Apple unveils macOS High Sierra with focus on 'refinement'

APFS will be the default file system for MacOS, and offers built-in encryption support.

And focus was placed on major improvements made to the Safari browser, with Apple keen to emphasize the benchmark performance of this software.

High Sierra also introduces HEVC, a new video codec created to help with the quality and compression of high-definition 4K video. The main benefits are better performance, support for more files, and improved security.

Photos is rapidly becoming one of the most used apps on our Macs, and in High Sierra it looks we'll be spending even more time with it. Face names are synchronized across devices.

Apple is expected to unveil new features for its Apple Watch as its Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on Monday.

Mail also got some updates, with Federighi noting that search in Mail now uses Spotlight.

The Safari browser has been promptly treated to a few feature updates that are mostly quintessential that browsers missed until now.

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App Enhancements - Apps that will see improvements in High Sierra include Safari, Mail, and Photos.

While Google has been busy introducing stricter measures for advertising and ad-blocking, Apple has now introduced "autoplay blocking" on the Safari web browser - a really cool feature. There's also a new service to stop ads from tracking you across the web.

Safari is adding a new intelligent tracking feature that will block trackers so that sites such as Amazon will no longer advertise the products you already bought on every site you visit. HEVC will stream video better, take up less space on your Mac.

Video has evolved from H.264 to keep up with the spread of 4K HDR video, so Apple now supports H.265 codecs for maximum quality in playback.

Apple demonstrated, on-stage, VR running on a Macbook. This update includes a move to Metal 2 for driver optimizations, indirect argument buffers, SIMD group data exchanges, Uniform variables, Sampler arrays, and Resource heaps. This, if it happens will be a big news in the tech world. Metal 2 will bring 10 times the draw call throughput that Metal delivered, enabling graphics that are far more robust while adding external GPU support for hard-core gamers. It will provide support for external graphics units via a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure, but the most exciting part - and another key theme of the evening - was the support for VR content, via a new partnership with SteamVR, Unreal 4 engine and Unity.

Own a high-end VR headset? "You know, Mac, sometimes I feel like I don't know what it's all about anymore".

The final release of macOS 10.13 High Sierra will be available Autumn 2017. What's more, there's now an option for full-screen split view in Mail. These changes inch Photos ever so slightly nearer to more professional tools, but don't expect to switch from Photoshop anytime soon.

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