Apple has launched its new macOS Catalina desktop operating system for Mac devices launched in 2012 or later.
The new operating system offers a variety of new features and integration with recently-launched Apple platforms.
Catalina also removes some features which were present in previous macOS iterations. Most notably, iTunes has finally been removed from the OS in favour of Apple’s new Music app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.
“Three all-new apps — Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV — replace iTunes and make it easy and fun to discover and enjoy music, TV shows, movies and podcasts on Mac,” Apple said.
After you upgrade to macOS Catalina, you will retain access to your entire music library as well as your ability to buy new music from the iTunes Store.
Apple TV+, Apple’s new subscription service, will be available through the Apple TV app on macOS Catalina from 1 November 2019.
Sidecar and apps
macOS Catalina includes a new Sidecar feature, which allows you to connect an iPad as a secondary display for your Mac device.
“With Sidecar, you can use an iPad display for tablet input to draw, sketch or write with Apple Pencil in any Apple or third-party Mac app that supports stylus input,” Apple said.
Sidecard runs over either a wired or wireless connection, allowing you to charge your iPad as you work or keep it disconnected for greater portability.
Apple also announced Mac Catalyst, a new technology which allows app developers to easily port their iPad apps to Mac.
This will bring more applications to the Mac environment, including Twitter, Post-It, Morpholio Board, and others.
“These titles and more will be available, starting as early as today, on the Mac App Store for users to download and enjoy, and other exciting Mac Catalyst-developed apps will be released in the weeks ahead,” Apple said.
Features and roll-out
Other features bundled with the latest version of macOS include screen time monitoring with usage limits, as well as improved security features when paired with compatible devices.
macOS Catalina also offers a new Find My app, which allows you to easily track your iPhone, iPad, or Mac through a single interface, as well as an overhauled Photos app which intelligently showcases the user’s best pictures.
The new Mail app in macOS Catalina adds the ability to block email from a specified sender, mute an overly active thread, and unsubscribe from commercial mailing lists.
Additionally, the Safari browser now boasts an overhauled start page which uses Siri suggestions to recommend frequently-visited sites and bookmarks.
macOS Catalina is available from 7 October 2019 as a free software update for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later.
Apple noted that some features might not be available in all regions or languages.