Ladies and gentlemen, I shivered: after many test versions, the macOS Catalina 10.15 (build 19A583, slightly ahead of the Golden Master) is finally available in its final version to all of us, mere mortals.
If you have a compatible Mac, you can now run into the embrace and enjoy all the news of the update – which will be summarized by us below.
For those interested, we have already published a guide on how to do a clean installation of the system, in case you don’t know where to start.
Shall we go then?
Who can update?
The good news is that if you’re running macOS Mojave, you can upgrade without fear to Catalina.
There is only one small exception: some Pro Macs of the “cheese grater” model, from mid-2010 or mid-2012, were able to run Mojave depending on the GPU installed.
In this case, unfortunately, you will be left out: Catalina has completely abandoned support for these machines.
The list of computers compatible with macOS Catalina is as follows:
- MacBook (2015 or later);
- MacBook Pro (2012 or later);
- MacBook Air (2012 or later);
- iMac (2012 or later);
- iMac Pro (all models);
- Mac mini (2012 or later);
- Mac Pro (2013 or later).
To check the model of your Mac, just click on the apple in the upper left corner of the screen and the option «About This Mac».
The year of the machine will be noted right next to its name, in the «Overview» tab, below the system version.
Below, we bring a survey of the main news.
If you want to check out the details of the update, just browse through the many articles we’ve done covering macOS Catalina and check out all the changes, from the widest to the most subtle.
Death of iTunes and new apps
One of the most famous apps on the Mac is dead: iTunes has been cleaned out of macOS Catalina and replaced with three new apps – Music, Apple TV and Podcasts.
Each of them performs one of the functions previously brought by the multimedia app, and if you still sync your iPhone or iPad to your Mac via cable, you must do so now via Finder.
Catalina is also the gateway for iPad apps on the Mac.
With Project Catalyst, developers can port applications from the tablet to the desktop almost instantly, in addition to developing new projects for both platforms working with just one source code.
Several applications taking advantage of the novelty will be made available on the Mac App Store as soon as Catalina arrives.
Among them, we will have the racing game Asphalt 9, a new official customer of Twitter, an application from American Airlines and a note utility from Sticky notes.
The Photos app won several of the new features also presented on iOS 13, as a feature that shows only the best images in the library.
There is also a new view mode, which separates your main events by day, month or year.
The application has gained a new viewing mode, in gallery format, and the same functionality as iOS shared folders – where you can collaborate on multiple notes at the same time.
There are also new options for task lists.
The app also received the news presented on iOS / iPadOS 13, with a rebuilt design to make its functions more powerful and easier to use.
You can now create smart lists, view your reminders in smart order of priority, and more.
As we explained in depth, the new feature of macOS Catalina (and iPadOS 13) allows you to turn your iPad into a second screen on your Mac, wired or wireless.
Compatible tablet models can even become tablet computers with a little help from Apple Pencil – compatible with several third-party apps, such as Illustrator and Affinity Photo.
The Time and Use feature, introduced last year on iOS, is coming to the Mac with the same proposal: to present an overview of the use you make of your computer, with the possibility of setting limits based on time or the use of apps.
The functionality integrates with Family Sharing and has all the features of iOS, such as the combined limits and the “one more minute”.
The new Find app, which combines the old Find My iPhone and Find My Friends, is even more powerful: it is possible to locate your lost Mac even if it is offline or at rest, as we explained.
Release with Apple Watch
Unlocking the Mac with the Apple Watch has been around for a while, but on macOS Catalina the thing goes even deeper: you can release locked notes, approve the installation of apps, or view Safari passwords simply by pressing the side watch button twice times.
The new Voice Control feature on the Mac is extremely powerful: as we explained in this article, it is capable of basically controlling the entire system with just the user’s speech, which is a blessing for users with mobility difficulties.
How to install?
The easiest way to get macOS Catalina is by going to your computer’s System Preferences and looking for the new system in the «Software Update» tab.
The update can also be found on the Mac App Store.
Just wait for the installation file to download and follow the configuration steps that will appear on the screen.
If you want a new look on your Mac, you can make a clean installation of the new system – which means it will start over from scratch, with no files (you should save yours in a backup beforehand, of course).
As we have already said, our guide to this process can be found here.
Enjoy! And, of course, be sure to tell us about your experiences below. ?