Some of Apples most impressive WWDC announcements were about its new desktop operating system, macOS Mojave, which is now available in public beta.By Michael MuchmoreThe next version of macOS is Mojave, which Apple previewed during its 2018 Worldwide Developer Conference keynote in early June. The update will be available to Mac users this fall, and a public beta is available now.
The last version of macOS, High Sierra, was more of a hardening and performance update for the operating system. This time around, Mojave announcements constituted a highlight of the WWDC keynote. Apple used the occasion to introduce several new features and capabilities that will benefit MacBook and iMac users as well as developers.
Still missing are the ability to run iOS apps and full touch-screen support, but what is included is indeed welcome. Here are the biggest new features in macOS Mojave. To try it out, you can download the macOS Mojave public beta from Apple directly, but realize that it is not final code, so you may run into glitches.
Dark ModeInspired by the desert at night, Mojaves Dark Mode may be the OS versions most noticeable aspect. Windows 10 already has a dark mode, but it doesnt appear everywhere yet, most notably in the File Explorer. Apple macOS Mojaves dark mode is far more extensive, affecting not only window borders but also the content areas of Finder, Safari, Calendar, Messages, and pretty much all Apple-created Mac apps.
Third-party app developers can implement dark mode as well, but the stock apps will lead the way. Its all part of the eye-saving awareness that has already given us Night Shift, which shifts to warmer colors to avoid the blue part of the spectrum that overly stimulates the brain. A companion feature to Dark Mode is Dynamic Desktop, which darkens the wallpaper as the day wanes.
Stacks for Desktop IconsSay goodbye to cluttered desktops strewn with scattered icons: macOS Mojaves Stacks feature groups all content that makes sense together. Reminiscent of a photo-organization technique that has appeared in several photo applications, Stacks makes a lot of sense for desktop icons. Clicking on a stack expands it to show component icons, and scrubbing across it flips through the component icons.
You can also arrange Stacks using keyword tags.Screenshots and Video CaptureThe Macs built-in screenshot capabilities have long been quite strong, especially compared to what Microsoft offered prior to Windows 10. But Mojave turbocharges screenshot taking, and even lets you select an area for video recording.
It also lets you mark up and share your screen capture easily.New Stock AppsSome of the more-popular iOS stock apps make their way into macOS with Mojave. News gathers stories from your customized sources and on your topics of interest.
Stocks lets you create a portfolio and see financial news. Voice Memos, a very useful recorder app on iOS, now will let you record low-resolution audio easily on your Mac. And the new Home app will let you control HomeKit-enabled devices like smart lightbulbs, thermostats, and door locks from your Mac.
Finder ImprovementsIn Mojave, Finder gets more powerful. Not only can you skim files in the new Gallery View, but theres a Preview pane showing all its relevant file metadata. You can also rotate and crop images from Quick Look view, as well as create PDFs or run custom scripts.
Youll also get markup tools and commenting capability in Finder.Camera ContinuityA desktop app will be able to request a photo from an iPhone using a Take Photo menu option. At WWDC, Craig Federighi showed this impressive new capability in the Keynote app to insert his own photo into a space mask.
Safari PrivacyWith all the uproar in the news about privacy of late, Safaris new tracking protection features come at an opportune time. In Mojave, Safari will pop a confirmation box when a social tracker shows up in the browser. It will also prevent sites from tracking you based on your tech footprint, which can be used to identify you based on detailed system configuration.
The browser will show a simplified configuration to sites, making all Mac users look nearly identical.Mac App Store UpdateIm a fan of desktop OS app stores, since they simplify and make consistent installation and updating, assure quality and security, and let you own apps across multiple devices. iOS 11 brought a redesigned App Store to mobile users, and Mojave will do the same for Apples desktop.
The updated store will have tabs for Discover, Create, Work, Play and Develop, Categories, and Update. Heavy hitters like Microsoft Office 365 are coming to the store later this year as well.iOS Apps on Mac?
Theres been a lot of speculation about Apple merging iOS and macOS, but Apples Federighi dispelled this rumor with an explanation of the very different underpinnings of the two operating systems. He did, however, announce that Apple is working on a framework to make it possible to convert iOS apps to be compatible with Macs. In fact, the new Apple apps noted above, like Voice Recorder and News, are first efforts by Apple in this direction.
Read More: The Coolest Things in iOS 12Originally published at pcmag. com.