Apple today began automatically downloading macOS Sierra to Macs that have yet to upgrade to the new operating system, taking a step that rival Microsoft was criticized for last year.
Although the upgrade to macOS 10.12 will automatically download to eligible Macs, it will not automatically install. Instead, users must authorize the upgrade after being notified that it has been retrieved and is ready to install. Users may also decline the upgrade at that same notification.
This marks a change from past practice for the Mac's operating system, formerly dubbed "OS X" but now labeled "macOS."
"On Mac [automatic downloading] has been available for all software except major releases until today [emphasis added]," an Apple spokeswoman said today via email.
Previously, step updates -- those identified, for instance, as 10.11.4 -- were automatically downloaded to appropriate Macs. But what the Apple spokeswoman called "major releases," the now-annual upgrades, had not been automatically pushed to Macs.