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5 Things to Know about the macOS Catalina Update

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The new macOS 10.15 update is coming in October as a free update to most Apple computers. This is everything we know about the macOS Catalina update that Apple showed off on stage in June and is prepping for a release date in October.

This update includes a number of important new macOS features that add new ways for the iPad and Mac to work together and expanded Apple Watch functionality for your Mac.

This is what you need to know about the macOS Catalina update that is coming to your Mac next month.

macOS Catalina Release Date

What you need to know about the macOS 10.15 release date and features.

What you need to know about the macOS 10.15 release date and features.

The macOS Catalina release date is set for October. Apple did not confirm any specific date, but it could come at an event alongside a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

New macOS Catalina Features

The macOS 10.15 update is a massive one on the scale of iOS 13. It’s packed with new macOS features that will come to your Mac later this year. These include some important iOS features making its way to the desktop and new Apple Watch features. Here’s a look at the new features coming to your Apple laptop or desktop this fall.

  • Cross-Platform Apps – Run iPad apps on your Mac.
  • New Mac Apps – New Music, Books and Podcasts Apps.
  • iPad as an External Display – Use your iPad as a display for your Mac.
  • Voice Control – Total voice control of the Mac.
  • New Find My App – A new Find My iPhone and Friends App Combo and you can find your Mac when its asleep.
  • Activation Lock – Your mac now has the same Activation lock as your iPhone.
  • Screen Time – Screen Time is coming to the Mc.
  • iPad Apps – Developers can bring iPad apps to the Mac with Catalyst easily.

Some of these features are available with the beta today, and others will not arrive until the fall. There is also a chance that some of these features will not arrive with the macOS 10.15 update on day one. Occasionally Apple will hold features until later update.

macOS Catalina Device List

What devices can run macOS 10.15?

What devices can run macOS 10.15?

Apple’s been keeping macOS updates available to older devices for quite some time, but last year they limited the availability somewhat. The good news is that this year you can install the macOS Catalina update on any device running macOS Mojave. Here’s a list of what that looks like.macos

  •  MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
  •  MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
  •  MacBook Air (Late 2012 or newer)
  •  Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
  •  iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
  •  Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
  •  iMac Pro (2017)

While you can install the macOS 10.15 update on many older Macs, you won’t get all of the new features. We’re looking into a breakdown of the specific feature cut off points and will update when we know more.

macOS Catalina Beta

If you can’t wait until the fall to try out the new macOS Catalina features, you can try them out with the macOS 10.15 beta. Apple offers a developer macOS Catalina beta and public beta.

Here’s how you can install the macOS Catalina beta, plus what you need to do before you install this beta on your Mac.

We also have a guide that will help you decide if you should install the macOS 10.15 beta or if you should wait for a later date or the full release.

At this stage, you may simply want to wait, as the release is likely within a month.

Major macOS Catalina Catch

Apple is cutting off 32-bit app support in macOS 10.15.

Apple is cutting off 32-bit app support in macOS 10.15.

For all the new macOS 10.15 features, there is a major catch that you will need to adjust to. Apple no longer supports 32-bit apps on this version of macOS.

Apple started warning users about this with macOS Mojave, and now the cutoff is real. macOS Mojave is the last version of macOS that will run 32-bit apps.

Developers will need to offer 64-bit apps to run on macOS Catalina. You can check your apps to see if any of your apps are 32-bit.

  1. Hold the option key and click on the Apple Logo in the upper left.
  2. Click on System Information.
  3. Scroll down to Software and Choose Applications.
  4. Click on the 64-bit menu option to sort by it.

Once you know, you can look for alternatives or reach out to the developer to see if they have a plan to support you with a 64-bit app this fall.

6 Reasons Not To Install the macOS Catalina Beta & 7 Reasons You Should

Install macOS Catalina Beta for New Features

Install macOS Catalina Beta for New Features

One of the biggest reasons to install the macOS Catalina beta is to test out all of the new macOS features that Apple is adding into this update. 

There are a lot of upgrades that we dive into deeper with some of the specific reasons below, but as an overview, there are a range of new features coming to the Mac. 

Some of these are in this beta and others will come in the next few betas. Some of our favorite new macOS Catalina features include;

  • Using the iPad as an External Display
  • Siri Shortcuts
  • Window Snapping

Apple also adds in cross-platform support for iPad apps, which will allow developers to offer their iPad apps on the Mac. This feature won't fully materialize until this fall, but we could see some limited opportunities for testing from developers looking for feedback. 

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