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The latest version of macOS, which is macOS Catalina or macOS 10.15, has been unveiled at the most recent WWDC 2019 conference. Catalina is the predecessor of macOS Mojave and comes bearing gifts in terms of new features which we are going to highlight all through this post. macOS Catalina has not seen its final release which is expected to be later in the fall of this year. The public beta is available, so if you would like to be among the early adopters of the operating system, go ahead and join the beta program.

Catalina gets its name from the Catalina islands off of the coast of Southern California. One of the more notable features that Apple has been talking about is the doing away with iTunes and replacing it with several apps, namely: Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts. Each of these apps has received some feature enhancements that were not available in the iTunes app. Device management is still available but is now accessible via the finder app.

Another outstanding feature available on the Catalina operating system is the new Sidecar feature. This feature allows you to turn your iPad into a secondary display for your Mac. This is one of the most sought after feature as it allows users to mirror their Mac display onto an iPad and with the support for Apple pencil, compatible apps such as Adobe Illustrator allows users to write, edit and draw ideas on their iPads and automatically transfer them to their Mac.

Apple, which is famous for its security features, has not disappointed with Catalina. They have made enhancements to the T2 Security Chip, which is currently used to authenticate Apple Pay to make purchases via Touch ID. They are leveraging this capability to support Activation Lock on compatible hardware. This gives the user the capability to erase and reactivate their Macs remotely if lost or stolen and stopping other unauthorized individuals from formatting the contents of the Mac and setting it up afresh.

Privacy has also become one of the more touchy subjects in this digital age, and Apple has tried to address this in their latest Catalina release. They have developed a set of control tools that require all apps to request approval from the user before accessing data files and documents. It’s going to run hand in hand with an existing feature that blocks access to system components. To ensure Catalina operates seamlessly, the OS is going to run on a read-only dedicated system volume, separate from other apps and data to protect system files from being overwritten and keep them secure.

Another exciting feature is the introduction of the Find My app that is available on iPadOS and iOS 13 to the Mac inclusive of the Find My Mac and Find My Friends technology. This feature allows users to track their devices even when they are offline.

Some other exciting features available on Catalina are:

  • Screen time, which allows you to track device usage
  • Projects Catalyst, which allows developers to port their iPad apps over to Mac
  • Voice Control
  • Photos app improvements

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