Apple announces macOS 10.15 Catalina with new apps, Sidecar, Voice Control, and more
In an effort to keep its devices updated with the latest piece of software and provide its users with new sets of features, with bug fixes and performance improvements, Apple has today announced a new version of its macOS for the Mac, called Catalina. The new OS brings along a series of new improvements, along with a bunch of apps, to get rid of the old iTunes app. These new apps include Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV apps, which work just like the sound.
The macOS Catalina (10.15) introduces three new apps to get rid of the iTunes app and simplify the way users discover and consume their favorite music, TV shows, movies, and podcasts. The Apple Music app will come with over 50 million songs, playlists, and music videos and allow users to have access to their entire music library, either downloaded, purchased, or ripped from a CD. Whereas, the Apple TV app, on the other hand, will bring along Apple TV channels, personalized recommendations, and over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows to browse, buy, or rent. Similarly, the Podcasts app has more than 700,000 shows in its catalog for its users, with the option to automatically be notified of new episodes as soon as they become available.
With macOS Catalina, one of the highly-anticipated features is finally making its way. The new feature, called Sidecar, allows an iPad to be used as an extended display for Mac or as a high-precision drawing tablet across supported Mac apps. The feature makes it easy for users who like to expand their work out on multiple screens by allowing them to carry an iPad as a secondary display for their computer. Additionally, when paired with an Apple Pencil, users can use their iPad to draw, sketch, or write in any Mac app that supports stylus input.
Apple is also working on the Accessibility front and is introducing new assistive technologies to help users get the most out of their Mac. For this, it is introducing Voice Control to enable users who can’t operate traditional input devices to control their Mac entirely with their voice using on-device Siri speech recognition technology. In addition, it is also bringing new labels and grids to allow users to interact with any app using comprehensive navigation tools.
The Screen Time feature on the Mac provides close insights on how users spend their time on apps or websites and help them decide how to how to utilize their time. With macOS Catalina, the Screen Time feature gets an additional feature, called One more minute. Essentially, the new features provides users more time to save their work or log out of a game. It also allows them to schedule time away from their Mac, and determine how much time they want to spend within apps or websites. Additionally, users can also sync Screen Time settings and combine their usage across iPhone, iPad, and Mac using iCloud. And with Family Sharing, parents can better manage their children’s device usage, including the ability to decide who their children can communicate with and at what time.
Apple is also introducing new APIs and tools for developers to make it easy for them to bring iPad apps to the Mac. It says that beginning this fall, users can expect their favorite apps like including Jira Cloud, Twitter, and Asphalt 9, coming to the Mac.
macOS Catalina App Enhancements
- A new browsing experience on Photos that intelligently showcases the user’s best pictures.
- An updated start page on Safari that uses Siri Suggestions to elevate frequently visited sites, bookmarks, iCloud tabs,
- Reading List selections, and links sent in Messages.
- Ability to block email from a specified sender, mute an overly active thread and unsubscribe from commercial mailing lists on Mail.
- A brand new Gallery View on Notes with more powerful search tools and additional collaboration options.
- Redesigned Reminders app with an all-new user interface that makes it easier to create, organize and track reminders.
As for availability, macOS Catalina will be available this fall as a free software update for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later, with the developer preview available to Apple Developer Program members starting today and the public beta program available for Mac users later this month.