I’ll preface this by saying that I have been using MacOS Sierra until now, so any of the features that were part of High Sierra may be new to me personally.
MacOS Mojave (10.14) is Apple’s latest Mac operating system (OS) for 2018. Some of biggest features Apple announced include:
Compatible Macs include:
After a poor experience with High Sierra and the beta of Mojave (audio and photo editing apps that I depend on failed to install and/or launch on both OSs), I was initially hesitant to install Apple’s latest offering. I looked into a couple reviews and saw that most installations of the OS were relatively error-free. So, I decided to try it.
First, I backed up my computer, a base-model MacBook Pro (mid 2012). Always backup your system before any major update. It will save you a lot of time and frustration if anything goes wrong during the installation process. Apple’s Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner are two great apps to use.
I downloaded Install Disk Creator to create bootable USB drives for both MacOS Sierra and MacOS Mojave. MacOS Sierra is no longer available to download from the App Store, but you can still find it on Apple’s support website.
After booting from the USB 3.0 flash drive, it took about an hour to install. Rather than do a clean install, I opted for a traditional update. I am still running on a traditional spinning drive; SSD users should see a shorter period of downtime. I would get an SSD, but I use about 1.3 TBs in my laptop alone, so it is cost prohibitive at the moment.
Two Days In
*Security Note: Patrick Wardle, a security researcher, has discovered a security flaw in the public release of MacOS Moajve. Read more
Good and Neutral Thoughts
Startup time seems roughly the same (30-45 secs). Apps launch at a moderate speed. For its age, my MacBook Pro runs pretty smoothly. Some of this could be contributed to Apple's new proprietary file system, Apple File System (APFS). I have kept my external drives formatted in HFS+ for backwards-compatibility.
Logic Pro X opened and all of my plug-ins ran. Kontakt 5, Izotope Ozone 8, Neutron 2, and RX 6 are my favored plug-ins. I exported a 45 minute audio track with five third-party plug-ins running without any problems.
Day-to-day work is the same. No crashes or freezes (yet). I find Dark Mode comfortable to work with. I hated the iTunes 11 update when Apple removed the dark mode. I had held off as long as I could until my iPad updated to iOS 7, which forced me to update iTunes. Since then, I have waited until Apple released a new dark mode, and they didn’t disappoint.
Finder is pleasant to maneuver in Dark Mode as well. Finder Gallery View is very handy, with EXIF data appearing for photos right in Finder. So, I no longer have to open Lightroom or Preview to see the shutter speed or ISO setting my DSLR. Good job, Apple.
Dynamic Desktop is neat, but I use a custom wallpaper at the moment. Stacks is irrelevant to my workflow; I always keep my desktop clear of Aliases (macOS equivalent of Window’s Shortcuts) and files, folders, and unnecessary clutter. Spotlight is friend here, macOS users.
OS updates are now moved to System Preferences, just as they are in iOS. A nice feature that keeps app updates separate from macOS updates. You can allow for auto-updates, which, for the majority of non-pro users, I would recommend: this keeps your system the most secure.
News, Homekit, Voice Memos, and Stocks are nice additions to the macOS ecosystem. My personal favorites are News and Stocks, which can be customized like their iOS counterparts for tailored content delivery.
Thankfully, 32-bit apps still work, but this is the OS that Apple will be supporting them. I still use 32-bit apps like XLD and Subler for lossless audio conversion and video remuxing, respectively. I am hoping that developers are able to move over to a 64-bit architecture. If you use freeware or donationware from open-source developers, support them by sending a donation to help them in their development. Keeping up with the advancements of computers is time-consuming, and I am sure the smaller developers would appreciate more people supporting their work.
When I launched Fidelia (a lossless audio player), the new security preferences panel kicked and asked for authorization. Other third-party apps also triggered this notification popup. I like that Apple is increasing security, but I’ll have to get used to the constant authorizing of third-party programs.
Only a few programs are optimized for Dark Mode at the moment. Hopefully more developers will bring this alternative view to their programs.
Other than those issues, I have not noticed any degradation to my workflow.
Mojave is a a welcome upgrade that introduces some refreshment to the Mac interface. The Dark Mode and Stacks features will certainly help users. Bringing more iOS apps to macOS allows for a more seamless experience in the Apple ecosystem.
If you’re unsure about compatibility or just nervous about a new OS, waiting a month or two won’t hurt. By then, any major bugs should be smoothed out and more apps should have transitioned to Mojave.
If you enjoy the latest features, upgrading to macOS Mojave is highly recommended. The tweaks that Apple introduced this time are worth the minimal time and effort.
Thanks for reading.
Jacob Zozzaro, Manager
SDG Computer Solutions, LLC
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