On Monday Apple kicked off their annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (known as WWDC). This is normally where software developers get to learn more about the latest software to enhance their apps.
Of course, one of the new bits of software that we got to see was MacOS Mojave. This is the latest version of Apple’s operating system for their desktop and laptop computers. Indeed it is named after the Mojave desert in California, USA.
So where do we start? Well, let’s go with the App Store. Of course, you will notice that it’s had quite the re-work. Of course, when you view an app, you will notice that the reviews and ratings that were left by users will be given more prominence. Additionally, on some apps, you will now see a video preview. You will also notice that there are different sections called Work, Create, Play and Develop. There is, of course, the Categories section where you can see all the apps in the Mac App store organised by category.
Another problem that we face is that sometimes, we tend to put a lot of files on our desktop and they end up getting cluttered. To solve this, you can now group your files based on the type of file. This means you can have stacks based on Documents, Photos, Music and so on.
Dark Mode is getting an upgrade in MacOS. You can now make some apps and the desktop background match the time of day. If you are a developer, there will be an API so that you can implement dark mode on your app.
The Quick Look system on MacOS lets you quickly take a look at a document or a video by pressing the space bar. It’s been around for a while. With Mac OS Mojave you will be able to work on your files without even opening them. This means that you can annotate PDFs without going into a PDF reader. Additionally, You trim audio files, and some videos files as well.
All new to MacOS is the Stocks App which behaves like its iOS counterpart. You will be able to see your share prices and charts to see how they are doing. You will be able to get business news curated by Apple’s staff.
Another all-new app on MacOS is the News App. Just like on iOS, you will have a “For You” section where you will see news stories based on the articles that you read and the sources that you choose to go to. You will also see your followed news sources in the sidebar on the left-hand side.
FaceTime has been on MacOS for a while now. However, just like iOS, you will now be able to do group FaceTime video (and audio) calls with up to 32 people.
On some macs, some of you might use Safari as your web browser. Let’s say you browse to Amazon to find a new Samsung Smartphone. When you browse to another site you may see an ad for that smartphone on your screen. With MacOS Mojave, there will be some new restrictions to make it harder for those kinds of ads to be served to you.
Some of you might also know about a technology called Cookies. These are files to identify you when you visit a website. Sometimes sites like Facebook might try and access your cookies and other website data. With Safari in MacOS Mojave Safari will bring up a prompt where you can deny access to your cookies. That way Facebook can’t track your browsing activities (even if you are signed in).
Other noteworthy features include Continuity Camera. Say you are working on a document in Pages on Mac and you need to include a photo. You will be able to take a photo on your iPhone and have that photo go instantly into your document. Additionally, the Screenshots functionality has had a re-vamp as well. With MacOS Mojave you now have the ability to quickly annotate that screenshot and choose where to save it. You can even use it to record a video of your screen.
We’ve had dark mode in a basic form. Whilst you could make your menu bar dark you could never make apps match the time of day. Developers could not implement it into their Mac apps.
On a more personal level, the screenshot improvement is a nice to have. I used to use a program called Skitch to take screenshots and annotate them. Skitch has now been discontinued so it’s nice to see Apple implementing the features that Skitch had into MacOS.
This is where I stand when it comes to Stacks: Don’t get me wrong, I am all for things that help me to organise my desktop. However, you can just create folders on your desktop and that would achieve the same thing as stacks does, so I am wondering if stacks in MacOS Mojave is a redundant thing. With that being said if you don’t want that hassle of creating folders then this could be a real time saver.
I will definitely give credit to Apple for giving more importance to reviews and ratings in the new Mac App Store. Before, you had to scroll down to see reviews. As such I think that the new Mac App Store will make it easier to find out if an app is good before you download it. It’s also worth saying that being able to see a video of an app was a nice addition. This is because it could help developers to get more people downloading their apps.
So now, let’s answer another important question: When can you get your hands on Mac OS Mojave? It will come out in the Autumn (or Fall if you are in the USA) as a free upgrade. Can’t wait for the release? Then the beta will be available in late June and you can sign up on the Apple Beta Program page.
MacOS Mojave will be available on all Macs introduced in Mid 2012 or later as well as the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models.
What are your initial thoughts on MacOS Mojave? Sound off in the comments.