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Enlarge / No working system is an island, however macOS Catalina is known as after one.

Apple

Ever because the iPhone got here out in 2007 and virtually instantaneously overshadowed the Mac, each by way of gross sales and growth sources, Apple has been making the Mac a bit extra just like the iPhone. Positive, a couple of options have moved the opposite means—the iPad has regularly gotten a bit extra Mac-like because it has grow to be highly effective sufficient to do Mac-like issues—however a giant piece of each macOS launch this decade has been “this is all of the stuff Apple introduced over from iOS this yr.”

Catalina strikes macOS additional and extra decisively within the path of iOS than ever; for the primary time, third-party code written for iOS and iPadOS can run on the Mac with comparatively few modifications. On the similar time, Apple stays adamant that the Mac and iOS/iPadOS are separate platforms that differ in ways in which transcend the underlying processor structure or the first enter mechanism.

Catalina additionally attracts clearer strains between the 2 platforms than we have gotten earlier than. Apple has each mentioned and performed issues that solely make sense if the Mac will nonetheless have the ability to run no matter code you need for the foreseeable future, even because the default settings and safety mechanisms grow to be extra locked-down and iOS-y. The overwhelming success of the iPhone signifies that most individuals are fantastic with Apple’s restrictions more often than not. However the slew of latest desktop we have gotten within the final couple of years means that Apple understands invaluable, vocal chunk of the Mac person base (and the builders who drive the iPhone’s and iPad’s success) nonetheless desires highly effective that runs extra versatile software program.

Regardless of continued angst about what it means for apps to be “Mac-like,” the Mac will proceed to be the Mac, distinct from the iPhone and the iPad. Preserve that in thoughts as we dig into Catalina, which modifications an entire lot of stuff about how Macs work whereas nonetheless aiming to protect what individuals like about them.

Desk of Contents

System necessities and compatibility

What ought to I do with my unsupported Mac?

Branding, set up, and free house

The tip of 32-bit apps (and different removals)

OpenGL and OpenCL

Dashboard is useless

Python, Perl, and Ruby

New options: Finder and window administration tweaks

System Preferences, refreshed

Display screen Time

Voice Management

Sidecar: Your iPad is a monitor now

Compatibility

Utilizing Sidecar

SIdecar and iPad equipment

Catalyst: iPad apps come to the Mac

What builders are saying

SwiftUI (or, the way forward for cross-platform apps)

iTunes no extra: Music, Podcasts, and TV

Music

Podcasts

TV

Syncing with Finder

Different apps: Discover My

Reminders

Pictures

Notes

Mail

QuickTime Participant

Messages

The unique Catalyst apps: Information, Shares, Dwelling, and Voice Memos

Safari 13

Register with Apple

Weak-password warnings

Goodbye to standalone extensions

Inspecting CPU utilization

And different additions

Safari 13 in Mojave and Excessive Sierra

Below the hood: System Extensions and DriverKit

System Extensions defined

DriverKit: Pretty restricted, for now

The way forward for kexts

The plight of the Hackintosh

Catalina’s read-only system quantity

Quantity teams, firmlinks, and why most individuals gained’t discover any of these items

FileProvider API

New (and generally annoying) system safety measures

Seize bag

Apple Arcade

Activation Lock for Apple T2 Macs

Apple Watch unlocking for apps

WPA3 help

AirPrint by default: A protracted goodbye to printer drivers

Auto-Be part of Hotspot

Preview signatures in your iDevices

Bye Bash, hey Z Shell

Growth Slot Utility

Darkish Mode for Apple Distant Desktop

No extra cuts for macOS Server

Improve now, or wait?

Conclusions

The great

The unhealthy

The ugly

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