As Apple usually does every year at WWDC, the company previewed its latest offering for macOS users, named Mojave. Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to sum up Mojave as the OS which caters to professionals as well as everyday users.
Mojave will be a free download later this September and will be compatible with Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later, plus 2010 and 2012 Mac Pros with Metal-capable GPUs. As for developers who are part of the Apple Developer Program, a preview is available beginning 6 June while a public beta program will be available to Mac users in late June.New features include a new dark mode, ‘desktop stacks’ — which allows users to organise desktop icons into, well, stacks, new additions to Finder and support for iOS apps, including News, Stocks, Voice Memosand Home. Apple has also redesigned the Mac App Store and added apps to it from the likes of Adobe and Microsoft.
The new mode, which allows users to switch to a darkened colour scheme, would be a welcome addition for those who work for long hours at night and for designers and artists. macOS Mojave’s new dark mode works with built-in apps such as Mail, Messages, Maps, Calendar and Photos, which have been redesigned accordingly to improve visibility.
The new OS also features a new ‘Dynamic Desktop’ feature that automatically changes the desktop wallpaper to match the time of day. Developers who wish to create a dark mode version of their applications can do so using the new API.
Additions to Finder
The ‘Finder’ on macOS Mojave gets a new gallery view which let users browse through media such as images and videos with the ability to see them. The Preview Pane also shows all of a file’s metadata, making it easier to manage media assets. Finder also gets quick actions which allow you to do quick actions such as create password-protected PDFs and run Automator actions directly from it. The quick look feature also provides a full-size preview of a file, allowing users to rotate and crop images, mark up PDFs and trim video and audio clips without having to open a separate app.
‘Stacks’ is a feature that will help organise and declutter the desktop for people who have icons scattered all around their desktop and categorise them into groups which are essentially referred to as stacks. The best part though is that Stacks works automatically allowing users to customise their Stacks to sort based on file attributes like date, tags etc. Unlike a folder, files in Stacks are directly accessible and you can scrub through them.
Inclusion of iOS apps
Apple has finally included apps like News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home to macOS Mojave. This allows users to access news, chart stocks, record personal notes, lectures, meetings, etc., and sync it across devices and also control their HomeKit-enabled devices directly from their macOS computers.
New Mac App Store
The Mac App Store gets a complete redesign this year with a new look and a curation of content that makes it easier for Mojave users to find the right app. The new design highlights new and updated apps in the Discover tab, while specific tabs for Create, Work, Play and Develop help users narrow their search down.
A number of apps from developers, including Office 365 from Microsoft and Lightroom CC from Adobe will also soon find their way into the Mac App Store.
Privacy and Security
As is the case with most Apple software updates, macOS Mojave comes with a number of enhanced privacy and security updates as well. After the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach, Apple has introduced a feature to Safari which they call Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which helps block social media “Like” or “Share” buttons and comment widgets from tracking users without their permission. Every time a social media website or element tries to track you, Safari will now pop up an alert, which lets you accept that your data is being tracked.
New protection measures also requires apps to get user permission before using the Mac camera and microphone for accessing personal data, like user Mail history and Messages database.
Password management is also now improved on Safari with macOS Mojave. Safari now also automatically creates, autofills and stores strong passwords when users create new online accounts. It also flags reused passwords so users can change them.
Other smaller changes
Users now get new on-screen controls for easy access to every screenshot option and new video recording capabilities. A streamlined workflow also allows users to share screenshots without cluttering the desktop.
There’s also Continuity Camera which allows Mac users to take a picture or scan a document nearby with their iPhone or iPad and have it appear instantly on their Mac.
Markup tools now come integrated into the Finder, Quick Look and Screenshots, making it much easier to share them as notes and point out changes.