The best new features in macOS Mojave

9 min read

MacOS 10.14 Mojave has arrived, and it’s packed full of new goodies for Mac users to enjoy. The major update is named, as you might’ve guessed, after California’s Mojave Desert and promises to help Mac users stay organized and work more efficiently.

MacOS Mojave features you were waiting for

Mojave 10.14 is compatible with Mac systems from mid-2012 or later, as well as 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models that include the recommended Metal-capable graphics cards. If you’re rocking one of those systems, then discovering what’s new in Mojave would be of great help.

Dark Mode: Let your macOS go dark

Apple has moved to the dark side. Okay, that sounds more sinister than it actually is. What it means is macOS Mojave has been equipped with a true dark mode. Where High Sierra lets you turn the menu bar and Dock dark, the new OS comes with the option of turning your entire desktop dark, including the wallpaper and apps like Mail, Messages, Maps, Photos, and Calendar. And it’s all done with a simple toggle.

What’s even better is that the feature works in Xcode, making it a game-changer for developers.

Mojave Dark mode

To switch between the Light and Dark mode, use the Appearance controls  you’ll find in System preferences > General. Simply click on Dark Mode or Light Mode in the Appearance section to enable one of them.

What’s even better is that the feature works in Xcode, making it a game-changer for developers. So no wonder Dark Mode has been regarded as one of the favorite macOS Mojave features – long before the official release.

Clean up your desktop using Stacks

A cluttered desktop is a productivity killer — that’s why “Stacks” might well be the most handy of features in new macOS Mojave. You know how a hotel cleaning service has your room looking spotless every day no matter how messy you make it? That’s what Stacks does for your Mac.

Mojave Stacks

The feature takes the messy contents of your desktop and organizes them into tidy stacks (hence the name). These de-clutter your desktop by stacking similar files on top of one another, but they also can be used to create smart folders that update over time based on specific categories—like Recent Applications Used.

To turn on stacks: in Finder menu bar, choose View > Use Stacks.

use stacks

Stacks can be organized by file type, date, tags, and more. 

group stacks

By clicking on a stack, you’ll see its contents, from there you can double-click on whatever it is you want to open.

open stacks

If you’re looking into alternatives to Stacks, try the apps like Unclutter and Spotless. Unclutter offers a handy place to store all of your sticky notes and clipboard history for instant access. It also syncs all of your files and notes via Dropbox (something Stacks doesn’t do), so that you can access them on any Mac, from anywhere that has an internet connection. While Unclutter lets you easily transfer files across temporary created folders, Spotless neatly sorts all files into their designated folders. Just drag and drop the files you need to sort and set your rules to place files into folders according to their type, size, creation date, file name, etc. There’s also a possibility to schedule automated tidying or restore files that Spotless has already processed.

You can get your hands on all of these apps right now, with a free Setapp trial.

Show recent apps in the Dock

Mojave gives you a couple of options that makes finding applications even easier: just look under the Apple drop-down menu at Recent Items to find them.

Group FaceTime

From now, your dock will automatically show your most recently used apps, in a partition between your collections of app icons on the left and the section of the right that shows your open apps. You can easily drag the temporary apps right into your main Dock.  

The new recent-apps section is smart enough that it shows only recent apps that aren't already in your Dock. To make the most of your docking space, try uBar – an awesome replacement for a traditional Mac dock. In a multi-monitor setup, you can have custom task bars for each screen, as well as organize your apps in a specific order or choose favorites in a typical-looking dock – customization capabilities are huge.

Make group calls on FaceTime

Get the squad together for a FaceTime party. Group FaceTime lets you chat to up to 32 people on one FaceTime call. I’m not sure how that would work without descending into total chaos but it’s a great option to have. Participants can be added to the conversation at any time and join in via their Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

Switch between tabs with Safari Favicons

Well, it’s about time. Favicons didn’t feature as any significant part of the Mojave launch, but this is a big deal for Safari users. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this is one of the best macOS 10.14 Mojave features of all. A lot of Mac users favor Chrome for its favicons (the little icons in browser tabs and the bookmarks bar that allow you to quickly identify which tab is which). This feature on Safari means we can all come back to the browser that Apple wants us to use.

Favicons for Safari

iOS apps on Mac

Before you get too excited, not all iOS apps are coming to Mac, and there are no plans to merge macOS with iOS. But the apps that are Mac-bound are useful. New macOS Mojave is getting News, Home, Stocks, and Voice Memos. These apps are some of the most popular on iOS and are very welcome additions to the Mac lineup.

iOS apps on Mac

In addition to those apps, Apple is implementing its iOS UIKit into the macOS framework to make it easier for third-party developers to port apps over to Mac. It should be ready to go in 2019.

Continuity Camera: take your photos to a big screen

A completely new macOS Mojave feature is Continuity Camera, which lets you take a photo on your iPhone or iPad and have it appear instantly on your Mac.

Continuity Camera feature

If you’re working on a document on your Mac and need to add a photo, Continuity Camera can automatically fire up the camera on your iOS device. Snap the photo and watch in awe as it magically appears in your doc.

This works in a variety of Mac apps such as Mail, Notes, Keynotes, Pages, and Numbers and will save a lot of people a lot of time.

Explore the new Mac App Store design

Apple has completely overhauled the Mac App Store for Mojave, introducing features you never knew you needed, like articles about popular apps and auto-playing app videos that give you all the information you need about an app before downloading. There are new tabs too: Discover, Create, Work, and Play — all introduced to help you find new apps and make the most of ones you’ve already installed.

Mac App Store for Mojave

Improved screenshots and screen recording

macOS 10.14 has borrowed from iOS with the introduction of a new screenshot tool that includes immediate thumbnail previews for faster sharing and annotations. It's easier to record what’s on your screen too, thanks to a new screengrab menu that includes a countdown delay timer. Another nice touch is the ability to show or hide the cursor.

A new screenshot tool for Mojave

Screen recording is made super convenient in Mojave. You can either Record Entire Screen or Record Selected Portion and use contextual menu to choose where to save the screenshot – could be desktop, mail, clipboard, documents, messages, or preview. What’s more, users can set a custom timer for screen recordings, show the mouse pointer in screenshots, or edit recordings.

While the new screenshot tool makes it easier to grab a quick image of your screen, if you’re looking for a more robust and feature-heavy screen capture app for tutorials, Capto is still the go-to. The app’s all-in-one screenshot, recording, editing, and sharing features make it the perfect platform from which to make professional videos. What’s more, you can actually choose the shape of your screenshot – whether you want to capture a specific area of the screen in a circle, rectangle, or freehand.


If you want some extra sharing capabilities, Dropshare is the perfect option. The app helps you save screenshots and recordings directly to a central cloud manager. 

capture the recording

Just capture the recording – you may choose whether to record it as gif or HD – click the red button to stop when you’re done, and upload the recording in one click. 


Benefit from improved security

MacOS has always been big on security, and Mojave is no different. With the release of the new OS come more frequent pop-ups to alert you to any apps that are trying to access your photos, microphone, or location.

Big security update

Additionally, there's greater protection against social media “Like” and “Share” buttons and comment widgets that track you without permission. That's all thanks to Safari’s new Intelligent Tracking Prevention — a Mojave feature that also securely stores strong passwords when new online accounts are created and flags reused passwords, so they can be changed.

While we’re on the subject of security, here’s a useful macOS Mojave tip: store your passwords with Secrets. Secrets is a secure password manager that lets you generate and store strong passwords for all of your online accounts and sync them with iCloud, so that they can be accessed across all of your Mac and iOS devices. The app complements Mojave’s new security feature perfectly and keeps all of your passwords away from the bad guys. Plus, if you ever forget a password — which will happen at some point — you’ll find it in Secrets.

If you want to stay on the safe side, using duplicate passwords across different devices is a definite no-no. With macOS 10.14, you don’t have to worry. While the system does all the auditing automatically, there’s no need to write down your passwords. Just go to Preferences in your Safari menu, click Passwords, and you’ll see exclamation marks next to each entry with a duplicate password.

For those who can’t stand distractful videos in Safari, we have the good news. In macOS 10.14 Mojave, you can turn-off all autoplay content on the sites of your choice. Enter a URL in your Safari preferences, click Never Auto-Play, and you won’t be annoyed by video ads on this website ever again.

Another important update relates to the strengthened control over app permissions. In macOS Mojave, no app can record video or capture images without your explicit permission to use camera and microphone.

Change the look of your desktop wallpaper

This is a great addition to Mojave’s Dark Mode. Dynamic desktop feature changes your wallpapers based on the time of the day, so that your eyes don’t hurt.

Grab new features in Finder

Finder has also been updated with some of the macOS Mojave top features:

  • No more wasting time with search for the right image. The Gallery View lets you see big previews of your files.
  • Through the updated Quick Look, you can work with your files without having to open them fully in an app. From image cropping to file sharing, you’re all-powerful here.
  • Perform any action on your file(s) – lightning fast. Quick Actions feature helps you jump right into it.
  • Thanks to Complete Metadata update, you can now view and customize metadata associated with each file.

Integrate Automator shortcuts

Here’s another useful feature working alongside Finder’s Gallery View. In Mojave, to use shortcuts or workflows for repetitive actions, you no longer have to go to Automator app to trigger them. Just import all quick actions from Automator to Gallery View’s options and enjoy the speed.

Get control over your HomeKit accessories

For the users of Apple’s HomeKit, the new Home app is a perfect tool to control lights or any other smart devices – all in one place. Connect the app to your iCloud and it will show all HomeKit devices that you currently have. If you are doing this for the first time, all of them will be marked as favorite, so you might want to remove some items to build your custom list.

Follow trending topics on Apple News

With Mojave, Apple adds macOS-optimized Apple News to to the Mac. If you are already an active user, you’ll be happy to know that the News app is synced with the iOS version, so you can get a quick access to your favorite sources on Mac right from the start. Right now, the app is available only in a few selected countries like US, UK, and Australia. 

news explorer

If you can’t get your hands on Apple News due to geographic restrictions, News Explorer is a decent alternative. This handy newsreader Mac utility is a great tool for reading, marking, and sharing content online.

Add some noise to your Mac

Another app that came from iOS is the one that lets you record, edit, and share audio. Just as Apple News, Voice Memos syncs with iOS, which means you can quickly transfer your voice records from iPhone and iPad to the Mac. To keep your recordings up to date, iCloud makes edits across all your Apple devices.

Add Emoji in Mail app

Do you also get this feeling that you need to add some “scream and shout” to your emails sometimes? Okay okay, smiley faces are also a good idea. The Mail app in macOS Mojave will help you infuse your emails with real emotions. Get your hands on the huge collection of emojis available in the app - there’s definitely a face that adds extra color to each of your messages. You can also configure the size of the emoji, making it look smaller or bigger in the email body.

Ask Siri more

The old good Siri gets smarter in macOS Mojave. Not only is Apple’s voice assistant aligned with HomeKit, it can also help you find saved passwords.

Use APFS to support Fusion Drive

Mojave now takes better care of your files. As promised, Apple made APFS work with Fusion Drive in macOS 10.14 - the unity which enables you to create, resize, and store multiple volumes of data more efficiently on your Mac.

Hide recent apps in dock

Probably the most controversial feature, Recent Apps can be disabled in macOS 10.14. Because many users don’t want to load their docks with recently opened apps (on top of those that already there), they may choose not to. If you are one of  them, just go to System Preferences, select Dock, and untick the box Show recent applications in Dock.

Follow your Stocks from one place

Another iOS app that was brought to Mac with Mojave is called Stocks. Basically, the app gives you a centralized space for tracking the top stories about your favorite companies, reviewing stock prices, and learning more about the markets.


 For those interested in cryptocurrency tracking, Setapp has Moonitor – the app that helps monitor crypto assets.

While this is Apple’s biggest and best macOS yet, there are lots of major improvements, as well as hidden features in Mojave, which make the upgrade totally worth it. Combine all these tips with the tried-and-trusted apps in the Setapp collection and you’ll be one happy Mac user.

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