With the release of macOS High Sierra today we wanted to share in this article, up to date information, as we get it from brands and the community, about what does and doesn't work with macOS High Sierra and pro audio applications and plug-ins, as well as other related issues which affect pro audio users. Please be aware that this article will be updated as the information and compatibility status changes.
There is more information below the searchable database regarding Apple hardware compatibility.
Is It Too Early To Upgrade To macOS High Sierra?
Currently, the simple answer is YES.
We recommend that you search the database to see if the software, and in some cases hardware, that you use is compatible with macOS High Sierra yet. The key issue for Pro Tools users is to absolutely wait until Avid announce they have a version of Pro Tools that is macOS High Sierra compatible as well as any other DAWs you use.
Not Here = Not Supported
Absence on this list should be taken as not compatible, initially, information will be scarce. As soon as brands let us know about their macOS High Sierra compatibility then we will update this article as we did with our macOS Sierra Pro Audio Compatibility article.
Don't Update In The Middle Of A Job
We always recommend that you leave any upgrade until you have some downtime. Experience has told us that upgrades rarely are straightforward, especially OS upgrades as they often have knock-on effects, so wait until you have time to fix the unforeseen problems.
Which Apple Computers Are Compatible With macOS High Sierra
From the information we have so far, it would appear that every Mac that can run the macOS Sierra can run High Sierra. Those machines are:
- MacBook (Late 2009 or later)
- MacBook Air (2010 or later)
- MacBook Pro (2010 or later)
- Mac mini (2010 or later)
- Mac Pro (2010 or later)
- iMac (Late 2009 or later)
Mac Pro Needs A Firmware Update For High Sierra
We are getting reports (thanks Mick Corey) that when Mac Pro 5.1 owners are installing macOS 10.13 High Sierra that Apple is updating the Firmware as part of the High Sierra install. It would appear it is only the Mac Pro 5.1 machines that are needing the firmware update.
The Older The Computer, The Less Of the High Sierra Features You Will Have Access To
But the list above doesn't tell the full story. Especially if you own an older machine then there will be some new features introduced into macOS High Sierra that won't work fully on your machine Read our article macOS High Sierra - What Is Under The Hood? This article focuses on the cheese-grater Mac Pro but also covers the other Apple computers too, as a number of the new features will only work on the very latest Apple computers.
There are a number of key underlying design changes in macOS High Sierra which will have an impact on what we do...
- Apple is introducing a new file system, Apple File System (APFS). APFS offers some key improvements and updates. Be aware that it is a significant change to underlying systems, and there are compatibility concerns. What we know so far is...
- Devices formatted as HFS+ can be read and written to by devices formatted as APFS.
- Devices formatted as APFS can be read and written to by:
- Other APFS-formatted devices.
- HFS+ formatted devices running macOS 10.12.6 or later.
- For example, a USB device formatted as APFS can be read by a Mac running macOS High Sierra, but not by a Mac running OS X El Capitan or earlier.
- Support for AFP connections is going away. Depending on how you work this could mean that you are unable to connect to your file sharing servers without making changes to them. Volumes formatted with APFS can't offer share points over the network using AFP. SMB and NFS are supported when using APFS.
- Apple announced at WWDC that the company will start to phase out support for 32-bit software in macOS. In January 2018 new apps submitted by developers to the App Store must be 64-bit apps. Also, all apps and app updates must be 64-bit by June 2018. Eventually, 32-bit support will no longer exist in macOS, probably in a version after High Sierra. This is important for users. If you have old software you like to use and never update, it’s possible they are 32-bit apps and they won’t work in a future version of macOS. We recommend that now is the time to find replacements for these apps and get used to them.
You can read more detail in our article Apple Advice For Preparing To Transition To macOS High Sierra.
How To Check If Your App Is 32 Bit?
if you are not sure if an app running on your Apple Mac computer is 32 bit you can check in the About This Mac System Report...
- Go to Apple Menu
- About This Mac
- System Report
- Software > Applications
- In the last column, you can see whether it’s a 64-bit application or not.
There are some of the 32-bit applications that we are already aware of:
- Adobe Illustrator CS5
- Abobe InDesign CS5
- Microsoft Excel 2011
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
- Microsoft Outlook 2011
- Microsoft Word 2011
- QuickTime Pro 7
This is a heads-up, remember that 32-bit applications won't necessarily stop working with the installation of macOS High Sierra, But it would appear that all applications will need to be 64-bit in a future version of macOS High Sierra, probably around May or June 2018.
Older Plug-ins May Not Display In High Sierra
Nir Averbuch from Sound Radix has been in touch to warn users who have some older plug-ins in your systems, it appears that Apple has broken the support of the Carbon framework in macOS High Sierra, which means that older plug-ins that still use this framework for the user interface, won't be able to show their face, the GUI will be blank.