Tabs For All Windows

Sometimes the best features in a software update are the small additions that end up having a large impact on how you use a device. I think the inclusion of universal tabs on macOS is a great example of this. Everyone who has used a computer should be familar with tabs, as they're a common style of interface for applications that work with many pages or documents that follow the same sort of format. Excel is a great example of a tabbed application that works with many documents of the same type, while web browsers are an example of applications that use tabs to avoid creating a great number of windows that would all have the same interface but with a different internal content pane.

While tabs are certainly useful, there are many applications that allow you to open multiple windows but do not allow you to organize those windows as tabs. With macOS Sierra Apple has implemented a system-level tab manager that works across essentially all applications. The only requirement is really that the application uses macOS's standard window chrome so the tab bar can be easily integrated into the application.

As you can see, the implementation fits in quite well alongside apps that already supported tabs such as Safari and Finder. A rule of thumb is that if an application supports multiple windows, it will now support tabs under macOS Sierra. For applications that work like a browser such as Safari and Apple Maps, using the standard cmd+t shortcut will create a new tab. For other apps like pages where that shortcut has likely been taken, cmd+opt+n opens a new tab, which complements the cmd+n shortcut to open a new window. When in full screen mode cmd+n is overridden to create a new tab, as you can't open a new window in full screen.

I've had some issues with the cmd+opt+n shortcut not working correctly in applications like Pages, which is likely due to Sierra's state as a very early beta. I was able to show tabs working in Pages by using the command in the View menu to make the tab bar render and hitting the button to open a new tab, and the issues with the implementation will hopefully be sorted out by the time Sierra comes into its public beta phase.

Picture in Picture

Picture in Picture or PiP mode is available on iPads as of iOS 9. It allows an application that displays videos to continue playing the video in a floating window even after the user has left the application and gone to another app or the home screen. On the iPad the usefulness of this feature cannot be overstated, as it allows you to continue watching a video while also interacting with two completely different applications in split-screen mode. With macOS Sierra PiP is now available as well, and it works in the same manner as it does on iOS.

Since macOS has windows, Picture in Picture isn't as necessary as it is on the iPad where applications generally take up the entire screen. For example, it's helpful that an iOS video application implements PiP so you can keep watching even if you have to switch to another app, but on macOS that doesn't really matter because your video app has its own window anyway. Where it does come in handy is popping videos out of Safari and displaying them in a floating window while you use other applications or browse other websites.

Like the iPad, the PiP window on macOS snaps itself to one of the four corners of the display and sits atop other applications so it cannot be obstructed. It can be resized to a degree, with the max size being about one quarter of the screen on this 13" MacBook Pro. Out of the box it works with any website that uses the standard Safari HTML5 video player. Unfortunately, sites like YouTube that use their own custom player have to integrate the functionality themselves, but Apple has noted that ESPN and Vimeo have actually done the work to implement this already and you can see an example of that above. iTunes will support PiP when Sierra is officially released, but for now there aren't really any desktop applications that it can be used with, although as I said before, PiP isn't as necessary for video players on macOS as it is on iOS.

Siri Comes To The Mac Storage Optimization and iCloud Integration
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  • tipoo - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    "Most important of all is that this does not count against your iCloud storage. "

    Megatonne. That's the line I've been trying to find out since they announced it. If it counted against your storage that would still be meh with the insulting 5GB free and 1TB pricey cap, but not counting against your storage is awesome.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    Hmm, seems to me there's two very different components to that feature... When it "moves" stuff like system fonts, language packs, and apps it's not really storing anything FOR you... It's just deleting OS elements like you've always been able to, rather than reinstalling from disc like in the days of yore you simply reinstall from their servers.

    There's no reason that should count against quota, they only need to keep one instance of the entire OS feature set and apps for everybody. User data on the other hand, I'd be very surprised if they're just gonna host it for free willy nilly... There's gotta be some catch there. Sync has a high server demand but storing GBs upon GBs of files for macOS users is pretty demanding too...

    Isn't it essentially free online backups?
  • tipoo - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    The store all files in icloud feature is the one that notes it doesn't' count against system storage, so I think that's user files too. The optimize storage feature for fonts and other cruft on the other hand it makes sense they don't need to store one copy for everyone.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    As I recall, not every GPU that got Metal support in El Cap was actually using it to render OSX yet. Specifically dual GPU models I think, i.e integrated and dedicated, even if the dedicated supported Metal and a desktop used it exclusively. Did any more make the list with Siera?
  • osxandwindows - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    This is exactly what we Mac power users have been wishing for.
    Next to 0 new features, better performance and stability.
  • TheITS - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    Oh good, more Apple content. I haven't been waiting for video card or phone reviews, I only want Apple content. So glad this website provides to my needs :D
  • cknobman - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    This website has continually gotten worse ever since Anand left.
    I wonder what he thinks of this these days? Probably does not care since he likely made a good chunk of change.
  • Communism - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    I would imagine Anand is quite happy with his apple golden parachute, the money he got for selling the forums to AMD along with the "AMD Sponsored" section, and money from the sale to Purch.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    I just want to go on the record for appreciating this Mac content. I have early access to the OS X previews through my Apple Developer account, but don't have the time. It's summer-time in Michigan and I'd rather spend it enjoying the outdoors. Articles like this are quick and fun to read, providing a glimpse of what's coming to my MacBook Pro...this fall. Thanks!
  • Teknobug - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    That explains AtenRa.

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