Sierra.
For those of us who have complained in recent years that OS X has been dumbed down a bit to run more like iOS, we’ll have plenty to complain about under macOS Sierra, too. Apple isn’t afraid to integrate third party functionality into new features.
For example, the new Auto Unlock in macOS works much like the free MacID app already has for a few years, except with feature useful features. MacID also works on iPhone and Watch.
Similarly, the new Universal Clipboard function in macOS grabs whatever is on the Mac, iPhone, or iPad clipboard and shares with the other devices. It’s not a clipboard manager like Copy’em Paste, much like Cloud Clip or Copied (both of which do more than Universal Clipboard).
Is it really goodbye OS X?
Yes. And no. As the Mac’s premiere operating system (remember, the Mac can run Windows, various Linux distros, and even Unix flavors), the name changes and the cats are still gone, replaced by another location in California, but macOS Sierra instead of plain old OS X.
The Mac is evolving, too, and macOS adds ever more iOS features, including Siri. That’s right. You’ll be able to talk to your Mac and your Mac– thanks to Siri– will talk back. A number of new features help to ease the transition. There’s an Optimized Storage function that moves older files to the cloud, and makes files on the Desktop and in the Documents folder– from Mac to iPhone to iPad– become available on each device automatically.
Apple Pay is coming to websites, too. Search and buy on the web, but authenticate the purchase with Apple Pay from Watch or iPhone and Touch ID. A few other features look useful. Picture-in-Picture. Grab a video from Safari and move it or resize it as a PiP elsewhere on the screen. Photos has a new Memories features and better face and scene recognition that integrates photos in a personal event collage.
Apple added a bunch of useful– and integrated– applications and features to macOS Sierra which now little resembles the Aqua OS X of years ago other than point and click and drop down menus.
Goodbye, OS X. We hardly knew yet. Hello, macOS, just another relative in the iOS, tvOS, and watchOS family.