macOS 10.13 will likely make an appearance at WWDC 2017 in June and launch this fall. Here's everything you need to know!
macOS 10.13 is likely the next big update for Apple's desktop and laptop Mac line. It will undoubtedly be full of new features, and maybe even get a slight design update. If Apple continues the same launch schedule it has for years past, we should see a sneak peek at WWDC 2017 in June, with the full system update available by early October.
We don't know much about what to expect from macOS 10.13, including its nickname, but rumors continue to trickle in. Here's the latest!
When can I download previews of the next version of macOS?
Traditionally, Apple shows off a preview of its upcoming operating system during the opening keynote for the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which takes place June 5-8 in 2017.
The first developer beta will likely be available that week, with a public beta launching shortly thereafter. The public beta is available for anyone to download, but be smart about it: If you only have a single Mac, make sure you create a partition to run beta software, or install on a secondary Mac you don't rely on for everyday use.
What kind of catchy new name will it have?
Apple has ditched the cat names for famous locations in California over the past few years; the company started with OS X Yosemite, highlighted a landmark inside the famous park with OS X El Capitan, and with the launch of macOS, broadened its range with Sierra. (See what I did there?)
Apple could continue its mountain theme, or the company could go in a completely different direction with the next version of macOS. A rumor from Pike's Universum in early April 2017 suggests that mountain and park names are out:
The next version of macOS won't use a mountain/park name anymore. Two names in the running. One starts with a Mmmm.
Apple copyrighted several M-related names in 2014, including Miramar, Monterey, Mojave, and Mammoth, so all are potential Californian contenders. Just saying, though, if Pike's Universum is wrong about the end of mountains, Mammoth is a pretty great name. It kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? macOS Mammoth.
When will it officially launch?
Going off past launches, we can expect to see a new version of macOS sometime in the fall — usually September or October — and often (though not always) with new Mac hardware.
Here's a rundown of the release dates for the Mac operating system for the past few years.
- OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion July 25, 2012
- OS X 10.9 Mavericks October 22, 2013
- OS X 10.10 Yosemite October 16, 2014
- OS X 10.11 El Capitan September 30, 2015
- macOS 10.12 Sierra September 20, 2016
What about voice-activated 'Hey Siri'?
With the launch of macOS Sierra, Apple added Siri compatibility to the Mac. With the press of a button, you can ask Siri to search your files, schedule a meeting, and a whole lot more. One thing you can't do with Siri, however, is get its attention with your voice.
Because voice dictation is a must-have for accessibility needs, hands-free Siri should have shipped with the first version; it's likely that chip restrictions kept it from appearing in macOS Sierra. That said, fingers crossed Apple will rectify that omission and add "Hey Siri" voice activation with the next update.
Will Apple give us a systemwide dark mode?
In 2016, Apple gave tvOS a complete redesign, including the ability to choose between a light and dark theme. Mac users have been wishing for a systemwide dark theme for ages, and while earlier versions of macOS brought a dark toolbar to the fray, a full dark mode would be a fantastic marquee feature for 10.13.
What about HomeKit? I want to turn my lights off from my Mac!
HomeKit — and its companion Home app — has gotten much love on iOS and tvOS, but Apple hasn't yet spread the love to its Mac operating system. I ask you: Is it unreasonable to want to turn on the lights or lock the door with your Mac?
While launching an official Home app along with 10.13 might be nice, macOS doesn't need anything quite so fancy: simple Siri support or a Notification Center widget for activating various connected devices would work out nicely.
How about unlocking my Mac with my iPhone?
As of watchOS 3 and macOS Sierra, Apple Watch owners can unlock their Mac without laying a finger on the keyboard. This is thanks to Auto Unlock, part of Apple's Continuity features across devices.
While Auto Unlock is hella cool, not everyone has an Apple Watch. But we could easily see an extension for iPhone users with macOS 10.13: Web-based Apple Pay already uses iPhone Touch ID authentication; waking up your computer shouldn't be too hard of a leap from there.
Will Continuity be able to hand off my music and movies?
Apple's Continuity features allow you to swap content on one device to another using Handoff: You can start an email on your iPhone and finish it on your Mac, for instance. What you are missing, however, is the ability to finish a song on your Mac that you started listening to on your iPhone, or finish watching that episode of Star Wars: Rebels on the train after watching the first ten minutes in your living room.
Music and movies Handoff is long overdue at this point, and we're hoping to see it make an appearance in macOS 10.13.
Are there any other features rumored to make it to macOS Sierra?
Loads. We've heard several miscellaneous tidbits over the past few months:
- You'll be able to gift a Mac app to someone
- Apple might let us selectively save iCloud desktop and documents folders
- A Voice Memos app for Mac
And remember when an early beta of macOS included App Store support for Safari extensions? We may see that again soon, too.
What else do you know?
Only that none of this is confirmed: We'll find out about macOS's real 10.13 features at WWDC 2017; until then, you'll just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.