Most of you have heard me at one time or another answer a resounding "yes" when asked if you should download and install updates to your software. Not only are there important security patches in the updates, but there are usually beneficial performance enhancements, as well. For this month's blog, I'd like to focus on some of the performance enhancements that come with the latest versions of Mac and Windows computer operating systems.
What to Expect: MacOS Sonoma 14
While there are a lot of fancy new additions (many that you'll probably never use), here are some of the ones that will come in handy:
•Improved autocorrect accuracy. (Maybe it'll stop correcting "Jim" to "Him.")
•Enhanced dictation that allows you to use your voice and keyboard together to type
•Newer Macs can now be paired with made-for-iPhone hearing devices
•One-time verification codes sent to Mail will now auto populate into Safari without leaving your browser
To see all of the new features, go to System Settings and click on General, then Software Update. Note: at the time of this writing, Sonoma was still at version 14.0. While I haven't heard of any bugs yet, I usually advise people to wait until at least 14.0.1 before downloading. In the meantime, you can (and should) still keep updating your current operating system.
What to Expect: Windows 11 latest version
Microsoft doesn't seem to do major overhauls as frequently as Apple, so we're still receiving updates to Windows 11. That's okay, as even these little upgrades contain valuable features. Here are three of my favorites:
•Windows Backup app: Allows you to back up more than just files to OneDrive. Now you can also backup your settings, credentials, and apps. This operation acts more like syncing to iCloud on a Mac, enabling you to easily install those items when you buy a new PC. Note: The Windows Backup app is not the same thing as Windows File History, which performs true backups (full and incremental) to an external drive.
•Quick Assist: I love this new feature! Quick Assist is an app that allows you to share your screen with another Windows user for remote support. (Only do this with someone you trust!) You can even allow the other person to control your screen. When I help others, I can request access to a client's screen by providing a simple one-time access code. Of all the various methods I've used to help people remotely, Quick Assist is by far the easiest for my clients.
•Copilot: This is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistant that helps cut through the clutter and gets you answers to what you're looking for. All year long I've been enjoying the AI experience in Microsoft Edge's Bing search engine. It gets me more specific answers, without all of the junk that Google delivers with a search. I'm excited to use this iteration of AI in Windows Copilot, located on the Task Bar, to help me find things on my PC and the web.
I know updating can be a bit of a hassle--especially when you're prompted to do it when you need to use your computer for something important. However, if you plan a little ahead, you can click Yes when you're done using your device. Then, next time you use it, you'll have your security patches and performance enhancements ready to go!