WWDC 2018 - Mac OS Mojave

6 June 2018.


Our final update from WWDC 2018 is a brand new operating system for Mac. Over the last couple of years the naming trend has gone from wild cats to mountains around California. The latest OS has gone a different route, this time the desert outside of California, Mojave. We were quickly informed that the name was chosen for the beauty of the desert at night and as inspiration for a new OS feature, dark mode. Dark mode changes your dock, finder and native apps to a darker colour, making it easier on the eyes while working in a darker environments but also while working with video and photography - a feature thats been available in editing software like Adobe Photoshop for a couple of years now. The dark mode will also be available for Xcode, much to the delight of the developers who were in the audience at WWDC. 

OS Mojave is packed with updates that focus on usability and productivity. Desktop stacks auto arrange all the files on your desktop by kind, date to tag in to easily accessible stacks of files, which you can scrub through and pull files from directly in to applications. Finder includes a brand new view mode called Gallery, which gives you a large preview of your current file and thumbnail carousel of the other files in the group. The new Finder also comes with in depth metadata, great for photography and video allowing you to see camera and lens type, aperture, dates etc. right from the finder window. Lastly, Finder now includes customisable and contextual Quick Actions - do quick edits, create PDFs or make your own actions via Automator right from your finder window. These new features eliminate some of the needs to open a file in other applications before marking up and sending on, meaning an increase to productivity. 

metadata on the new gallery view type in Finder at WWDC 2018

Quick Look (press space bar or shift+space bar) will now also come with mark up and quick editing capabilities built in.

With iOS 11 on iPhone we got the ability to capture video screenshots right from the control centre and MacOS Mojave is bringing the same feature to Mac. Screenshots now include video grabs that pop up as a preview thumbnail, can be trimmed and edited using mark up and inserted directly in to a presentation, email or other application eliminating the need for edition third party software - you can currently do this via Quick Time Movie / Screen recording but the process is much more long winded. Screenshots with video is going to be a great tool for sharing updates, capturing progress and collaborating in new visual ways. 

Continuity was another great feature introduced in the last batch of operating systems and with OS Mojave its gotten even better with Continuity Photos. Right-click on your file and choose ‘Insert Photo from …’ and choose your iPhone. The camera app on your phone automatically opens and you can take a snap shot which will pop straight in to your file. You can also use this feature to scan documents, quickly sign them in mark up and send them on via email or other file sharing apps.This is going to be another great tool for live presentations, sharing and collaborations.

mac book pro and iPhone x showing the continuity photos feature at WWDC 2018 conference

With Mojave, apps that we are used to seeing in iOS have been brought to Mac including News, Stock, Voice Memo and Home (for controlling your smart home accessories). This is as a result of a long term project from Apple to bring some of the features of iOS to Mac by opening up some of the UI kit processes. What this means is that you will start seeing some Mac apps that feel a lot more like iOS when this option is opened up to developers in 2019. What hasn’t been announced however is the opposite, some Mac UI features being brought to iOS - so sadly we’ll have a while yet before we see the full Adobe CC application set available on iPad. 

With the big conversations around privacy and GDPR that are happening across Europe and the rest of the world its not surprising that a major focus on improved security is included with the latest OS update. Safari now includes notifications when an website is trying to track you using comment fields or Like/Share buttons (which apparently do so whether you click on them or not). It also makes creating digital fingerprints of your device much harder by removing communication of personalised configuration to data companies. Essentially this means things like custom fonts, plugins and other settings are not detectable and your Mac will look like every other Mac making it very difficult for your device to be profiled. This feature will be on Safari for Mac and for iOS 12 devices. 

preview of the new app store design in mac os mojave at wwd2018

In iOS 11 the App store got a major overhaul, with new tabs and stories. MacOS App Store is following suit and will now feature editorial picks, reviews, tips and featured content at the fore as well as introducing four new tabs - Create, Work, Play, Develop - to help you discover more. The new App Store will bring with it Microsoft 365, Lightroom CC and an array of new providers on one of the most safest and trusted application catalogs out there. 

Other updates were developer focused with improved performance in Metal, the introduction of Create ML to help developers including intuitive AI and machine learning in to their applications and faster render times and smaller model sizes with Core ML 2. 

MacOS Mojave is available now to developers and as a free upgrade for public release in Autumn.