Home > It Services Blog > From the Cheetah to the Sierra: The Evolution of the Mac

The Mac OS as we know it today has changed drastically over the years. Code named after large cats and wilderness destinations, here is a brief overview of each version and how the Mac OS has evolved since it was introduced more than a decade ago:

  • 4.1 Mac OS X Public Beta–Released in 2000, this version of the Mac OS was originally nicknamed “Kodiak”.
  • 4.2 Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah–Some critics say this version of the Mac OS, released in 2001, was not ready for mainstream adoption.
  • 4.3 Mac OS X 10.1 Puma– Featuring increased performance, this 2001 version provided many missing features, such as DVD playback.
  • 4.4 Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar–Released in 2002, Jaguar came with many performance improvements, a sleeker look, and over 150 user-interface enhancements.
  • 4.5 Mac OS X 10.3 Panther–Although Panther, which was released in 2003, came with improved performance, its most notable improvements were related to user interface.
  • 4.6 Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger–Released in 2005, this version of the Apple OS came with over 200 new features, including an updated Mail program, Spotlight, QuickTime 7, and more.
  • 4.7 Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard–With more than 300 new features, this was the largest update of the Mac OS to date.
  • 4.8 Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard–Released in 2009, Snow Leopard came with mostly “under the hood” changes, such as more disk space.
  • 4.9 Mac OS X 107 Lion– Lion came with already installed applications like Launchpad, as well as a greater use of multi-touch gestures.
  • 4.10 OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion–Incorporating features found in iOS 5, like Game Center and support for iMessage, Mountain Lion was released in 2012.
  • 4.11 OS X 10.9 Mavericks–This OS update included improvements to the Notification Center, enhancements to many applications, and several other performance enhancements.
  • 4.12 OS X 10.10 Yosemite–This update provided a user interface that was similar to iOS 7 and was intended to feature a more minimal, text-based design.
  • 4.13 OS X 10.11 El Capitan– Similar to the Snow Leopard version, this update was focused on improving user experience, rather than introducing new features.
  • 4.14 Mac OS 10.12 Sierra–The latest update to Mac OS was released in June of 2016. New features included the addition of Siri, updates to photos and messages, and optimized storage.