IPad applications arrive on Mac and iTunes is divided into several different applications. From a consumer perspective, these are the most important new aspects of macOS Catalina, which Apple will roll out to Mac computers this fall. Today, the company releases its first public beta version of Catalina. Let me say at the outset: you should only install the beta version on a secondary Mac that you have in the house; it was fairly stable in my tests, but it is by no means ready to be installed on your full-time laptop, iMac or Mac mini.
There are many other changes and improvements to macOS Catalina, from a redesigned reminder application to small but useful additions like iCloud Drive folder sharing. Let’s see what you can expect from macOS 10.15 when it is rolled out for everyone in a few months.
iTunes splits into Apple Music, Podcasts and TV
Apple is finally saying goodbye to iTunes for Mac, dividing the inflated software into three more targeted applications: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. The company says these apps should deliver great performance, but I tested Catalina on a MacBook Pro 2016 – and this is still a first beta version – so it’s hard to assess how good they are. faster than iTunes.
Apple Music is a gateway to the company’s subscription music service, but it also manages all of the traditional music library management that iTunes previously did. So if you’re a nerd like me with an Apple Lossless collection and a bunch of smart playlists, don’t worry: it all makes the journey and works perfectly. And yes, you can still buy albums and individual songs here if you’re not an Apple Music user. If you are, you will get the usual sections like For You, Browse and Radio. There are also more colors in the app and in the sidebar, which is a good change since iTunes got pretty dull.
As for podcasts and Apple TV, they are exactly what you would expect from Mac versions of their iOS counterparts. Apple TV includes full support for Apple TV channels, so you can stream content from HBO, Showtime, and other networks directly in the app if you subscribe to it. Apple is also adding support for HDR and Dolby Vision to the TV app.
And Podcasts offers a very clean and simple interface to follow your favorite shows and podcasters.
Sidecar lets you use your iPad as a second screen
Apple has taken its cue from apps like Luma Display and introduced a new feature in macOS Catalina called Sidecar, which allows your iPad to act as a secondary or mirrored screen for your Mac. It works both wired and wireless, and Apple says the performance should be the same between the two. In my experience, this has been mostly true, but wireless mode may be a bit buggy in this beta phase. It is also limited to a range of 10 meters (or just over 30 feet) since Apple uses Bluetooth as part of the Sidecar magic.
In addition, any application that supports pen input will allow you to draw or modify immediately with your Apple pencil without the developers having to do anything. This covers applications like Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator and others such as Affinity Photo. Even if you are not a professional user of the application, Sidecar will be handy for annotating PDFs or signing documents on your Mac.
The pencil can also be used to point and click like a mouse. And you’ll find yourself doing this more than you think, because if you tap or slide on the main display area of the iPad with your finger, nothing will happen. Apple intentionally left out any type of support for finger navigation, and this design decision was made because the company doesn’t really view macOS as a platform for touch. It is for a mouse cursor or your Apple Pencil. There are two exceptions, however: at the bottom left of your iPad screen is a sidebar that includes modifier keys (command, option, control, and shift) and a cancel button. So, to right click, hold down and tap the screen with your pencil. In addition, if the application you are using on your Mac includes Touch Bar commands – even if your Mac itself does not have a Touch Bar – these will appear at the bottom of the iPad screen.
However, there are oddities at Sidecar. If you open a web page in Safari, you must use the trackpad on your Mac or the arrow keys on your iPad keyboard to scroll. Since the pencil serves as a mouse pointer, you cannot use it to scan a page; just select the content on the screen instead. It makes sense when you think about it, but it shakes at first. Second, Sidecar can only be launched from your Mac, so you cannot start a session at the end of the iPad. Finally, Sidecar is strictly (and not surprisingly) on display functionality. If you were hoping to direct your Mac’s audio through your beautiful iPad Pro speakers, this is not an option.
IPad applications on Mac: prepare to open the valves
Project Catalyst provides developers with an easy way to port their iPad apps to macOS while providing the flexibility and tools to make them feel at home on the Mac. Touch controls are automatically adapted to mouse and keyboard, but application creators can choose to do a little extra work to make their Catalyst applications integrate better with other Mac applications with things like menu bar, toolbar shortcuts, support for the touch bar or translucent sidebars. (They will also need to create another icon, because the iOS icons are a bit odd in your dock.) If the apps use iOS 13 features like dark mode, these also work automatically in macOS.
Catalyst could prove to be huge for the Mac App Store, which has stagnated in recent years compared to the huge selection of apps on iOS. Apple has presented some examples of Catalyst-based third-party applications to WWDC, and more are expected to arrive when Catalina ships in the fall. I can’t wait to see apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on the Mac (with support for offline downloads), and I’m sure you also have a list of what you are passionate about. Apple is doing everything in its power for developers to develop their iPad software on a new platform.
Apple is also continuing to introduce more of its own Mac applications based on Project Catalyst technology. News, Home, Stocks and Voice Memos debuted Mojave with harsh criticism, but the company says it learned a lot in one year. Catalina’s Podcasts app works on Catalyst, although Apple Music and TV are traditional Mac apps.
Find My, redesigned reminder app and screen time
As with iOS, Apple updates the Reminders app on macOS with a new design and more advanced features. The Find My app, which combines Find My Friends and Find My iPhone (or Mac, in this case), also arrives on macOS Catalina.
Apple says Find My will be able to locate your Mac even if it’s not connected to Wi-Fi using its Bluetooth signal. If your Mac is lost or stolen, any Mac or iOS device that crosses its path can notify you of this location, and it will then appear in the Find My app for easy reference. According to Apple, this home reporting feature is end-to-end encrypted and uses very little data or battery.
Apple is also bringing iOS Screen Time to the Mac with Catalina. It can be found directly in the system preferences. Like on mobile devices, it will show you how much time you spend using individual apps. You can set limits, downtime and also apply these limits to combined categories like games or social media. In addition, Apple allows parents to set communication limits for children – such as limiting it to contacts only.
IPhones and iPads sync via Finder now
The rupture of iTunes forced Apple to understand what to do with the synchronization of the devices. I guess they could have kept it in the Apple Music app, but instead, the sync menu was moved to the macOS Finder. It’s basically the same screen you know on iTunes, just in a new location. As Apple made sure to note during WWDC, nothing appears automatically (and annoyingly) when you plug in an iPhone or iPad. You can simply open Finder yourself to sync, back up, or restore a device.
Voice control is a huge victory for accessibility
Apple demonstrated its new on-stage voice control functionality at WWDC to much applause. It allows users to navigate and fully control their Mac (and iOS / iPadOS) devices using their voice. I repeated some of the steps in the video below, and they worked as expected. The system is smart enough to tell the difference between dictation and on-the-fly commands. So it won’t include things like “send by hit” in your messages. Apple says the quality of its dictation has improved thanks to these new accessibility efforts.
The other treats
- Mail in Catalina will allow you to block senders, cut discussions and automatically unsubscribe from commercial mailing lists with one click.
- The activation lock increases security on lost or stolen Macs, but only on those that contain a T2 security chip. Currently, this list includes the MacBook Pro 2018 (and later), the MacBook Air 2018, the Mac mini 2018, and the iMac Pro. As with the iPhone, your Apple ID password must be entered for the device to be usable. And no, you can’t just boot into Disk Utility and erase the hard drive to bypass the activation lock.
- Your Apple credentials are now at the top of system preferences, giving you quick and easy access to account management. Need to change your password? It couldn’t be much faster than Catalina.
- Apple Watch may already allow you to bypass your Mac’s lock screen, but it can now also be used to access your passwords, authenticate application installations, or view locked notes by double-pressing. the digital crown.
- Applications must now request authorization when they want to access your Documents, Downloads, Desktop or iCloud Drive folders. Authorization is also required to access removable storage.
- macOS Catalina runs on its own read-only system volume to prevent deletion or overwriting of critical files.
- Photos for macOS is a little behind the iOS version. In Catalina, it benefits from the new, more immersive browsing experience and support for memory movies, but it lacks some of the most powerful editing tools that come in Photos in iOS 13 – especially for video.
- 32-bit applications are not supported in macOS Catalina. Period. They just won’t run. If you have 32-bit applications left on your system when you install the update, you will see what those applications are and you will be warned that they will become non-functional after the update.
One area that Apple doesn’t really address with macOS Catalina is speed. Software vice president Craig Federighi has not talked about performance improvements at WWDC, and it appears Apple is happy with Mojave’s current position. The effort to bring iPad apps to the Mac and other new Catalina features was a priority, so maybe next year we’ll see a performance-oriented update. This concerns the refinement and the inauguration of a new era of third-party software on macOS.