macOS 10.14 — mountains to the desert — High Sierra to Mojave

 Computer, Desktop, General, News, Notebook  Comments Off on macOS 10.14 — mountains to the desert — High Sierra to Mojave
Sep 252018
 

Today Apple officially released a new version of its macOS. The name of the new system — “Mojave” — celebrates the desert rather than the mountains of the High Sierra, and updates to version 10.14 from 10.13.6. Available on your Mac from the Apple Menu > App Store > Featured > Mac App Store, Apple touts Mojave as “simply powerful” with these highlights:

MacOS Mojave delivers new features inspired by its most powerful users, but designed for everyone. Stay focused on your work using Dark Mode. Organize your desktop using Stacks. Experience four new built-in apps. And discover new apps in the reimagined Mac App Store.

Dark Mode
• Experience a dramatic new look for your Mac that puts your content front and center while controls recede into the background.
• Enjoy new app designs that are easier on your eyes in dark environments.

Desktop
• View an ever-changing desktop picture with Dynamic Desktop.
• Automatically organize your desktop files by kind, date, or tag using Stacks.
• Capture stills and video of your screen using the new Screenshot utility.

Finder
• Find your files visually using large previews in Gallery View.
• See full metadata for all file types in the Preview pane.
• Rotate an image, create a PDF, and more — right in the Finder using Quick Actions.
• Mark up and sign PDFs, crop images, and trim audio and video files using Quick Look.

Continuity Camera
• Photograph an object or scan a document nearby using your iPhone, and it automatically appears on your Mac.

Mac App Store
• Browse handpicked apps in the new Discover, Create, Work, and Play tabs.
• Discover the perfect app and make the most of those you have with stories, curated collections, and videos.

iTunes
Search with lyrics to find a song using a few of the words you remember.
• Start a personalized station of any artist’s music from the enhanced artist pages.
• Enjoy the new Friends Mix, a playlist of songs your friends are listening to.

Safari
• Block Share and Like buttons, comment widgets, and embedded content from tracking you without your permission with enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
• Prevent websites from tracking your Mac using a simplified system profile that makes you more anonymous online.

Apple News
• Read Top Stories selected by Apple News editors, trending stories popular with readers, and a customized feed created just for you.
• Keep your favorite topics, channels, and saved stories up to date on your Mac and iOS devices.

Stocks
• Create a customized watchlist and view interactive charts that sync across your Mac and iOS devices.
• Browse business news driving the markets curated by Apple News editors.

Voice Memos
• Make audio recordings, listen to them as you work with other apps, or use them in a podcast, song, or video.
• Access audio clips from your iPhone on your Mac using iCloud.

Home
• Organize and control all of your HomeKit accessories from your desktop.
• Receive real-time notifications from your home devices while you work.

The free upgrade is a 5.70 GB download, and claims compatibility with OS X 10.8 or later.

To install macOS Mojave, your Mac needs at least 2GB of memory and 12.5GB of available storage space to upgrade—or up to 18.5GB of storage space when upgrading from OS X Yosemite or earlier.

There are many articles online about Mojave. Here’re 3 articles by MacWorld:

  • How to upgrade to macOS Mojave: Step-by-step instructions on upgrading to the latest Macintosh operating system
  • MacOS Mojave: Apple releases the latest version of its Macintosh operating system: Everything you need to know about the new Macintosh operating system
    • Mojave has three new apps that were originally iOS apps: Apple News, Stocks, and Voice Memos. There’s also a new Home app for managing internet-of-things devices.
    • Apple names macOS after California locations, a method adopted in 2014 with OS X Yosemite. In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “Mo-HA-vey.” Mojave is a national preserve in the area between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 5 reasons why you should upgrade to macOS Mojave right now
    • It’s not a major revamp of the operating system (it’s been a while since the Mac has had one of those), but it does add new features that can help you be more productive with your Mac.
    • An OverSight-like feature is now built into Mojave that can alert you when an app wants to access the camera and mic, as well as iTunes device backups, Time Machine backups, your Mail database, your Message history, your Safari data, and other data.
    • Mojave makes Quick Look most robust, providing simple editing tools so you don’t even need to open an app. Now when you preview an image (select it and then press the space bar), you can click on the Quick Actions icon between the Rotate icon and the Open in Preview button, and a set of editing tools appears.

As with any macOS upgrade, best practices are to backup your current Mac’s hard drive (using Time Machine and/or SuperDuper) and do the installation when you’re not stressed and when you do not need to use your Mac for an hour or two. Then give yourself some time afterwards to acclimate to the new look of some things.

macOS theme

Mute web page videos — Apple Safari Auto-Play settings

 Computer, General  Comments Off on Mute web page videos — Apple Safari Auto-Play settings
Jun 072018
 

Safari > Preferences > Websites > Auto-Play and audio for web site videos

The other day a client thought that her built-in (internal) Apple computer’s speakers weren’t working. Well, more specifically, on her favorite news site,  posted videos were playing without sound — muted. Her iMac recently had been upgraded to the latest macOS version. She’d noticed a new feature.

So, this is a new feature in the latest versions of Safari and other web browsers (like Chrome) which was introduced to reduce the annoyance and distraction of video ads and other video spots on web pages which autoplay on visiting those web pages. You have control over this setting in Safari.

You may override the default setting on a case by case basis by clicking on the audio icon for the particular video (using the playback control section in that video window) — to mute or un-mute and adjust volume.

Here’s more detail on how the feature works. When visiting a web site, the factory default setting in Safari is to “Stop Media with Sound” unless you change it. See the attached two screenshots.

In screenshot 1, with the desired web page (site) open, in Safari Preferences the web site setting for Auto-Play will be set to the default (Stop Media with Sound) as a “Currently Open Website.” If you elect to change the setting to Allow All Auto-Play, and close the settings window …

In screenshot 2, when you visit that site later, you’ll notice the Auto-Play setting for that site is now a “Configured Website” with your changed setting. That new behavior stays in place unless removed.

Screenshot Screenshot

macOS High Sierra — to upgrade or not

 Computer, Desktop, News, Notebook  Comments Off on macOS High Sierra — to upgrade or not
Sep 252017
 

Starting today, the latest upgrade for macOS — High Sierra — is available. As always, the question is whether to upgrade or not; or, when to upgrade. This CNET article “7 things to know before upgrading to MacOS High Sierra 10.13” discusses this question:

“Yes, if you answer any of these affirmatively:

  • You’re paranoid about security. Some say that the update is essential in order to get a complete set of security fixes, but it’s not like Apple is going to keep Sierra unpatched. Enterprises are running even older versions and they’ll continue to be patched. But if you think the potential security advantages outweigh the possibility of running into application issues, then update.
  • Your system has an SSD, not a Fusion Drive or HDD.
  • You’ve updated your iPhone or iPad to iOS 11 and shoot photos and videos with the new file formats.
  • You’re a big Photos user.
  • You have a complicated family to manage with iCloud.
  • You’ve been screaming for the specific capabilities added in those particular applications.”

Best practice usually is to wait awhile — a week to a month — before upgrading. If your Mac is not running Sierra (10.12) and is compatible, then upgrading definitely makes sense. If you decide to upgrade, first backup your Mac’s internal hard drive (or at least all your personal files); and do so when you don’t need to use your computer for a few hours.

This CNET YouTube video (below) reviews the changes.

App Store > Featured > Info
macOS High Sierra
Size: 4.80 GB

New technologies at the heart of the system make your Mac more reliable, capable, and responsive — and lay the foundation for future innovations. macOS High Sierra also refines the features and apps you use every day. It’s macOS at its highest level yet.

Easily organize, edit and view your photos in Photos.
Make short videos from your Live Photos using new Loop and Bounce effects.
Easily locate and organize your content with the new sidebar.
Conveniently access all of your editing tools in the redesigned Edit View.
Fine-tune color and contrast in your photos with new Curves and Selective Color tools.
Access third-party apps directly from Photos and save the edited images back to your Photos library.
Rediscover images from your library with new Memories themes including pets, weddings, outdoor activities, and more.
Create printed photo products and more using new third-party project extensions.

Improve your browsing experience with Safari.
Stop web video with audio from playing automatically.
Prevent websites and ad networks from tracking your browsing with Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
Customize your browsing experience with new per-site settings for Reader, page zoom, content blockers, and more.

Enjoy refinements in Mail.
Instantly find the messages most relevant to your search using Top Hits.
Use Split View when composing new email in full screen.
Save space on your Mac with compressed messages.

Look up flight information in Spotlight.
Check the status of a flight by typing the airline and flight number in the Spotlight search field.

Collect your thoughts with Notes.
Organize your information using configurable tables.
Pin your favorite notes so they’re always at the top of the list.

Capture a moment in FaceTime.
Take a Live Photo during a video call to any supported Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Get music suggestions from a more natural-sounding Siri.
Hear more variations in intonation, emphasis, and tempo when Siri responds to you.
Enjoy personalized music recommendations from Siri when you listen to Apple Music.

Copy and paste files from one Mac to another with Universal Clipboard.
Copy and paste files between your Macs using standard copy and paste commands.

Safely store your family data in iCloud.
Share a single iCloud storage plan with your family and keep everyone’s data backed up and safely stored.
Set up your family with a few clicks and add capabilities when needed.

Work together with iCloud Drive.
Share and work on any file in iCloud Drive with other people so it is always be up to date with the latest edits.

Upgrade the performance, reliability, and security of your Mac with the new Apple File System.
Update to a new file system architecture designed for all-flash Macs.
Experience greater responsiveness when performing common tasks like duplicating a file and finding the size of a folder.
Enjoy faster and more reliable backups.
Protect your entire drive with built-in native encryption for greater security.

Step up to the new standard for 4K video: HEVC.
Create and watch high-resolution video with High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which uses up to 40 percent less space without sacrificing quality.

Enjoy next-generation graphics and computation with Metal 2.
Get the most out of the graphics capabilities of your Mac with the new and improved version of Metal.
Discover immersive tools for content creation with support for virtual reality.
Build state-of-the-art apps with features that accelerate common machine learning functions.

Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. Some features require an iCloud storage plan. Some features have hardware requirements. Apple File System requires all-flash internal storage.

macOS Sierra — Apple’s latest Mac upgrade

 Computer, Desktop, Notebook  Comments Off on macOS Sierra — Apple’s latest Mac upgrade
Sep 262016
 

No more “big cat” names. Since October 2013, there’s been Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, … and last week Sierra, the latest (free) upgrade to the operating system (system software) for Apple’s Mac desktop and notebook computers. Now called macOS vs Mac OS X. As noted on Wikipedia:

macOS 10.12 Sierra was released on September 20, 2016. During the keynote at WWDC in 2016, Apple announced that OS X would be renamed macOS to stylistically match Apple’s other operating systems, such as iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. New features announced during the keynote include the addition of Siri, Optimized Storage, and updates to Photos, Messages, and iTunes.

If you’re wondering whether your old Mac can run macOS Sierra, here’re Apple’s Mac Hardware Requirements.

On your Mac, if you click Apple Menu > App Store > Featured, and then click on the macOS Sierra promo image, you’ll see the following description and highlights.

– – –
Apple Web Site
macOS Sierra Support
Privacy Policy

Information
Category: Utilities
Updated: Sep 20, 2016
Version: 10.12
Price: Free
Size: 4.77 GB
Family Sharing: Yes
Languages: English, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Seller: Apple Inc.
© 2016 Apple, Inc.
Rated 4+
Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later

Siri makes its debut on Mac, with new features designed just for the desktop. Your Mac works with iCloud and your Apple devices in smart new ways, and intelligent capabilities make your photos, music, and messaging even more enjoyable.

Get things done by asking Siri, the intelligent assistant now on your Mac.

• Enjoy your favorite features from iOS as well as new ones optimized for Mac.
• Send messages, create reminders, search the web, and more while you work.
• Drag and drop or copy and paste Siri results into your documents.
• Pin Siri results in Notification Center and reference them later.
• Find files, adjust settings, and get system information just by asking Siri.

Copy and paste between your devices with Universal Clipboard.

• Copy a quote, image, or video from an app on one device and paste it into an app on another device.

Automatically log in with Auto Unlock.

• Log in to your Mac automatically when you wear your Apple Watch — no need to type your password.

Enjoy the convenience and security of Apple Pay when you shop on the web.

• Use Apple Pay to make easy, secure payments when shopping in Safari on your Mac.
• Complete your purchase with Touch ID on your iPhone or with your Apple Watch.

Access files on your Mac desktop from your iPhone with iCloud Desktop and Documents.

• Automatically store all the files on your desktop and in your Documents folder in iCloud, and access them from all your devices.
• Keep the same desktop and Documents folder on your other Mac.Easily free up space on your Mac with Optimized Storage.
• Automatically store seldom-used files in iCloud, where they’ll be available on demand.
• Additional tools help you remove files you don’t need, to save even more space.

Get control of your desktop with tabs in apps.

• Use tabs to manage multiple windows in Maps, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and more.
• Work with tabs in your favorite third-party apps — no developer adoption required.

Keep an eye on the big game or your favorite video with Picture in Picture.

• Float a video window from Safari or iTunes over your desktop as you work.
• Place the Picture in Picture window in any corner, and it stays put when you switch spaces or work in full screen.

Rediscover the most meaningful moments in your Photos library.

• Enjoy favorite and forgotten occasions from your photo library with Memories.
• View your images by who’s in them. Photos uses advanced face recognition technology to automatically group photos of the same person together.
• Search your photos by what’s in them, such as beaches, dogs, or concerts, thanks to intelligent search that can recognize objects and scenes.
• Track your photo expeditions across an interactive world map.

Enjoy an all-new Apple Music experience in iTunes.

• Easily navigate your library with the redesigned Apple Music.
• Discover great new music thanks to expert curation and advanced machine learning that give you the best recommendations.

Liven up your Messages conversations.

• See web content previews and watch web videos right in a conversation.
• Respond to messages with quick, handy Tapbacks.
• Express yourself with 3x larger emoji.
• View the stickers, Digital Touch, invisible ink, and handwritten messages that friends send from their iOS devices.

Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. Some features have hardware requirements. Some features require an iCloud storage plan.
– – –

As noted in the description, the download is almost 5GB in size. The Upgrade itself can take 1 to 2 hours. There are some suspenseful periods during the process where only an Apple logo and a horizontal white bar (with no note on progress) are on screen for 10 minutes or more. Just be patient. Prepare also to spend some time getting familiar with the new look and features for some apps. Generally, however, you’ll be in the same familiar landscape as always.