Three weeks ago at this time, Engadget was in the middle of a marathon liveblog. Apple was kicking off its annual WWDC developer conference and, as usual, it had news to share about each of its major platforms. Though iOS was the clear star of the show, dominating more than half of the two-hour keynote, macOS notched a solid second place, with around half an hour of lip service. Some observers dismissed it as a relatively boring day of Apple news. I say most of the tweaks are useful, if not overdue in some cases.
The newest version of macOS, called Mojave, arrives today as a public beta, with the final software launching sometime this fall, but I've been testing it since last week. As ever, to make the most of the OS, you'll also need to be on the latest version of iOS. That, too, should be out in beta any time now, with a full rollout this autumn. Read on for our preview of Mojave, and we'll be following up soon with first impressions of iOS 12.
Compatibility and stability
To install Mojave, you'll need one of the following: a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac or Mac Mini from 2012 or later; a 12-inch MacBook from 2015 on; a Mac Pro from 2013 or later; or a new iMac Pro. It should go without saying, but all the usual caveats apply: Perform an iCloud backup first and keep an open mind.
Though Apple has a strong track record when it comes to releasing stable betas, I did experience the occasional app crash or hung pinwheel. I was also frustrated to find that in Safari, I would routinely wake up my machine to find I had been logged out of Facebook and Twitter, even though I had previously instructed these services to remember that browser. An Apple spokesperson says the company is aware of the issue and is working on a fix.
Also, I can't prove this is the result of a bug in Mojave, but one of my two testbeds, a new MacBook Pro, twice locked me out of the machine, even though I knew myself to be typing the correct system password. The machine also rejected my Apple ID and password when I attempted to use that to reset my system password. Weirdly, this did not happen on my second test unit, a late-2015 iMac. I'm not aware of the extent to which other early testers experienced this lock-out issue; all I know is, this doesn't happen to me on the two Macs I use every day. In any case, take this as a reminder that beta releases, however stable, are works in progress, and you should know what you're getting into before installing them.