10 macOS 10.14 Mojave secrets

Some of the lesser-known changes inside the new Mac OS.

Apple, Mac, macOS,OS X, Macintosh, macoS 10.14 Mojave
Jason Snell/IDG

I guess most of us who watched the news from Apple’s WWDC developer’s conference know lots about the bigger features in macOS Mojave, but I thought it might be fun to dig out some of the lesser-known changes.

Safari Favicons

I don’t really understand why it took all this time for Safari to show you favicons. Now it does – but not by default. To enable it, open Safari>Preferences>Tabs and check the Show website icons in tabs item.

SMS verification

If you have your iPhone Messages synced to your Mac, Mojave will detect when a website or service sends in an SMS verification and can automatically place it in the correct place on your Mac to make it easier to use. Apple really wants you to use dual-factor security.

Recent apps in the Dock

You’ll like this iPad feature. Icons for the three most recently used apps that you don’t already keep in your Dock will be made visible between the Settings and Downloads icons. This is enabled in System Preferences>Dock using the Show recent applications checkbox.

Automatically keep your Mac updated

Apple has moved Software Updates to its own dedicated pane in System Preferences. Open it, and you can ask your Mac to automatically check for and install software updates. You can also require it to automatically install app updates and security updates for you.

Tighter permissions

Apple has taken a step toward convincing Mac users not to cover their iSight cameras with tape when not in use by introducing new Security System Preferences that will tell you when apps request access to your Camera or microphone. Another security enhancement (available in Notifications) lets you decide if you want to always show notification previews for an app or if you want these to be made visible only when your Mac is unlocked. That’s useful if you work in a public place.

Back to my Mac

Apple has offered Mac users a way to securely log in to a remote Mac from another Mac for years. Back to my Mac was made available in iCloud preferences, but it seems to have disappeared in Mojave beta. (It may return; this is a beta.) You’ll also note that the new iOS on Mac apps (News, Home, Stocks and Voice Memos) are also iCloud-enabled.

The secret keyboard

You could already triple-click the Touch ID key (or tap Option-Command-F5) to invoke access to Accessibility shortcuts. In Mojave, Apple has added the Accessibility Keyboard to those choices. Tap three times and check that item, and on on-screen keyboard appears, which you can use with a mouse or a Switch control system. A shortcut to enabled Enhanced Dictation has been added to the Dictation setting in Accessibility tools.

Photos from iPhone

Blink and you might miss it, but Mail hasn’t only gained a button that lets you place emojis in your message, but it gets another that lets you place an image. Click this, and you can choose to use an existing image or directly scan/capture a new one from your iPhone.

Siri spills the beans

Looking for the password to a particular website or service? Ask Siri, who will open the item up for you in Keychain (but won’t say anything).

The desert is full of color

As well as Dark Mode, you can now choose between a wide range of different colors to control elements such as menu and button highlights. This is available in System Preferences>General.

DVD Player

Yes, Mojave does indeed have a 64-bit DVD Player application.

I’m looking in the currently available macOS Mojave beta. The final software won’t ship until fall, and some features may be added, extended, or removed before the OS update ships. You can look at the beta for yourself thanks to Apple’s Public Beta scheme.

More about Mojave

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