In a delightfully predictable manner, Apple announced last Wednesday that macOS Mojave will be available on the Mac App Store on September 24. From the moment that Apple introduced Mojave to developers in June, we've been putting it through its paces to see what we can expect when Mac users apply the upgrade this Fall, and to get CCC 5 qualified on this new OS. We're happy to announce that CCC 5.1.5, available today, is fully qualified on macOS Mojave.
Getting Ready to Upgrade to Mojave
I say this every year, but it's worth repeating — before you upgrade to Mojave, it is imperative to understand that downgrading to your previous OS will be impossible without a bootable backup of the previous OS. Before you apply the upgrade, we recommend that you establish a bootable backup of your current OS on an external USB or Thunderbolt hard drive, then verify that you can boot your Mac from that backup disk. Before you pull the trigger on the upgrade, detach that external disk from your Mac and set it aside.
For more detailed advice on preparing for the upgrade and instructions on how to downgrade, check out this CCC knowledgebase article:
Best practices for updating your Mac's OS
The one thing I would add to the "getting ready" check list is simply a heads up to a behavior that we discovered in the upgrade process: When you apply the upgrade, the macOS Installer may delete snapshots from your startup disk. If you have been enjoying CCC's new snapshot support, be prepared to lose those snapshots on your startup disk. This isn't a showstopper, but it did come as a surprise.
When should I upgrade?
As with every major upgrade, I recommend that any users that rely heavily upon the availability of their Mac for work or other productivity consider waiting for a few OS updates before making the upgrade. The early releases are exciting, but with any excitement there's usually a bit of risk. Early adopters will surely find some shortcomings and bugs which will be resolved in the next few months with minor OS updates. Does this upgrade fix a problem that causes me daily grief? Will this upgrade improve my productivity or security, outweighing the time I may have to invest in fixing early-adopter problems? Those are the key questions I ask myself before applying any upgrade.
New Privacy Controls – Mojave adds some busy work
By default, Mojave will deny all non-Apple applications access to private data (Mail, Messages, Safari History, etc.). For anybody that bathes their Mac in a sea of malware, this will be a welcome default. For the rest of us that use a pretty straightforward, curated list of legitimate applications: Mo-hassle. To allow CCC to back up all of your data, you'll have to pre-approve CCC for that access. We put a lot of time and effort into dealing with this proactively in CCC, so when the time comes, CCC should walk you through this procedure. We document the matter comprehensively in this CCC knowledgebase article:
Granting Full Disk Access to CCC and its helper tool
If you would prefer a simple "CCC is trying to access your data, would you like to allow that? Allow/Deny" dialog – hey, so would we! I spoke with members of Apple's Privacy Team at Apple's developer conference in June, and I suggested offering such a dialog for notarized applications – apps that Apple has deemed to be free of malware. They were adamant that users should not get a simple dialog; they want it to be hard for you. If you're feeling Mo'hassled by Mo'jave, let Apple know that you'd like a simpler UI for granting full disk access to notarized apps.
Dark Mode Support
We started implementing support for Dark Mode the moment that we had our hands on the first Mojave beta. After a few hours, however, it was clear that supporting Dark Mode is not a simple matter of flipping a switch; we have to create a separate version of every graphic in our application and revisit every color choice. Offering backwards compatibility is also especially difficult. The best way to support Dark Mode would involve either creating separate interface resources for High Sierra+ users, or dropping support for Macs running an OS older than High Sierra. We do want to add support for Dark Mode, but considering all of the work (and $€£¥) involved and the impact on supporting older OSes, it's something that we're planning to roll into our next major set of interface changes.