Our favourite new fea­tures in macos Mo­jave

Dark Mode, Desk­top Stacks, and IOS apps on Mac are just a few of the highlights. Leif John­son reports

Macworld - - Contents -

It’s called macos Mo­jave, and the next ver­sion of our favourite desk­top OS was in­tro­duced by Ap­ple soft­ware chief Craig Fed­erighi at the WWDC key­note. While there was noth­ing earth­shak­ing about the pre­sen­ta­tion, the new fea­tures we saw could im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence.

And yes, it looks like IOS apps will even­tu­ally come

to Mac, al­though maybe not in the way you were ex­pect­ing. Here are our favourite bits.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode doesn’t change the way your op­er­at­ing sys­tem works, but it does change typ­i­cally white macos screen el­e­ments like the Dock, Taskbar, and win­dows to some­thing that’s more akin to Ap­ple’s beloved space grey for hard­ware. It even works with Xcode. Con­sid­er­ing that space grey pe­riph­er­als are now avail­able for Macs apart from the imac Pro, it’s a per­fect time to in­tro­duce it. It sim­ply looks good, and ap­pear­ances are al­ways im­por­tant for Ap­ple.

Desk­top Stacks

I’ve never been one of those peo­ple who can work with a messy Desk­top, and I some­times waste a good amount of work time delet­ing and or­ga­niz­ing my files. With Mo­jave, that will be less of a prob­lem. Ap­ple is in­tro­duc­ing a new Desk­top Stacks fea­ture that au­to­mat­i­cally col­lects spe­cific file types (such as PDFS) into a sin­gle pile. When you want to sift through the pile, just click on the stack and it’ll ex­pand to show the files you need, while other file types re­main con­ve­niently (and un­ob­tru­sively) in their stacks.

IOS apps on Mac

Fed­erighi shut down any ru­mours that IOS and Mac would merge to­day with a de­fin­i­tive, stage-high ‘No’, in stark white let­ters. But there will be some com­pro­mises. In one of the sim­plest, pop­u­lar IOS

apps such as Ap­ple News, Voice Me­mos, Home, and Stocks will make their way over to the Mac.

And the ios/mac cross­over isn’t merely lim­ited to Ap­ple’s own stuff. Ap­ple is tak­ing UIKIT from IOS and im­ple­ment­ing it into the macos frame­work, al­low­ing third-party de­vel­op­ers to more eas­ily be able to port apps from IOS to the Mac. Ac­cord­ing to Ap­ple, it’s a sim­ple process and will be ready in 2019.

Im­proved se­cu­rity

Pri­vacy, as you no doubt know, has kind of be­come Ap­ple’s Big Thing. In macos Mo­jave, Ap­ple will use pop-ups more fre­quently to tell you if an app is try­ing to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion such as your lo­ca­tion, pho­tos, or mi­cro­phones, much as we al­ready see on IOS. This com­mit­ment to pri­vacy ex­tends to Sa­fari, which will keep

Face­book and sim­i­lar so­cial net­works from track­ing you through­out the In­ter­net. Per­haps most im­pres­sively, Ap­ple is ac­tively work­ing to make one Mac seem vir­tu­ally in­dis­tin­guish­able from the other in or­der to thwart track­ers.

Mark­ing up screen­shots

This is a big one for me, as I of­ten use the same fea­ture on IOS. In essence, you’ll be able to write or draw on a photo or doc­u­ment, which al­lows you to point out a land­mark or a key phrase, for ex­am­ple, be­fore send­ing it off to a friend. And just like in IOS, tak­ing a screen­shot will au­to­mat­i­cally give you an op­tion to mark it up. It’ll go a long way to­ward mak­ing the screen­shot tool more use­ful (al­though it’s a shame that we won’t be able to use an Ap­ple Pen­cil with it). Even bet­ter, you can share the marked-up files di­rectly from Quick Look, and you can cus­tomize the rules for what hap­pens when you take screen­shots.

Im­prove­ments to Fin­der

Fin­der’s blaz­ing speed is one of the great­est things about us­ing a Mac, and in macos Mo­jave, it’s go­ing to get sig­nif­i­cantly more use­ful. With Mo­jave, we’ll have ac­cess to a new ‘gallery’ view, which keeps most of the files in thumb­nail mode but keeps the main im­age se­lected in a size that fills the screen in all its glory. Im­proved meta­data gives a mas­sive amount of in­for­ma­tion about the file you have sin­gled out while scrolling through each file. Fed­erighi specif­i­cally used an im­age

file to il­lus­trate the fea­ture – which re­vealed in­for­ma­tion about a file’s di­men­sion, ex­po­sure time, ISO, and other fac­tors – and that seems like one of the best uses for it.

Con­ti­nu­ity Cam­era

Ap­ple in­tro­duced a fea­ture called Con­ti­nu­ity Cam­era, which al­lows for such handy fea­tures as scan­ning a doc­u­ment on your iphone and then hav­ing it ap­pear on your Mac. Oth­er­wise, you can take a photo from your phone and have it ap­pear im­me­di­ately in a Pages doc­u­ment.

This is some­thing I’ll end up us­ing of­ten. Cur­rently, sim­i­lar ac­tions of­ten in­volve a messy process of email­ing the photo to the Mac, or

(with icloud en­abled) find­ing it in Pho­tos af­ter

it syncs. Es­pe­cially with re­search, this could save a lot of time.

Dy­namic Desk­tops

Much like the re­lated Dark Mode, Dy­namic Desk­tops is mainly a cos­metic up­date, but it’s a cool one. In essence, a photo of a scene will change from show­ing the set­ting at day­time to night-time in sync with the real-world day and night. At the mo­ment, we’re not sure whether you’re stuck us­ing Ap­ple’s own wall­pa­pers for this, but that seems likely, given the state of sim­i­lar dy­namic wall­pa­pers on the iphone.

Re­designed App Store

Ap­ple has been hard at work mak­ing all of its ser­vice interfaces look es­sen­tially like Ap­ple Mu­sic on IOS, and... well, I’m not so sure how I feel about that. But on the bright side, the up­com­ing de­sign re­fresh of the macos App Store cer­tainly looks at­trac­tive, and it’s filled with the kinds of huge ban­ners we’ve be­come fa­mil­iar with on the App Store on IOS. Even bet­ter, it’s got now got handy gen­eral topic head­ings for apps associated with cre­at­ing, work­ing, play­ing, and de­vel­op­ing. Is it over­sim­pli­fi­ca­tion? I’m think­ing it may be, but I’m ex­cited to try it out so I can find out.

Pop­u­lar IOS apps like Ap­ple News, Voice Me­mos, Home, and Stocks will make their way over to the Mac

When you take a photo on an iphone it will au­to­mat­i­cally ap­pear on your Mac

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