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Computers

All you need to know about MacOS Sierra

The next version of Apple's Mac software is available for download. Learn how to prepare your Mac for the update and how to use Sierra's new features.

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MacOS Sierra has landed. While we say goodbye to the "X" in "OS X" with MacOS Sierra, the new Mac operating system introduces a number of improvements and new features. Siri integration tops the list, but Sierra also offers easy filing sharing via iCloud Drive, a universal clipboard, auto unlock via Apple Watch and Apple Pay on the Web.

As with past OS X releases, MacOS Sierra is a free upgrade made available via the Mac App Store. Before taking the plunge, learn how to prepare your Mac for MacOS Sierra. And then read on to see how to use Sierra's new features.

First up, Siri. Apple is making its voice assistant more useful in more places. Not only did Apple open Siri up to third-party apps on iOS devices, but it has also come to Macs. Learn 11 new ways you can use Siri, including Siri with Sierra as well as with iOS 10 and Apple TV.

If use Apple Pay to purchase goods in brick-and-mortar stores, then you should know that Sierra lets you make online purchases from your Mac. As long as you are using Safari to shop and have your Touch ID-enabled iPhone or Apple Watch nearby to confirm your purchases, you can use Apple Pay on a Mac.

MacOS Sierra makes it easier for Apple Watch wearers to unlock their Mac. Why enter a password when you can use unlock your Mac with the Apple Watch?

Why not watch a video while you shop? With Sierra's picture-in-picture feature, you can pop videos out of Safari or iTunes and watch in a floating, resizable video player in the corner of your screen.

MacOS Sierra takes the two folders you likely use the most -- Desktop and Documents -- and syncs them with iCloud Drive so that any files you have stored there are accessible from your other iCloud Drive-enabled devices, including your iPhone, iPad, other Macs and even Windows PCs. Learn how to sync files via iCloud Drive with MacOS Sierra.

MacOS Sierra understands you have multiple devices and the occasional need to share data across them. With Sierra's awesome, new universal clipboard, you can copy text, a photo or video from one device and paste it on another device, either Mac to Mac or Mac to iOS device (or vice versa).