macOS 10.15 Catalina: iMessage effects, Auto Dark Mode, Sidecar limitations, and More

George Herman
George Herman
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At the beginning of this week, Apple presented its latest update for Mac, called macOS 10.15 Catalina. Today, we’re going to highlight some of the most intriguing features for users.

Sidecar limitations

Among the most interesting new features in macOS Catalina is Sidecar. This feature lets you use your iPad as an external display with your Mac, either wireless or via USB. However, what you should know is that Sidecar is limited to the more recent Macs only.

Yet, there’s a chance the supported device list for Sidecar to expand during the macOS Catalina beta period, but here are the supported machines for now:

  • Mac 27″ (Late 2015) or newer
  • MacBook Pro (2016) or newer
  • Mac Mini (2018)
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • MacBook Air (2018)
  • MacBook (Early 2016 or newer)
  • iMac Pro

Auto Dark Mode

In 2018, macOS Mojave added support for a system-wide Dark Mode. Lots of third-party applications adopted the feature immediately and it became popular among Mac users. However, the limitation about this feature was the fact that Dark Mode must be enabled manually only.

macOS Catalina adds support for Auto Dark Mode, which means Dark Mode will automatically enable itself based on time of day. To access this toggle, open System Preference and choose the General menu. There, you should see a new Auto Dark Mode option in the Appearance area.

iMessage Effects

This fall will bring some spectacular innovations to iMessage effects in Messages. Despite the fact that this feature is not likely to be enabled by default, the researcher Troughton-Smith has found how to enable it via a Terminal command.

Yet, Apple keeps working on this feature, suggesting that the company intends to enable it before the public launch of macOS Catalina.

Document signing in Preview

Apple users know that the Preview app on the Mac has been an easy way to sign in documents for a quite long time. However, things have gotten even more advanced in macOS Catalina. Now, you can use your iPhone or iPad to sign your name, and have it instantly appear in a PDF in the Preview app.

To access the Preview app feature, select Tools in the Menu bar and then hover over the Annotate option, then Signature, and pick Manage Signatures.

When a new window pops up, you have to choose whether to write your signature via your Mac’s trackpad, camera, or iPhone/iPad. Select the iPhone or iPad option, click Select Device and pick the device you want to use. On the device you select, you will see a signature pad where you can sign with your finger and you’ll be all set.

Photo Credits: 9to5Mac

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