We don’t know much about what Apple might add to the next version of macOS. We can’t even be sure of the name. But we can be confident that Apple will update macOS in 2018, here’s what we expect and when we expect to see it.
What will Apple call the next version of macOS?
Continuity would suggest that Apple will call the next version of the Mac operating system macOS 10.14. However, there are a couple more options. It may feasibly decide that it’s time to move on from macOS TEN (or Mac OS X for the die-hards) altogether and graduate to macOS 11.
Of course if it was to do that macOS 11 would be out in conjunction with iOS 12, so it might sound less advanced.
With that in mind, another possibility is that the next version of macOS could mark the first steps towards merging iOS and macOS, with a more unified naming convention for the two OSs. We’ll look at that possibility below.
Of course it’s not all about numbers. Apple has for many years chosen a name to represent the Mac operating system. Initially generations of Mac OS X took names of big cats, Leopard, Jaguar, Lion. In recent years the names of choice were based on popular sites in California. We have this article that lists some potential California locations that the next macOS might be named for.
When will Apple launch macOS 10.14
We expect to see Apple’s first demo of the new Mac operating system at WWDC in June 2018.
Then it is likely that the new software will be available to download in September or October that year.
What new features will macOS 10.14
Merging macOS and iOS
There are calls for Apple to introduce a cross-platform OS. Is this something we could see in 2018?
Apple’s comments in the past about running the same operating system on devices that have a different purpose suggests that it is unlikely that the company will go down that path (Tim Cook once said it would be like a toaster-refrigerator). However, Google is working on a new OS called Fuchsia OS, into which Android and Chrome OS will be merged. Will Apple risk being left behind if it turns out this is what people want?
Rather than a full-blown merger, we expect to see more of the best of iOS coming to macOS, and more of the best of macOS coming to iOS.
For example, there are some neat features on the iPad, such as the way Split View works, that would be welcome on the Mac.
We could also see features like Control Centre giving access to System Preferences, Sleep, Shut Down, and more. An iOS style App Switcher could also macOS. We’d really like to see a redesigned Apple menu too.
Multitouch can’t be implemented in terms of the screen as Apple doesn’t, and is unlikely to, offer touch-sensitive screens. However, Apple does offer the multi-touch trackpad on its MacBooks, and this could enable many more multi-touch style features.
UXPlanet has some great examples of how this merger of the operating systems could work. He concedes that the new combined OS would simply need to support both x86 and ARM.
We’d also like to see the News app and the TV app on the Mac.
The app that needs the most work in our opinion is iTunes and we think that Apple is saving this for the next version of the macOS and iOS. In fact we think that Apple has a lot up its sleeve in regards to iTunes, which we think it in for more than just a redesign but a complete rebrand.
We think that the new iTunes will offer music and movie subscription service. More here.
Apple already offers a sort of Dark Mode in terms of some tweaks that you can make in settings, but it seems that this still isn’t enough for some Mac users. Perhaps in 2018 Apple will let users make the Mac interface darker.
High Sierra was the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps. Apple announced back in the summer of 2017 that applications in 10.14 would be 64-bit only.
In fact “New apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018,” states Apple on its developer website. https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=06282017a
This will force app developers to switch to 64-bit - which is good news if it means developers can deliver better software and making use of more than 4GB of RAM.
The fact that the next very of macOS won’t support 32-bit apps also hints that there may be a few more Macs that aren’t supported either.
Another clue as to which Macs might not be supported is Metal. Macs that don't have Metal support could get dropped after High Sierra.
This could leave only the following Macs:
- iMac models from 2012 or later
- MacBook models from 2015 or later
- MacBook Pro models from 2012 or later
- MacBook Air models from 2012 or later
- Mac mini models from 2012 or later
- Mac Pro models from late 2013
This seems unlikely this soon though. So we think it’s more likely that we might see the following Macs supported.
- Early 2011 or newer MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt
- Early 2011 or newer iMac with Thunderbolt
- Late 2017 iMac Pro with Thunderbolt
- Mid 2011 or newer Mac mini with Thunderbolt
- Early 2015 or newer MacBook with USB-C
- Mid 2011 or newer MacBook Air with Thunderbolt
- Late 2013 Mac Pro with Thunderbolt
You’ll notice what that last option means - no more cheese grater Mac Pro support. Apple had better hurry up and launch it’s Mac Pro successor.
Concept images from UXplanet.