Apple has just announced the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Catalina.
macOS 10.15 Catalina brings the death of iTunes and brand new Music, Podcasts and a TV app. iOS device sync has moved to the Finder.
Podcasts features machine-learning powered search, by finding text that was spoken in the podcast.
The new TV app looks a lot like the TV app from iOS. Compatible content playback includes 4K HDR and Atmos content.
Apple is also allowing users to use their iPad as a second display for their Mac. They are branding this feature as ‘Sidecar’.
Apple is adding a new accessibility feature called ‘Voice Control’ to macOS and iOS that lets users control the entire OS by speaking commands. You can edit text, open apps and files, scroll around the interface, select items, share photos and much more. Apple uses on-device processing to offer the rich navigation and dictation features.
Apple is also launching a new app called ‘Find My’ which combines Find My iPhone with Find my Friends. It also converts all your Apple devices into Bluetooth beacons. This means it is now possible to find offline devices based on proximity from anyone in the world.
Macs with T2 chips now feature Activation Lock for additional security. The new Photos and Reminders redesign are also available on the Mac.
Screen Time is also coming to the Mac, so users can combine their activity graphs and screen limits across every Apple device.
Apple is also bringing its UIKit on the Mac framework to allow developers to bring iPad apps onto the Mac very rapidly; the Marzipan project has been formally named ‘Catalyst’. Apple says the app experience should be significantly improved than what was seen in the Voice Memos, News, Home and Stocks app introduced in Mojave.
Twitter will be using Catalyst to bring an official Twitter client back to the Mac. Apple invited Atlassian to demo a new JIRA bug reporting client for macOS, by porting their iPad experience.
macOS Catalina will be available as a free software update this fall.
Apple previews macOS Catalina
Packed with All-New Features and Apps, plus Sidecar Expands Mac Workspace with iPad
San Jose, California — Apple today previewed macOS Catalina, the latest version of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, packed with cool new features, fresh new apps and powerful new technology for developers. With macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with its popular entertainment apps — Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app. The all-new Sidecar feature 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 apps. New security features keep users better protected and Voice Control lets users control their Mac entirely with their voice.
“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
macOS Catalina replaces iTunes with three all-new apps that greatly 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. And users will have access to their entire music library, whether they downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD. For those who like to own their music, the iTunes Music Store is just a click away.
The all-new Apple TV app brings together different ways to find and watch movies and TV shows into one powerful app. The Apple TV app 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.1 The Watch Now section features Up Next, where viewers can keep track of what they are currently watching and resume on any screen. This fall, Apple TV+, Apple’s original video subscription service, will be available in the Apple TV app.
The popular 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 features new categories, curated collections by editors around the world and advanced search tools that can find episodes by host, guest or even discussion topic.
For users who sync their media to their devices using a cable, they can quickly and easily do so in the new entertainment apps. And when users 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 apps. For users on the go, Sidecar makes it easy to bring an extended display with them so they can spread their work out over two displays wherever they happen to be. When paired with an Apple Pencil, they can use their iPad to draw, sketch or write in any Mac app that supports stylus input. Sidecar is a great tool for editing video with Final Cut Pro X, drawing with Adobe Illustrator or marking up iWork documents. And like all Continuity features, Sidecar can run on a wireless connection, so users can work with greater mobility.
Apple believes technology is most powerful when it empowers everyone. 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, which also ensures personal data is kept private. 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 also available on iOS and iPadOS, so users can control their device entirely with their voice, even gestures like tapping, swiping and scrolling.
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 is offline.
Screen Time on the 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 designed 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. Users can schedule time away from their Mac and determine how much time they want to spend within apps, websites or categories of apps. With iCloud, users can sync Screen Time settings and combine their usage across iPhone, iPad and Mac privately through end-to-end encryption. And 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
Also available with macOS Catalina are new APIs and tools for developers that make it incredibly easy to bring iPad apps over to the 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. Beginning this fall, users can expect to see more of their favorite apps coming to the Mac, including Jira Cloud, Twitter and Asphalt 9.
Additional App Enhancements
- Photos features a beautiful new browsing experience that intelligently showcases the user’s best pictures.
- Safari 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 in 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 has been redesigned with an all-new user interface that makes it easier to create, organize and track reminders.
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