September 20, 2016 Last Updated 4:23 pm

Apple updates iBooks Author and Safari as macOS Sierra is released

The new iBA is only a minor update that adds some new templates for creating interactive ePub books, as well as some stability fixes

Today Apple released two updates for OS X El Capitan users, as well as the new version of the Mac OS, macOS Sierra.

The update for iBooks Author won’t dispel the notion that Apple has lost interest its digital book publishing software. The update brings the software up to version 2.5 and does not add a whole lot to the program.


The update contains new templates for creating interactive ePub books, as well as some stability fixes. It also adds two-factor authentication when publishing to iBooks with an Apple ID.

Users are, to say the least, getting a tad restless with Apple, but I guess a minor update is better than none at all.

Apple also released Safari 10.0. The release adds support for Safari Extensions from the Mac App Store, and a default to display HTML5 video whenever available. The app description also mentions improvements to AutoFill.

The update for Safari requires a restart (so, be forewarned).

By the way, before one can download the software you have to sign a new Terms and Conditions, and it looks like Apple may (or may not) have added some strange things in there.

For instance, under iTunes Store Content there is a limitation regarding the number of times one can burn a CD of the music one buys (seven times) – I don’t remember that being in there.

Of course, the big update for Mac users is the release of macOS Sierra. Early reports are that the download is extremely slow. Apple, I believe, is still on dial-up. I would recommend waiting for a day or two, look at the bug reports, then decide to download.

Here is Apple’s own announcement from today:

CUPERTINO, Calif. — September 20, 2016 — Apple today announced that macOS Sierra, the latest major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, is now available as a free update. macOS Sierra brings Siri® to the Mac® with intelligent and helpful features users know and love from iPhone and iPad®, along with all-new capabilities designed specifically for use on the desktop. Features like Universal Clipboard, iCloud Desktop and Documents, Auto Unlock and Apple Pay on the web help your Mac work even better with other Apple devices. And Photos gets an update with a new Memories feature that automatically creates curated collections of your favorite photos and videos.

Siri on the Mac can help send messages and email, find documents, look up information, search a user’s photo library, adjust system preferences and more. Users can also drag and drop Siri results into documents or pin them into their Today view for later reference. Universal Clipboard allows users to copy content from an app on one Apple device and paste it into another app on a different Apple device. With iCloud Desktop and Documents users can now access the files on their Desktop from iPhone and iPad. And Auto Unlock lets users automatically log into their Mac when they are wearing an authenticated Apple Watch.


Apple Pay on the web makes the online shopping experience in Safari more convenient and secure than ever. Shoppers can now click the Apple Pay button at checkout on nearly 300,000 participating websites, including 1-800-Flowers, Gilt, Instacart, Lululemon, Warby Parker and more, and then complete their purchase with Touch ID® on iPhone 6 or later or with Apple Watch. Users’ credit or debit card information is not shared with online merchants and strong encryption protects all communication between a user’s device and Apple Pay servers.

Photos introduces Memories, which highlights favorite and forgotten moments in users’ photo libraries by automatically creating curated collections of occasions like birthday parties or family vacations. Photos uses advanced computer vision to identify faces, objects and scenes in your images, so photos can be searched by who and what is in them. An all-new Brilliance editing tool brightens dark areas and pulls in highlights to make photos look richer and more vibrant.

Other great new features in macOS Sierra: 

  • Messages makes conversations more interesting, allowing users to preview web links and play video clips from right within the app; respond to messages with a Tapback like a heart, thumbs up and more directly onto a message bubble; and send bigger emoji for more message impact.
  • Tabs are now available across Mac apps that support multiple windows, including Maps, Mail, Pages®, Numbers®, Keynote®, TextEdit, and even third-party apps.
  • Picture in Picture floats video from Safari or iTunes® in a window over the desktop. The window can be resized, dragged and pinned to any corner of the screen so users can watch video while they work.
  • Optimized Storage frees up space when a Mac starts getting full by storing infrequently used items in the cloud and helping users remove apps and files they no longer need.
  • Apple Music® in iTunes makes it even easier to discover new music and browse exclusives and new releases.

macOS Sierra is available as a free update starting today from the Mac App Store®. macOS Sierra supports all Macs introduced since late 2009. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. For more information, please visit:

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

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