A first glimpse at macOS 10.15 Catalina

With the start of this year’s Apple developer conference #WWDC19, Apple boss Tim Cook introduced the new version of the Mac operating system in his keynote speech. What’s new, what has changed in this year’s macOS version? We have already taken a closer look at the update and found the following new features:

Extended Desktop

The most useful feature in macOS 10.15 Catalina is certainly the extension of the Mac desktop to other devices, such as iPads. Mobile users get a bigger desktop and more workspace in no time, which makes a lot of sense to me personally. It also enables touch functionality to work with macOS – imagine yourself drawing in Photoshop with your Apple Pencil on the Mac desktop, extended to your iPad screen…

Screen time

Have you ever wondered how long you sit in front of your Mac every day and work, surf the web, read email, or answer Slack messages? With macOS 10.15, the screen time recording function that we already know from iOS and Android devices is now also available on the Mac desktop. Third-party apps for time recording already exist, such as the popular Timing app, which is available either as a stand-alone application or as part of a Setapp subscription.

Photo by @TheRealEdem

iPad apps also for the Mac

With Project Catalyst, it is now possible to update iOS apps so they can run directly on macOS. Apple already laid the foundation in 2018, but with this year’s macOS 10.15 version, developers can begin to make their iOS apps fit for distribution to Mac users. In addition to touch input on the iPhone and iPad, they will also work with keyboard and mouse when used in macOS. Using the SwiftUI library that works with Xcode 11, developers can start adapting iOS apps for the Mac now.

The end for iTunes

The newly introduced Apple apps for Music, Podcasts and Books, which are included in macOS 10.15 Catalina and are also based on their iOS counterparts, have the consequence that iTunes is considered outdated and therefore no longer developed further. Instead, the synchronisation and backup of iOS devices move directly to the Finder.

A word about 32-bit apps

32-bit applications are no longer supported by macOS 10.15 by the way. This means the end for some programs. Forerunners of this support end for 32-bit software were already noticeable in macOS 10.14 – the system had pointed out the imminent end of their support already.

Availability of macOS 10.15 Catalina

macOS 10.15 can now be downloaded by members of the Apple Developer Programme. A public beta version will follow in July 2019; the final version of Catalina will be released in autumn.