I’ve had some hands-on time with the public beta ahead of today’s launch, and share some thoughts on what to expect and look out for below…
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The public beta is the first opportunity for Mac users outside of Apple’s $99/per year developer program to test the new software ahead of its release to all users this fall.
As usual, the first public beta mirrors the latest build issued to developers, so anyone already running the last Mojave developer beta 2 released last week will know what to expect. Those not already enrolled in the Public Beta program can do so through Apple’s website.
Highlight features in the release include a new system-wide “Dark Mode” color scheme, group video FaceTime calls, a new desktop organization feature called desktop Stacks, a redesigned Finder and Mac App Store, new and improved screenshot and screen recording tools, and much more.
For Dark Mode, you’ll find all of Apple’s built-in apps already available with a fully implemented dark mode, while some of Apple’s App Store apps like Pages, Logic Pro and Final Cut have yet to receive support. Of course many of Apple’s pro apps including Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro have long had very dark UI’s, but next to the new dark mode apps they look decidedly grey and outdated. I’m guessing Apple will update these sooner than later, likely in time for the public release later this year, and other third-party apps will get the same treatment as developers update with support (something they can do relatively easily using the Mojave SDK). For some apps (perhaps where legibility is a concern?), such as dictionary and Text Edit, you’ll notice Apple currently sticks to a white background with dark mode elements surrounding.
A new Continuity Camera feature (pictured above) allows you to take a picture or scan something with your iPhone and have it automatically appear on your Mac for quick and easy editing.
Notably, the release also includes four new built-in apps from Apple— all of which are making their way over from iOS— including Stocks, News, Voice Memos, and Home. This is also our first look at Apple’s upcoming frameworks that will allow developers to easily bring iOS apps to Mac users as it has used the technology to bring these four new apps from iPhone and iPad to Mojave. And you’ll notice that means the apps look and feel a lot like their iOS app counterparts and also a bit different than what you’re used to with Apple’s Mac apps.
Of course everything here is very much still in beta, so you can expect to see a few bugs and hiccups along the way, especially with any third-party apps you’re using that likely haven’t been updated with support yet. That said, I didn’t experience any major issues that prevented me from using the build day to day for work and play, and most of the bugs I did experience were short-lived. There are also many smaller things that will get a lot of fine-tuning and polishing ahead of a public release and so might be a bit less than ready for primetime in today’s public beta release. For instance, the one thing that did bother me in the current build is the highlight color when in dark mode– it’s a bit too dark to easily read text when highlighted– but that’s something that we hear Apple is still tweaking and is also something you can change in system preferences for the time being (although it’s not currently working system-wide in my test with the beta).
Check out our guide here on how to create an external bootable drive for macOS Mojave.
As for what else is new in Mojave, we’ve been sharing looks at some of the new features since WWDC here on 9to5Mac. Take a look below at 50 new features and changes you’ll come across while exploring the public beta and the final release this fall: