macOS High Sierra uses Apple File System (APFS) which makes common operations such as copying files and directories instantaneous, and helps protect data from power outages and system crashes. The new files system is fully compatible with previously formatted HFS drives and data.
Apple also updated Metal, with a refined API and improved performance that help third-party developers to tap into the GPU power more efficiently, to version 2. Metal 2 adds support for machine learning and external graphics. There’s also an External Graphics Developer Kit that provides developers access to all the hardware and software required for optimizing their apps on Mac. For High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), Apple is now moving to H.265 standard from H.264.
With macOS High Sierra and new Mac notebooks and iMac Pro, Apple is focusing more on new experiences such as virtual reality and machine learning. For the first time ever, developers will be able to create immersive gaming, 3D and VR content on the Mac. Apple is working with Valve to bring SteamVR on macOS — with support for HTC Vive, of course — while Unity and Epic will launch their VR development tools for macOS later this year.
As far as refinements are concerned, Photos, which got a huge update last year with macOS Sierra, has gained more improvements this time. Perhaps the biggest update to Photos in macOS High Sierra is the ability to launch third-party photo-editing tools like Photoshop, Pixelmator from within the app, with changes being synchronized automatically to the Photos library. There’s also an always-on sidebar that curates albums and organization tools. Plus, you can now easily edit Live Photos with fun effects in the app.
Safari can now automatically open articles in Reader, and stop media with audio from automatically playing in the browser with Autoplay Blocking. The new Intelligent Tracking Prevention, as the name suggests, protects your web activity from being tracked by advertisers. It uses machine learning to identify and eliminate the tracking data.