macOS Catalina is finally here. It’s been a pretty long wait.
After all, Apple first took the wraps off its all-new desktop operating system during the flashy opening keynote at its annual World Wide Developers Conference back in June.
But Mac owners are now able to download the latest desktop operating system and benefit from the latest performance boosts, security patches, and new features.
You can find out all the best macOS Catalina features in our handy guide, but one of the highlights is the break-up of iTunes.
Apple has now mirrored the way its media library is handled on iPhone and iPad – with specific Music, Podcast, and Video apps. This should make finding the right track, TV show episode, or podcast much faster – since you’re not trawling through the same bloated app for all of the above.
Other new additions include the debut of Screen Time – so you can monitor how much time you’re using productively, and how much you’re wasting in the related videos panel on YouTube, or deep-diving into obscure Wikipedia pages (what, is that just us?). There’s also stricter privacy controls that require apps to ask permission to access your desktop.
macOS Catalina – named after the Santa Catalina Island located off the coast of southern California – comes on the heels of the roll-out of iOS 13 for iPhone and iPod Touch, iPadOS – the first dedicated tablet operating system from Apple, tvOS 13 and watchOS 6 last month.
If you own multiple Apple products and have updated everything to the latest software, there will be a number of extra features available to you in macOS Catalina, including the ability to use an iPad as a secondary wireless touchscreen.
Dubbed Sidecar, the feature lets you use the Apple Pencil to control elements of the desktop operating system – or even interact with applications, like Photoshop.
Unfortunately, not every Apple Mac will be able to get the bump to macOS Catalina. Here’s a list of every model compatible with the latest update.
Thankfully, not too much has changed since macOS 10.14 Mojave. Apple has only dropped support for Mac Pro machines launched between 2010 and 2012.
Every other Mac running macOS Mojave will be able to update to macOS 10.15 Catalina.
If you need a refresher, that’s…
- iMac: Late 2012 or newer
- iMac Pro: All Models
- Mac Pro: Late 2013 or newer
- Mac Mini: Late 2012 or newer
- MacBook: Early 2015 or newer
- MacBook Air: Mid-2012 or newer
- MacBook Pro: Mid-2012 or newer, including non-Retina
macOS Catalina was the last major operating system introduced at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) to launch from Apple.
But that doesn’t mean you’re not getting any new features, Apple is bringing its new Deep Fusion photography technology to iOS 13.2 for the iPhone in the coming months.
There is also supposedly new Apple MacBook hardware on the horizon, with an edge-to-edge display and Face ID, which could have some specific macOS features.