Mac Power Users 449: macOS Mojave


#1

#2

Does anybody know (has anybody tried yet?) how stacks on the Mac desktop mirror in the iPad Files App?

I was listening to the podcast on my way to work. I prepare work at home, using the desktop, like David, as a temporary workplace for files. Here I can see the idea of stacks.
But at work, I use only my iPad and the Files App to access the files, I’ve been working on. But will they appear in stacks as well? Or will it be the usual mess of files, I wonder. Do you know?


#3

I’m with @katiefloyd and do not use my desktop for file storage at all except for a few things like screenshots which live there for minutes at most.


#4

They show up as individual files in the Files app. At least, they did the last time I looked.


#5

Thanks. Thought so, but it would have been a nice implementation, if iOS could mirror the MacOS-content. I think…

I’ve just finished downloading the update, so now I’m just waiting for the last backup to finish, and I’ll be on my way.


#6

Also with @katiefloyd here. No files ever go on the desktop.


#7

@macsparky, some of those of us looking forward to new Mac mini’s actually want to use them as desktop machines. :grinning:


#8

For me, as someone with low vision, dark mode is brilliant! There’s a development methodology called progressive web apps, in which you check a device’s settings and slowly add more features to your app as the user’s device supports them. So, @amcsparky, I’m sure developers will be able to tie into this system level feature over time. We’ve had “reverse colors” for a long time in the Accessibility settings, but it had the effect of reversing every color. It had the negative effect of turning great photos into alien appearances! This, at least, respects photo colors and flips only colors that are certain. So, as much as we might not like dark mode today, I only see it getting better and improving the readability for people with low vision or even those with learning disabilities who can process text more easily with opposite color schemes.


#9

Re Desktop usage: I have a foot in both camps. My “Desktop” folder is normally full of all kinds of stuff (currently 51 top level files and folders for a total of 60GB). However there is a terminal command that hides all icons on the desktop itself, while still showing them in the Finder. I ran that way for some years. What is so wrong with putting stuff on your desktop vs spending time filing it? Here are my thoughts.

There are both human and machine performance reasons for keeping a clean desktop: less distraction for the Mac in rendering the icons and for the user in looking at them. On the other hand, keeping files on the desktop engages your spatial skills in finding your files. If you walk out into a forest, the trees are not automatically sorted by name or date, they are where they were last time you visited. If you want a clean desktop, you can switch to an empty space with no icons in a second.

We’re supposed to have a folder for our own files that are not Pictures or Music or Movies. That folder is called Documents, on Windows as well as Mac. What is also true on both platforms is that developers large and small think it’s their right to dump whatever they please in subfolders of this folder. As a user, either you don’t want to mess up these folders and files in case it messes up the app, or their very presence stops you from making the Documents folder your own. What folder do you own? Desktop, on the Mac. Windows installs love to trample over that with shortcut icons as well.

Desktop and Documents, as well as Downloads, are all just folders. They all begin with D. They are peers. There’s a difference in the way your computer and installed apps use these folders, but the way you use them depends on you.


#10

Almost all of my files live in a different “D” folder: Dropbox. It is not a peer of the others; it has capabilities that they do not (even if you sync the desktop or documents to iCloud).


#11

@katiefloyd mentioned in this show that she’d purchased a replacement for Ad Blocker in the app store. I’m curious to know which one that is since I’m in the same boat–no more Ad Blocker and no more Ghostery.

Katie, would you mind sharing which one you’re using?

I understand the need for ads but not all of them are useful as the MPU ones which are informative and well done.


#12

I am using Ka-Block. It is free and so far works very well. No complaints and no need to configure it. I also use it on my iPhone in iOS 12


#13

@MacSparky said he had an X, and probably wouldn’t upgrade this year, but he wanted the XS so he could go back to the bigger screen.

For me it’s the opposite. I went from a 7 Plus to the S. I probably would have stuck with the 7 Plus another year but I wanted the smaller phone with the bigger screen.

UPDATE: fixed a typo. I went to the S, not the XS.

Like @katiefloyd I don’t keep anything on my desktop. I use the Downloads folder as temporary storage, and the only time I ever empty it is if storage fills up. Sometimes there are documents in there for most of a year. It doesn’t matter; I never see them so they don’t get in the way.

I never see the desktop except for when I reboot. I keep all my windows maximized. Not fullscreen, but maximized. I can never understand how people can work any other way; why leave even a pixel of desktop real estate unused?

BTW, I’m at a conference and had some unexpected downtime yesterday afternoon so went out for a walk. Passed a sign pointing to Universal Studios while listening to MPU, and thought “Universal Studios? OMG I’m in Katie Floyd country!” Specifically, Orlando, for the Microsoft Ignite/Envision conference. I would have saluted in the general direction of Ms. Floyd’s automated house but I have no idea what direction that is.


#14

I use a lot of apps fullscreen, but certainly not all, and never maximised. I think using fullscreen apps is a bit of a remnant of being a windows user for so long.

Apps like messages look a little ridiculous if the window is too large so I see my desktop fairly often :laughing:

Now in Mojave you can autohide the menu bar too, so most of the time my desktop is now just a beautiful uninterrupted photo.


#15

Yes, I was a Windows user for just about precisely as long as I have been a Mac user. I switched in 2007.

And, yes, I don’t maximize all windows. You are right about Messages. That would just look silly. But I maximize my word processor, web browser, OmniFocus, and most other apps.


#16

According to @katiefloyd, I am one of those people in the first group. I do not store files on desktop. Even when I working on an Ad-hoc file, or something I need for a very short period of time, I have another directory on Desktop called “Working DIrectory”, where those files shortly live there.


#17

I like to make use of space as much as possible. When on bigger screen at home, I have Keyboard Maestro action that will launch my apps and move them on their preferred locations on monitors.
I have one monitor split between PHPStorm and terminal + Git client.
The other screen split between Safari and OF + Mail client.
Sometimes I use tiny spaces in between to have Tweetbot and Micro.blog clients.


#18

One point from the episode on the development cycle, although I agree that having a yearly upgrade cycle limits the number of new features; I disagree that the OS developers have only four months to think up new features.

I would assume (and hope) that’s Apple has a roadmap thought out extending 3-5 years, and that they have separate teams working on different parts of the OS, with specific teams designated for new features.

At the end of the day this is a problem of resource allocation. And if Apple is not allocating enough resources to macOS because the priority is iOS, then definitely innovation on macOS will take a hit. I think this is the case, and it will not be greatly affected by a longer release cycle.

There is also the law of diminishing returns, I think that the innovation curve is flattening anyway when it comes to desktop computing, innovation now is mostly cloud based. Maybe Apple sees that, and if they do; I hope that means we will see smarter cloud based services baked into all their operating systems. Case in point of where cloud based innovation is lacking: Siri.


#19

For email apps on iOS and Mac OS, I highly recommend Microsoft’s Outlook. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s better than many of the new clients out there. I started using it for my work email (Exchange) and now use it for my iCloud mail as well so that everything is in a single client. Their iOS mail app is also very nice and is my mail app of choice.

It’s also worth mentioning that many of the newer clients process your email on their servers to enable many of the features they offer. This opens up privacy and confidentiality issues, especially when handling work email.


#20

Yep. A one year release cycle doesn’t mean a one year development cycle. Developers could be a year into 10.15, and starting on 10.16; or two years into 10.15, a year into 10.16, and starting 10.17, etc.