Over the past few years, Apple has remained quite conservative in terms of the changes they introduced to the macOS operating system for the Mac computing devices. While familiarity is a great thing and consistency is something to be cherished, that did leave macOS facing the sort of allegation that is quite expected in these times when limited patience is considered a virtue—macOS stopped being exciting enough. This year though, things were poised to change. And they have, with macOS Catalina, which is now rolling out for everyone.
The highlight changes include the end of the road for iTunes with separate apps for Music, TV and Podcasts, support for Apple Arcade gaming, tools that allow developers to make Mac versions for the iPad apps they make, redone apps including Reminders and Notes as well as the ability to use your iPad as a second display with Sidecar. The Photos app is also updated, while Safari web browser gets necessary updates in terms of visual tweaks and the Siri suggestions interface. The Screen Time feature has been introduced on the macOS for the first time, something that will now tell you how much you are using your Mac every day and every week, the way your iPad and iPhone do.
There are improvements in terms of security, and any third party app attempting to access data from your iCloud storage will require an additional set of permissions.
Gamers would probably rejoice at the fact that macOS Catalina brings the Apple Arcade game streaming support to Macs for the first time. This game streaming service, priced at Rs 99 per month will offer unlimited access to over 100 new games for your Mac, in an all-you-can-play subscription. Your progress across Apple devices will be synced.
But surely, the end of the road for iTunes is the biggest takeaway from this. It is also the move that brings macOS at par with iPadOS and iOS, which have had separate Music, TV and Podcasts apps for a while now. Everything continues to be available seamlessly across all your devices via iCloud, and all your Podcast subscriptions on iTunes shift to the Podcasts app. The separate Apple TV app was also necessary, with the Apple TV+ subscription service rolling out next month—it will be priced at Rs 99 per month.
Apple is giving developers a tool called Mac Catalyst which allows them to build macOS versions of their apps from the iOS or iPadOS apps that they may already have.
The macOS Catalina is now rolling out for the 2012 MacBook Pro and newer, 2015 MacBook and newer, 2012 MacBook Air and newer, 2012 iMac and newer, 2017 iMac Pro and newer, 2013 Mac Pro and newer as well as the 2012 Mac Mini and newer.