macOS Sierra Review: Mac Users Get a Modest Update this Year

macOS Sierra, the latest operating system by Apple Inc., is a highly anticipated update for Mac users worldwide. Launched as the successor to OS X El Capitan, macOS Sierra promises to deliver a host of new features and improvements. While it may not be a groundbreaking overhaul, the update offers valuable enhancements that make the Mac experience more seamless and user-friendly. In this review, we will explore the key aspects of macOS Sierra, including its release date and price, design and display, specs and performance, hardware, battery and camera capabilities, and conclude with an overall assessment of the update.

Table of Content

  1. Table of Content
    1. Introduction: Release date and price
    2. Design and display
    3. Specs and Performance
      1. Hardware Specification comparison
    4. Battery and Camera
    5. Conclusion

Introduction: Release date and price

macOS Sierra was officially released by Apple on September 20, 2016. As with previous OS updates, macOS Sierra is available as a free upgrade for compatible Mac devices. Users with Mac models dating back to mid-2010 or later can take advantage of this upgrade, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

The decision to offer macOS Sierra as a free upgrade reflects Apple’s commitment to ensuring that its users can take advantage of the latest features and improvements without incurring additional costs. By providing a free upgrade, Apple encourages users to stay within its ecosystem and enjoy the benefits of the latest software advancements.

Design and display

In terms of design, macOS Sierra retains the clean and elegant aesthetic that Mac users have come to love. Apple continues to embrace the flat design language, with subtle refinements to icons and user interface elements. However, the most significant design change is the introduction of the “Siri” icon, signaling the integration of the virtual assistant into the macOS experience.

With the introduction of Siri, macOS Sierra takes a step further in integrating voice-activated features into the Mac ecosystem. Siri’s icon appears in the Dock and menu bar, making it easily accessible for users to interact with the virtual assistant. Users can now perform a variety of tasks using their voice, such as setting reminders, sending messages, performing web searches, and even controlling system settings.

Regarding display support, macOS Sierra caters to various Mac models with different screen resolutions. The system seamlessly adapts to different screen sizes, ensuring a consistent and visually appealing experience across the Mac lineup. This adaptability is particularly valuable for users with multiple Mac devices, as they can enjoy a consistent user interface across different hardware configurations.

Specs and Performance

macOS Sierra comes with numerous under-the-hood optimizations that contribute to enhanced performance and system stability. Apple has focused on improving memory management and overall system efficiency, resulting in a more responsive user experience. Apps launch faster, and multitasking feels smoother, even on older Mac models.

One of the key performance-enhancing features of macOS Sierra is the inclusion of Apple’s new file system, APFS (Apple File System). APFS replaces the traditional HFS+ file system used in previous versions of macOS. The new file system is optimized for modern storage technologies, offering improved data integrity, faster file operations, and more efficient storage utilization. While users may not notice the impact of APFS on day-to-day tasks immediately, it lays the foundation for better performance and reliability in the long run.

The new Metal graphics technology has been optimized for macOS Sierra, offering improved graphics performance in games and graphic-intensive applications. Users with compatible Mac devices will notice a boost in graphics rendering and a reduction in system resource consumption. Metal’s efficiency is particularly beneficial for users who engage in video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming, as it ensures smoother performance and quicker rendering times.

Another performance-related enhancement in macOS Sierra is the introduction of Universal Clipboard. This feature allows users to copy content from one Apple device and paste it on another. For instance, you can copy text on your iPhone and paste it directly into a document on your Mac. Universal Clipboard streamlines cross-device productivity and eliminates the need for sending content via email or messaging apps.

Hardware Specification comparison
 Phone 1Phone 2Phone 3
Display size, resolution4.7-inch; 1,280×720 pixels5.2-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels5.7-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels
Pixel density312ppi386ppi424ppi
Dimensions (Inches)5.33×2.61×0.31 in5.75×2.81×0.31 in6.17×3.06×0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters)135.4×66.2×7.9 mm146.1×71.4×7.9 mm156.8×77.6×7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)N/AN/AN/A
Mobile softwareAndroid 6.01 MarshmallowAndroid 6.01 MarshmallowAndroid 6.01 Marshmallow
Front-facing camera8-megapixel16-megapixel16-megapixel
Video captureFull-HDFull-HDFull-HD
Processor1.6GHz Octa Core1.9GHz Octa Core, Exynos 78801.9GHz Octa Core, Exynos 7880
Expandable storage256GB256GB256GB
Battery2,350mAh (nonremovable)3,000mAh (nonremovable)3,600mAh (nonremovable)
Fingerprint sensorHome buttonHome buttonHome button
ConnectorUSB Type-CUSB Type-CUSB Type-C
Special featuresWater resistantWater resistantWater resistant

macOS Sierra has been designed to leverage the latest Mac hardware, taking full advantage of the capabilities offered by newer models. For instance, the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is seamlessly integrated with macOS Sierra, providing contextual controls and shortcuts for various applications. With the Touch Bar, users can quickly access tools and commands relevant to the app they are using, enhancing productivity and workflow efficiency.

While newer Mac models benefit from the advanced features of macOS Sierra, older Macs receive significant improvements as well. The update is optimized to run on older hardware, making it accessible to users who may not have the latest Mac devices. This inclusivity ensures that a wider range of Mac users can experience the benefits of macOS Sierra and enjoy a more refined user experience.

The integration of Siri into macOS Sierra is another hardware-focused enhancement. For Siri to function effectively, certain Mac models require specific hardware capabilities. The inclusion of Siri on the Mac broadens the scope of voice-activated commands and hands-free interactions, providing users with a new and convenient way to interact with their Mac devices.

Battery and Camera

Battery life is a crucial consideration for Mac users, especially those who rely on their laptops for extended periods. macOS Sierra introduces power-saving features, such as “App Nap” and “Power Nap,” which intelligently manage power consumption during idle periods. By optimizing the power usage of background apps and system tasks, macOS Sierra helps extend battery life on both MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models.

Apple also focused on improving the user experience for FaceTime users with macOS Sierra. The update includes better FaceTime call quality and refined image processing for FaceTime video chats. Users can expect clearer and more detailed video calls, especially in low-light conditions.


In conclusion, macOS Sierra is a noteworthy update that provides valuable enhancements to the Mac experience. While it may not be a revolutionary overhaul, the integration of Siri, improved graphics performance with Metal, and efficient system optimization contribute to a more seamless and enjoyable user experience. With macOS Sierra being a free upgrade for a wide range of Mac devices, it is a worthwhile update that users should consider.

Whether you have a brand-new MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar or an older Mac model, macOS Sierra offers improvements that enhance productivity, user experience, and overall system performance. As Apple continues to refine its operating system, macOS Sierra marks another step forward in providing a user-friendly and sophisticated ecosystem for Mac users worldwide.

As with any software update, users should ensure their Mac devices meet the system requirements and back up their data before proceeding with the upgrade. Overall, macOS Sierra is a solid update that reinforces Apple’s commitment to providing a seamless and innovative computing experience for Mac users.

The integration of Siri, power-saving features, and graphics optimizations make macOS Sierra an attractive choice for users looking to enhance their Mac experience. By leveraging the latest Mac hardware capabilities, macOS Sierra ensures that users with newer devices can fully capitalize on the features and improvements introduced in this update.

As Apple continues to refine and iterate its operating systems, Mac users can look forward to future updates that build upon the foundation laid by macOS Sierra. Whether it’s optimizing performance, introducing new productivity features, or refining user interface elements, Apple remains dedicated to delivering an exceptional user experience that aligns with its ethos of innovation and user-focused design. With macOS Sierra, Mac users can confidently embrace the future of computing on their beloved devices.