Operating Systems

Apple’s Mojave Released This Week

For those of us that use the Mac platform, this week sees the release of the newest version of the Mac operating system - Mojave.   While the Mac hardware platform enjoys a 7 year support term from the OS, this most recent upgrade narrows the range slightly to 6 years (2012 models and newer).  This has more to do with hardware release cycles and supported hardware rather than a purposeful shortening of the support term.

This upgrade focuses more on under-the-hood improvements rather than introducing a slew of newest features across the board.   Having said that, one of the new features receiving attention is “Dark Mode.”  Many users have requested the feature for years, and other platforms have employed it in their own ways. Third-party apps will need updates to take advantage of the mode, so check for updates regularly.

The Finder has a new addition, once reserved only for the Dock: Stacks.   This feature should go a long way toward helping us to keep our desktop a little less cluttered.  Just as we tend to create piles of papers on our physical desk and know exactly where something should be in the pile, Stacks will keep files in similarly organized piles on our desktop.  There are several default ways to customize how the files are stacked.

Marzipan is a completely new addition, starting to bridge the span between iOS and macOS.  Launching with a small handful of apps (Home, News, Stocks, and Voice Memo) Apple has enabled the initial use of these iOS apps on the desktop platform.  

For users running High Sierra or Mojave, booting into Recovery Mode has an added perk often overlooked:  if you install an update that causes instability, you can boot to Recovery Mode and enter Time Machine to select a previous snapshot you know is stable.  This is one of the benefits of moving to the newer APFS file system.

As always there are a few not-so-good changes for some users.  Notably, 32-bit app support and Apple Server.  For 32-bit apps you will be reminded at their first start, and on regular monthly intervals, about their lack of compatibility. (Encouraging you to find updates, or newer apps that are supported)  

For the fans of Apple Server and it’s GUI interface for many services… the list has considerably shrunk down to only 3;  Profile Manager, Open Directory, and XSAN.  Several of the other services have already migrated to the standard OS and are not lost.  But some will require command line use, or a complete move to third-party products if you prefer a GUI interface.  (Mail, DNS, Calendar, Wiki, etc…)

Fortunately, most current applications used on today’s Macs are very well supported in Mojave if you have already been using them under High Sierra.