macOS Mojave public beta available NOW and there’s lots to like about this MacBook update
Apple announced its all-new macOS Mojave update earlier this month at its WWDC developers conference with MacBook and iMac owners set to receive this blockbuster update in the autumn.
After last year’s High Sierra update was mainly focused on improving security and performance, Mac fans will be pleased to know that Mojave arrives packed with plenty of new features which makes this a very worthy upgrade.
“macOS Mojave is a major update that introduces powerful new features for a wide range of Mac users, from consumers to pros,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
But is this really the update users have been waiting for?
Express.co.uk has been tinkering with Mojave ahead of its official release and here are some of the best bits of this new upgrade.
macOS Mojave features a new Dark Mode
SET YOUR MAC TO DARK MODE
Dark Mode looks set to be one of the most popular new additions in macOS Mojave and it’s not hard to see why.
With this new setting activated, your Mac is transformed with menus and applications all switched to this stunning darker colour scheme.
Along with looking pretty smart, Dark Mode also makes it much easier to use your Mac at night with the display giving off less glare.
What’s nice is that all of Apple’s apps including Mail, Messages, Calendar and Photos support Dark Mode and more are set to follow.
Apple says that developers will have access to this feature so expect plenty more applications to follow with a Dark Mode option later in the year.
A NEW DYNAMIC DESKTOP
Along with Dark Mode adding a new look to your Mac, Apple has also revealed something called the Dynamic Desktop.
This interactive image slowly changes throughout the day to reflect what time it is outside.
Apple’s desktop images have always been powerful but the Dynamic Desktop adds a nice touch to the Mac.
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…AND A MUCH CLEANER DESKTOP
Of course, if you’ve got the Dynamic Desktop switched on you’re going to want to see what’s on the screen and that’s not always easy when it’s littered with files.
Many of us have a habit of using the desktop as a dumping ground and Apple is well aware of the mess that these screens can get in.
To help quickly clean things up, macOS Mojave includes something called Stacks.
This very clever feature instantly puts your files in neat piles at the side of the screen.
Stacks can be created for file types, by date or tags with things easily found by simply scrolling through each group.
If your desktop is always a mess this will be a hugely welcome feature and it will certainly help to keep things looking less cluttered.
It’s also really simple to use with a quick click of the View menu instantly helping to get things in order.
macOS Mojave now includes Stacks which move files neatly to the side of the screen
NEW WAYS TO LOOK AT FILES
Gallery View is a brilliant addition to the Mac and it’s surprising this hasn’t featured before.
Via this new view, it’s now possible to see a full list of the metadata embedded within the file so you can quickly confirm the camera model, aperture, exposure and more.
But that’s not all.
macOS Mojave has the added bonus of being able to edit video and images without opening them in an application.
These simple tools mean you can crop, rotate, add signatures and even mark up files straight from the desktop.
You can then make an instant PDF of files with just a few clicks in the window.
All of the features in Gallery View work seamlessly and we can see more ways to edit files being added in the future.
You can now see more information and edit pictures from the desktop
GROUP FACETIME MAKES IT EASIER TO CHAT
Being able to chat to 32 friends in FaceTime is a headline feature of iOS 12.
But along with bringing this update to the iPhone and iPad, Mac users can also use Group FaceTime.
If you are wondering how this works, what’s clever is that as a contact begins to speak their image gets bigger on your display.
Participants can be added at any time, join later if the conversation is still active and choose to join using video or audio from an iPhone, iPad or Mac.
There’s even the ability to have some fun by adding an Animoji, Memoji, or sticker; applying a filter or text effect; or becoming an Animoji that everyone can see.
RECORD THAT SCREEN IN MORE WAYS
Every Mac user will, no doubt, know the Shift-Command-3/4 shortcut for screenshots.
It’s something many owners use countless times every day and now this popular option is getting more advanced.
With macOS Mojave, Apple has placed a swathe of controls in one simple shortcut.
Shift-Command-5 now quickly allows you to grab the entire screen, a selected window or just a portion of the screen.
There’s also quick access to make a video recording of your display – something that was fairly complicated in previous versions of the macOS software.
Like the iPhone, you can now get quick access to what’s just been grabbed with tools to markup the image just one click away.
NEW APPS ON YOUR DESKTOP
Apple announced at WWDC that it will soon allow iOS apps to be available on the Mac for the first time.
This headline feature will arrive next year but you can get some popular iPhone application when you upgrade to Mojave.
Apple’s News, Stocks, Home and Voice Memos will all be ready at launch with them instantly syncing with your iOS device.
macOS Mojave now includes iOS apps such as News, Stocks and Voice Memos
Apple privacy rules have always been pretty strict but they are getting even tougher in macOS Mojave.
In the update, there are some radical changes to Safari which now offers enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
Apple says this helps block social media “Like” or “Share” buttons and comment widgets from tracking users without permission.
The web browser also presents simplified system information when users access the web, preventing them from being tracked based on their system configuration.
There are also improvements to passwords with Safari now also automatically creating autofills and stores strong passwords when users create new online accounts and flags reused passwords so users can change them.
New data protections require apps to get user permission before using the Mac camera and microphone or accessing personal data like user Mail history and Messages database.
EARLY VERDICT AND HOW TO DOWNLOAD
There’s plenty to like about macOS Mojave with features we think Mac users will find incredibly useful.
Dark Mode, Stacks, Gallery View and the new screenshots option will make tasks easier to perform and should speed up your workflow.
It’s also nice to see some more of Apple’s popular apps arriving on the Mac platform.
macOS Mojave should arrive in September and it will be well worth the free upgrade once it’s officially released.
If you want to try it before then you can sign up to the public beta which is available from today.
It’s worth noting that this is not the final software and Apple only recommends installing it on a secondary machine.