As part of the keynote address in this year’s WWDC, Apple presented a preview of the next macOS 10.15 and it is going to be called Catalina. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering told us…
“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. 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 Replacing iTunes With 3 Apps - Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV
With macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with three all-new apps that will simplify and improve the way Mac users discover and enjoy their favourite music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.
The new Music app for Mac is designed to be fast, fun and easy to use. Apple Music will help users discover great new music with over 50 million songs, playlists and music videos. 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 will be just a click away.
The Apple Podcasts app will offer more than 700,000 shows in its catalogue with the option to be automatically notified of new episodes as soon as they become available. The app will also feature new categories, curated collections by editors around the world and advanced search tools that can find episodes by host, guest or even discussion topic. Apple will be using Machine Learning to index podcast content to make it easier to search and find what you want. Apple will also be taking on Google with local search of podcasts by offering Google-style podcast indexing.
The new Apple TV app is the only one of the trio that doesn’t have a sidebar. However, it will bring together different ways to find and watch movies and TV shows into one powerful app. The Apple TV app will feature Apple TV channels, personalised recommendations and over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows to browse, buy or rent, so users will be able to enjoy 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos-supported movies. But be aware that 4K HDR content can only be streamed on Macs introduced in 2018 or later with 4K resolution screens, whereas Dolby Atmos will be available on portable Macs introduced in 2018 or later, rendered to your Mac's speakers.
The Watch Now section will feature Up Next, where viewers can keep track of what they are currently watching and resume on any screen. This autumn, Apple TV+, Apple’s original video subscription service, will be available in the Apple TV app.
For users who sync their media to their devices using a cable, this should be quick and easy with the new entertainment apps. When users connect a device to their Mac, it will immediately show up in the Finder’s Sidebar, enabling you to backup, update or restore your device. You won’t find your devices in any of the new apps, as you did with iTunes. Sync functionally has been moved to the sidebar.
Apple Announce Sidecar
With Sidecar, your iPad can be used as an extended display for Mac as well as a high-precision drawing tablet across supported Mac apps. For users on the go, Sidecar has been designed to make it easy to bring an extended display with you so you can spread their work out over two displays wherever you happen to be. You will be able to use an iPad with an Apple Pencil as tablet input for Mac
When paired with an Apple Pencil, users will be able to use their iPad to draw, sketch or write in any Mac app that supports stylus input. Sidecar will also be able to be used for tasks like editing video with Final Cut Pro X, drawing with Adobe Illustrator or marking up iWork documents, and like all Continuity features, Sidecar will run on a wireless connection, so users can work with greater mobility.
New Security Features And Improved Control
New security features keep users better protected and Voice Control helps users control their Mac entirely with their voice.
Apple has stated that it “believes technology is most powerful when it empowers everyone”. With macOS Catalina, Apple will introduce new assistive technologies to help every user get the most out of their Mac.
Voice Control is a 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 will let users interact with virtually any app using comprehensive navigation tools, with audio processing happening on-device. Voice Control will also be available on iOS and iPadOS, enabling users to be able to control their device entirely with their voice, even gestures like tapping, swiping and scrolling.
With macOS Catalina, Gatekeeper will check all apps for known security issues, while new data protections will require all apps to get permission before being able to accessing user documents.
Approve with Apple Watch will let users approve many security prompts by simply tapping the side button on their Apple Watch. All Macs with the T2 Security Chip will support Activation Lock to make them less attractive to thieves. It will work just like it works on the iPhone, if your Mac gets stolen, it's useless.
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. Apparently, Apple devices will send a secure Bluetooth beacon and then Apple makes an end-to-end encrypted mesh network of Apple devices to locate them. It combines Find My Friends and Find my iPhone and will be available on Mac and iOS.
Screen Time on the Mac will give users insight into how much time they spend in apps and on websites, and will offer the tools to help decide how to spend their time.
Screen Time has been designed for the way Apple say people use their Mac, including a new “One more minute” feature that will give users a little more time to save their work or log out of a game.
Users will be able to schedule time away from their Mac and determine how much time you want to spend within apps, websites or categories of apps. With iCloud, users will be able to sync Screen Time settings and combine your usage across iPhone, iPad and Mac securely through end-to-end encryption.
Family Sharing will give parents new tools to help manage their children’s device usage better, including the ability to choose who their children will be able to communicate with and when.
Other macOS App Enhancements in Catalina
Photos will feature a new browsing experience that uses artificial Intelligence to showcase your best pictures.
Safari will have an updated start page that uses Siri Suggestions to feature frequently visited sites, bookmarks, iCloud tabs, Reading List selections and links sent in Messages.
Mail in macOS Catalina will add the ability to block email from a specified sender, mute an overly active thread and unsubscribe from commercial mailing lists.
Notes will have a brand new Gallery View, with more powerful search tools and additional collaboration options.
Reminders has been redesigned to provide a new user interface designed to make it easier to create, organise and track reminders.
More Apps for Mac
With macOS Catalina, there will be new APIs and tools for developers designed to make it easier 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 larger display. From this autumn, users can expect to see more of their favourite apps coming to the Mac. Apparently Asphalt 9 Legends was one experiment at using this project and we understand it look “just days” to be able to bring Twitter back to the Mac with a native app.