MacOS Catalina 10.15 released: what’s new and how to install? A detailed review describing all the innovations

At the WWDC 2019 conference, Apple introduced a new version of its OS for Mac computers. The update called macOS Catalina turned out to be quite interesting.

Unfortunately, macOS updates don’t get that much attention, like iOS updates. That’s why some interesting features of the Mac operating system may go unnoticed.

Which computers support macOS Catalina

The list of compatible computers has not changed since last year and looks like this:

  • 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 and later;
  • Mac Pro 2013 and later.

How to download and install macOS Catalina?

The update is available in the Software Update section of the System Settings application.

goodbye, iTunes! Hello, Music, Podcasts and Apple TV

After 18 years, Apple abandons one of its oldest developments – iTunes Digital Media Combine. Three applications will replace him – Music for working with music, Podcasts for Podcasts and Apple TV for movies and video content in general (including own streaming TV service).

Sidecar – iPad as a second (and wireless) display

The function allows you to use the iPad as a second (and wireless) display. At the same time, you can still use the Apple Pencil stylus and applications like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. In other words – if you have long wanted to draw something on an iPad and immediately see it on a Mac, your time has come.

Apple also released new developer tools, with which developers can transfer their iPad-based applications on Mac much faster, than before.

Latitude app and new features to protect lost and stolen Macs

Gatekeeper now scans all programs for known security issues, and new data protection tools will require all applications to first obtain permission to access user documents.

MacOS Catalina also introduces an extra layer of Mac security with… Apple Watch. Just press the side button on the watch – and security check will be passed.

Besides, all Macs with T2 security chip now support Activation Lock (Activation lock). It means, that a stolen device can be unlocked only with the permission of its owner. Otherwise – only for parts. A redesigned Latitude app (former Find iPhone) will show the location of a lost or stolen Mac even then, when he will be offline. This will be possible thanks to the signals, that a special Bluetooth beacon will send to your nearby Apple devices.

Screen time – now on mac

The first appearance of Screen Time happened in 2018. Program worked (and working) on iPhone and iPad and showed, how much time a user spends on certain applications and sites.

Now the application has been ported to Mac (overview). In order not to adjust the screen time again, It is possible to port Settings from iPhone or iPad via iCloud.

P.S. Children, and especially Mac-dependent users, have cause for frustration – because in Screen Time, Family Access will work. This is done to, so that parents can have access to information about the use of Mac children. And set limits on the use of applications, sure.

New features Photo, Notes, Reminders and Safari

Photo application underwent serious processing. Now you can easily remove from the photo library «trash» the content (doubles, screenshots, unsuccessful shots and t.P.) and watch only good shots. They can be sorted by day, months and years. Enlarged previews are now selected for photos. What exactly to increase on them, determines artificial intelligence. Also, important moments are highlighted in the Photo – birthdays, anniversaries and travel.

In Notes there was a new, very stylish and practical look – Gallery.

Finding a note just got easier – Apple engineers redesigned search engine. New option «Control List» allows you to move finished tasks to the end of the list, and also quickly swap lines in the list with drag-n-drop drag.

Besides, new sharing options appear in Notes application, which allow you to share folders with notes or make a general note indicating rights: for viewing or editing only.

App Reminders was completely rewritten and became much closer to the title of a full-fledged task organizer. Reminders on macOS Catalina has a new design and many new ways to easily create, organize and track reminders. Now in «reminders» you can add attachments, conveniently create new tasks in the quick access panel or respond to Siri prompts based on your correspondence in Messages. Already created reminders are automatically organized into smart lists; upcoming tasks are also displayed there. And another useful feature: if you mention any of your interlocutors in a reminder, during the next correspondence with him through Messages you will receive a reminder.

In safari there will be a new start page. It will still feature selected and frequently visited sites – but now with Siri tips. Apple Personal Assistant Will Offer Reading List Links, iCloud tabs, Links from Messages and other sources.

IN «apple» browser features new Split View. Now, when you hover over the green button in any application, it will be possible to position the window on the left or right side of the screen. This will open a second application nearby for quick and easy multitasking. Using the same function, you can send the application to full screen mode.

Besides, in Safari, when watching a video, you can quickly turn on the mode «Picture in Picture». To do this, right-click on the small volume icon in the search bar and select the option «Picture in Picture».

This will move the video window, so that it can be viewed in parallel with working with sites in a browser.


New features for interacting with Apple Watch

Apple Watch already has a built-in tool, allowing watch owners to unlock Macs for quick and easy access to the system. The same feature allows authentication through Apple Pay purchases. But now the capabilities of Apple Watch will become even wider.

MacOS Catalina announced this year at WWDC will be able to interact even more closely with Apple Watch. Now the watch will be able to confirm the changes, view password and install applications on your Mac.

Here is a brief overview of those watch-related changes, which Apple will introduce before the end of 2019:

View passwords

If you want to view saved passwords on your Mac, you will have to enter your password on the computer to obtain such access. However, to simplify this process, Apple will allow authentication through Apple Watch. If you need to see passwords in macOS Catalina, you can simply double-click the side button of the Apple Watch to confirm your identity.

Application installation confirmation and more

Now with macOS Catalina and Apple Watch you can not only log in and approve the installation of applications on your Mac, but also access locked notes, unlock access to settings in the application «System settings» and even modify files in the root of the system. As already described above, to authenticate, just double-click the side button of the Apple Watch. After that, you can continue to work.

Fast and easy authentication

For a long time, users all over the world entered passwords automatically, it became their muscle memory. But Apple wants to help break this habit. Apple Watch already allows you to quickly and easily enter your computer, and new additions for viewing passwords and authentication in other elements further expand the existing concept.

Voice over control

Mac can always be controlled with voice. But with macOS Catalina, this feature has reached a whole new level! A video was shown during the presentation, where almost completely devoid of the ability to move, a man controlled his iMac with his voice – and he understood him! Now Siri – in with her macOS – understands even «sensory» voice commands – tap, swipe and scroll.

How does OS navigation work?? The operating system interface in a special mode for people with disabilities is marked with a special action grid, which are controlled by voice commands.

All operations are numbered and marked, which greatly facilitates navigation on the operating system.

It’s enough to name the necessary – and the action will be performed. Perhaps, this is the case, when is it better to see once:

By the way, Voice Control also works on iOS / iPadOS, so that anyone can control the system using voice and spoken text.

32-bit apps not working on macOS Catalina

With the release of macOS Catalina, Apple will stop supporting 32-bit applications and will release only 64-bit. Generally, it’s for the best, because applications will run faster and gain access to more memory.

The transition to 64-bit macOS-only applications has been developed over the years, Apple in every way helps developers to transfer their 32-bit applications to 64-bit. Starting in 2018, the company began to demand, so that all applications in the App Store are 64-bit.

If you use apps only from the App Store, then you will not have any problems in macOS Catalina. but, if the macOS Programs folder contains 32-bit applications, you will have to look for a replacement.

About, how to find out, which installed applications on your Mac are 32-bit, we talked in this material.

Other new macOS Catalina features

Signing documents using an iOS device. If on macOS Catalina you need to sign a PDF or other document, then you can do it with your iPhone or iPad. Just use the layout menu inside the preview, select Signature, and then create a signature.

You can subscribe directly on the touch screen after selecting an iOS device.

Unsubscribe from mailing lists in Mail with one click. In the application «post office» new feature. Right at the top of the mailing list a small convenient link appeared, allowing you to quickly unsubscribe from this newsletter.

Besides, developers have provided a feature to turn off notifications for the selected conversation.

Automatically activate a dark theme. Dark mode appeared in macOS Mojave, but Catalina found a new option «Automatically». It allows you to switch between dark and light mode in the morning and evening, depending on the settings of the Night Shift function (System settings → Monitors). You can enable this option, by opening System Preferences and going to the Basic tab.

Apple ID partition migration and sync, recovery (firmware) iOS devices. ITunes disappears on macOS Catalina, divided into music, TV and Podcasts. Some iTunes features have changed their location. Device synchronization is now done through the Finder app when connecting an iPhone or iPad.

Apple ID account is now managed in System Preferences.

Automatic backup before each installation of a new macOS update. If something goes wrong – it will always be possible to recover from the created backup;

ICloud Drive File Sharing. ICloud Drive now has the ability to share files for access to another user. Just right click on the file and select «Share this» → Add people.

Settings for deleting iCloud files. You can remove downloads from your Mac, without removing them from iCloud on macOS Catalina. Right click on the file and select the option «Delete download».

This will make it available only in iCloud, marked with a small icon. He means, that the file is no longer on your computer.