Why you should up­grade to macOS Mo­jave Ap­ple makes it im­pos­si­ble to down­load

Ro­man Loy­ola looks at Mo­jave’s best new fea­tures

Macworld - - CONTENTS -

MacOS Mo­jave is fi­nally here. As we saw in our re­view on page 4, it’s not a ma­jor re­vamp, but it does add new fea­tures that can help you be more pro­duc­tive with your Mac. That be­ing said, you may be hes­i­tant to up­grade. Af­ter all, what you’re us­ing now works fine, and why risk the po­ten­tial for prob­lems? We hear you, and if you don’t want to up­grade right away, you’ll be fine. But in case you’re on the fence, here are a few rea­sons why you should up­grade to Mo­jave now.

1. Dark Mode is eas­ier on the eyes

The first new fea­ture Ap­ple dis­cussed at the 2018 WWDC un­veil­ing of Mo­jave, the first fea­ture that the Mo­jave web­site high­lights, and the first fea­ture I’m cov­er­ing here is Dark Mode, which uses darker colours for user in­ter­face el­e­ments like the tool­bar and menus. Be­ing first im­plies a sense of im­por­tance, but to some, Dark Mode may seem like an odd fea­ture to high­light first. “So the Mac uses dark stuff. So what?”

Think about how you use your Mac (or com­put­ers in gen­eral). When you’re look­ing at a com­puter screen, you’re ba­si­cally star­ing at a light source. And if you’re like me, you do al­most all of your work all day long while star­ing at this light source. With a tra­di­tional Mac UI, you’re usu­ally us­ing win­dows that are pre­dom­i­nat­ing bright white, and star­ing

at the light for a while can cause eye fa­tigue. Dark Mode feels a lot more com­fort­able to me, though I don’t feel more or less fa­tigued at the end of the day. (That’s prob­a­bly due to the fact that I make it a point to take quick ‘screen’ breaks ev­ery 30 min­utes or so.) Some peo­ple think Dark Mode helps you fo­cus on what you’re work­ing on; I can’t say I agree or dis­agree, I don’t no­tice a dif­fer­ence in where my at­ten­tion is at. But while I’m work­ing, be­ing in Dark Mode feels more pleas­ing, and I now have a pref­er­ence for it. I’m also look­ing for­ward to more apps of­fer­ing Dark Mode in­ter­faces.

2. Con­ti­nu­ity Cam­era

Be­fore Con­ti­nu­ity Cam­era, it took a bit of ef­fort to get a photo or scan on to your Mac. With Con­ti­nu­ity Cam­era, the process is a lot more ef­fi­cient.

In apps that sup­port the fea­ture, all you need to do is click in the area where you want your im­age to ap­pear, and then go to the File menu and look for an op­tion to im­port a scan or photo from your iPhone or iPad. Se­lect it, and an in­di­ca­tor ap­pear in your Mac app and your iOS de­vice’s cam­era au­to­mat­i­cally launches. You can then snap a pic­ture or ‘scan’ your doc­u­ment, and the re­sult is au­to­mat­i­cally in­serted in your doc­u­ment. So easy. Un­for­tu­nately, this fea­ture doesn’t al­low you to se­lect a pic­ture that’s al­ready on your iOS

de­vice for place­ment in your doc­u­ment, but maybe that’s for a fu­ture up­date.

Con­ti­nu­ity Cam­era works right now with Mo­jave’s bun­dled apps, such as Notes, Mail, Mes­sages, and in the Finder. It also works with Ap­ple’s Num­bers, Pages, and Key­note. Look for third par­ties to add this func­tion­al­ity soon.

3. Im­proved se­cu­rity fea­tures

Se­cu­rity isn’t a glam­orous topic, but there are a few new se­cu­rity fea­tures that make Mo­jave an at­trac­tive up­grade. Be­cause of what I do for a liv­ing, I’m of­ten down­load­ing and try­ing new soft­ware, some­times from devel­op­ers with whom I’m not fa­mil­iar. So I run a few util­i­ties to keep an eye on what’s go­ing on with my Mac. One of the util­i­ties I use is Over­Sight, which flashes an alert any time an app wants to ac­cess the Mac’s Face­Time cam­era and mi­cro­phone.

An Over­Sight-like fea­ture is now built into Mo­jave that can alert you when an app wants to ac­cess the cam­era and mic, as well as iTunes de­vice back­ups, Time Ma­chine back­ups, your Mail data­base, your Mes­sage his­tory, your Sa­fari data, and other data. Even bet­ter is that Sa­fari in Mo­jave has im­proved In­tel­li­gent Track­ing Preven­tion. What this does is that it blocks at­tempts to track the web­sites that you visit. If you trig­ger one of these tracks (of­ten by click­ing on a com­ment but­ton, or when you Like some­thing on Face­book), Sa­fari posts an alert to let you know that you need to al­low track­ing to con­tinue on.

Mo­jave also has more fea­tures for man­ag­ing pass­word, such as the abil­ity to cre­ate strong pass­words, the abil­ity to au­to­mat­i­cally en­ter in a se­cu­rity code that you get vis SMS, and pass­word au­dit­ing. These are great fea­tures, but as a long­time 1Pass­word user, I don’t think I’ll be giv­ing it up for Mo­jave’s built-in fea­tures. I pre­fer 1Pass­word’s man­age­ment tools, even though it means I’m not be­ing ef­fi­cient about my pass­word us­age.

4. Quick Look for quick im­age ed­its

As the fam­ily doc­u­men­tar­ian, it’s my job to take pic­tures and videos of fam­ily events. But I don’t just shoot and then file away the re­sults; I look at the im­ages and videos and edit them. Usu­ally, they’re easy ed­its, but it feels like a has­sle to pre­view a file to see if it needs to be edited, and then open those files that do in an app.

Mo­jave makes Quick Look most ro­bust, pro­vid­ing sim­ple edit­ing tools so you don’t even need to open an app. Now when you pre­view an im­age (se­lect it and then press the space bar), you can click on the

Quick Ac­tions icon be­tween the Ro­tate icon and the Open in Pre­view but­ton, and a set of edit­ing tools ap­pears. You can ro­tate in 90-de­gree in­cre­ments and crop im­ages, and there’s even a set of Markup tools you can use to write no­ta­tions. For au­dio and video, you can trim clips. If you are pe­rus­ing through dozens and dozens of photos and videos, the new Quick Look Quick Ac­tions helps a ton with sim­ple crops and trims. It can be a real time­saver.

5. News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and App Store

If you fre­quently use the News, Stocks, and Voice Memos apps on your iPhone or iPad, then

you’ll prob­a­bly find good use for them on your Mo­jave Mac. With the News and Stocks apps, your pref­er­ences can be saved to iCloud, so your top­ics, chan­nels, watch list, and more are syncs be­tween all your de­vices. Voice Memos can save your record­ing to iCloud so you can ac­cess them on any de­vice.

Of these apps, I’ll get the most use out of the News app. It seems that peo­ple tend to rely on so­cial net­works to get their news, but with so­cial net­works, the peo­ple you fol­low are the ar­biter of what shows up on your feed – and for a lot of peo­ple, that’s prefer­able. I like to have more con­trol over the ar­ti­cles that are fed to me, and that in­cludes top­ics that may not nec­es­sar­ily jibe with that of the peo­ple I fol­low. The News app

al­lows you to set your sources and sub­jects, so you can get a feed that’s cus­tomized to your in­ter­ests.

Ap­ple has also re­designed the App Store, so it’s eas­ier to find apps. The com­pany is also putting more ef­fort into your abil­ity to learn about new soft­ware, by fea­tur­ing App Store ed­i­tors’ picks and cu­rated app lists.

Group Face­Time: Com­ing soon

If these rea­sons aren’t com­pelling enough for you to up­grade to Mo­jave now, there’s a fea­ture com­ing soon that will make you want to up­grade: Group Face­Time. When it be­comes avail­able – Ap­ple says it’ll be here later this au­tumn – you’ll be able to do a group chat with up to 32 peo­ple us­ing a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. If this fea­ture was avail­able now (and it worked well), it would be the num­ber one rea­son why you should up­grade to Mo­jave.

Be­ware in­stalling macOS Mo­jave. Ap­ple ap­pears to have com­pletely re­moved the abil­ity to down­load the in­stall­ers of older ver­sions of macOS and Mac OS X from the new ver­sion of the Mac op­er­at­ing sys­tem.

Pre­vi­ously users could go to the Mac App Store, click on the Pur­chased tab and see a list of all the apps they had ever down­loaded. This was par­tic­u­larly use­ful if a Mac user wanted to re­vert

to an older ver­sion of the OS, or run more than one ver­sion of the op­er­at­ing sys­tem (per­haps for test­ing, or be­cause they were run­ning old soft­ware).

It was pre­vi­ously pos­si­ble to lo­cate an older ver­sion of Mac OS X in the Pur­chased tab, re-down­load its in­staller, and then fol­low var­i­ous steps to cre­ate a bootable in­staller on an ex­ter­nal drive. This bootable in­staller could then be used to do a clean in­stall of the ear­lier ver­sion of the macOS on the Mac. Now that Ap­ple has up­dated the Mac App Store in Mo­jave, there is no longer a Pur­chased tab. Users can see some of their pre­vi­ously pur­chased items if they click on Store in the Ap­ple Store and choose: View My Ac­count. How­ever, this will no longer show any older ver­sions of macOS, though it did pre­vi­ously.

In 2017, when Ap­ple in­tro­duced High Sierra, the com­pany did re­move Sierra from the Pur­chased list, which made it more dif­fi­cult to re­vert to that ver­sion, but it was still pos­si­ble to down­load the Sierra in­staller via this link that Ap­ple pro­vided. The link still takes you to a page for Sierra, but if you are run­ning Mo­jave you will see an ‘Up­date not found’ er­ror mes­sage if you try to down­load it.

We have checked the same link to the Mac App Store on a com­puter that hadn’t got Mo­jave in­stalled and can con­firm that it is still pos­si­ble to down­load the in­staller.

We also tested the link Ap­ple pro­vided to down­load El Cap­i­tan back when High Sierra launched. That down­load also no longer ap­pears to be valid if you ac­cess it in Mo­jave, with the

mes­sage ‘Up­date not found: The re­quested ver­sion of macOS is not avail­able’ ap­pear­ing. Again, we were able to con­firm that El Cap­i­tan in­staller could be down­loaded on a Mac run­ning High Sierra and on one run­ning Sierra.

To re­it­er­ate, it is pos­si­ble to down­load the in­staller for an older ver­sions the Mac App Store but only if you are run­ning High Sierra or older. If you are run­ning Mo­jave this will not be pos­si­ble. In fact, Ap­ple even states as much on its page about cre­at­ing a bootable in­staller. It says: “To down­load macOS Mo­jave or High Sierra for this pur­pose, down­load from a Mac that is us­ing macOS Sierra 10.12.5 or later, or El Cap­i­tan 10.11.6.”

This means we have to rec­om­mend that you down­load the in­staller for High Sierra, and any other in­staller you feel you may need in the fu­ture be­fore up­dat­ing to Mo­jave.

Luck­ily, we al­ready have the var­i­ous in­stall­ers on our Mac. If you don’t have them avail­able on your com­puter, then we rec­om­mend find­ing a Mac that hasn’t got Mo­jave in­stalled, log­ging on with your iCloud ID and view­ing the Pur­chased tab in the Mac App Store where you should be able to down­load the in­staller you re­quire.

A fa­mil­iar Light Mode win­dow in Mo­jave...

...and a new Dark Mode win­dow

You can scan im­ages di­rectly into Notes

Mo­jave lets you know if apps are try­ing to ac­cess your Mac’s mi­cro­phone, cam­era, and other items

Crop a photo di­rectly in Quick Look. No need to open an app

The News app in Mo­jave

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