All posts in “Apple”

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.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86663%2f5e002979 4a43 4d6d 93fa cad4eb838bdb

Best laptop and tablet deals this week: Save on Apple iPads, plus laptops from HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Apple, and more

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
Save on laptops and tablets this week.
Save on laptops and tablets this week.

Image: Mashable Photo Composite

It’s Monday, which means it’s back to the grind for everyone. Whether you’re locked in the office or running from class to class, it’s going to be another busy week. It’ll be even longer if you don’t have a laptop or tablet to help handle your work load. Thankfully, there are plenty of deals this week courtesy of Walmart, Amazon, and beyond.

If you prefer 2-in-1 laptops, take your pick from the Microsoft Surfaces available, like the Microsoft Surface Book for $1430 or Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for $1910.

There’s the Lenovo Ideapad 320 for $289 if you’re concerned about price and need something simple and reliable. On the other end, there’s the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon for $1895.71 if you need a powerhouse that can handle it all. Then there are models in between, like the Lenovo ThinkPad 15.6-inch E580 for $545.49 or Lenovo IdeaPad 15 Y700 for $779.99 that can be tailored to whatever your needs may be.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on sales this week. There are plenty of deals for laptops from Dell, HP, Acer, and more to choose from, plus lots of great tablets on sale too.

Here are some of the best deals of the week:

Tablets on sale

Get an iPad on sale from Amazon.

Get an iPad on sale from Amazon.

Image: Apple

Laptops $499 and below

Image: Lenovo

Laptops $500 and $999

Image: Google

Laptops for $1000 and beyond

Image: Dell

Salesforce partners with Apple to roll deeper into mobile enterprise markets

Apple and Salesforce are both highly successful, iconic brands, who like to put on a big show when they make product announcements. Today, the two companies announced they were forming a strategic partnership with an emphasis on mobile strategy ahead of Salesforce’s enormous customer conference, Dreamforce, which starts tomorrow in San Francisco.

For Apple, which is has been establishing partnerships with key enterprise brands for the last several years, today’s news is a another big step toward solidifying its enterprise strategy by involving the largest enterprise SaaS vendor in the world.

“We’re forming a strategic partnership with Salesforce to change the way people work and to empower developers of all abilities to build world-class mobile apps,” Susan Prescott, vice president of markets, apps and services at Apple told TechCrunch.

Tim Cook at Apple event on September 12, 2018 Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bret Taylor, president and chief product at Salesforce, who came over in the Quip deal a couple of years ago, says working together, the two companies can streamline mobile development for customers. “Every single one of our customers is on mobile. They all want world-class mobile experiences, and this enables us when we’re talking to a customer about their mobile strategy, that we can be in that conversation together,” he explained.

For starters, the partnership is going to involve three main components: The two companies are going to work together to bring in some key iOS features such Siri Shortcuts and integration with Apple’s Business Chat into the Salesforce mobile app. Much like the partnership between Apple and IBM, Apple and Salesforce will also work together to build industry-specific iOS apps on the Salesforce platform.

The companies are also working together on a new mobile SDK built specifically for Swift, Apple’s popular programming language. The plan is to provide a way to build Swift apps for iOS and deploy them natively on Salesforce’s Lightning platform.

The final component involves deeper integration with Trailhead, Salesforce’s education platform. That will involve a new Trailhead Mobile app on IOS as well as adding Swift education courses to the Trailhead catalogue to help drive adoption of the mobile SDK.

While Apple has largely been perceived as a consumer-focused organization, as we saw a shift to  companies encouraging employees to bring their own devices to work over the last six or seven years, Apple has benefited. As that has happened, it has been able to take advantage to sell more products and services and has partnered with a number of other well-known enterprise brands including IBMCiscoSAP and GE along with systems integrators Accenture and Deloitte.

The move gives Salesforce a formidable partner to continue their incredible growth trajectory. Just last year the company passed the $10 billion run rate putting it in rarified company with some of the most successful software companies in the world. In their most recent earnings call at the end of August, they reported $3.28 billion for the quarter, placing them on a run rate of over $13 billion. Connecting with Apple could help keep that momentum growing.

The two companies will show off the partnership at Dreamforce this week. It’s a deal that has the potential to work out well for both companies, giving Salesforce a more integrated iOS experience and helping Apple increase its reach into the enterprise.

Happy 10th anniversary, Android

It’s been 10 years since Google took the wraps off the G1, the first Android phone. Since that time the OS has grown from buggy, nerdy iPhone alternative to arguably the most popular (or at least populous) computing platform in the world. But it sure as heck didn’t get there without hitting a few bumps along the road.

Join us for a brief retrospective on the last decade of Android devices: the good, the bad, and the Nexus Q.

HTC G1 (2008)

This is the one that started it all, and I have a soft spot in my heart for the old thing. Also known as the HTC Dream — this was back when we had an HTC, you see — the G1 was about as inauspicious a debut as you can imagine. Its full keyboard, trackball, slightly janky slide-up screen (crooked even in official photos), and considerable girth marked it from the outset as a phone only a real geek could love. Compared to the iPhone, it was like a poorly dressed whale.

But in time its half-baked software matured and its idiosyncrasies became apparent for the smart touches they were. To this day I occasionally long for a trackball or full keyboard, and while the G1 wasn’t pretty, it was tough as hell.

Moto Droid (2009)

Of course, most people didn’t give Android a second look until Moto came out with the Droid, a slicker, thinner device from the maker of the famed RAZR. In retrospect, the Droid wasn’t that much better or different than the G1, but it was thinner, had a better screen, and had the benefit of an enormous marketing push from Motorola and Verizon. (Disclosure: Verizon owns Oath, which owns TechCrunch, but this doesn’t affect our coverage in any way.)

For many, the Droid and its immediate descendants were the first Android phones they had — something new and interesting that blew the likes of Palm out of the water, but also happened to be a lot cheaper than an iPhone.

HTC/Google Nexus One (2010)

This was the fruit of the continued collaboration between Google and HTC, and the first phone Google branded and sold itself. The Nexus One was meant to be the slick, high-quality device that would finally compete toe-to-toe with the iPhone. It ditched the keyboard, got a cool new OLED screen, and had a lovely smooth design. Unfortunately it ran into two problems.

First, the Android ecosystem was beginning to get crowded. People had lots of choices and could pick up phones for cheap that would do the basics. Why lay the cash out for a fancy new one? And second, Apple would shortly release the iPhone 4, which — and I was an Android fanboy at the time — objectively blew the Nexus One and everything else out of the water. Apple had brought a gun to a knife fight.

HTC Evo 4G (2010)

Another HTC? Well, this was prime time for the now-defunct company. They were taking risks no one else would, and the Evo 4G was no exception. It was, for the time, huge: the iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen, and most Android devices weren’t much bigger, if they weren’t smaller.

The Evo 4G somehow survived our criticism (our alarm now seems extremely quaint, given the size of the average phone now) and was a reasonably popular phone, but ultimately is notable not for breaking sales records but breaking the seal on the idea that a phone could be big and still make sense. (Honorable mention goes to the Droid X.)

Samsung Galaxy S (2010)

Samsung’s big debut made a hell of a splash, with custom versions of the phone appearing in the stores of practically every carrier, each with their own name and design: the AT&T Captivate, T-Mobile Vibrant, Verizon Fascinate, and Sprint Epic 4G. As if the Android lineup wasn’t confusing enough already at the time!

Though the S was a solid phone, it wasn’t without its flaws, and the iPhone 4 made for very tough competition. But strong sales reinforced Samsung’s commitment to the platform, and the Galaxy series is still going strong today.

Motorola Xoom (2011)

This was an era in which Android devices were responding to Apple, and not vice versa as we find today. So it’s no surprise that hot on the heels of the original iPad we found Google pushing a tablet-focused version of Android with its partner Motorola, which volunteered to be the guinea pig with its short-lived Xoom tablet.

Although there are still Android tablets on sale today, the Xoom represented a dead end in development — an attempt to carve a piece out of a market Apple had essentially invented and soon dominated. Android tablets from Motorola, HTC, Samsung and others were rarely anything more than adequate, though they sold well enough for a while. This illustrated the impossibility of “leading from behind” and prompted device makers to specialize rather than participate in a commodity hardware melee.

Amazon Kindle Fire (2011)

And who better to illustrate than Amazon? Its contribution to the Android world was the Fire series of tablets, which differentiated themselves from the rest by being extremely cheap and directly focused on consuming digital media. Just $200 at launch and far less later, the Fire devices catered to the regular Amazon customer whose kids were pestering them about getting a tablet on which to play Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds, but who didn’t want to shell out for an iPad.

Turns out this was a wise strategy, and of course one Amazon was uniquely positioned to do with its huge presence in online retail and the ability to subsidize the price out of the reach of competition. Fire tablets were never particularly good, but they were good enough, and for the price you paid, that was kind of a miracle.

Xperia Play (2011)

Sony has always had a hard time with Android. Its Xperia line of phones for years were considered competent — I owned a few myself — and arguably industry-leading in the camera department. But no one bought them. And the one they bought the least of, or at least proportional to the hype it got, has to be the Xperia Play. This thing was supposed to be a mobile gaming platform, and the idea of a slide-out keyboard is great — but the whole thing basically cratered.

What Sony had illustrated was that you couldn’t just piggyback on the popularity and diversity of Android and launch whatever the hell you wanted. Phones didn’t sell themselves, and although the idea of playing Playstation games on your phone might have sounded cool to a few nerds, it was never going to be enough to make it a million-seller. And increasingly that’s what phones needed to be.

Samsung Galaxy Note (2012)

As a sort of natural climax to the swelling phone trend, Samsung went all out with the first true “phablet,” and despite groans of protest the phone not only sold well but became a staple of the Galaxy series. In fact, it wouldn’t be long before Apple would follow on and produce a Plus-sized phone of its own.

The Note also represented a step towards using a phone for serious productivity, not just everyday smartphone stuff. It wasn’t entirely successful — Android just wasn’t ready to be highly productive — but in retrospect it was forward thinking of Samsung to make a go at it and begin to establish productivity as a core competence of the Galaxy series.

Google Nexus Q (2012)

This abortive effort by Google to spread Android out into a platform was part of a number of ill-considered choices at the time. No one really knew, apparently at Google or anywhere elsewhere in the world, what this thing was supposed to do. I still don’t. As we wrote at the time:

Here’s the problem with the Nexus Q:  it’s a stunningly beautiful piece of hardware that’s being let down by the software that’s supposed to control it.

It was made, or rather nearly made in the USA, though, so it had that going for it.

HTC First — “The Facebook Phone” (2013)

The First got dealt a bad hand. The phone itself was a lovely piece of hardware with an understated design and bold colors that stuck out. But its default launcher, the doomed Facebook Home, was hopelessly bad.

How bad? Announced in April, discontinued in May. I remember visiting an AT&T store during that brief period and even then the staff had been instructed in how to disable Facebook’s launcher and reveal the perfectly good phone beneath. The good news was that there were so few of these phones sold new that the entire stock started selling for peanuts on Ebay and the like. I bought two and used them for my early experiments in ROMs. No regrets.

HTC One/M8 (2014)

This was the beginning of the end for HTC, but their last few years saw them update their design language to something that actually rivaled Apple. The One and its successors were good phones, though HTC oversold the “Ultrapixel” camera, which turned out to not be that good, let alone iPhone-beating.

As Samsung increasingly dominated, Sony plugged away, and LG and Chinese companies increasingly entered the fray, HTC was under assault and even a solid phone series like the One couldn’t compete. 2014 was a transition period with old manufacturers dying out and the dominant ones taking over, eventually leading to the market we have today.

Google/LG Nexus 5X and Huawei 6P (2015)

This was the line that brought Google into the hardware race in earnest. After the bungled Nexus Q launch, Google needed to come out swinging, and they did that by marrying their more pedestrian hardware with some software that truly zinged. Android 5 was a dream to use, Marshmallow had features that we loved … and the phones became objects that we adored.

We called the 6P “the crown jewel of Android devices”. This was when Google took its phones to the next level and never looked back.

Google Pixel (2016)

If the Nexus was, in earnest, the starting gun for Google’s entry into the hardware race, the Pixel line could be its victory lap. It’s an honest-to-god competitor to the Apple phone.

Gone are the days when Google is playing catch-up on features to Apple, instead, Google’s a contender in its own right. The phone’s camera is amazing. The software works relatively seamlessly (bring back guest mode!), and phone’s size and power are everything anyone could ask for. The sticker price, like Apple’s newest iPhones, is still a bit of a shock, but this phone is the teleological endpoint in the Android quest to rival its famous, fruitful, contender.

Let’s see what the next ten years bring.

Tim Cook reportedly behind Apple’s lame, sanitized television production plans

Apple has all the money in the world, but as the disastrous Planet of the Apps proved, money is no substitute for good taste. 

The 2017 reality show from the makers of your favorite $1,449 phone pitted app developers against each other for the approval of their celebrity ring masters, and in doing so kept clear of all the hallmarks of many of today’s most popular shows: Sex, drugs, profanity, and violence. That appears to have been very much by CEO Tim Cook’s design, who the Wall Street Journal reports has made it very clear that shows produced by Apple should be wholesome affairs. 

Case in point is the ill-fated Vital Signs, which was to be Apple’s first scripted drama. According to the Journal, Cook was turned off by the show’s depiction of drug use and sex, and as a result he killed the series. We’re not sure why anyone thought a show about Dr. Dre would be free of sex and drugs, but hey, Mr. Cook, you do you. 

This, shall we say, delicate approach to programming is purportedly driven by the Apple CEO’s desire to protect the larger Apple brand. 

“Apple has made clear, say producers and agents, that it wants high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal, but it doesn’t want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence,” the Journal reports. 

Of course, this puts its potential shows at odds with hits like Westworld, Game of Thrones, and The Handmaid’s Tale

So what does Cook like? That would be Friday Night Lights and Madame Secretary, “people he has spoken with about it” told the Wall Street Journal

This seems to line up with the fact that even the small bits of profanity originally contained within Planet of the Apps had to be cut. 

Which, hey, not everyone can be right about everything. And when it comes to what makes for good TV, it would seem that Tim Cook most certainly has at least one blind spot. 

So the next time you turn on an Apple produced show, only to find your mind wandering in an extreme state of boredom, you’ll know who to thank. 

Https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable.com%2fcms%2f2018%2f9%2fdcce8434 8c93 aabb%2fthumb%2f00001