The newest Mac operating system was announced at WWDC on June 4, and will likely be released in late September or early October. Unlike the four before it, MacOS Mojave steps away from the mountain theme and takes users to the Mojave desert. Along with a change of scenery, Mojave showcases Apple’s emphasis on new features that are tangible, not just under-the-hood improvements.
Apple Beta Software Program
Apple offers a beta program for developers and the general public, but the developer betas are always released a few weeks before the public betas. By participating in the program, you can test out the new operating systems for Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV for a few months before the actual release date. These betas can be buggy and not operate exactly as they should, but this is a chance for Apple to get feedback from users and make necessary changes before the official release date.
To access the MacOS public beta, you must register your Mac with the Apple Beta Software Program. After doing that, you can download the beta from the App Store.
MacOS Mojave Beta
We were excited to get our hands on the new OS, so we downloaded the beta as soon as it became available.
MacOS Mojave looked impressive at Apple’s WWDC, but being able to see it firsthand is much more exciting. The first thing we noticed was the slight changes in visual features, such as a slightly different login screen and a few updated apps. We’ve spent some time getting familiar with the newest features, and discuss the biggest changes in the next section.
Light and Dark Mode
When you first sign into your Mac after updating, there will be a prompt to select either Light or Dark Mode. Light Mode is the standard visual interface, and looks almost identical to the current operating system.
Dark Mode is a new feature in Mojave, and looks fantastic. The Toolbars and Dock both take on a space gray color, as do the default apps on Mac such as App Store, Safari and more. This setting also automatically changes your desktop background to the “Mojave Night” background. Dark Mode really makes colors stand out, which is helpful for both photo editing and code writing. It’s also just a nice look for your desktop.
Dynamic Backgrounds is another new feature in MacOS Mojave. As your clock changes and the day goes on, your desktop background will reflect that via changes in lighting to the standard Mojave background.
Unfortunately, the default background is the only available dynamic background at the moment. It would be nice to have a few different dynamic background options to choose from, but as a new feature we might just have to wait.
The Redesigned App Store
The App Store received a major facelift from the MacOS Mojave update, and now looks and operates more like the App Store does on iOS devices. The “Discover” tab is the place to look for App Store editor stories about the most essential apps for your Mac. Autoplay shows users what apps can do before they download, and goes far more in-depth than the Gallery function.
The Create, Work, Play and Develop tabs are specifically designed to cater towards specific kinds of apps, and provide users with a detailed breakdown of the best apps in that area.
- Create – apps for photography, filmmaking, and graphic design.
- Work – apps to promote efficiency, organization and enhanced workflow.
- Play – the best new gaming apps, and stories behind your favorites
- Develop – apps and tools for developing your own software
The News App seems to have been neglected in years past, but Apple is focused on making improvements. Stories and articles tailored to individual users is a big part of this, but keeping the app updated with content as well as visuals is part of the plan.
Desktop Stacks is the newest way to keep your desktop organized. With Mojave, you can fix your cluttered desktop in just two clicks and stay organized with ease. Your files will be stacked by type (documents, presentations, screenshots, etc.).
Screenshots still use the same command (Command+Shift+3 for full screen and Command+Shift+4 for screen selection).
A thumbnail will appear in the bottom right corner, and clicking on it opens a quick edit menu. In just a few seconds, you can add text, crop the picture, or add a signature.
FaceTime with up to 32 people – that’s right, you and 31 of your best friends. We don’t know why you would want to do this, but we do know that it’s an option.
In Finder, there has always been four ways to view your files. Now, there’s a fifth – Gallery View, which is great for browsing through photos. Now you can make small edits to pictures (like rotations or added signatures) without having to open up Preview.
This allows you to snap a picture on your phone and automatically insert it into a project on your Mac. It works like AirDrop, except this is almost instantaneous. This works when your phone and computer are linked, and can also be used for to scan documents.
Safari now supports Favicons (those small icons like logos) that appear in a tab next to the page title. Browsers like Google Chrome have had these for years, but Apple finally catches up to the times with Mojave.