On September 24, Apple announced the release of its newest software update for Macbooks, Mojave. As usual when it comes to transitioning to a new operating system, many users are hesitate to make the move until they fully understand what’s going on. This is because they become accustomed to one way of maneuvering their desktops and don’t want to have to learn a new system. And furthermore, new operating systems have become synonymous with kinks and bugs, prompting a handful of users to wait to make the move until necessary fixes have been made (for instance, some Mojave issues have already been pointed out and rectified). To help ease you into it, here are five things you need to know about macOS Mojave:

Not Everyone Can Update

When Apple released its previous update, High Sierra, most MacBook models could install it, as it was highly similar to the base Sierra OS. However, Mojave has a new slew of requirements and specifications that won’t be met by all Apple models. For starters, you’ll need 14.3GB of hard space to download it. Any Macbook models that pre-date 2012 will not be equipped to handle the Mojave update.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode is one of the most-talked about features of Mojave. With Mojave Dark Mode, dark colors replace all light colors on the Mac user interface, including first-party applications. For instance, the menu bar that sits at the top of the interface is traditionally light grey with dark text, but in dark mode, these colors are inverted. Any app that’s included in Mojave will support Dark Mode, and third-party apps can update their own programs to support the feature as well.

Dark Mode may seem like a simple feature, but the premise is to make it easier on the eyes for using your Mac at all hours of the day and night. Documents and menu items are easier to read with a higher contrast, which reduces glare and eye strain. You’ll also be able to see detail and color much better, too.

Stacks

If you use your Macbook to work, your desktop can easily become a cluttered mess. This virtual clutter can certainly have an impact on your productivity and Mojave aims to create a solution with Stacks. This feature sorts similar files together to make it more manageable for you to access. You may already be familiar with Stacks, which was previously introduced into the dock. But now, it has been integrated into the desktop.

By default, Stacks will group your files together by type. For instance, photos will be grouped with photos, documents with documents, screenshots with screenshots, etc. It can also group your files based on date added, date modified, etc. Once the feature has grouped your items together, you simply need to click on the stick to expand it, and click on it again to close it.

You can also create stacks by using tags. For example, if you are working on producing and editing a film, you could create a tag that groups together all the necessary files for your project. Simply select the files you want to include in your film project, right click, and select the option to group by the specified tag.

Unfortunately, the biggest downfall—for now—is that folders will not be included in Stacks, even if you assign them a tag. While it may be an option in the future, for now you’ll have to focus on stacking items that don’t have a place in folders, or minimizing your folder usage.

iOS Apps

With Mojave, Apple is making the move to start bringing some popular iOS features over to the desktop. These features include Voice Memos, Stocks, and Apple News. To create a better Apple ecosystem for users who have Apple products across the border, if you added a voice memo on your phone, it would be automatically duplicated on your desktop.

Updated Security

Mac users already use many tips and tricks to keep their systems safe. From installing VPNs to protecting browsers from hackers, multiple measures need to be enforced. With so many security and data issues today, Mojave puts your privacy at the top of the priority list. To help maintain your device security, the program will now request your permission to use more features. One way it’s able to do this is by using a feature called Enhanced Tracking Prevention, which makes it impossible for websites to gather data about the way you use your computer and surf the Internet. It also has a more robust system in place for protecting your file system.

The security and speed for Safari has also been greatly improved. The browser automatically strips the tracking code from websites like Twitter and Facebook, which notoriously keep tabs on your every move. Although third-party tools can already achieve this, it takes the necessity out of needing to download those programs—which, in many cases, can be counterintuitive and even more harmful.

There are many reasons why this increased security system can prove beneficial to you. For instance, if you’re a business owner that uses WordPress WooCommerce hosting to run your online store, it’s imperative that you take extra precaution with your online behaviors. If you were to download a third-party program, you could mistakenly infect your system with malware designed to compromise your business.

 

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Blast is Boston's Online Magazine

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