In and , two Macworld editors expressed criticism of the permission scheme; Ted Landau called misconfigured permissions "the most common frustration" in macOS, while Rob Griffiths suggested that some users may even have to reset permissions every day, a process which can take up to 15 minutes.
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The architecture of macOS incorporates a layered design:  the layered frameworks aid rapid development of applications by providing existing code for common tasks. For the Apple—Intel transition , it was modified so that developers could build their applications as a universal binary , which provides compatibility with both the Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macintosh lines.
Since , Apple has promoted its new programming language Swift as the preferred language for software development on Apple platforms. This caused much outcry among existing Mac developers, who threatened to abandon the platform rather than invest in a costly rewrite, and the idea was shelved. Because macOS is POSIX compliant, many software packages written for the other Unix-like systems including Linux can be recompiled to run on it, including much scientific and technical software.
Apple and others have provided versions of the X Window System graphical interface which can allow these applications to run with an approximation of the macOS look-and-feel.
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Applications can be distributed to Macs and installed by the user from any source and by any method such as downloading with or without code signing , available via an Apple developer account or through the Mac App Store , a marketplace of software maintained by Apple by way of a process requiring the company's approval. Apps installed through the Mac App Store run within a sandbox , restricting their ability to exchange information with other applications or modify the core operating system and its features.
This has been cited as an advantage, by allowing users to install apps with confidence that they should not be able to damage their system, but also as a disadvantage due to blocking the Mac App Store's use for professional applications that require elevated privileges.
Apple produces macOS applications, some of which are included and some sold separately.
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Numerous other developers also offer software for macOS. Tools such as XPostFacto and patches applied to the installation media have been developed by third parties to enable installation of newer versions of macOS on systems not officially supported by Apple.
Except for features requiring specific hardware such as graphics acceleration or DVD writing, the operating system offers the same functionality on all supported hardware. As most Mac hardware components, or components similar to those, since the Intel transition are available for purchase,  some technology-capable groups have developed software to install macOS on non-Apple computers. These are referred to as Hackintoshes , a portmanteau of the words "hack" and "Macintosh".
On June 6, , Steve Jobs announced in his keynote address at the annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference that Apple would be making the transition from PowerPC to Intel processors over the following two years, and that Mac OS X would support both platforms during the transition. Jobs also confirmed rumors that Apple had versions of Mac OS X running on Intel processors for most of its developmental life. A new version of Xcode and the underlying command-line compilers supported building universal binaries that would run on either architecture.
PowerPC-only software is supported with Apple's official emulation software, Rosetta , though applications eventually had to be rewritten to run properly on the newer versions released for Intel processors. Apple initially encouraged developers to produce universal binaries with support for both PowerPC and Intel. Plugins for Safari need to be compiled for the same platform as Safari, so when Safari is running on Intel, it requires plug-ins that have been compiled as Intel-only or universal binaries, so PowerPC-only plug-ins will not work.
Support for the PowerPC platform was dropped following the transition. One of the major differences between the classic Mac OS and the current macOS was the addition of Aqua , a graphical user interface with water-like elements, in the first major release of Mac OS X. Every window element, text, graphic, or widget is drawn on-screen using spatial anti-aliasing technology. New interface elements were integrated, including sheets dialog boxes attached to specific windows and drawers, which would slide out and provide options. The use of soft edges, translucent colors, and pinstripes, similar to the hardware design of the first iMacs , brought more texture and color to the user interface when compared to what Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X Server 1.
According to Siracusa, the introduction of Aqua and its departure from the then conventional look "hit like a ton of bricks. To some extent, Apple has used the successful transition to this new design as leverage, at various times threatening legal action against people who make or distribute software with an interface the company says is derived from its copyrighted design. Apple has continued to change aspects of the macOS appearance and design, particularly with tweaks to the appearance of windows and the menu bar. Since , Apple has sold many of its Mac models with high-resolution Retina displays , and macOS and its APIs have extensive support for resolution-independent development on supporting high-resolution displays.
Reviewers have described Apple's support for the technology as superior to that on Windows. The human interface guidelines published by Apple for macOS are followed by many applications, giving them consistent user interface and keyboard shortcuts. The graphics system OpenGL composites windows onto the screen to allow hardware-accelerated drawing.
This technology, introduced in version The Finder is a file browser allowing quick access to all areas of the computer, which has been modified throughout subsequent releases of macOS. It allows for dynamic previews of files, including videos and multi-page documents without opening any other applications.
Spotlight , a file searching technology which has been integrated into the Finder since version Its functions are to instantly display all open windows as thumbnails for easy navigation to different tasks, display all open windows as thumbnails from the current application, and hide all windows to access the desktop. Features introduced in version The operating system then managed conflicting edits and data consistency. In more recent releases, Apple has developed support for emoji characters by including the proprietary Apple Color Emoji font.
There are 38 system languages available in macOS for the user at the moment of installation; the system language is used throughout the entire operating system environment. Until OS X In Mountain Lion and later, this was merged into the Mac App Store application, although the underlying update mechanism remains unchanged and is fundamentally different than the download mechanism used when purchasing an App Store application.
In macOS Prior to its release, Mac OS X After the immense buzz surrounding Mac OS X Apple has also registered "Lynx" and "Cougar" as trademarks, though these were allowed to lapse. The "PB", as it was known, marked the first public availability of the Aqua interface and Apple made many changes to the UI based on customer feedback. Following some bug fixes, kernel panics became much less frequent. It featured increased performance and provided missing features, such as DVD playback. Apple released It was discovered that the upgrade CDs were full install CDs that could be used with Mac OS 9 systems by removing a specific file; Apple later re-released the CDs in an actual stripped-down format that did not facilitate installation on such systems.
Mac OS X v In addition to providing much improved performance, it also incorporated the most extensive update yet to the user interface. Apple stated that Tiger contained more than new features. The initial release of the Apple TV used a modified version of Tiger with a different graphical interface and fewer applications and services.
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On January 10, , Apple released the first Intel-based Macs along with the This operating system functioned identically on the PowerPC-based Macs and the new Intel-based machines, with the exception of the Intel release lacking support for the Classic environment. It brought more than new features. The single DVD works for all supported Macs including bit machines. New features include a new look, an updated Finder, Time Machine , Spaces , Boot Camp pre-installed,  full support for bit applications including graphical applications , new features in Mail and iChat , and a number of new security features.
Rather than delivering big changes to the appearance and end user functionality like the previous releases of Mac OS X , Snow Leopard focused on "under the hood" changes, increasing the performance, efficiency, and stability of the operating system. For most users, the most noticeable changes were: the disk space that the operating system frees up after a clean install compared to Mac OS X The It brought developments made in Apple's iOS, such as an easily navigable display of installed applications called Launchpad and a greater use of multi-touch gestures, to the Mac.
This release removed Rosetta , making it incompatible with PowerPC applications. Documents auto-save by default. OS X It incorporates some features seen in iOS 5, which include Game Center , support for iMessage in the new Messages messaging application, and Reminders as a to-do list app separate from iCal which is renamed as Calendar, like the iOS app.
It also includes support for storing iWork documents in iCloud. Application pop-ups are now concentrated on the corner of the screen, and the Center itself is pulled from the right side of the screen.
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Mountain Lion also includes more Chinese features including support for Baidu as an option for Safari search engine, QQ , It was a free upgrade to all users running Snow Leopard or later with a bit Intel processor. It features a redesigned user interface similar to that of iOS 7 , intended to feature a more minimal, text-based 'flat' design, with use of translucency effects and intensely saturated colors. Similar to Mac OS X Refinements include public transport built into the Maps application, GUI improvements to the Notes application, adopting San Francisco as the system font for clearer legibility, and the introduction of System Integrity Protection.
Metal also delivers up to 10 times faster draw call performance for more fluid experience in games and pro apps. The major change under the hood is the switch to the Apple File System , which is optimized for solid-state storage used in most new Mac computers. As of July , macOS is the second-most-active general-purpose desktop client operating system in use on the World Wide Web following Microsoft Windows , with a 4.
macOS - Wikipedia
It is the second most widely used desktop operating system for web browsing , after Windows, and is estimated at approximately five times the usage of Linux which has 1. Usage share generally continues to shift away from the desktop and toward mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android.
In its earlier years, Mac OS X enjoyed a near-absence of the types of malware and spyware that have affected Microsoft Windows users. Worms , as well as potential vulnerabilities, were noted in , which led some industry analysts and anti-virus companies to issue warnings that Apple's Mac OS X is not immune to malware. At first, the malware installer required the user to enter the administrative password, but later versions were able to install without user input. Apple announced an OS X update to fix the problem.
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