MacOS Catalina: Top 10 Features and What’s New?

WWDC 2019 just passed and Apple gave us a bunch of new beta’s to play around. Apple announced a new iPadOS, iOS 13, watchOS 6, and the latest macOS 10.15– macOS Catalina.

Today, We are going to focus on the Top 10 features in the latest macOS Catalina and What’s New inside it

Let’s Dive Right in

1. New Music App

Apple has decided to break up the iTunes into three different standalone applications. The First one is the “Music App.”

macos catalina music app

Now instead of playing all of our songs and music through iTunes, we do it through the standalone Music app. Now this Music app has a much more focused design than the old iTunes. This cuts down a lot the extra bloatware and makes this a much faster and a much more responsive application.

The new Music app brings in all of your local music, combining your Apple music subscription.

Here, we get some refreshed UI that’s very similar to the music app on our iPads and iPhones. But even with some of those design refreshes, the main library looks a lot like the old way.

2. New TV App

The second thing to come out of the breakup of the iTunes App is now a “TV App.” Now you have one place to find all of your movies and TV shows.

macos tv app

The UI on the Mac looks very similar to what you might find on the iPad TV app. And there is a new section where the app recommends you more content based on your browsing history.

With the new TV app, iTunes movies will be available in 4k HDR natively on a Mac. Earlier if you played those movies through iTunes, they were limited to 1080p HD. But now you can watch 4K Movies on your Retina 5k iMac.

3. Podcast App

Now We also have a Podcast App on a mac machine. So, much like Music and TV, Podcast now gets its focused app, where you can find all of your podcasts download it right onto your Mac.

The most standout feature about the Podcast app on macOS Catalina is that it looks very similar to the Music app. You get all of the relevant sections you would expect like Listen now, browse, and top charts. You can see what’s recently added to your library, all of your different shows or episodes and all of the podcasts you have downloaded locally to your Mac.

4. Project Catalyst

Apple has launched the Project Catalyst to run iOS applications on a macOS. Podcast App is an excellent example of how you can take that iOS codebase and make it look and act just like a Mac application. It was only possible due to Project Catalyst.

project catalyst

This feature is not currently available in this macOS beta, and that’s because third-party developers just haven’t had access to Mac OS Catalina for that long.

Apple already has a bunch of applications working on macOS Catalina using the catalyst technology, including the Podcast app, the News app, the Home app, Voice Memos, Stocks. Some other applications are already using the catalyst to bring that iOS codebase over to the Mac.

5. Reminder App

Another App that takes advantage of Project Catalyst on macOS Catalina is the new Reminder app. The Mac Reminder is getting a very significant update with easy access for your reminders- for today or scheduled tasks for later.reminder app

You are also getting that same Natural Language shown in the new iPadOS. In which if you’re typing out a reminder, you can now write that in natural language and when it presents itself, you can just easily select that date, and then your reminder will remind you on that date.

6. Find My

Another great feature in macOS Catalina comes with the “Find My” app. This is a unified app where you can now put all of your devices.

find my

If you leave your macbook behind or if someone steals your Mac. Well with the new Find My your Mac will automatically transmit out an encrypted signal to the nearby Apple devices to find your device location. It works even if your Mac is closed up and disconnected from the internet.

Now what’s great about this feature is that works in sleep mode because if someone steals your Mac obviously, it’s going to be shut down. This is a very private and secure feature, and only your encrypted Apple devices can receive this location information. This feature works only on the macs with latest T2 Security Chip.

7. Screen Time

This feature was introduced by Apple last year with iOS 12. And this year they’re bringing it to the Mac. Screen Time works very similar on mac to how it would on iOS.

macOS Catalina ScreenTime

When you open the Screen Time application, you can see how often you are using your Mac. You can even see how many times you picked up your MacBook for the day, how long you’ve been using the system or how long you’ve been using specific applications.

One of the more significant benefits of Screen Time is the ability to set limits on the types of applications you’re using. You can set these limits for categories of apps, or you can set them to specific applications. So if you want to limit your Entertainment time and you want it to be a little bit more productive. You can set a hard limit of an hour or two on the Screen Time, and then you can keep yourself accountable.

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8. Automatic Dark and Light Mode

This year iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 get the inclusion of a dark mode. Now that feature launched last year with macOS Mojave. However, Apple made some nice updates to dark mode in macOS Catalina.

Automatic Dark and Light Mode

Now Macs can automatically adjust between light mode and dark mode depending on the time of day. You can enable this by turning Auto mode in General Setting.

9. Easy Enter Split View

There is a new way to tile apps in Mac OS Catalina. Now, this feature has been available on macOS for quite some time. However, in macOS Catalina, Apple surfaces it to you very differently.

split view

On macOS Catalina, all you have to do is hover the mouse pointer directly over that green button and then you will get the option to either snap your window to the left or right side.

10. Sidecar

Sidecar is a feature that works along with your iPad. So it’s also an iPadOS feature as well as a macOS Catalina feature. Sidecar gives you the ability to use your iPad as an external display for your Mac.

With this feature, you can control your mac windows directly on your iPad. Unlike some third-party options like duet display or Luna display, touch operation doesn’t work with your fingers. However, if you have the Apple Pencil for your iPad, you can directly control the inputs available to you.

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