Get To Know macOS 10.15: Catalina

macOS Catalina | Photo From: Apple

Apple finally introduced the new macOS 10.15 named macOS Catalina during its WWDC event in San Jose, California. The new operating system is bringing a few changes that focus on improving performance and efficiency.

Probably the most expected change coming to macOS devices is Apple’s decision to break up the iTunes services. Over the years, iTunes has become a bloated mess that involved way too many functions crammed in a single application.

The macOS Catalina will differentiate Apple through its respective applications — Music, Books, Podcasts, and TV — after its two-decade dominance over Apple’s software and hardware devices.

iTunes was a revolutionary system that Steve Jobs created that enabled all devices under a single operating system to function as a singularity in means of its content. However, iTunes grew exponentially along with its user base and operating solely through iTunes for mundane tasks — importing music, adding books, importing photos — became a nuisance.

Although Apple may get rid of iTunes on all its hardware devices, other functions like device syncing will remain. Syncing your devices will now be handled by the Finder application, which can backup, update, or restore your device directly from its sidebar. Moreover, iTunes will not disappear wholly — Apple still needs to find a workaround for iPhone users with Windows laptops.

Meanwhile, in last year’s iOS 12 release, Apple introduced Screen Time — an iPhone feature that collects information on the number of hours a device owner spent on any of his/her iOS devices and then creates a trends pattern of that behavior. The feature specifies the weekly hours spent per application.

Screen Time was a feature that proved itself useful for most iOS users — iPhone was able to give a detailed information sheet on how users spent most of their time and adjusted accordingly to produce productive results.

This functionality will come with macOS Catalina with a new “One more minute” feature, which gives users more time to save your work or finish a game.

The incorporation of Screen Time with the macOS will also come with a cross-device analysis of personal screen time use. In other words, Apple will collectively combine information gathered from the entire Apple ecosystem that you own—including iPhones, iPads, Macs, etc.

macOS Catalina Sidecar
Photo From: Apple

For artists and creatives, Sidecar is one of the handiest features in the upcoming macOS Catalina. Sidecar enables Mac users to use their iPads like a second screen.

The announcement is a long-awaited release from Apple’s more creative set of customers who inevitably will need a second screen to accomplish tasks in a more desired manner, especially with the Apple Pencil that some iPads support — the feature opens a lot of creative possibilities.

Moreover, people can use the iPad as a touch-screen device to draw, write, and many more. The actions performed on the iPad Sidecar will automatically reflect on your Mac’s screen.

However, as innovative as it may be, third-party applications are facing a threat with this new feature. Developers like Wacom, Duet Display, and Cintiq are all popular choices for Mac users who need a secondary touch-screen device to meet their needs.

On the developer side of macOS Catalina, Apple also announced Project Catalyst, a framework that lets developers port iPad apps to the Mac — which, as of last week, was called Project Marzipan. Developers can access Catalyst today through allowing Xcode to extend support over to the desktop OS.

Moreover, developers currently using Mac products should consider switching from Bash to Zsh.

For over a decade, Bash has been the default and primary shell in macOS devices—it has been since OS X 10.2 Jaguar. However, due to licensing and out-of-date issues, Apple announced that it wants its users to start transitioning to Zsh—which functions similarly to Bash.

The macOS Catalina will be available in beta through this link. There’s also a developer version which should cost you a hundred dollars or so.

The software update officially rolls out “this Fall” as announced during WWDC, which should be around September based on previous macOS releases. Moreover, macOS Catalina will be available across these devices:

  • 12-inch MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (2012 and later)
  • iMac (2012 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

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