Mojave over High Sierra

It’s that time of year, and Apple has released their latest macOS, Mojave (10.14 for those of you who prefer numbers). This year’s annual release brings a number of new features – nothing too earth-shattering, but it is laying the foundation for a big change next year. Read below about the major features and what we think of them.

In case you don’t read this entire article, I’ll mention right off the top that as usual, we recommend waiting before upgrading your Mac if you rely on it for your day-to-day business. You don’t want to upgrade and find out that you can’t complete your day-to-day tasks without additional frustration. We usually wait for a .2 release in a business environment. Why is that?

Typical Apple Updates

.0 release: Typically the Golden Master, or first release of an operating system by Apple has been tested by beta testers, and covers most of the average users day-to-day tasks. Some software vendors are quick to ensure software compatibility, while others are not.  It’s often these developers that find the bugs. So if a developer hasn’t done a lot of testing with the beta software, those issues might not come to light until the initial release.

.1 release: When Apple releases the first .1 patch, this often fixes issues that were identified but not fixed in time for the first release. More and more of the general public begin to install the software. This starts to identify bugs in lesser used parts of the system, but still very common areas. There are still areas of the software that haven’t had a good testing from business and educational users. At the .1 release is likely when the organizations start to test lesser known and used features (File Sharing to Windows Servers, Remote Management, Device Enrollment, etc). More bugs will be reported at this time.

.2 release: Here’s where we start to see fixes for some of the important, but less widespread features. These were identified in the .1 release mentioned above. So at this point, the typical ‘consumer features’ are mostly ironed out, and the show-stopping business and educational features are likely worked out.

If you followed High Sierra (macOS 10.13), the release dates looked as follows:

  • 10.13.0: September 25, 2017
  • 10.13.1: October 31, 2017
  • 10.13.2: December 6, 2017
  • 10.13.3: January 23, 2018
macOS Mojave Foundational Change

Now returning to my comment about a large foundational change with Mojave… Apple is set to make three of their iOS apps available on the Mac – Stocks, Voice Memos and Home. This is possible because with the new OS, the frameworks that iOS apps used on your iPhone, are included in macOS Mojave. Apple isn’t ready to let all developers bring their apps to the Mac – yet. They are using Mojave as a test bed for their own apps, and we expect that with macOS 10.15 all developers will be able to bring their iOS apps to the Mac.

Dark Mode

This headline feature will be most appreciated by the creative professionals around us, who tend to use apps like Final Cut Pro that have dark interfaces, but yet the operating system windows are much lighter. This is a choice for all users, and while not a major productivity booster, does address a long time complaint of many power users.

Continuity Camera

It’s an awkward name, but a useful feature. Essentially, this creates a tight integration between apps on your computer, and the camera in your iPhone. You can be working on an email, or perhaps a Pages document, simply choose ‘Insert Photo’, and then pick up your phone and take the photo. This saves the numerous steps of taking a photo, and emailing / messaging / airdropping to yourself, and then having to also clean up the resulting photo in your Camera Roll and email.

Take it one step further and you can tell the app on your Mac to scan a document from your phone. Simply pick up your phone, hover it over the document (like a signed contract, or letter), and it will automatically take a photo, crop it and insert it into whatever app you were working on. This is the Apple magic we’ve come to love and expect.

Desktop Stacks

If you’re anything like me, your Desktop is a disaster. It’s a place you put things you need quick access to, or perhaps you were too lazy to file. I currently have 76 items on my desktop, and they range in file types from spreadsheets to screenshots, and everything in between.

Stacks to the rescue! Stacks will keep all of your files stacked together, in whatever fashion makes the most sense for you. It could be file type, it could be when you last worked on the file, or if you’ve setup Tags and colours to match your workflow, you can even stack by Tag.

Final Word

There’s much more to Mojave than just what’s listed above –  but these are some of the key features you might be interested in. I hate to sound like a broken record, but please do your research before you upgrade your primary machine. You might want to check with your software vendors that their apps are compatible, or if possible, upgrade a different machine and test out all of your software.