macOS Catalina: Apple TLD Review

Apple’s WWDC 2019 was so long for more than 2 hours and there were many launches from tvOS to the new Mac Pro. Everyone was so amazed and busy with the insanely powerful Mac Pro and the much awaited dark mode on iOS 13 that the new version of macOS called Catalina kind of stayed out of the spotlight. But that doesn’t mean it is not good, in fact the new macOS Catalina brings many changes to the Apple Ecosystem and performance improvements. Apple doesn’t need to update the macOS every year like they do with iOS as macOS is really good and stable. But still Apple updates macOS to give it’s users best experience and improved performance year after year. Let’s look at the major changes and improvements macOS Catalina brings to the table.

Apple TV, Music, and Podcasts

There were rumours and leaks before WWDC that Apple might get rid of the iTunes App altogether and the new apps that replace iTunes are Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. Apple has made this to offer more functionality and enhancements to all these apps which would have difficulty with iTunes.

Apple Music – The Music app will be used to access all the entire music library. This is will be similar to how music was accessed on iTunes.

Apple TV – The TV app will have the app’s channels with more than 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows available to buy or rent. All these content will be available in 4K HDR video and Dolby Atmos and Apple TV+ will also be available through this app when the service becomes accessible later this year.

Apple Podcasts – The Podcast app gets a new interface with enhanced search options and performance improvements. The app now offers more than 700,000 podcasts and new episodes to listen from your mac.

With iTunes gone, devices will now be synced in the Finder app, and will be able to backup and sync those devices. According to Apple, it will also be easier to drag and drop files for quick transfers as well.

Project Catalyst

Apple’s plan to bring more apps to the mac from the iPhone and iPad is known as Project Catalyst. This is done simply by checking off a box in the Xcode app in macOS Catalina. Once that is done, a series of new features and protocols become available to the app in the development phase, from which the developer can choose to add to their apps.


Sidecar was the most exciting and unexpected launch from Apple at WWDC 19. macOS Catalina combined with iPad OS gives the ability to extend the Mac’s display to a nearby iPad both wired or wirelessly. This will be useful to designers as they can use their iPad like a Wacom Tablet and as most of the Mac users own an iPad, this will be more appealing as they are not spending extra for a secondary display. This connected iPad can also be used as a drawing tablet with various specifically supported apps.

Apps that will support Apple’s Sidecar feature:

● Adobe: After Effects, Illustrator, Premiere Pro

● Affinity Designer & Affinity Photo

● Cinema 4D

● CorelDRAW

● DaVinci Resolve

● Final Cut Pro & Motion

● Maya

● Painter

● Principle

● Sketch

● Substance Designer & Painter

● ZBrush

Screen Time

Apple introduced Screen Time with iOS 12, an app that tracks your iPhone or iPad’s app usage time and blocks the user from using the app furthermore. This functionality will come to macOS with Catalina with a new “One more minute” feature, which gives you more time to save your work.

The good thing is that all these data are synced across your iPhone and iPad, giving analysis of your usage. It will also include parental controls on time spent using a Mac as well as with whom children are able to communicate with.

Find My

With the new Find My application, it’s easier to locate a lost Mac because others Mac’s surrounding nearby will be able to relay it’s location to you based on Bluetooth signals in the application itself.

For Macbooks equipped with T2 security chips, when stolen with macOS Catalina’s Activation Lock, you’ll be the only person to erase and reactivate it.

Voice Control

Voice Control is a new way to fully control your Mac, iPadOS, and iOS devices entirely with your voice. Voice Control improves on the existing Enhanced Dictation feature using the Siri speech recognition engine, so you get the latest advances in machine learning for audio-to-text transcription. All audio processing for Voice Control happens on your device, ensuring that your personal data is kept private.


Macs that could upgrade to macOS Mojave will also be able to receive the new macOS Catalina update. Here’s the full list of devices:

● 12-inch MacBook (2015 and later)

● MacBook Air (2012 and later

)● MacBook Pro (2012 and later)

● Mac mini (2012 and later)

● iMac (2012 and later)

● iMac Pro (2017)

● Mac Pro (2013 and later)

Release Date

macOS Catalina will be available to everyone this fall as promised by Apple at WWDC 19. However, the public beta is available now for everyone to try out from Apple Beta Software Program.

Final Review

Apple does the best software in the industry. They are well optimized for performance and focuses more on security. This has been the same for their entire ecosystem from iOS 13 to macOS Catalina now. Like we said before, Apple doesn’t need to update macOS every year but still they do to provide their users with the best experience and performance. macOS Catalina sticks to this timeline and proves to be yet another update with some major changes and new features.

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Uvan Sankar K
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