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Mojave is the new MacOS

Apple announced the name at WWDC. The new MacOS replaces High Sierra.


This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET's complete coverage from and about Apple's annual developers conference.

If you're wondering which California geographical feature the latest Mac operating system is named after, the answer is MacOS Mojave.

This ends "a four-year mountain bender," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday in San Jose, California.

After years of giving cat-related names to its Mac software (Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion), Apple in 2013 shifted to California-themed titles for future versions of the OS with OS X 10.9, aka Mavericks. Two years ago, the company dropped the "X" from its computer software, instead making it the cleaner "MacOS." The particular flavor that launched in 2016 was dubbed Sierra, and its successor last year was called MacOS High Sierra.

The OS updates have come with iconic photos of their namesakes featured as the default background photo, and Mojave is no different. The OS comes with a daytime photo of the Southern California desert's sandy dunes, and it also comes with bonus options that show the desert at night. 

That's part of Dark Mode, a version of the Mac desktop that doesn't shine so brightly out of your screen. Developers in the event's crowd of about 6,000 applauded the announcement of Dark Mode loudly.

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