Close to the Metal Ep. 13: Does MacOS Sierra prove Apple doesn’t care about the Mac?

With all eyes on the release of iOS10 and the iPhone 7, Apple has quietly released its newest update to Mac OS X, called Sierra. Oh, wait – it’s not called Mac OS X any more. Instead it’s called MacOS, because OS X just doesn’t jibe with Apple’s new naming scheme.

The new name may lead you to think MacOS Sierra is a major update, as Apple has used the OS X name for years, and has used it even through some particularly significant changes. Yet the name is a bit misleading. MacOS is really just a marginal update to OS X, and may actually be among the less impressive iterations in recent years. It’s certainly behind OS X 10.9 Mavericks, released in 2013, which marked the beginning of serious attempts to bring OS X in line with the style and features of iOS.

Indeed, what has changed in Sierra remains under the sway of Apple’s mobile dominance. Siri for Mac is the headline feature. Finally, you can talk to the company’s digital assistant on your computer as easily as on your iPhone or iPad. Sierra also includes a long list of minor updates to Apple’s services, like a new coat of paint for iTunes and Photos. These changes sharpen the look of MacOS and make apps available on both it and iOS look more congruous than before.

Many of the changes are helpful. But with Mac hardware now far behind many Windows competitors, long-time fans of Apple’s desktops and laptops seem anxious. Is Apple going to abandon them? We’ll talk about that, and more, in this week’s Close to the Metal.

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that focuses on the geekier side of life. It tackles the topics PC enthusiasts argue over in language everyone can understand. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Wednesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.

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