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Windows 10 Spring Creators Update reportedly set for April 10 release

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update reportedly set for April 10 release

The public release of the so-called Windows 10 Spring Creators Update appears to be imminent, with Windows Central reporting an initial rollout date of April 10, citing anonymous sources. Simultaneously, the outlet’s sources say that Microsoft has signed off on the final Windows Insider Preview build of Redstone 4 – its internal name for the next big WIndows 10 update – as Build 17133. This means that Build 17133 will, barring any issues, be what Microsoft releases to manufacturers (RTM) for loading onto new products.Said Build 17133 has already been released to Windows Insider Preview members enrolled in the Fast Ring of its public beta test program open to anyone who’s interested. The build itself doesn’t introduce any new features, but rather fixes minor problems in previous beta releases – a telltale sign that Microsoft’s testing process is complete.
Spring Creators Update has sprung
In fact, Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar wrote in a blog post announcing the release of Build 17133 that “we are in the phase of checking in final code to prepare for the final release.”Knowing this, it’s easy to be confident that Microsoft is awfully close to releasing the official, public version of its Windows 10 Spring Creators Update. Plus, the purported April 10 release date falls on a Tuesday, the typical day of the week for Windows 10 updates to drop.The Spring Creators Update is expected to bring with it a host of major changes to the operating system (OS), including the Timeline feature that was originally slated for last year’s Fall Creators Update as well as the Fluent Design look applied to the entire interface.Near Share, a unabashed answer to Apple’s AirDrop file sharing technique carried out over Bluetooth, will arrive on the OS in addition to faster Bluetooth device pairing. Progressive web apps, programs that can be downloaded via Microsoft’s Edge browser and used therein so as to answer to Google’s Chrome web store, will be featured as well among many more changes.With all this in mind, we’ll be waiting with bated breath to hear from Microsoft shortly so as to get our hands on the final build of the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update in time for this purported April 10 release date.
Now, here’s what we want from macOS 10.14

The first Chrome OS tablet has no keyboard

The first Chrome OS tablet has no keyboard

It wasn’t too long ago that we saw the first touchscreen Chromebook, then the first Chrome OS device with a built-in stylus. Now, Acer has just announced the first web-powered tablet – designed with students in mind.Oddly named after a clamshell-styled device, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the first Chrome OS tablet with no physical keyboard – in fact, the announcement makes no allusion to a keyboard at all. Rather, it’s a classic, all-screen 9.7-inch tablet featuring an IPS (in-plane switching) panel with a fairly high 2,048 x 1,536 QXGA resolution. The good news is that you can still pair it to a Bluetooth keyboard, and the Chrome OS tablet also comes with a Wacom EMR stylus that students can use can use to sketch, take notes and mark up papers precisely.In terms of power, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 comes equipped with an OP1 processor with a dual-core Cortex-A72 and a quad-core Cortex-A53 processors. Also on board is 4GB of RAM, a 32GB eMMC storage drive, 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.1. This Chrome OS tablet also joins the USB-C revolution with a single Gen 1 port for charging and data transfers.

Beyond running the usual Chrome OS app, the Tab 10 fully supports the Google Play Store, so users can download any of the millions of Android apps.Acer also claims users can expect up to 9 hours of battery life to last students through the day. That’s not exactly on par with the double-digit run times we expect from Chromebooks, but impressive nonetheless given the tablet only weighs 1.21 pounds and measures just 0.39 inches thin.The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 arrives this April with a $329 (about £230, AU$425) price tag that seems a little high at first blush, but it’s basically $499 (about £350, AU$640) Samsung Chromebook Plus specs in a tablet-sized device.We’ll have to see whether or not it holds up against Apple’s likely education-focused iPad announcement this week, which is clearly Acer’s intent with the tablet. Being a major player in the Chromebook for education sector, Acer has a lot to lose if Apple returns its Sauron-like gaze upon this end of the tech world as expected.
Need a real computer? Here’s the best laptops for students

Windows 10 Redstone 4 will turn Cortana into an interactive user manual

Windows 10 Redstone 4 will turn Cortana into an interactive user manual

Microsoft clearly looks to boost Cortana’s effectiveness and helpfulness with the next big Windows 10 update. Known internally as Redstone 4, this update introduces a new ‘Cortana Show Me’ feature that teaches users how to navigate key features of the operating system (OS).The firm has released a test version of this feature through its Windows Insider Preview, publicly accessible by anyone who’s interested should they want to test out a less-than-stable version of the OS. Specifically, this feature can be found in the Fast Ring of Windows Insider Preview Build 17128.This feature update follows one released just earlier this week that adds profiles to the Cortana digital assistant, allowing it to provide insights and reminders before you even ask.
Windows 10 rookies no longer
The idea behind Cortana Show Me, which is available through the Microsoft Store within this preview build specifically, is to make newly-minted Windows 10 users feel acclimated more quickly and easily. To that end, the app currently provides detailed guides on several key OS functions and tasks, while voice activation will be added ‘soon’, a blog post announcing the feature reads.So far, here’s what Cortana can help new users with through Cortana Show Me:
Update WindowsCheck if an app is installedUninstall an appChange your desktop backgroundUse Airplane ModeChange your display brightnessAdd nearby printers or scannersChange your default programsChange your screen resolutionTurn off Windows Defender Security CenterRun a security scanChange Wi-Fi settingsThese changes are particularly interesting as it appears Microsoft is hell-bent on seeing Cortana win the war of digital assistants between itself, Amazon, Apple and Google – particularly with Amazon’s Alexa soon to make it onto Windows 10 PCs this year.Widely assumed to be known as the Spring Creators Update when it finally launches, we expect to see this major revision to Windows 10 available to all (in the most stable version of Windows 10) sometime in April. 
Here’s what we hope to see in Apple’s macOS 10.14

The next big Windows 10 upgrade should install way faster

The next big Windows 10 upgrade should install way faster

Microsoft has whittled down its major Windows 10 upgrade installation process to an average of 30 ‘offline’ minutes through its Windows Insider Preview builds of Redstone 4, the codename for the next marquee Windows 10 update.So, if you’ve held off from installing previous titled Windows 10 updates on account of their lengthy installation times, Microsoft wants to do better by you. The company made the announcement as part of a Windows Insider blog post, showcasing gradual improvement over the past few major Windows 10 updates.For instance, Microsoft admitted a total ‘offline’ installation time of 82 minutes on average back when the Creators Update of April 2017, which improved to 51 minutes with the Fall Creators Update of October 2017. Now, within Insider Preview builds, the company says to have pared this down time to just 30 minutes on average.
Offline time goes online
To explain why we’re quoting the word ‘offline’ here, Microsoft looks at operating system (OS) installations occurring in two different states: online and offline. What you might consider the OS installation, the growing percentage atop a blue screen, is just this ‘offline’ state – a considerable amount of installation is done while you’re still using the computer, before it restarts.‘Online’ in this context includes anything that’s done in the background while the computer is still in use, before the restarts begin. Meanwhile, ‘offline’ includes everything that’s done either just before or after the computer restarts, usually on a blue screen.To achieve these faster installation times, Microsoft has gradually moved more of these ‘offline’ processes into the ‘online’ category, particularly now that ‘user content is prepared for migration’ and the ‘new operating system is placed into a temporary working directory’ during this first phase, as per Microsoft’s blog post.So, if you – like most of the world – consider the ‘offline’ state of an OS installation the whole kit and kaboodle, then Windows 10 installations just got a helluva lot faster.As Microsoft likes to brag, these changes have reduced the overall ‘offline’ – again, the time in which you cannot interact with the computer – installation time to not much longer than, yes, making a sandwich. So, prepare yourself accordingly for the forthcoming Redstone 4 update.
This is all we know about Windows 10 S right now

Microsoft wants you to open more of your links in the Edge browser

Microsoft wants you to open more of your links in the Edge browser

Are you using Microsoft Edge much at the moment? You might soon be opening it up a lot more if you’re using a preview version of Windows 10, because Microsoft is testing out the idea of forcing you to use Edge to open links from Windows Mail – in the same way that links from Mail on iOS have to open in Safari.Of course you can still use an alternative browser for all your other web surfing needs, but if Edge isn’t your program of choice and you spend a lot of time clicking on links from your inbox, it’s easy to imagine this is going to get pretty annoying very quickly.Microsoft is keen to point out that this is just a limited trial and may not make it into the final, public release of Windows 10 that rolls out to everyone. “As always, we look forward to feedback from our WIP [Windows Insider Program] community,” says Microsoft, so if you’re not a fan (or you are a fan) of the feature, be sure to let Microsoft know.
“Secure and consistent”
Apparently the move is being trialled because Microsoft Edge “provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10 and across your devices” says Microsoft, though it is a little biased. The occasional security flaw has been known to hit Edge.It’s perhaps not a surprising move: the stripped-down Windows 10 S Mode doesn’t allow any other browsers at all besides Edge at the moment, with security and stability again the reasons given for the limitations. The most recent browser market share figures suggest Edge could do with a boost, as it’s hovering around the 4% mark.There aren’t too many other features of note in the preview build, though there is support for the new High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) you might have seen in other devices. If you’re interested in signing up for early versions of Windows, you can join the Windows Insider Program here.
You can install Microsoft Edge on your mobile phone now as wellVia Engadget

MacBook 2018: what we want to see

MacBook 2018: what we want to see

In less than three months, it will have been one year since the latest version of the 12-inch MacBook was released onto store shelves and, more importantly these days, onto the virtual shelves of online retailers. On paper, it had everything we had been barking for from the Macbook since the reintroduction of the product in 2015. The keyboard, powered by Apple’s own butterfly mechanism switches, was more tactile while the inside of the device saw improvements by way of Intel’s 7th-generation Core m3, i5 and i7 processors. But, of course, given that how close we are to WWDC 2018, the Worldwide Developers Conference typically held by the ‘iCompany’ each year in California, there’s no doubt in our minds that the MacBook 2018 is about to be unveiled. There are all sorts of rumors circulating the web about what it’s going to be like, too. From the prospect of a cheaper 13-inch model to that of crumb-resistant and spill-proof inputs, the MacBook 2018 could see some seriously dramatic changes from its predecessor. Let’s hope, then, that it doesn’t stray too far from the quirks that make it so curiously enticing to begin with.
Cut to the chase
What is it? Apple’s thinnest 2018 laptopWhen is it out? April 2018 at the earliestWhat will it cost? Presumably the same as current models
MacBook 2018 release date
None of the most recent reports, rumors or leaks give any lead as to when we’ll see the 2018 MacBook. Of course, we’ll gladly speculate based on the previous three releases of Apple’s 12-inch laptop.In 2015, Apple released the first MacBook during April, directly following a March keynote. That’s a largely odd time for Apple to release a device, but it’s happened before. 
It’s highly unlikely for the MacBook price to budge in either direction.Apple followed suit in 2016 with an April release, but not to the same fanfare as the debut. The most recent MacBook release occurred in June 2017, almost immediately following Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event and alongside the MacBook Pro.So, this leaves us with two (and a half) distinct possibilities for a 2018 MacBook release. First, Apple could hold another March keynote this year and debut the device there for another April release. Second, the 12-inch MacBook could be under a veil until WWDC 2018 for a June release. And, finally, Apple could release the thing in April with nary a press release – hey, it’s been done before.Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess as to when we’ll see the 2018 MacBook. We’ll look out for new rumors and update this article as soon as the MacBook 2018 release date begins to grow clearer.

MacBook 2018 price
Again, nothing about the most recent reports and leaks regarding a 2018 MacBook discuss the possible price of the laptop. These types of rumors or leaks usually don’t pop up until we get closer to an actual release, so it makes sense.This is another area where we’ll have to speculate based on the current MacBook pricing. The entry-level MacBook runs you $1,299, £1,249 or AU$1,899 to start. Only one other model, with more power and storage, goes for another 300 to 450 bills on top of that.
We’re also anticipating Apple to release a brand new, 13-inch MacBook this year.With the pricing so tight here, amounting to minute differences in hardware between offerings, it’s highly unlikely for the MacBook price to budge in either direction. That is short of Apple introducing more capacious storage or higher power options, which will send the price in only one direction: up.For the MacBook price to come down, something somewhere would have to give – whether that’s storage coming down to 128GB to start rather than 256GB or starting memory dropping to 4GB from 8GB is entirely up to Apple. Again, we find this scenario to be highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened.We’ll look out for new rumors and update this article as soon as the MacBook 2018 price begins to crop up as we inch closer.

What we want to see in MacBook 2018
All of this uncertainty surrounding a possible MacBook 2018 release is fertile ground for a well-crafted wishlist.So, here’s what we hope to see Apple improve about the MacBook for 2018.
MacBook 2018 keyboard and screen 
Building off of an earlier patent that showed us Apple’s plans to create a MacBook with dual screens, there’s now rumors that it will use that second screen to create a sort of touch keyboard. We don’t know exactly what it’ll be capable of, but there’s potential there for on-the-fly region changing and easy access to an emoji keyboard – instead of having emoji relegated to the Touch Bar. And, of course if Apple does follow through with this keyboard design, they’ll implement haptic feedback so that you’ll get the same experience as using a mechanical keyboard, only with the flexibility that a touch screen keyboard brings with it. However, it’s easy to expect this to raise the price in any MacBook that implements it.Finally, Apple has been rumored to be working on a MacBook keyboard that’s crumb and spill-proof. We first expected this development to result in a product that’s been around in Windows-based laptops for years. But, now we’re not so sure – perhaps the keyboard is crumb- and-spill-proof because it’s a screen. 
More ports, please
Our biggest bugbear with the 12-inch MacBook, since its launch, has been the incredibly sore lack of ports on the laptop. Still equipped with nothing but a lone Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port and a headphone jack, this absolutely needs to change in the next version. Just one more?We’ve already seen Windows laptops accomplish this feat, like the Huawei MateBook X with its two USB-C ports. Even the similarly priced MacBook Pro has a pair of Thunderbolt 3 connections. Perhaps there’s room for a microSD card reader in there, too.
Punchier processors
Costing what it does, Apple really needs to inject some more power into its 12-inch MacBooks. With the onset of Intel processors with AMD graphics onboard, this is the perfect opportunity for the 12-inch MacBook to get a power boost that wouldn’t impact battery life.How, you ask? Well, we immediately look to these new Intel processors with AMD Vega, discrete-grade graphics on board that are already finding their way to new laptops this year. Such an upgrade would put the MacBook into an entirely new echelon of premium stature.Then again, seeing as the MacBook has consistently used energy efficient Intel Core ‘M’ and ‘Y’ series CPUs up to this point, we wouldn’t bank on seeing the hardy graphics power featured in Intel’s ‘G’ series chips. And, since there is no 8th-generation equivalent of the 7th-gen Intel Core m3-7Y32 that the MacBook currently uses, it’s possible for Apple to switch to an i3-8130U.Moreover, a recent news story claimed that Apple was planning to ship a trio of Macs featuring its custom co-processors later this year. These are expected to be similar to the T1 and T2 chips found in the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro, respectively. Since the 12-inch MacBook doesn’t have a Touch Bar, it’s safe to assume that if one of these co-processors is implemented, it will be used for the automatic wake and ‘Hey Siri’ functionality presently exclusive to the iMac Pro. 
Stronger audio and video
Speaker performance and webcam quality are two corners that Apple obviously cut through in crafting the MacBook. With the MacBook 2018, this needs to stop. Tinny speakers and a sub-HD webcam for a laptop this expensive simply isn’t acceptable.Simply bump the webcam up to 1080p FaceTime HD befitting of its price tag, and problem solved. The speakers, however, is a problem we don’t necessarily have a solution for. Supporting the speakers with down-throwing bass modules in the base might work?
iOS apps on MacBook
Now that it’s been talked about for so long, the idea of iOS apps on macOS has grown on us. We’re excited by the prospect of continuing work from our phones straight away on our laptops – or polishing off that top score upon sitting down at the desk.However, Apple needs to nail how this is going to happen if a MacBook with a touchscreen remains unlikely. Will the mouse simply stand in for our fingers, or does Apple have something clever up its sleeve?
These are the best Macs that 2018 has to offer so farGabe Carey has also contributed to this report

New flavor of Raspberry Pi 3 comes with a juiced-up CPU and speedier Wi-Fi

New flavor of Raspberry Pi 3 comes with a juiced-up CPU and speedier Wi-Fi

A new version of the Raspberry Pi 3 has been unleashed, with a faster processor and notable improvements on the connectivity front.The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is on sale now, and maintains the same price point at $35 (around £25, AU$45). It’s powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor which runs at 1.4GHz (compared to 1.2GHz for the Raspberry Pi 3’s CPU).The beefier processor benefits from power-related optimizations and a new heat spreader, which allowed for the higher clock speed to be reached.The other main boons come on the networking front, with a Cypress CYW43455 chip providing dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi (whereas only 802.11n was supported in the original Pi 3) and Bluetooth 4.2 (a step up from the previous Bluetooth 4.1).
Wireless wonderment
Couple that chip with an improved antenna, and the Pi Foundation claims the B+ delivers somewhat better performance when it comes to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, but “far better performance” when we’re talking about 5GHz.The new board also has Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0 for faster wired networking speeds. The Foundation claims the Model B+ is capable of “roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput” of its predecessor.Finally, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ now supports Power over Ethernet (PoE), with a PoE HAT capable of providing the necessary 5V of power set to arrive in the near future.It’s a tidy upgrade for the compact computer board, and one that will doubtless tempt Pi enthusiasts and tinkerers everywhere to reach for their wallets.If you’re short on ideas when it comes to what the Raspberry Pi is capable of, then look no further than our extensive feature on various Pi projects. Furthermore, we recently reported on a new DIY kit from Bang & Olufsen, which lets you make your own smart speakers with a Raspberry Pi.
You could also turn your Raspberry Pi into a retro games console

AMD ‘investigating’ critical vulnerabilities in its latest Ryzen and EPYC CPUs

AMD ‘investigating’ critical vulnerabilities in its latest Ryzen and EPYC CPUs

Israeli security firm CTS Labs has today released a white paper to the press, which it claims detail a number of vulnerabilities affecting current AMD CPUs.The 13 vulnerabilities listed in the white paper allegedly affect all Ryzen and Ryzen Pro products currently on the market, as well as EPYC server CPUs made by AMD, but do require root-level (administrator) operating-system access in order to exploit.As is the case with many security exploits, these could theoretically allow hackers access to personal credentials and provide an opportunity to spread malware, but the white paper also warns of the potential for “long-term industrial espionage”.
How to protect against the Meltdown and Spectre CPU security flawsAMD responds
The report from CTS Labs is intentionally light on the exploits’ details; a measure intended to stop anyone from using the alleged exploits while AMD is given the time to investigate them. Despite this, Gizmodo reports that CTS only gave AMD 24 hours notice before making the white paper public.In the company’s official statement on the issue, AMD claimed it was “unusual for a security firm to publish research to the press without providing a reasonable amount of time for the company to investigate and address its findings”.Naturally, AMD is “actively investigating and analyzing” the report’s findings, and we’ll keep this article updated with further details as they come to light.
Nvidia vs AMD: which should be your next graphics card?Intel vs AMD: which chipmaker does processors better?

The truth about commercial free software

The truth about commercial free software

Software can be divided into two broad categories: commercial and commercial free. The first category, commercial, includes programs from the heavyweights of the software world, such as Microsoft and Adobe, which tend to be well developed and supported; however they come with a price tag, which in the case of some high-end applications can be a steep one. The second category, commercial free is also known as noncommercial or open source, and includes a wide variety of software available at no cost.Some of these open source projects are well developed, and are the work of whole teams of programmers – this is the way that Linux and its umpteen variants distros were made, and kept up to date by countless volunteers. Ditto for the office suite LibreOffice, which somehow manages to keep pace with Redmond’s popular Microsoft Office version after version. Also, we’d be remiss not to mention Paint.net, the free image editor that offers so much more than Microsoft’s Paint, balancing advanced features with a simple to use interface.

However, not all commercial free software is as ambitious, and certainly not as successful. Free software certainly has appeal for the broke college student looking to stretch their cash while having access to a wide variety of software. However, it’s another question as to whether non-commercial software should ever be used in an enterprise situation, and in what scenarios. It’s not without precedent – both the UK and French governments have turned to open source LibreOffice to save the money they were spending on Microsoft Office.But before diving there are some issues to consider.
Nagging ads
Advertisements make the money on the internet, and this is no mystery. However, when we use a piece of software, most of us do not want to be bombarded with marketing. Some free programs turn to an adware model to bring in some cash. They offer a free tier but also offer a paid one, and popular utilities such as CCleaner and Super AntiSpyware incorporate ads for their paid tier in the free tier. It’s up to users to decide if the free software is worth the subtle prompting to upgrade, as seen in the image below.

In other cases, the ads go further. For example, WPS Office Free incorporates five seconds of an advertisement each time the software is opened. While it’s a brief interruption, this ‘time speedbump’ does reduce productivity, and TechRadar’s review of this software did put this fact in the ‘negatives’ column. Such ads also can cause users to consider alternative free office suites that open without the delay found in WPS.
Infrequent updates
Commercial software gets designed and refined through an ongoing process of beta testing and updates. Take the example of the software OS, and consider how many versions of Windows Microsoft has gone through and how it offer significant upgrades to Windows 10 on a frequent basis. While the process is not always seamless, there are regular updates, such as the Patch Tuesday program, that address issues with the OS on a regular basis, and generally improves things. Helpfully these updates are designed to download in the background, and install overnight.

Now compare Microsoft’s way of working to the noncommercial Linux OS. Linux does get updates, and they come in two flavors. A point release distribution is a complete update with a new set of installation images, and these come out, depending on the specific distro, every few months. The other update is the rolling release distribution, which incorporates the latest releases and security patches.While some more established forks of Linux, such as Ubuntu, have automatic updates, less popular distros do not update seamlessly, and require manual updates via the command line, which involved getting more hands-on than a novice is likely to want to, making the update process quite arduous at best, and neglected at the worst.
Ease of use
Users often come to a new job with a familiarity with mainstream software acquired during education or training, or at a previous. In an open source environment it may save on the acquisition cost to go with Linux and OpenOffice rather than Window and Microsoft Office, but the increased training costs, and lower productivity from employees struggling with unfamiliar software, may offset those savings.
Compatibility issues
Another issue is that not all free software will offer the same compatibility as the paid-for equivalents. For example, in response to increased competition from free office software, Microsoft changed the default saving format for a Microsoft Word document from .DOC to .DOCX back in Word 2007. As this was over a decade ago, some of the more popular free alternatives to Microsoft Office, such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice, subsequently incorporated the new file format into their software for compatibility with Word documents.

However, not all programs did. For example the freestanding and lightweight word processing program AbiWord, long a favorite with writers, doesn’t support the .DOCX format, even in its latest version 3.0.2. In fact, it no longer even supports the Windows OS, which it did previously, making us wonder if the publishers should change their tagline to something other than ‘Word processing for everyone’. 
Security issues
Many developers of noncommercial software incorporate existing open source code into new applications, with the intention of saving time and lowering costs; after all no one wants to reinvent the wheel. Open source code also offers the advantage of fast-tracking a project, as the code is available, and can be opened as needed, unlike proprietary code that gets locked down, and which can require manufacturer assistance for modifications.However, open source code can contain issues, including security vulnerabilities. Coverity scans open source code for issues, and in 750 million lines of code in its database it found 1.1 million, although more than half of them had already been addressed. These vulnerabilities get identified and tracked in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list (CVE), which is sponsored by the US Government; in 2017 a record-breaking 8,000 new vulnerabilities were added to this database.
Securing your digital lifestyle doesn’t have to be a tedious or expensive process. You can achieve that in the next 60 seconds by downloading a trial of CyberGhost VPN here, risk-free.

macOS 10.14: what we want to see

macOS 10.14: what we want to see

It’s still early in 2018, technically, and like clockwork the Apple rumors are already spinning away. However, we’ve heard very little about the would be macOS 10.14, which we all assume will be the name of the next version of Apple’s Mac operating system (OS).Short of the rumor that this year’s take on macOS will incorporate iOS apps in some unknown, seemingly impossible way, there simply isn’t much that’s known or at least rumored regarding the OS. This is largely normal, as Apple rumors generally tend to revolve around the hardware, not the software.So, that leaves us with plenty of room to wax philosophic about how we think this year’s release should go down, but more importantly what we want to see from the end result. Enjoy the deep dive you’ll find below, and come on back, as this article will be updated with every sliver of concrete information that comes in to us at TechRadar HQ.
Cut to the chase
What is it? The 2018 edition of Apple’s Mac operating system, macOSWhen is it out? Likely September or October 2018What will it cost? macOS 10.14 will likely be free
macOS 10.14 release date
At the moment, when Apple will release macOS 10.14 is entirely unknown. However, we can attempt to triangulate a release date through looking back to releases of the past.Since 2013 and the release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple has teased its latest version of the Mac OS during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote in early June, followed by a full release September or October of the same year. Apple has also done this completely free of charge since then.There’s currently nothing to indicate that the macOS release cadence or pricing scheme will deviate from this trend.So, that leaves us with the strong expectation that Apple will tease what macOS 10.14 has to offer in June at WWDC, release a public beta test around a month later and drop the final product in September or October for all to enjoy.

macOS 10.14 specifications
Knowing next to nothing about macOS 10.14, it’s tough to say exactly which Mac hardware will support the next version of Apple’s Mac interface. But, again, we can look to the previous year’s requirements for an idea of what to expect this year.First off, prepare for macOS 10.14 to require at least 14.3GB of hard drive space for the installation, as that’s what was required last year. To keep it on the safe side, make it 20GB.Next, Macs that received the 10.13 upgrade were required to be equipped with at least 2GB of memory (or RAM) and running OS X 10.8 or later. Last year, this is what that managed to cover product-wise:
MacBook (Late 2009 or newer)MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer)iMac (Late 2009 or newer)Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)So, while these required model years rarely change year-over-year with new releases of macOS, if your Mac model is older than the minimum release year, you might have to buy a new Mac to enjoy this next version of the OS. However, wait until these hardware requirements are published before leaping onto a new Mac!

What we want to see in macOS 10.14
Every time Apple releases a new version of macOS is an opportunity for the company to improve on past shortcomings as well as fulfill the wildest computing dreams of its fans. But, mostly, we see Apple simply smooth out proverbial edges and increase quality-of-life in using the OS. With that in mind, here’s what we want to see in macOS 10.14.iOS apps on Mac
Now that it’s been rumored about and reported on so long, the idea of iPhone and iPad apps on macOS has grown on us. We’re hyped by the idea of continuing work from our iPhones straight away on our MacBooks – or polishing off that top score upon sitting down at the desk.However, Apple needs to nail how this is going to happen if the odds of a Mac computer with a touchscreen remain slim to none. Will the mouse or touchpad simply stand in for our digits, or does Apple have something clever in its core?More active Siri
Honestly, Siri on Mac (much less, iPhone) is only about as useful as how often you remember to ask for its assistance – and even then your mileage may vary. So, we’d like to see Siri on Mac begin to act more like, say, Cortana does on Windows 10.We’ve already given over our permissions to Siri so that it can access our data – whether in Apple’s general end-user license agreement for macOS or when we configured the tool. So, why not leverage that more? A Siri that makes that meeting reminder for you or directs you to a better deal online without your asking is far more helpful than having to remember it’s there first.Deeper ecosystem control
Frankly, Apple fans should feel more rewarded for the thousands of dollars or pounds it takes to be such a diehard fan. One fine way of doing that is opening macOS up to control and manage other Apple devices under a particular user’s Apple ID.Imagine being able to see your iPhone’s storage and manage it from your Mac, for instance. Or, on a related note, triggering an App Store download on your iPhone from your Mac – before or after making the space for it from macOS. It’s a small thing, but such a chance would help keep fans feeling rewarded for going all-Apple, as it were.
These are the best Macs we’ve tested within the past year