Apple on Monday unveiled macOS Catalina at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2019) keynote address. The new operating system offers new apps and new technology for developers, and replaces the venerable iTunes app with Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV apps. The new OS also allows Mac users to use their iPad as a second display or graphics tablet.
Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV Apps
The iTunes app is replaced with three new apps designed to simplify the way Mac users enjoy their favorite music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.
The new Music app offers users access to their entire music library, be they downloaded, purchased, or ripped from a CD. The iTunes music store is available in the app.
The new Apple TV app Offers access to Apple TV channels, personalized recommendations and over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows to browse, buy or rent. 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos-supported movies can also be enjoyed in the app. The Watch Now section features Up Next, where viewers can keep track of what they are currently watching and resume on any screen. The new Apple TV+ video streaming service will be available in the app this fall.
The Apple Podcasts app offers more than 700,000 shows in its catalog and offer users the option to automatically be notified of new episodes as soon as they become available. The app also features new categories, and curated collections, as well as advanced search tools that can find episodes by host, guest or even discussion topic.
If you still sync your iOS device using iTunes, don’t fret. 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.
Sidecar allows users to use their iPad as an extended display for Mac and a high-precision drawing tablet across supported Mac apps. When paired with an Apple Pencil, they can use their iPad to draw, sketch or write in any Mac app that supports stylus input.
With macOS Catalina, Apple is introducing new assistive technologies. Voice Control enables users who can’t operate traditional input devices to control their Mac entirely with their voice using on-device Siri speech recognition technology. 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.
Screen Time makes the move over from iOS and gives users insight into how they spend time in apps and on websites, and the tools to help decide how to spend their time on their Mac. 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. Parents can also better manage their children’s device usage.
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.
The developer preview of macOS Catalina is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today, and a public beta program will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com.
macOS Catalina is compatible with the following Macs:
- MacBook: 2015 and later
- MacBook Air: 2012 and later
- MacBook Pro: 2012 and later
- Mac mini: 2012 and later
- Mac: 2012 and later
- iMac Pro: 2017 and later
- Mac Pro – 2013 and later