Yesterday, Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and introduced plenty of new stuff featuring Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, iOS 13 with a dark mode, an operating system for the iPad called iPadOS, and the new macOS Catalina.
The latest version of macOS is packed with brand new features and apps including powerful new technology for developers. By launching macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with its popular entertainment applications – Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.
Additionally, the new Sidecar feature of macOS Catalina enables users to extend their Mac desktop by using their iPad as a second display or as a high-precision input device across creative Mac applications. At the same time, the new security features keep Apple users better protected and the Voice Control allow users to fully control their Mac.
“With macOS Catalina, we’re bringing fresh new apps to the Mac, starting with new standalone versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Users will appreciate how they can expand their workspace with Sidecar, enabling new ways of interacting with Mac apps using iPad and Apple Pencil. And with new developer technologies, users will see more great third-party apps arrive on the Mac this fall.”
Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV Apps
Three brand new apps replace iTunes in macOS Catalina. They simplify and improve the way Mac users discover and enjoy their favorite music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.
- The new Music app for Mac is lightning fast, fun and easy to use. Apple Music will help users discover great new music with over 50 million songs, playlists and music videos. In addition, users will have access to their entire music library, no matter if they downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD. Users who like to own their music, can buy it from the iTunes Music Store.
- The new Apple TV app brings together different ways to find and watch movies and TV shows into one powerful app. It features Apple TV channels, personalized recommendations and over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows to browse, buy or rent, so users can enjoy 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos-supported movies. The Watch Now section includes Up Next, where viewers can keep track of what they are currently watching and resume on any screen. Apple TV+, the Apple’s original video subscription service, will be available in the Apple TV app this fall.
The Apple Podcasts app offers more than 700,000 shows in its catalog and the option to automatically be notified of new episodes as soon as they become available. The app also includes new categories, curated collections by editors around the world and advanced search tools that can find episodes by host, guest or even discussion topic.
Users who sync their media to their devices by using a cable, can easily do so in the new entertainment apps, and when they connect a device to their Mac, it will immediately show up in the sidebar of Finder, enabling them to backup, update or restore their device.
With Sidecar, iPad can be used as an extended display for Mac and a high-precision drawing tablet across supported Mac applications. Sidecar makes it easy for users to bring an extended display with them so they can spread their work out over two displays wherever they go.
When paired with an Apple Pencil, iPad users can use their device to draw, sketch or write in any Mac app that supports stylus input. In addition, Sidecar is a perfect tool for editing video with Final Cut Pro X, drawing with Adobe Illustrator or marking up iWork documents. Also, just like all Continuity features, Sidecar can run on a wireless connection, so that users can work with greater mobility.
With macOS Catalina, Apple is introducing new assistive technologies to help every user get the most out of their Mac. Voice Control is a transformative technology that enables users who can’t operate traditional input devices to control their Mac entirely with their voice using on-device Siri speech recognition technology, ensuring that personal data is kept private.
The new labels and grids let users interact with virtually any app using comprehensive navigation tools, with audio processing happening on-device. Voice Control is now available on iOS and iPadOS, so users can control their device entirely with their voice and even gestures.
With macOS Catalina, Gatekeeper now checks all apps for known security issues, while new data protections require all apps to get permission before accessing user documents. Approve with Apple Watch lets users approve many security prompts by simply tapping the side button on their Apple Watch.
Now all Macs with the T2 Security Chip support Activation Lock to make them less attractive to thieves. And with the new Find My app, the location of a lost or stolen Mac can be securely and anonymously relayed back to its owner by other Apple devices, even when it’s offline.
Screen Time on Mac gives users insight into how they spend time in apps and on websites, and the tools to help decide how to spend their time. Screen Time is created for the way people use their Mac, including a new “One more minute” feature that gives users more time to save their work or log out of a game. Mac users can schedule time away from their computer and determine how much time they want to spend within apps, websites or categories of applications.
With iCloud, users can sync Screen Time settings and combine their usage across iPhone, iPad and Mac privately through end-to-end encryption. Family Sharing gives parents new tools to better manage their children’s device usage, including the ability to choose who their children can communicate with and when.
More Great Apps for Mac
macOS Catalina makes available new APIs and tools that make it incredibly easy for developers to bring iPad apps over to Mac. With over a million iPad apps available across a broad range of categories, from creative to entertainment and productivity to development, users will be able to interact with more popular apps right on their Mac’s large and beautiful display. Users can expect to see more of their favorite apps coming to Mac this fall.
Additional App Enhancements
- Photos – the app features a beautiful new browsing experience that intelligently showcases the user’s best pictures.
- Safari – it has an updated start page that uses Siri Suggestions to elevate frequently visited sites, bookmarks, iCloud tabs, Reading List selections and links sent in Messages.
- Mail – macOS Catalina adds the ability to block email from a specified sender, mute an overly active thread and unsubscribe from commercial mailing lists.
- Notes – now has a brand new Gallery View, more powerful search tools and additional collaboration options.
- Reminders – the app has been redesigned with an all-new user interface that makes it easier to create, organize and track reminders.
The developer preview of macOS Catalina is now available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com, and a public beta program will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com.
macOS Catalina will be available this fall as a free software update for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later. For detailed information, go to: apple.com/macos/catalina-preview. Features are subject to change and may not be available in all regions or languages.
The Macs that are able to update and install the new macOS 10.15 are listed below:
- 12-inch MacBook
- MacBook Air, 2012 and later
- MacBook Pro, 2012 and later
- Mac mini, 2012 and later
- iMac, 2012 and later
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro, 2013 and later