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5 features of macOS Mojave that will level up your Mac experience

Stacks cleans up a messy desktop • Gallery View is great for working with images • Screenshots are much improved • Dark Mode is 🔥
Some features are extremely niche • No support for Macs older than 2012
You could ignore the myriad new features in macOS Mojave, but at least one of them is guaranteed to improve your day-to-day Mac experience.

Mashable Score4.25

Sitting down to write this review of macOS Mojave, I thought about which new feature is my favorite, and which is my least favorite. Then I realized I haven’t actually thought about new features in macOS in this way for years. Thinking back to Sierra and High Sierra, I could barely name any new feature, let alone the best and worst of the bunch.

So if there’s one thing Apple can be sure of when it officially releases macOS Mojave to Mac users today, it’s that they’ll notice. Mojave has lots of new stuff both under the hood and on the dashboard — I’d challenge any Mac user to use this update for a few days and not have strong opinions on it.

MacOS 10.14 Mojave is positively loaded with new stuff, especially for power users, and I covered most of the new stuff in my preview of the OS back in June. Dark Mode is by far the most obvious, but the Stacks tool for cleaning up your Desktop and the new way the OS handles screenshots are both top-level features that will make a difference in most users’ everyday workflow.

Feature-wise, virtually all of the changes are optional. While the new features are all intended to simplify and improve your Mac experience, they’re almost all additive — you can choose to ignore them, and you’ll still be able to use your Mac just as before, more or less.

I don’t know why you’d want to, though. I’d be surprised if, within Mojave’s myriad new features, you don’t find at least one that makes you more efficient, streamlines a key process, or is just more aesthetically pleasing. For me, it wasn’t just one — I found five. Of course, there’s also at least one feature that’s pretty pointless (looking at you, Continuity Camera), but like I said, no one’s holding a water-pistol emoji to my head to use it.

Which Macs can run Mojave?

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

First things first: Before you get excited for Mojave, you should make sure your Mac can run it. For most users, all you need to do is go to “About this Mac” and click on the “Software Update…” button, which launches the Mac App Store. On Sept. 24 or a little afterward, if your Mac can run Mojave, it will alert you that the update is available.

If you want to install the update manually, head over to Apple’s software download page.

Specifically, though, Apple says Mojave will run on the following machines:

  • MacBook (early 2015 or later)

  • MacBook Air (mid 2012 or later)

  • MacBook Pro (mid 2012 or later)

  • Mac Mini (late 2012 or later)

  • iMac (late 2012 or later)

  • iMac Pro (all models)

  • Mac Pro (late 2013, plus mid 2010 or mid 2012 models with recommended Metal-capable graphics processor, including MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 and Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX 580)

That’s a bit less than the last OS, High Sierra, which could run on some Macs dating back to 2009. Hardly surprising, but if you’re still running a Mac from eight years ago and you’re doing anything other than running a word processor, you might want to think about upgrading.

Now that you know whether or not your Mac can handle the upgrade, here are the 5 best features of macOS Mojave.

1. Gallery view

Image: Pete Pachal / mashable

What it is: There’s a new option for how to view the contents of a folder in the Finder: Gallery View, which shows the icon or preview of the selected file enlarged in the window, with the rest of the folder contents shown as a thumbnail strip below. You can navigate the thumbnails with the left and right arrow keys, and the previews load lightning-fast as you do.

Why it makes all the difference: If dealing with photography or artwork is part of your daily workflow, you’ll love Gallery view. I often have to choose between multiple similar photos to put in a story, which typically means toggling back and forth from Preview when I’m deciding which one to use. I much prefer Mojave’s solution, which keeps it all in the Finder and thus doesn’t slow me down.

How it could be even better: If Gallery view was an option when selecting “Open” in an app.

2. Advanced screenshots

Image: pete pachal / mashable

What it is: Now when you take a screenshot (with either Shift-Command-3 or the partial-screen option, Shift-Command-4), the thumbnail appears briefly in the corner, letting you click on it to mark it up, if you wish. There’s also a new shortcut, Shift-Command-5, which gives options for capturing specific windows and doing a screen recording.

Why it makes all the difference: We always appreciated how simple the Mac made screenshots, but this feature takes a cue from the iPhone, where marking up screengrabs has become more the norm. The new method also acknowledges that screen recordings are a useful, down-and-dirty tool for capturing clips or sending a quick how-to demo to a friend.

How it could be even better: Auto-archiving, maybe?

3. Quick Actions

Image: pete pachal / mashable

What it is: Macs have had Quick Look — where you hit the space bar on a file to see it up close in its own window — for a long time, but to do anything other than look, you needed to open Preview. No longer. Now you can rotate images or mark them up, edit PDFs, and more… all without leaving the Finder.

Why it makes all the difference: The fewer steps, the better. Before Mojave, editing or even marking up an image usually involved firing up Preview or an image editor to do your dirty work. Now, just hit the space bar, boom-boom, done. Apple wisely tied this directly with the new screenshots, calling up Quick Actions the moment you click on the thumbnail you just captured.

How it could be even better: An emoji sticker tool wouldn’t hurt.

4. Dark Mode

Image: pete pachal / mashable

Image: pete pachal / mashable

What it is: Long a dream of power users, macOS finally supports a full-fledged Dark Mode, which alters the desktop theme so menus become white-on-black (more accurately, very very dark gray), the default desktop shifts to a night desert landscape, and everything generally gets easier on the eyes.

Why it makes all the difference: I can’t get excited about Dark Mode the way developers and some gamers do, but I will admit it looks pretty cool, especially on the space gray MacBook Pros. I wish even one of my third-party apps supported it, especially Chrome (though there are certainly plenty of dark themes in the Chrome Web Store), but even with just the Finder going dark, it makes a huge difference.

How it could be even better: Private Safari windows need a new visual indicator since they now look just like regular ones in Dark Mode.

5. Stacks

Image: Pete pachal / mashable

What it is: A chaotic Desktop full of screenshots, PDFs, and more will no longer be a badge of honor when you have Stacks, which automatically cleans up your clutter into neat quasi-folders. One click on a stack and it expands, revealing the clutter when you need to track down something, but your Desktop remains clear, recovering valuable peace of mind.

Why it makes all the difference: Stacks doesn’t mean all that much to me, but that’s because I’m the exception to the rule: I clear out my clutter regularly. But with Mojave, I feel less guilty about missing my weekly “Clear Desktop/Empty Downloads” ritual. The point, I suppose, is such rituals are supposed to get less and less necessary, which I think is something called progress.

How it could be even better: More ways to pinpoint specific items in an out-of-control Stack, like an easy within-stack search tool.

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Why experts are freaking out over the new way Google Chrome sign-in works

Google latest Chrome update forces  users to login to their Google account.
Google latest Chrome update forces  users to login to their Google account.

Image: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The internet has erupted over Google’s latest Chrome release — and not in a good way.

With an updated user interface, enhanced password manager, and a slew of other updates, you would assume the latest version of Google’s popular web browser, Chrome 69, would be eliciting some pretty good responses.

But security experts just shined a light on a controversial feature that came with the latest Google Chrome that previously wasn’t announced by the search giant.

A Google Chrome user recently pointed out on Hacker News that Google now forces you to login to your Google account on Chrome if you login to any other Google service using the browser. Logging out of a Google service will also force log you out of Google Chrome.

While there are a number of concerns being leveled at Google here, the issue is essentially two-part. The major issue is the obvious one. Users don’t understand why logging into Gmail, Google Docs, or any other Google service would need to force Google Chrome to also connect to their Google accounts, presumably giving Google access to its browser history, saved passwords, and other personal information. The other issue of focus is Google’s decision to be so quiet about such a major change.

Google’s Adrienne Porter Felt, an engineer and manager for the Chrome browser, took to Twitter to explain a little bit more about the forced login changes. 

Felt, tackling the first main concern, points out that Chrome’s Sync feature, which shares browser information such as history with Google so it can be shared across your devices, is turned off by default. 

Felt also explains that the reason Google decided to make this change was to put an end to any confusion users may have had when trying to sign out of public or shared devices. Basically, Google tied Chrome and Google accounts together so you wouldn’t sign into a service on Chrome and accidentally sync information with someone else’s account.

But a number of security professionals simply weren’t buying it.

Matthew Green, a cryptographer and professor at Johns Hopkins University, wrote a lengthy blog post explaining why this move from Google was enough cause for him to stop using Google Chrome entirely. In his post “Why I’m done with Chrome,” Green points out that a user would have had to be signed into Google Chrome to begin with for this to be a problem needing a fix to begin with. So, why force users to sign in? 

Additionally, Green makes the case that if this was such a positive fix to a major issue, Google would have presented it publicly along with all the other new features and changes. He also points to an issue Mashable has discussed before: dark patterns. With settings options presented by a design and in a language Google sees fit, do Google Chrome users even know what they’re really opting in for if they choose to opt-in to Sync?

Going a step further, security expert Bálint made the case that Google Chrome is essentially a Google service now as opposed to a separate application that can live on its own without being tied to a Google account. The argument here is if you wouldn’t trust Google with your documents, files, or photos due to privacy concerns, then you now can no longer trust Google Chrome with your information either.

The issue here is that there’s no simple fix. Google Chrome is the most popular web browser. According to StatsCounter, Chrome holds nearly 60 percent of the marketshare, so opinions are bound to be all over the place. You can agree with the security experts who find the changes to be a massive privacy issue. You can agree with those who find Google’s new forced login changes to be helpful. There’s certainly truth to both. But there’s no doubt Google self-sabotaged whatever its intentions were by keeping mum about it.

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Grab a Sky Sports Month Pass for only £16.99, saving yourself 50%

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
A good month for sport.
A good month for sport.

Image: Pexels

There is an absolute bucketload of great sport on at the moment. Aren’t we spoilt!

The Premier League and F1 continue to tick along nicely, delivering jaw-dropping monents almost every week. And oh yeah the Ryder Cup is just around the corner.

With all that action happening throughout the next month, now could be the perfect time to scoop Sky Sports’ latest deal through NOW TV.

You can now get yourself a Sky Sports Month Pass for just £16.99, a healthy drop from the usual £33.99. This means you can stream every eagle, birdie, and putt from the much anticipated Ryder Cup from the comfort of your home on NOW TV.

Alternatively, you can choose from a day or week pass and enjoy unlimited access to 10 Sky Sports channels with a Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass for nothing (worth £5.99).

WhatsApp hires Grievance Officer to fight deadly fake news in India

WhatsApp is attacking its fake news problem on multiple fronts.
WhatsApp is attacking its fake news problem on multiple fronts.

Image: HAYOUNG JEON/EPA-EFE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

In recent months, fake news on WhatsApp in India has inspired citizens to form deadly lynch mobs. Take that in: false articles, spread on WhatsApp, have driven Indian citizens to murder.

To address this startling problem, WhatsApp has created the role of Grievance Officer, according to the Times of India. WhatsApp users can contact the grievance officer to report “complaints and concerns,” including those about fake news.

It has appointed Komal Lahiri, whose LinkedIn lists her title as senior director, global customer operations and localization, to the role. Lahiri has been with WhatsApp for the past seven months, and with Facebook since August 2014. She will work in the United States. WhatsApp reportedly created the role in August.

Mashable has reached out to WhatsApp to clarify Lahiri’s role — whether she will serve as a compliance officer just for India, or globally. And whether she will lead a new dedicated team to fight fake news in India. We will update this story when and if we hear back.

Fake news, spread on WhatsApp, began sparking lynch mobs in May. False reports about child and organ trafficking resulted in the murder of five people. A government-hired bard of sorts, who was sent into communities to preach caution about false news to the relatively new internet users who are most susceptible, was also murdered. In total, 12 people have been killed.

In the wake of these killings, the Indian government made demands of WhatsApp. During a meeting between Indian PM Ravi Shankar Prasad and WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels, Prasad said that WhatsApp must have a local presence in India, must comply with Indian laws, and that it must appoint a grievance officer. Lahiri’s appointment comes in response to that request.

The Indian government also asked WhatsApp to help identify the user origin of some messages. But WhatsApp said that it cannot comply with that request because the service is end-to-end encrypted, so it does not have access to that sort of data.

WhatsApp has taken additional internal action to fight its fake news problem. It made changes about forwarding messages to prevent or at least slow the spread of viral news: Forwarded messages are now labeled as such, and forwarding is limited to 20 people at a time. It also commissioned studies about how fake news spread, offering $50,000 to prospective researchers.

WhatsApp is increasingly becoming the leading way that people get their news, especially in the developing world. WhatsApp’s responsibility to educate users, change features, and make dedicated hires will only grow as WhatsApp continues to expand — and drive increased profits for its parent company, Facebook.

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