As most of you know, the macOS High Sierra has been out for quite some time now. I delayed upgrading to the latest and shiniest offering for two reasons. First, I don’t want to get caught in the download frenzy that will make the process painfully slow. Second, I’d like to see how other people’s experience with this release looks like before plunging in. Another minor reason is the fact that my Mac is rather old (Macbook Pro 2012) and therefore will not benefit from all the latest new features of the OS. Now that Apple has released the dot one version, however, I decide to bite the bullet and install the thing.
One of the most touted new feature of High Sierra is the APFS. This new file system is replacing the ancient (by computer industry standards) file system, HFS+. And this is also one of the main reasons why I had waited for the second release to plunge in. An unfortunate mess up in your machine’s file system could be quite painful. Since I have upgraded my hard drive to an SSD drive, the installer converts my disk to APFS. Frankly, I haven’t really been able to see any difference in performance. Except when copying big files, that is. The APFS is really fast in this regard. But, how many times am I going to do this in day-to-day use? Not that much. So I’d like to think that any improvements APFS has over HFS+ is for long-term benefit.
What I find to be quite an improvement is the Photos App. It is indeed much more polished now and the image editing tools provided is more than enough for an amateur like me who does photo editing quite infrequently.
Other improvements, particularly the new emojis, are not really relevant for me since I don’t use iChat (nobody I know use macOS, much less iChat). I’ve read in a couple of places that people find their machines faster or snappier after installing High Sierra. I don’t think I can honestly say that I’ve had that experience. The new OS doesn’t seem to be slowing down my machine, but it doesn’t seem to improve performance either. Then again, perhaps the fact that my machine is old has something to do with it.
Would I recommend High Sierra to a fellow Mac user? Well, as long as your machine is supported and you have the necessary bandwidth to download it, I really don’t have anything to advise you against doing so. If you are expecting magic to happen on your older hardware, though, you may be disappointed.
Oh, and one more thing… do backup your machine. Just in case.