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macOS Mojave: hands-on with more than 20 new changes and functions [Video]

After the successful launch of iOS 12 last week, it is now up to the Mac to receive its annual software update in the form of macOS Mojave. Version 10.14 of macOS contains many new features to make your life on the desktop easier.

New features include things like the long-awaited dark mode, ideal for working in dimly lit environments, stacks, a feature that lets you quickly clean up your desktop. Mojave also includes a sophisticated screenshot interface and apps that were previously exclusive to iOS such as Home, Voice Memos, Stocks and Apple News.

Needless to say that macOS Mojave is an important new update for Mac users. our hands-on video walkthrough inside for a complete look at what's new.

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Special thanks to MacPaw, makers of CleanMyMac X, for sponsoring our macOS video walkthrough.

Dark mode

Dark Mode is the flagship function of this year's macOS update as it brings a long-awaited native dark interface to the Mac. The advantages of Dark mode go beyond pure aesthetics, because the darker interface is easier for the eyes when working in dimly lit environments. Not only do many first-party apps – Finder, Safari, Calendar, Messages, etc. – have support for Dark Mode, but third-party apps can also provide support.

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Dynamic desktop

In addition to the new Dark Mode capabilities of the new macOS, Dynamic Desktop is a time-shifting function that changes the appearance of your desktop background based on the time at your location.

Six new accent colors

Users have long been able to switch between blue and graphite accent colors in macOS, but in Mojave you can now choose from six additional colors. This setting affects the color of UI accents such as option buttons, drop-down menu arrows, and so on.

To change the accent color, go to System Preferences → General and select the desired color. Options include the original blue and graphite colors along with new red, orange, yellow, green, purple or pink colors.

stacks

I have always had trouble maintaining a tidy desktop. No matter how much I try, it becomes inevitably a disorganized mess with the passing of time. Stacks is a new feature in macOS aimed at people like me. It is designed purely for desktop organization, so you can quickly group multiple desktop items by type, date or tags.

With piles you can go from a cluttered desktop to a well-organized desktop with a few clicks. You can then browse through stacks to quickly find a specific item or quickly expand a stack by simply clicking on it. And if you've turned Stacks on, every new item you add to your desktop will automatically be added to the correct Stack to keep everything tidy and tidy.

Gallery view

The Finder receives three eye-catching new updates in macOS Mojave, starting with a brand new gallery view that allows you to preview large files for easy identification. Think Quick Look, but much more visually appealing and useful.

Fast actions

Another new Finder upgrade is Quick Actions. These shortcuts match their name by allowing users to take action quickly on files directly from the Finder interface. With Quick Actions, users can perform operations with one click to create PDFs, crop video & # 39; s, or rotate images. And with Quick Actions you can simultaneously perform operations on multiple selected files.

Complete metadata

The last major Finder upgrade has to do with how much metadata is presented directly from the Finder interface. When viewing files, you can now view all associated metadata or customize the specific metadata you want to see.

Improvements for fast viewing

With Quick Overview, you can now perform actions on the file without fully opening the file in a supported app. Quick Look actions include the ability to highlight, crop and rotate images and PDFs, to trim audio and video files, and to share files via AirDrop, Mail, etc.

screenshots

The Screenshot program in macOS has always gone far beyond the offer of competing desktop platforms, but with MacOS Mojave, Apple wants to make it easier to take and manage screenshots.

A brand-new tool for the screenshot, accessible via the Utility folder & # 39; s or via a shortcut (Shift + Command + 5), provides an on-screen user interface for creating screenshots. If you are familiar with the old Grab tool that existed before Mac OS X, you get an idea of ​​what to expect. The Screenshot utility is similar to Grab, but considerably more sophisticated and powerful.

After you take a screenshot, you'll notice that a thumbnail of the screen shot appears in the lower-right corner of the screen. With the thumbnail of the screenshot you can open it and mark it and / or drag it to a specific destination without ever having to save a copy. If no action is taken on the screenshot, it is automatically saved to the default destination.

In addition to capturing screenshots, users can use the new tool to capture the screen. The screen capture feature will no longer replace advanced apps such as ScreenFlow 8, but it is a useful tool to use for occasional screen capture needs.

Continuity camera

Continuity Camera takes away part of the inefficiency when taking photos with your iPhone or iPad for use on your Mac. Instead of starting the iPhone camera app, taking a photo and sharing it manually with your Mac, you can use Continuity Camera to call up the camera app from your iPhone directly from the macOS desktop. Once you take a photo using Continuity Camera, the resulting image is automatically saved to your Mac.

News app

Apple has added four new, previously iOS-exclusive apps to the Mac with macOS Mojave, starting with the News app. Each of these apps is built with a new toolset that enables developers to target both the iOS and the macOS platform.

The presence of the News app in macOS provides users with a reliable, composite source for all the latest news. And because it syncs with the iOS version, you can pick up the device where you left off on any device connected to iCloud.

Stocks app

Like the new and improved Stocks app on iOS 12, Stocks on macOS includes both ticker information and relevant news from Apple News.

Home app

By far the most useful new app is the Home app, which allows users to control HomeKit devices directly from their Mac. Earlier, there was no native method for operating HomeKit from the Mac, which meant that you could not use Siri on Mac to control your smart devices.

Speech memos

The latest app from iOS is Voice Memos, whose iPhone and iPad versions also received large iOS 12 updates. In particular, all your voice memos are now synced thanks to iCloud support so that the memos that you record on your iPhone or iPad can be played on your Mac and vice versa.

Recent applications

iPad users have enjoyed the recent app functionality in the iOS dock since the release of iOS 11, and now Mac users get part of the recent app action in MacOS Mojave. Of course, you can easily switch the recent app functionality by going to System Preferences → Dock and checking it or unchecking it Show recent applications in Dock.

Redesign of the Mac App Store

macOS Mojave contains the biggest redesign we've ever seen for the Mac App Store. It is a radical deviation from the way the app was displayed and functioned and, like the iOS App Store, everything revolves around presenting apps. Whether it's larger photos, video previews or editorial content, it is clear that Apple wants the app's framework to stand in the background for the actual content being offered.

Privacy and security

One of the characteristic features of Tim Cook's Apple is the focus on user privacy. Following iOS, macOS Mojave runs improved user privacy checks to request approval before apps can access your camera or microphone. Similarly, apps that want access to Messages hi or the Mail database also need the user's permission.

But the safety improvements do not stay there in MacOS Mojave. There is now improved tracking security that prevents users from creating fingerprints that advertisers create to track you. There is also intelligent tracking prevention for tracking embedded content such as social media buttons, sharing buttons, and content buttons to track you without your prior consent.

Automatic strong passwords, a feature found in iOS 12, also appear on the Mac. This security-oriented improvement simplifies the process for creating, saving and automatically filling in strong passwords. In addition, Mojave notifies you when passwords are found that have been re-used for multiple sign-ups, so you can make them safer.

Website Favicons in Safari

Safari on Mac lacked Favicon support for tabs for years. It may seem crazy, but this was one of the main reasons why I was tempted to switch to Google Chrome. Favicons in tabs can help you better identify tabs at a glance, and for whatever reason, Safari was missing until now.

To enable Favicons in tabs, you must go to Safari Preferences → Tabs → Show website icons in tabs.

Add Emoji in the Mail app

You can easily call the Emoji picker in macOS by pressing Control + Command + Space, but macOS Mojave provides a convenient emoji shortcut in the Mail app interface.

Improved Siri requests

In macOS Mojave, Siri gets more powerful features, such as being able to control HomeKit devices and finding stored passwords.

New wallpaper

macOS Mojave contains several new desert-inspired backgrounds, some of which are Dynamic Desktop backgrounds that change according to the time of day.

macOS updates

Updating macOS is no longer performed through the Mac App Store in macOS Mojave. Instead, there is a brand new special Software Updates panel in System Preferences to make system updates easier.

Conclusion

The dark mode gets a lot of attention, and rightly so, but there are many other features in the macOS update this year that will make life easier for Mac users.

As someone who often searches for specific files on a messy desktop, the new Stacks feature is a new welcome. Other minor improvements, such as Favicon support in tabs and Quick Look improvements, further emphasize Mojave's usefulness.

For an even deeper look at the new features in macOS 10.14, make sure that our previous video included more than 50 new Mojave changes for macOS.

What is your favorite new feature in macOS 10.14 Mojave? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments.

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