macOS 10.15 Catalina is the most exciting version of Apple's operating system in years

So, like, here's the deal folks. macOS is a really great operating system, but it has gotten a bit stale in recent years. That isn't necessarily a bad thing -- the lack of excitement is largely due to the maturity of macOS. But also, it was because Apple wasn't paying as much attention to the desktop OS. And hey, I get it, iOS is the company's bread and butter. With that said, Mac users are a ferociously passionate bunch, so Apple made a big mistake by neglecting them -- especially as iPhone sales are slowing.

Thankfully, Apple has finally gotten the message from its loyal customers, and it has begun focusing on Mac again. The keyboard on its laptops are still a problem, but the iMac and even the Mac mini are now modern and well-received. Earlier today at WWDC, Apple even unveiled the upcoming redesigned Mac Pro, and it is a friggin' stunner! It is exactly what professional Mac users have wanted for years.

ALSO READ: The iPhone-maker doth protest too much? Apple launches new site to wax lyrical about the App Store in the face of criticism

WWDC is a developer conference, so hardware is not the star of the show. Software is the true focus of the conference, and Apple made a few huge announcements. One, iPad will now have its own forked version of iOS called iPadOS. Second, iOS 13 is coming for iPhone and iPod touch, and it will officially have a system-wide dark mode. The third bit of news is much more exciting -- macOS 10.15! The upcoming version of Apple's traditional desktop operating system will be called "Catalina" and it is loaded with exciting features.

As expected, iTunes is being killed, in favor of three individual apps -- Apple Music, Podcasts, and TV. This makes sense, as iTunes became a bloated mess -- a relic from yesteryear when people bought and stored music locally. This move shows just how prevalent streaming music has become. It is something many Mac users, including yours truly, have been calling for.

Security will be a huge focus of macOS 10.15, as Apple explains below.

With macOS Catalina, Gatekeeper now checks all apps for known security issues, while new data protections require all apps to get permission before accessing user documents. Approve with Apple Watch lets users approve many security prompts by simply tapping the side button on their Apple Watch. Now all Macs with the T2 Security Chip support Activation Lock to make them less attractive to thieves. And with the new Find My app, the location of a lost or stolen Mac can be securely and anonymously relayed back to its owner by other Apple devices, even when it is offline.

The most exciting news, however, is third-party iPad apps are coming to Mac! Yes, developers can create one app for iPad and also have it work on macOS. This will greatly increase the available software on Mac, while also making the lives of developers easier. In addition, the new "Sidecar" feature will allow any iPad running iOS 13 or higher to serve as a secondary display for Mac. If that tablet has Apple Pencil support, it can also become a drawing device for Mac.

Speaking to these changes, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering explains, "With macOS Catalina, we're bringing fresh new apps to the Mac, starting with new standalone versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app. Users will appreciate how they can expand their workspace with Sidecar, enabling new ways of interacting with Mac apps using iPad and Apple Pencil. And with new developer technologies, users will see more great third-party apps arrive on the Mac this fall."

The most endearing aspect of macOS Catalina is Voice Control -- a feature that will help some computer users with disabilities better interact with the Mac.

Apple believes technology is most powerful when it empowers everyone. With macOS Catalina, Apple is introducing new assistive technologies to help every user get the most out of their Mac. Voice Control is a transformative technology that enables users who can’t operate traditional input devices to control their Mac entirely with their voice using on-device Siri speech recognition technology, which also ensures personal data is kept private. New labels and grids let users interact with virtually any app using comprehensive navigation tools, with audio processing happening on-device. Voice Control is now also available on iOS and iPadOS, so users can control their device entirely with their voice, even gestures like tapping, swiping and scrolling.


Apple share further changes below.

  • Photos features a beautiful new browsing experience that intelligently showcases the user’s best pictures.
  • Safari has an updated start page that uses Siri Suggestions to elevate frequently visited sites, bookmarks, iCloud tabs, Reading List selections and links sent in Messages.
  • Mail in macOS Catalina adds the ability to block email from a specified sender, mute an overly active thread and unsubscribe from commercial mailing lists.
  • Notes now has a brand new Gallery View, more powerful search tools and additional collaboration options.
    Reminders has been redesigned with an all-new user interface that makes it easier to create, organize and track reminders.

Ready to try macOS 10.15 Catalina? Well, you can download it today... if you are a developer. As usual, consumers will have to wait until fall for the final version, but a public preview should come sooner. While developers can play around with the preview version now, don't get too jealous y'all -- it is probably quite buggy at this stage. Just be patient -- you'll have iPad apps on your Mac soon enough.

44 Responses to macOS 10.15 Catalina is the most exciting version of Apple's operating system in years

  1. TechFan says:

    OMG - so everything Windows 8/10 brought to the table (and less), but now it's cool and exciting.

    • barely_normal says:

      And more than likely, bug-free!

      • Adrian S says:

        umm, Apple Macs do have their problems, granted it is normally third party software that cause s most of the problems, but I know a few people with Macs and have a few problems.
        Also, I presume it is easier to get a OS working with less problems on a machine with fixed hardware than one that needs to support a lot of different hardware configurations. Not that I am sticking up for MS, they need to do better, with all the testing Windows get these days with different hardware configurations it should a lot better.

      • YourBreastsAreHuge says:

        Windows 10 gets very little testing with different hardware configurations internally at Microsoft. Most testing happens from people who aren't tech savvy at all in the Insider fast ring and that depends on those people actually sending bug reports to Microsoft.

      • Adrian S says:

        Not internally, but externally and MS gets all the daa from their telemetry, after all we are told that telemetry is there to make Windows better, so it don't matter if people are tech savy or not.

      • barely_normal says:

        Apparently you, and NO ONE ELSE remembers when Microsoft made the claim, during the pre-extended time of Windows XP, that CPUs were fast enough that ALL POSSIBLE CONFIGURATIONS of hardware and software could be tested, and THEREFORE all bugs would be soon worked out.

        Still waiting on that one...

      • Adrian S says:

        No, I don't remember that and to be honest that is a stupid claim to make.
        I am not sticking up for MS, they have caused me all sorts of problems over the years,

      • barely_normal says:

        It is one that Microsoft made. It is rather silly, but they did make it. That you don't remember is testament to the ability of certain things, when desired, to disappear from public knowledge.

      • Adrian S says:

        As hard as it may be for you to understand, I have heard a load of stuff from different companies over the years, so excuse me if I forgotten a few of them.

      • barely_normal says:

        I was not trying to start anything. BUT, if you think about it. Microsoft has both the hardware and financial resources and the personnel to do exactly what I said they had. Imagine knowing for certain that by the use of an extensive HCL, as back when Windows NT, was the big boy on the block, problems could be shunted to hardware manufacturers or installation problems which were human related. It would be one hell of a recommendation, and far fewer would complain. Of course, they would need to get the software more stable, so that a baseline was established.

      • Adrian S says:

        so who do Ms blame now?

      • barely_normal says:

        I would not have a clue. Microsoft has lost its mind, with the stupidity of Windows Last, and its soul, with the effort to monetize everything.

        Where Microsoft screwed up is thinking that ONE SIZE FITS ALL was good for anything other than muumuus. Had they applied some intelligence, the Windows system could have been unified in what the OS does, but without what the consumer sees. By keeping the appropriate UI for each type of device, Microsoft could have won the day without much difficulty.

      • Adrian S says:

        MS is not alone here, Apple have been drifting that way for a while now, a Mac owning friend of mine have been complaining of this for a few years now and each update of the MAC Os, makes things worse.

        She still says that Mac OS is better than windows, more reliable and all that stuff, but she hates the way it is starting to look like a mobile phone OS, sounds familiar.

        i can understand why a couple of people I know uses Linux and nothing but linux, it is a computer OS. Ok I know that Linux is also used for other devices, but Linux on a desktop looks like a desktop OS, unless you get one that don't.

    • Slavic says:

      It's far from everything. I never saw that Windows is able to use the nearby tablet (even a Surface) as a second display or as a drawing pad. As a remote desktop yes, copying the data from a smartphone yes, but no such integration like here.

      • TechFan says:

        It's easy to use a tablet as a second display, but as a drawing pad, I haven't seen that either. And don't get me wrong, Apple has some of their own ideas but also remember how long Windows 8/10 has been out.

    • async2013 says:

      Aaaand he's off!! Just cant help himself

  2. MyLongAccountName says:

    The big news is that iPad can be connected to macs and used as a digitizer. I would dump all my Wacom stocks if I have any.

    • Adrian S says:

      My friend has a Wacom Cintiq 27 inch and I don't think she would replace that with a Ipad to be honest.

      • YourBreastsAreHuge says:

        The iPad is better

      • Adrian S says:

        in your dreams, it don't have precision. I chatted to my friend early this evening and she has a ipad that she uses some different software on it for quick photo editing or she tried and she says the screen just don't react right.
        Also, Ipads don't come in 27 inch versions.

  3. Morrolan says:

    A 6K Mac with a 5K monitor? It better be super amazing for that price!

    • Pecan says:

      Don't forget the monitor needs the 1K stand as well.
      Fashion comes at a price. Computing comes at a much lower one.

    • YourBreastsAreHuge says:

      It's way sharper than LG's most expensive OLED TV. Apple's monitor has deeper blacks and more vivid colors too. And that stand? Apple is selling it at a huge loss.

  4. Morrolan says:

    How can you run an iPad app on a mac if mac doesn't have a touch interface? It would be easier on developers if they could compile and execute iPad apps without macos.

  5. psycros says:

    "iTunes is being killed, in favor of three individual apps -- Apple Music, Podcasts, and TV."

    That's not what everyone else is reporting. In fact other sites of saying the exact opposite - that iTunes now incorporates all the function of the individual apps.

  6. barely_normal says:

    " a relic from yesteryear when people bought and stored music locally" Intelligent people, who crave fidelity over convenience still do.

    I become nearly livid when I hear, or read, such lunacy.

    I live in California, Southern California, and yet it is easy to go 20 minutes from where I live to have no cell phone signal... No signal, no local storage, good luck and hope you like humming to yourself.

    • YourBreastsAreHuge says:

      I'm sure you're blowing this way out of proportion. There will likely be an offline mode like what Google Play Music has.

      • barely_normal says:

        What is out of proportion is the stupidity of anyone claiming optical storage is no longer needed.

      • Adrian S says:

        I suppose it depends, many machines now don't come with optical storage, usb pen drives have replaced that, just like optical storage replace floppy disks.
        i still use optical storage myself for certain things, but I can understand why other don't, after all copying files to them is slow.

      • barely_normal says:

        And lifespan with standard standard handling is much higher. I have, many times, been the victim of sudden flash memory failure, with reading capability gone forever. Ooops! Nothing is forever, but my money is on optical with temperature controlled handling, versus flash with possibility of stray currents and static.

  7. MyDisqussion says:

    I am looking forward to this release.

  8. J. Zehlicke says:

    Here it is folks. macOS 10.15 finally supports touch. Erhmm not. But iPad apps are coming to macOS. No fridge toaster this time?

    • Tasburath says:

      Do people really use touch on a non-tablet for home use?

      I have a macbook pro and not once have I ever wanted to use touch on it. My wife has had a touch enabled windows laptop for 2 years and has not used touch on it once. It's not a comfortable position to use touch and it leaves fingerprints on your screen.

      • J. Zehlicke says:

        Yes I do. My wife too. And my daughter too. I have received a million complaints from my daughter because my old laptop was not touch enabled. I threw it away and bought a touch enabled one.

      • Tasburath says:

        Do you find yourself constantly cleaning the screens?

        Genuinely curious as My iPad I have to do it often

      • TechFan says:

        Not as bad as you would think (we have clean hands in my house) - but as you touch it drastically less than a 100% touchscreen device like an iPad - it's not bad.

      • TechFan says:

        We do - well my son and I do (Haven't seen my wife touch the desktop screen once). Which brings up a point, the younger generation expects all screens to be touchscreen - and they should. It's cheap to do, it's just one more input tool (keybaord vs mouse, vs pen, vs controller).

        For me, I'll tap some things one my desktop monitor, but when using a Surface, a lot more. Of course, using my iPad all the time :)

  9. ms_t_rie says:

    The question I have for it, is whether they will be killing off the ability to run 32-bit programs all together as they have been 'promising'. I won't be going to it if they do, a lot of games are 32-bit still.

    • YourBreastsAreHuge says:

      Apple should do that and they should force Catalina on all Mac users specifically for that purpose.

  10. Sandiegodoug says:

    Just realized that Apple named new OS Catalina. Imagine the confusion if Tomcat Catalina is running on Catalina and someone asks "what do you have Tomcat Catalina running on?" and the response is Catalina. And the guys like that's what I'm asking you. It's like Abbott and Costello's Who's on First bit.

  11. YourBreastsAreHuge says:

    Apple isn't doing enough to protect Mac users from malware. It should be a requirement on MacOS that all apps be signed by Apple even if they don't come from the Apple Store. Even having Gatekeeper add a digital signature to apps where it doesn't find any malware would be a good start.

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