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Apple has revealed what macOS Catalina will be bringing to the playing field in September, and now they’ve given us an insight as to what we can expect. They have given us a preview on their website of some of the key features.

iTunes changes

Announced a few months ago, the iTunes name will be heard no longer. What’s taking its place, however, is a head turner. It is being split into several different programs – instead of one overloaded application, iTunes will now consist of different programs for different aspects of the iconic tool. What’s more, although iTunes itself will remain on Windows and Linux devices, you will still be able to sync data between Windows and macOS devices with Catalina.

Rest assured, any music and videos you had in your iTunes library are safe. They will be automatically imported into their new respective applications upon upgrading. This will also come with improved iCloud optimisation, to ease the backing up of data.

Apple TV

Mac will now have an Apple TV app, which will act as the basis for “all your favourite films, TV programmes, streaming services and – coming soon – Apple TV+”. Having access to all this streamable data from 1 location will make accessing entertainment from a Mac easier than ever.

Notes and Reminders rework

Notes, an essential tool on any Mac. It’s getting reworked, along with its equally travelled brother, Reminders. The purpose behind the rework is to allow for better options for searching and collaborating, as well as general theme and layout reworks.

A new voice system

Soon, you will have more than just Siri as your option for improved vocal interaction with your Macs. Opening programs, and accessing various features are expected to be significantly improved with this new release. From moving through menus to navigating Finder, accessibility has never been easier.

Screen Time

A popular feature on iOS devices is called Screen Time. It allows you to track usage data for various apps, how long you spend playing games or browsing IrishTech.ie. Well, you guessed it, macOS Catalina will implement a similar feature. You will be able to set up time limits for specific apps and to keep up to date on what the kids are using when they’re playing games.

Sidecar

Catalina will implement a new feature called Sidecar. Essentially, it’s a means of setting up an Apple tablet, such as the iPad, as a second display wirelessly. Yep, that’s right, you will be able to use your iPad as a second monitor with this new macOS update. And what’s more, you will be able to use a linked iPad as a graphics tablet on Mac apps that support it, as opposed to buying a separate stylus and display for drawing or writing. Apple’s Apple Pencil will, of course, be fully supported here.

Photos

Perhaps one of the oldest features of the Macintosh lineup, the Photos app will be significantly tweaked and upgraded. Now you’ll be able to access all your photos in a larger preview window, your best photos will be automatically picked out for you by Apple’s Photo AI, and we may even see these features on iOS in the near future. The new photos preview has been a requested feature for years. The ugly and uninformative Photos app was long overdue a rework. Apple uses local learning machines to work out who appears in what photo, and even recognise them in other photos.

Dark Mode

As expected, macOS Catalina will have a new dark mode, reaching more apps than High Sierra’s. Optimised to reduce the strain on your eyes, at night or even during the day, the dark mode has been a popular feature since its release last year. It gives the operating system a fresh new clean look, something that was welcomed by any returning user from other operating systems.

Conclusions

To see if your Mac can run macOS Catalina, check out this key at the bottom of Apple’s preview page. Essentially, it will work on any MacBook 2015 or later, any iMac 2012 or later, any MacBook Air 2012 or later, any iMac Pro 2017 or later, and MacBook Pro 2012 or later, any Mac Pro 2013 or later, and any Mac mini 2012 or later. macOS Catalina is set for release in fall of 2019. A developer beta is now available. A Public Beta is expected to release some time in mid to late July.

Post Author: Evin Kierans

Musician, tech enthusiast, gamer, journalist and web designer