Choosing to upgrade your operating system is mostly a necessity-driven thing. Some features of your current system may not be as useful to you as they were or they’re starting to cause inconvenience because of being outdated. Some developers even force updates for particular apps to function properly.
Whatever the case is if you’re contemplating to upgrade your macOS to the latest version, it is highly recommended that you do your research first and prepare your system – back-up and clean and everything in between.
macOS Catalina is the new and latest operating system by Apple for Mac devices. Released last October 2019, it is the sixteenth version of the macOS succeeding the macOS Mojave.
In the presentation below, we have listed 7 useful features and changes that Catalina macOS has introduced in its system and how you could possibly make your digital life easier with them.
1. Separate Entertainment Apps
In macOS Catalina, the iTunes app has been replaced by three separate entertainment apps – Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts – with the device management and back-up handled by Finder.
- Apple Music app features an updated music player with on-screen lyrics and a combined mini-player to play music on the background, a revamped library with more centralized design, and the subscription payment option just within the app – including the iTunes.
- Apple TV app features a wide selection of TV shows of more TV channels and movies from various streaming services, including the shows that you’ve previously bought in the iTunes store. It will also include Apple TV+, a premium service coming soon, that will offer exclusive original content, ad-free. Moreover, you can resume watching anytime and anywhere with your Apple devices as long as they are on sync. You can also binge-watch with your kids with the Kids Section that lets you pick child-friendly content. Apple TV on Mac and MacBooks made from 2018 and up supports Dolby Vision, Vision Plus, and Atmos for a total entertainment experience.
- Apple Podcasts features an immersive library where you can see your show history including those you have subscribed to and recommendations based on yesults. You can search for specific keywords, names, and even guests for our activity. The search option is upgraded to produce better ra specific episode. You can also download these shows for later or offline listening. All of it is synced (once enabled) so you can switch your devices anytime you want.
2. Secondary Display or Extension
Sidecar is a new feature in macOS Catalina that lets you use your iPad to duplicate the screen of your Mac or serve as an extension of it. You can do this by having your Mac and iPad connected to each other via cable or within a 10-meter range wireless connection. You can work on a program on the main screen while viewing another on the second or you can treat both screens as one.
In addition, apps that support Sidecar lets you use an Apple Pencil to draw or sketch on apps in your Mac and sync or transfer them to your iPad, and vice versa. This is an ideal feature for users who engage in design and editing that need additional space to maximize productivity.
3. Personal and/or Parental Control with Screen Time
Screen Time is a feature that enables you to monitor and control your app usage by creating usage data reports as well as of all the connected devices, like your kids’. It does this by keeping track of the device’s uptime and the duration an app is being run. Screen time allows you to put a limit to this and create a specific schedule so that you (or your child) can only use certain apps at a set length of time.
If Screen Time is activated and you are in the middle of a task or conversation, you can tap the “One More Minute” option to wrap up what you’re doing or simply disable it if you wish to continue. For more parental control, you can also manage your children’s contact list and the persons they can talk with throughout the day or specific times.
4. More apps available to run across devices
More apps previously exclusive in iPadOS and iPhoneOS can now be enjoyed in macOS with Catalyst, a software development tool embedded in Catalina. If you’re using your Mac for work, you now get all the notifications in one device.
5. Voice Control
The macOS Catalina introduces voice command control to be more inclusive in its market. Voice Command Control makes it possible for you to navigate your Mac with just your voice. Machine learning and processing within the device allows this feature with the improvement in the speech recognition engine used by Siri, so you can expect the latest advancement in machine learning. Here are some of the highlights of voice control:
- Accurate dictation
- Add custom words
- On-device processing
- Rich text editing
- Word and emoji suggestions.
- Names, Numbers, Grids
- Transitions from dictation to commands
- Comprehensive app navigation
- Navigation commands
- Hover Text
- Zoom Display
There are several ways that this feature can benefit you, especially when multitasking. Its use is also indispensable for people who are differently-abled or with problems with motor functions that make it hard for them to normally interact with their computer.
6. Find Your Mac Even If It’s Asleep Or Offline
A combination of Find My Mac and Find My Friends, Find My app is the new app launched with macOS Catalina that allows you to locate your Apple devices even when they are asleep or offline. The app sends out a Bluetooth signal which can be detected by any nearby Apple device. Their relative location is then relayed to your device via iCloud. Apple ensures privacy and security in adding this feature with end-to-end encryption. This can always come handy especially to those who own multiple devices or those who maintain a busy schedule where you can easily lose track of your device in between activities.
7. Multiple Security Features
Apple prides itself on the privacy and security that it delivers for its users. In macOS Catalina, the system itself has its own dedicated internal volume that ensures its reliability and security from risks that might come from other data. This is evident with the separation of the macOS from various programs that previously run their code directly within the operating system. With Catalina separating them, you can now be sure that the OS will remain unaffected if ever these programs encounter a problem.
Another security measure that the new Catalina OS feature is the enhanced Gatekeeper, a virtual security guard that thoroughly scans and checks all the apps that you are attempting to install, including the app source, for known security issues. Gatekeeper is also dedicated to keeping your apps in check by periodically re-scanning them.
Catalina OS also prompts you for your permission before allowing any app to access your data and perform any logging activity within its place. Lastly, the activation lock feature now comes for your Mac. Provided that it has the Apple T2 security chip, your Mac can now only be erased and reactivated by you.
These features are compiled with what we think are helpful from the get go. There are still numerous other features that the new macOS Catalina has in store for you. It is up to you to see where they might be of perfect use.