MacOS Catalina first look: goodbye, iTunes; howdy, iPad apps on Mac
iPad apps are coming to the Mac, and iTunes is being damaged apart into several different apps. From a purchaser perspective, the ones are the most significant new aspects of macOS Catalina, which Apple will roll out to Mac computers this autumn. Today, the business enterprise is liberating its first public beta of Catalina. Let me say this up front: you ought to most effective installation the beta on a secondary Mac you’ve got across the house; it’s been fairly strong in my testing, however, it’s by no means geared up to be put on your complete-time laptop, iMac, or Mac mini.
There are lots of other changes and improvements to macOS Catalina, from a redesigned Reminders app to small however helpful additions like iCloud Drive folder sharing. Let’s run via what you could assume from macOS 10.15 when it rolls out to anyone in some months.
ITUNES SPLITS INTO APPLE MUSIC, PODCASTS, AND TV
Apple is eventually bidding farewell to iTunes for the Mac, breaking the bloated software program into 3 more targeted apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. The company says these apps have to offer amazing performance, however, I’ve been testing Catalina on a 2016 MacBook Pro — and this is nonetheless an early beta — so it’s hard to gauge how much quicker they may be than iTunes.
Apple Music is a gateway to the enterprise’s subscription track carrier, but it additionally handles all of the traditional tune library control that iTunes did before. So if you’re a nerd like me with an Apple Lossless collection and a gaggle of smart playlists, don’t fear: that stuff is all making the journey over and works perfectly. And yep, you could nonetheless purchase person albums and songs here if you’re now not an Apple Music individual. If you’re, you’ll get the standard sections like For You, Browse, and Radio. There’s the additionally greater color at some point of the app and inside the sidebar, that is a pleasing alternate when you consider that iTunes had gotten quite drab.
As for Podcasts and Apple TV, they’re precisely what you’d expect from Mac variations in their iOS counterparts. Apple TV consists of a complete guide for Apple TV Channels, so you can flow content material from HBO, Showtime, and other networks proper in the app in case you join them. Apple is likewise including a guide for HDR and Dolby Vision to the TV app.
And Podcasts offers a completely clean, truthful interface for maintaining up together with your preferred suggests and podcasters.
SIDECAR LETS YOU USE YOUR IPAD AS A SECOND DISPLAY
Apple has taken a cue from apps like Luma Display and is introducing a brand new feature in macOS Catalina called Sidecar, which lets in your iPad to function a secondary or reflected display for your Mac. This works both stressed and wirelessly, and Apple says performance has to essentially be equal between the two. In my enjoy, this is been in general true, however, the wi-fi mode may be a touch buggy in this beta stage. It’s also restricted to a number 10 meters (or a bit over 30 toes) on the grounds that Apple’s the usage of Bluetooth as part of the Sidecar magic.
Additionally, an app that helps stylus enter will permit you to draw or edit together with your Apple Pencil proper away without developers having to do whatever. That covers apps like Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator, and others which include Affinity Photo. Even in case you’re not a pro app consumer, Sidecar will be handy for annotating PDFs or signing documents in your Mac.
The Pencil also can be used to point and click on like a mouse. And you’ll truly discover your self doing that more than you’d think because in case you tap or swipe on the primary iPad show area the usage of your finger, nothing will appear. Apple has intentionally overlooked any sort of assist for finger navigation, and that layout choice was made due to the fact the agency doesn’t absolutely view macOS as a platform intended for touching. It’s for a mouse cursor or your Apple Pencil. There are exceptions to this, although: walking down the left facet of your iPad’s display screen is a sidebar that consists of modifier keys (command, alternative, control, and shift) and an undo button. So to right click, you’d preserve down manipulate and tap the show along with your Pencil. Additionally, if the app you’re using for your Mac consists of Touch Bar controls — even if your Mac itself lacks a Touch Bar — those will appear at the lowest of the iPad’s display.
Still, there are quirks to Sidecar. If you open a website in Safari, you have to use your Mac’s trackpad or the arrow keys on your iPad’s keyboard to scroll around. Since the Pencil is serving as a mouse pointer, you can’t use it to swipe around a page; it’ll just pick content on the display rather. This makes sense whilst you reflect consideration on it, however, is jarring at first. Second, Sidecar can only be released from your Mac, so that you can’t start a session on the iPad end. Lastly, Sidecar is exactly (and unsurprisingly) about display capability. If you have been hoping to pipe your Mac’s audio thru your exceptional iPad Pro speakers, that’s now not an option.
IPAD APPS ON MAC: GET READY FOR THE FLOODGATES TO OPEN
Project Catalyst gives developers an easy route for porting their iPad apps over to macOS at the same time as still providing the flexibility and equipment to lead them to feel at home at the Mac. Touch controls are automatically adapted to the mouse and keyboard, but app makers can choose to do a bit of greater work for their Catalyst apps to fit in better with different Mac apps with such things as menu bar controls, toolbar shortcuts, Touch Bar help, or translucent sidebars. (They’ll need to make some other icon too due to the fact iOS icons look a touch bizarre in your dock.) If apps use iOS thirteen features like dark mode, those robotically paintings in macOS as properly.
The catalyst may want to prove huge for the Mac App Store, which has stagnated over the last several years compared to the bountiful selection of apps on iOS. Apple showed off some examples of 0.33-birthday celebration Catalyst-primarily based apps at WWDC, and more need to be coming whilst Catalina ships in the fall. I can’t wait to peer apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video at the Mac (with assist for offline downloads), and I’m positive you’ve got a listing of what you’re enthusiastic about as well. Apple is doing everything it could to make it profitable — and clean — for devs to convey their iPad software program to a new platform.
Apple is also continuing to introduce extra of its own Mac apps based totally at the Project Catalyst tech. News, Home, Stocks, and Voice Memos debuted in Mojave to a few harsh complaints, however, the corporation says it has found out plenty in a year. Catalina’s Podcasts app runs on Catalyst, even though Apple Music and TV are traditional Mac packages.
FIND MY, REDESIGNED REMINDERS APP, AND SCREEN TIME
As with iOS, Apple is updating the Reminders app on macOS with a new layout and more superior features. The Find My app, which combines Find My Friends and Find My iPhone (or Mac, in this example), is also coming to macOS Catalina.
Apple says that Find My might be able to discover your Mac even supposing it’s now not related to Wi-Fi through the use of its Bluetooth sign. If your Mac is lost or stolen, any Mac or iOS tool that crosses its path will be capable of the report that place lower back to you, and it’ll then seem within the Find My app for clean reference. This reporting home feature gives up-to-stop encrypted and uses little or no data or battery power, according to Apple.
Apple is also bringing Screen Time from iOS over to the Mac with Catalina. It may be located right in machine alternatives. As on cell devices, it’ll show you how long you spend using character apps. You can set limits, downtime periods, and additionally follow those limits to blended classes like games or social networking. Also, Apple is letting the mother and father set conversions limits for youngsters — together with limiting it to contacts handiest.
IPHONES AND IPADS SYNC THROUGH THE FINDER NOW
Breaking up iTunes compelled Apple to figure out what to do with tool syncing. I assume they might’ve stored it within the Apple Music app, but alternatively, the syncing menu has been relocated to macOS’s Finder. It’s basically the exact same display which you’re acquainted with from iTunes, simply in a new spot. As Apple made sure to word at WWDC, not anything pops up automatically (and annoyingly) whilst you plug in an iPhone or iPad. You can simply open Finder yourself to sync, back up, or repair a device.
VOICE CONTROL IS A HUGE WIN FOR ACCESSIBILITY
Apple demoed its new Voice Control feature onstage at WWDC to huge applause. It lets in users to absolutely navigate and manage their Mac (and iOS / iPadOS) devices the use of their voice. I repeated some of the stairs inside the video under, and that they worked as anticipated. The gadget is smart sufficient to distinguish between dictation and commands at the fly, so it gained’t consist of things like “hit ship” in your messages. Apple says the satisfactory of its dictation has progressed because of these new accessibility efforts.
THE OTHER TIDBITS
- Mail-in Catalina will let you block senders, mute threads, and routinely unsubscribe from business mailing lists with a click.
- Activation Lock bolsters security on misplaced or stolen Macs, but most effective people who have a T2 safety chip inner. Currently, that list consists of 2018 (and later) MacBook Pro, 2018 MacBook Air, 2018 Mac mini, and iMac Pro. Like with the iPhone, your Apple ID password should be entered for the tool to be useable. And no, you couldn’t just boot into Disk Utility and wipe the tough power to get round Activation Lock.
- Your Apple ID info is now discovered proper at the top of gadget choices, giving you speedy and simple get right of entry to account management. Need to exchange your password? It couldn’t be plenty quicker than it’s far in Catalina.
- The Apple Watch ought to already let you skip your Mac’s lock screen, but now it is able to additionally be used to get admission to your passwords, authenticate app installations or view locked notes with a double tap of the virtual crown.
- Apps have to now request permission every time they want to get admission to your Documents, Downloads, Desktop, or iCloud Drive folders. Permission is likewise required for access to removable storage.
- MacOS Catalina runs on its very own read-only device quantity to prevent important files from being deleted or overwritten.
- Photos for macOS is falling a bit behind the iOS model. In Catalina, it’s getting the new, more immersive browsing enjoy and assist for Memory Movies, but it lacks a number of the greater powerful editing gear which might be coming to Photos in iOS thirteen — particularly for video.
- 32-bit apps aren’t supported in macOS Catalina. Period. They just won’t run. If you’ve got any 32-bit apps ultimate for your device when you install the update, you’ll see which of them they are and be warned that they’ll grow to be non-practical after updating.
One place Apple isn’t really addressing with macOS Catalina is speed. Software VP Craig Federighi didn’t communicate up any overall performance upgrades at WWDC, and it appears Apple is happy with where Mojave stands these days. The attempt to bring iPad apps to the Mac and Catalina’s different new functions took precedence, so maybe next yr we’ll see an overall performance-focused update. This one may be very a good deal about refinement and ushering in a brand new technology of 1/3-birthday party software on macOS.
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