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7 Things to Know About the MacBook Pro macOS Catalina Update

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The macOS Catalina update is available for the MacBook Pro, and it can dramatically change the performance and capabilities of your device.

Apple started rolling out the update this week and users are installing macOS 10.15 and testing out the myriad of new features.

This is a massive update that lets you use your iPad as a display for your Mac and use your Apple Pencil with it, turns your Apple Watch into an authentication tool and delivers many other features to your MacBook Pro.

As more users upgrade to macOS 10.15 and many more users start to see the notification and emails from Apple telling them to upgrade, this is a look at what is happening with the new macOS.

While users are loving the new features, there are also a growing number of complaints about performance, bugs, and compatibility.

If you decide to upgrade, strap in for a large download and a lengthy install. You can use your computer while you download, but when you click install, you can expect to watch the progress bar for a while.

This guide walks you through our experience with macOS Catalina so far on the MacBook Pro. From using the computer for web browsing to editing and uploading videos, we’ve put macOS 10.15 to the test on a MacBook Pro to help you understand how it handles. This is what we’ve discovered.

MacBook Pro macOS Catalina Impressions & Performance

MacBook Pro macOS Catalina Impressions & Performance

I've been testing the macOS Catalina update on a 2016 MacBook Pro since the public release and this is what I've learned about the performance, reliability and battery life. 

After the initial indexing completed my 2016 MacBook Pro performance is at the same level as before. Apps open quickly and the machine processes video at the same speed, possibly a little faster with the new Final Cut Pro update. I normally browse in Chrome and even with 3 tabs open it's humming along. 

While many users are complaining about macOS Catalina battery life, my MacBook Pro battery lasted longer this morning during a work session at the coffee shop. More testing is needed for a full review, but initial impressions are good. 

App reliability is where things start to fall apart. Final Cut Pro X crashed three times and my Mac went to sleep in the middle of an export. Many apps are working, but with small issues. TextExpander, which I use often will nor expand in the file save window in Chrome, but works nicely everywhere else. 

Using Finder instead of iTunes is an easy adjustment since I normally back up to iCloud anyway and system apps are working good overall. Third-Party apps like Slack and Chrome work well and I haven't had issues with Office or Photoshop, but if you are using older versions you may be out of luck since there is no 32-bit app support in Catalina.  

You can read more about the reasons not to install macOS Catalina yet, and the reasons you should. For some users, it may be best to wait for the first bug fix update. 

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