Review: macOS Catalina 10.15 is what Apple promised the Mac could be, and is a crucial upg...

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in macOS edited October 11
Apple's latest macOS 10.15 Catalina breathes a fresh new vitality into the last seven years of Macs and macOS.

macOS Catalina
macOS Catalina's default desktop image is of Santa Catalina island off the coast of Los Angeles, California


Many of Catalina's new features have migrated in some form or other from iOS, including new media apps that replace iTunes; focused Tiled Window management similar to iPad; the new iPad Sidecar and Continuity Sketch; the powerful new Voice Control; Screen Time; a new Find My app, richer Reminders and shared Notes; and a whole new world of Catalyst apps from iPad and Apple Arcade gaming. There are also many other Mac-specific features under the hood.

Here's what Catalina delivers and why it's so important to the future of the platform.

Welcome to Catalina

The new macOS 10.15 Catalina takes its name from a large island off the coast of Los Angeles that was acquired by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., a century ago in 1919. Wrigley bought the island after a devastating fire nearly destroyed Avalon, its primary outpost.

Wrigley then invested in building the infrastructure, utilities, and attractions that have supported the island's tourism over the last ten decades. Outside of glass-bottom boats, snorkeling with colorful fish, beaches, restaurants, and a landmark casino at Avalon, much of Catalina Island was purposely left untouched to support a wilderness of wildlife.

It's appropriate that Apple's 2019 update to the Macintosh operating system carries the name of a California landmark that has long served as an iconic getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, a place that attracts talent and investment, hosts various styles of entertainment, and offers a wild frontier for exploration. Apple features that rugged coastline of the wide-open northwestern tip of Santa Catalina Island as its default Dynamic Desktop image that shifts from light to dark when set to match the time of day automatically.

Reviewers of new Apple OS releases used to offer their thoughts on whether or not you should upgrade. However, that's not relevant anymore; it's a no-brainer to upgrade to Apple's latest software as soon as practical for your situation. For more than a decade, Apple has demonstrated an ambitious yet carefully planned update schedule for its software platforms from iOS to macOS, delivering updates brimming with solid and attractive advancements.

So, let's instead review what exactly the new Catalina works to enhance on the Mac and why, then look at factors that might affect when you choose to update your Mac. We'll also talk about Apple's strategy for Catalina, showing where its plans to take its desktop OS in a world where most of Apple's billion and a half active installed base of devices are mobile iOS devices.

Catalina's rapid advancement fueled by Apple's iOS rocket

With the release of macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple's desktop macOS X platform is now 18 years old, the same age the "classic Mac OS" was when it was officially retired in 2002. Yet, rather than coasting off to sleep around version 7.x back in the 1990s, today's modern macOS is on its 16th major version. Apple's pace of real, practical innovations and its core improvements to system security and performance have never been faster or more significant and reliable.

Back in a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, Steve Jobs had something to say about it, following his ouster.

"The Mac was frozen in time. The Mac didn't change much for the last 10 years. It changed maybe 10 percent. It was a sitting duck," said Jobs. "It's amazing that it took Microsoft 10 years to copy something that was a sitting duck. Apple, unfortunately, doesn't deserve too much sympathy. They invested hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into R&D, but very little came out. They produced almost no new innovation since the original Mac itself."

Just over two years later, Apple acquired Jobs' NeXT, Inc. and put his team in charge of turning its advanced NeXTSTEP computing and development platform into a suitable replacement for the classic MacOS, as well as completely overhauling how Apple handled its R&D investments. After about four years of internal work between 1997 and 2000, the Public Beta of "Mac OS X" first arrived as the modern OS platform for Apple's Macs in 2001. Apple then delivered a series of regular advances about every two years and initially charged $129 for each major upgrade.

During this "Big Cat" era of paid upgrades, Apple shipped a series of features that ranged from solid -- such as the new Safari browser that you're probably using to read this -- to the whimsical, excessively ornamented but minimally useful Dashboard of widgets. Dashboard is finally going away entirely in Catalina, but Widgets are still there, they're just architecturally better and easier to access from the Today panel of the Notification Center.

Mac Dashboard
Dashboard has been put to rest


Back in 2007, much of Apple's Mac platform work still was tied up in the transition away from PowerPC processors and Mac Classic software from the '90s. It was just beginning to introduce new support for full 64-bit applications.

Today, Catalina is now ditching an entire era of legacy in drawing the line at only running 64-bit software. That includes the termination of Apple's legacy QuickTime 7 and old apps that relied upon it. Thinning out all the old 32-bit apps and frameworks from Catalina streamlines its codebase and prepares the Mac for a new future of advancement in the upcoming decade of the 2020s.

Since the first iPhone shipped in 2007, the influx of new cash from high volume iOS sales has breathed new life into Apple's desktop platform. Between 2009 and 2013, Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion took a step back from just frosting new features on the Mac desktop cake and instead began to focus relentlessly on performance and stability.

Along the way, the Mac also began incorporating many of the features Apple had created for iOS, including the App Store, multitouch gestures on the trackpad, iCloud documents and data, mobile-savvy Messages, and Notification Center. Over those last years of California-named releases that began with 2013's Mavericks, macOS also began copying the free, annual OS updates Apple had introduced earlier for iPhone back in 2007.

If you bought a new Mac in 2012, you've now been offered seven major annual updates for free in the years since, software advancements Apple once would have charged over $900 for in years when Mac software engineering had to support itself rather than being subsidized by the wealth created by global sales of well over a billion iOS devices -- something even the most optimistic observers of Apple could never have imagined.

Over that time, a flurry of very valuable features began pouring out of Cupertino, largely fueled by the R&D already paid for from profits originating from the much larger installed base of iOS. Out of Apple's labs came iBooks, Maps, Photos, technical advances including Metal graphics, the fresh new 'clarity and deference' appearance of iOS 7, and increasingly tight integration between iOS and macOS through wireless Continuity supporting the Handoff of documents and phone calls, AirDrop, and Continuity Camera.

Many Mac features don't even exist on other desktop computing platforms, because why would they?

Much of what Apple showed off at WWDC19 this June involved building upon its past efforts. We saw the incorporation of more features of iOS, new shared technologies and frameworks, and a further harmonization and tighter integration with Apple's mobile platforms.

This synergy is also evident in hardware. New Macs with Apple's custom T2 silicon now support features that were originally built for iOS devices, including Touch ID, hardware-accelerated encryption and media codecs, advanced security, Hey Siri, and the dynamic Touch Bar with QuickType-- which is essentially an iOS device built into recent MacBook Pros. This year, Catalina also incorporates Touch Bar functionality into its new Sidecar feature enabling an iPad with Apple Pencil to work as a markup display and sketching input device.

Catalina also introduces the new SwiftUI designed to accelerate the task of programming advanced user interfaces by leveraging the features of Swift; advanced Machine Learning intelligence used internally throughout macOS and in apps such as Photos and Reminders; a huge expansion of Continuity that turns your iPhone into a sketch pad as well as a scanner and document camera, in addition to upgrading your iPad into a secondary Pencil-enabled display for your modern Mac (including a few models released prior to the T2 chip); and the Catalyst frameworks created to adapt existing UIKit iPad apps to run natively on Catalina.

SwiftUI
SwiftUI brings accelerated, streamlined UI design tools to Catalina's Xcode


Catalina also brings the familiar experience of iOS media playback apps, delivering a streamlined iTunes experience that is now optimized for Apple Music-- although you can still work with your existing library of media downloads and continue to buy from the iTunes Store if you like. There are now separate apps optimized for managing Podcasts, Books and audiobooks, and the all-new Apple TV app for handling TV and movie streaming, rentals, and new subscription Channels offered as an 'a la carte' cable alternative -- including Apple's own upcoming TV+ channel of original programming that is set to launch November 1, for $4.99 per month.

In parallel with iOS 13, Catalina also introduces the new Voice Control for navigating the system verbally. It's an expansion of Enhanced Dictation that lets you not only input text via speech, but also navigate virtually every aspect of the system with your voice.

Like other Accessibility features, it is particularly aimed at opening up the functionality of Apple's hardware to people who can't use traditional input devices. At the same time, it's also a compelling feature enabling new ways for everyone to interact with their devices. At launch, Voice Control is only supported in U.S. English.

Macs are also benefitting from Apple's push into new markets internationally. Also like iOS, there is now a Multilingual Setup for macOS that lets users choose their preferred languages for dictation and keyboard right within Setup Assistant. Apple has also added new support for Indian English Siri voices, 34 new fonts supporting Indic languages, and improvements to keyboard prediction for Japanese and for Cantonese Chinese using the Traditional Chinese Cangjie, Sucheng, Stroke, and Handwriting keyboards.

Apple ID in System Preferences
Apple ID is now front and center in System Preferences, similar to iOS settings


Apple has also enhanced Apple ID setup in Catalina, repositioning it at the top of System Preferences in a layout similar to iOS (above). This makes it easier to access and manage your iCloud settings and all of the information connected to your Apple ID, including Two Factor Authentication and the trusted phone numbers you can use to verify a new account login; your payment and shipping address on file; and your media purchases, including any subscriptions you're signed up for, along with the option to cancel them. It also conveniently lists all of the devices associated with your Apple ID, along with the Apple Pay accounts set up on each, and a link to "Find My" each device.

Oddly, this Find My link still takes you to iCloud in your web browser, not Catalina's new Find My app. On the other hand, Catalina's System Preferences takes you to the Mac App Store app to manage your Apple ID settings, a step that requires to you log in again-- with no help from Touch ID or Keychain Access.

You're so frequently forced to cough up your Apple ID password that it's not just a nuisance, but also trains you that typing it in repeatedly is normal. That's a behavior that seems like it would make it easy for a rogue third-party app to ask users for this on the sly.

One of the problems I ran into in updating devices throughout the beta period was the constant demand for logging into my Apple account over and over again, something that Touch ID should seem capable of handling for me. The subject of authentication-- balancing security with simplicity-- is something Apple continues to work on.

Along those lines, while Touch ID seems to be more broadly supported as a way to authenticate, there are still places in System Preferences where you're prompted to enter your password without any support for Touch ID, such as when enabling Apple Watch to unlock your Mac. However, once you set this up, it unlocks a new feature where almost any prompt to authenticate, from installing a new app to setting an admin level preference, can use either Touch ID or an alert on your connected Apple Watch.

This feature, new to Catalina, prompts a vibration on your Watch along with a message to double click on its button to authenticate. You can also use Apple Watch to authenticate in apps that support Touch ID, such as opening a password-locked note in Notes.

This brings the convenience of Touch ID authentication to Mac users who don't have Touch ID, but do wear an Apple Watch.

Apple Watch authentication
Catalina brings the convenience of Touch ID authentication to Mac users who wear an Apple Watch


One of the hotly anticipated new features of Catalina is support for collaborative Dropbox-like sharing of iCloud folders. This isn't yet available, but Apple notes that it is "coming soon" in an update later this fall, which could be as late as 10.15.2 in early December. It would be nice to have this now, but I'd rather wait until Apple deems the new service as being safe, reliable, and robust enough for production use.

Another feature that was formerly held up in the betas is macOS Recovery using Time Machine snapshots. In normal operation, Time Machine backs up files to a selected external disk and also saves local "snapshots" on your APFS boot volume as space permits.

Time Machine has been saving local snapshots since macOS 10.13 High Sierra, but now macOS Recovery supports the ability to roll back your system to a recent snapshot. This could be useful if you install a software update that causes problems for one of your apps; backing up and then restoring to an earlier snapshot will roll back the update and allow you to work as if it had never happened.

This needs to done promptly, however, as the system throws away local backups after 24 hours.

Should you upgrade? Yes, but timing is an important consideration

We (and perhaps you) have been working with Apple's Public Betas all summer, running into issues and wonkiness that Apple's engineers have been working to quash in the months since the first beta was delivered to developers in June at WWDC19. Despite massive improvements, there are certain to still be some surprises lurking in the initial 10.15 release. Some of these may be inconsequential, while others may affect your particular workflow.

If you are an early adopter of technology, you've probably already loaded up a Public Beta by now. The latest GM should be nothing more than an improvement. But, if you use professional or specialized software or utilities that are not updated through the Mac App Store, including drivers for certain hardware peripherals or low-level disk imaging utilities, it's probably wisest to let others get failure data for you.

Furthermore, Apple has already made it clear that Catalina will officially end support for some deprecated software of its own. This includes Apple's Aperture, which hasn't been updated since 2014, as well as the old QuickTime 7 and apps that use it rather than the modern media frameworks Apple has replaced it with.

Added to this, Apple's new media frameworks are optimized for hardware-accelerated codecs. If you have old media files from the days of QuickTime, you might need to convert them or at least retain a pre-Catalina boot drive that allows you to work with these legacy media files in the future.

The move to 64-bits

Catalina is also the end of the road for 32-bit apps, or apps that make use of 32-bit frameworks or installers that haven't been updated to work as 64-bit code. This is no surprise -- Apple has been warning its developers for years that 32-bit code would eventually stop running, so most 32-bit apps have been updated already.

If you're still trying to run iWorks 09, Office 2011, Adobe Creative Suite 5, or other ancient software that's roughly a decade old, Catalina will push you to upgrade into the present era.

If you are still using a very old version of an app that isn't automatically updated via the Mac App Store, you might need to find and upgrade these titles on your own. Examples include popular but old titles such as Transmit 4.1.7 (current version is version 5); VMWare Fusion 3.1.4 (now at 11.5); Parallels (latest version is 15); and QuickBooks 2015 (there's now a 2020 edition). Old versions of anti-virus software are also likely to be unsupported.

We've gone over how to see what's still 32-bit and installed on your system many times before. I pulled out an old MacBook I had laying around with macOS 10.13 High Sierra on it, and even it only identified a few titles that wouldn't run on Catalina. They included very old versions of Transmit, TextWrangler, SuperDuper, Dropbox, djay Pro, NetNewsWire, old Canon printer software, and the Adobe Flash Player Installer. The list also some old Apple software, including the DVD Player and InkServer for pen input.

Suffice it to say, most 32-bit software is really old stuff. The end of 32-bit apps probably isn't a real issue for you unless you are hobbling along with a museum collection of really ancient apps and games. During the Catalina installation process, any remaining apps that aren't supported will be flagged for you, but reviewing any 32-bit apps you use beforehand is a good idea if you don't want to deal with interruptions or surprises.

Drivers, Kexts, and TCC restrictions

Hardware drivers and other low-level software were formerly installed within the macOS kernel as "kernel extensions" (kexts) for performance reasons. In Catalina, that's no longer necessary. Drivers for USB devices, cloud file providers, and network monitors are now run in user space just like any other app, so if something goes wrong they can't crash the operating system.

This move may require updated driver software from hardware vendors to work with Catalina. Because peripheral drivers, cloud file providers, and other low-level software no longer requires a kext, this software can now be made available through the Mac App Store.

Similar to previous efforts on iOS and earlier restrictions in macOS, Catalina imposes new app restrictions that demand your approval before apps can access files in your Documents and Desktop folders, iCloud Drive, or on external volumes. Apple refers to these policy restrictions as "Data Protections" or more broadly TCC, for "Transparency, Consent, and Control," putting you in clear, aware control of what's happening on your system.

macOS Privacy Settings
Catalina Privacy settings expand data protections to screen recording and input monitoring


New TCC policies in Catalina also prompt you to approve any app before it can capture keyboard activity, or take a photo or video of your screen. A variety of apps have been pushing the boundaries of spying on users in the same way that Smart TVs and Android devices have turned surveillance data collection into one of their primary profit sources. Apple keeps blocking these efforts on both its Macs and iOS devices.

Not allowing TCC access to an app shouldn't cause compatibility problems, but it may prevent the app from working as expected.

The new Read-Only System Partition

Catalina changes your hard drive's partition scheme to create a Read-Only system partition separate from the partition where all of your data is saved. This helps to protect core system software from being overwritten by malicious or buggy software and is an expansion upon the concept of System Integrity Protection that Apple first introduced in macOS 10.11 El Capitan.

This new partitioning scheme takes advantage of the Apple File System (APFS) first introduced in macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which can safely repartition a disk in place. Starting with macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple automatically began converting HFS+ users to APFS. In Catalina, APFS is now mandatory for all boot volumes.

Apple has done the work to make sure that properly coded software won't even notice the Read-Only system partition change, using what it calls "firmlinking" to stitch the two partitions together into a "volume group." From the Mac desktop, the Finder presents both partitions as if they were still one volume.

From Disk Utility, however, you can see that Catalina resizes your drive into a Read-Only partition and creates a new Read/Write "Data" partition. This new partition is where all the apps you install are saved, as well as all of your user data.


Disk Utility shows Catalina's new partitions, which appear as one disk in the Finder


Older low-level software that made assumptions about the location of system software may run into problems on Catalina. Mike Bombich, the developer of Carbon Copy Cloner, updated his title to work with Catalina this summer. In a blog posting, he succinctly summarizes how the new system works under the hood.

As with the transition to 64-bit apps, Apple has enforced compatibility with Catalina's new Read-Only system partition for Mac App Store titles, so the new change is only an issue for you if you use third-party apps obtained outside of the App Store.

Hedging your bets by installing Catalina on a separate volume

APFS supports the ability to create a new volume on an existing disk. This allows you to install Catalina on your Mac within a new volume, without overwriting your existing installation of Mojave. You can subsequently boot from either system using Startup Disk in System Preferences. Note that having multiple versions of macOS on your system will use up lots of extra space and that each will need to be kept updated to the latest OS version separately.

You'd only want to do this if you are concerned about Catalina being compatible with your older apps, or if you have some reason to boot back into an earlier macOS version for testing purposes. Apple also recommends this as an option for users who want to remain in the public beta program, and want to maintain these advanced updates separate from their regular system.

For most users, installing Catalina in place over your existing installation should not be a problem, and spares you the complication of having to erase your previous install volume at a later date, or waste around 20GB of storage plus any duplicated personal data maintaining a secondary macOS installation.

Waiting a point or two

There's also another option you might consider: waiting a month or two for Apple to finish its first or second point release of Catalina. For professionals who can't afford to discover and address any surprise update issues with their specialized gear or workflows involving pro apps, the new features of Catalina can be postponed until it appears safe to take the plunge. It's also common practice for enterprise users to wait some period after a major release to make sure there aren't any issues with their custom corporate apps.

Last year, Apple delivered 10.14.1 at the end of October, about a month after Mojave originally shipped, and 10.14.2 about a month later at the beginning of December. That's been the general release pattern over the last several years of macOS releases, so you can plan your update around those milestones if you are in the middle of a large project or otherwise want to delegate the discovery of any surprises to your fellow Mac users.

Also keep in mind that software update issues can occur with any new release and that important fixes can be delivered rapidly after they are discovered. Back in 2017, nearly a month after the release of macOS 10.13.1, a major security issue was discovered. Apple was already aiming to deliver 10.13.2 within about a week, but it immediately published instructions on how to fix the issue and shipped out a security update to patch the problem the very next day.

While it makes sense for some users to be cautious when making a major upgrade, unless you have real cause for concern about your specific workflow, you can be pretty confident that Catalina is safe to install now and that any serious issues that are discovered will be addressed by Apple rapidly.

Catalina requires a Metal Mac with a California macOS install

Of course, installing Catalina is also dependent upon Mac hardware support. Minimum requirements for the new macOS Catalina appear to be nearly the same as for last year's Mojave: Mac computers that support Metal. It will require at least a Late 2012 iMac or Mac mini, or a Mid 2012 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. It also, of course, runs on any new 2017 iMac Pro or new Retina MacBooks (released in 2015), and supports all of the black cylinder Mac Pros (released since 2013).

One apparent change: Catalina does not support the 5,1 Mac Pro tower models back to Mid 2010, which were supported in Mojave if equipped with a Metal-capable graphics card. These machines are now six to nine years old, and Apple has now provided a solid upgrade path for Mac Pro users with its newest machines announced at WWDC19.

On supported hardware, you can upgrade to Catalina directly from any "California named" installation, meaning macOS 10.9 Mavericks or later. Note that Catalina will both update an HFS+ boot drive to APFS, as well as repartition the boot volume to create a separate Read-Only partition for core system data (a little less than 20GB) and a regular Read/Write partition for Data, which will grow as needed until your drive is full.

You should back up your existing system using Time Machine before performing an install. Make sure you free up at least 20GB of space in preparation for installing Catalina.

If you are running at least macOS 10.12 Sierra, you can go to About This Mac, click the Storage tab, and click the Manage button for the drive you want to install onto. This will offer options to Reduce Clutter, Store in iCloud, and Optimize Storage.

The first option identifies large files you might no longer need. The second offers to upload Desktop and Documents; Photos; and Message to iCloud and remove these from your local drive, downloading them only as needed. The third removes iTunes movies and TV shows you've already watched and gets rid of any local copies of older mail attachments you've downloaded.

Apple's "flexible, expansive, capable, and focused" computing platform

Just because Apple is bringing over technology from iOS -- including new Catalyst iPad apps -- doesn't mean that it's giving up on the things that have made the Mac unique and powerful. One of the clear messages at WWDC19 was that Apple was investing massively at the high end with its new Mac Pro hardware designed for extreme performance in creative and computing workflows that simply aren't possible on mobile devices. That includes running Apple's Xcode to develop software for all of the iOS devices out there.

Across the board, from the iMac 5K and iMac Pro to beefier Mac minis and high performance new MacBook Pros, Apple has positioned its Mac hardware as a premium tier of powerful computers, capable of doing complex, conventional desktop work.


Apple's new Mac Pro demonstrates strong support for powerful content creation in macOS Catalina

Apple's push for more Mac games

For years, Apple has struggled to woo video game developers to its minority desktop platform. Apple Arcade promises to literally change the game for Macs by encouraging and enabling its iOS Arcade partners to bring their titles to the Mac.

These aren't just simple iPad games playable in a Mac window. At WWDC19, Apple demonstrated developers' early efforts to bring titles to the Mac, showing off how games originating on iOS could easily be adapted to take advantage of more memory, larger displays, and higher performance GPUs to deliver Mac games that look and feel native. Apple Arcade will also enable gamers to move effortlessly between the same games running on their Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, starting where they left off on another device.


Apple Arcade in the Mac App Store


Apple is emphasizing that Arcade games will be ad-free and not include (or require) In-App purchases; all game features and updates across the expanding library of titles are included in the $4.99 subscription price. Subscribers can play online or offline, meaning games you download will work even without an Internet connection, and a subscription will support play across a family of up to six players.

Families can also set playback limits with the new Screen Time, filtering out allowable games by age rating or other criteria. Privacy is also a core feature of Arcade, with Apple assuring gamers that titles won't collect personal data or track information about what games they play without their permission.

Another new aspect of gaming that Apple has addressed in both iOS 13 and Catalina is support for popular Bluetooth gaming controllers. In addition to existing MFi controllers, Apple has also expanded controller support to Sony's PlayStation DualShock 4 and Microsoft's Xbox Wireless Controllers with Bluetooth. This enables Mac, Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad players to dive into more complex and sophisticated gaming titles from the App Store and through the new Arcade.

Apple's push for more Mac software

The absolute biggest new thing for the Mac this year is effectively something many end users won't directly appreciate, but they will certainly benefit from it. It's Xcode 11, Apple's integrated development environment for building and debugging the software that runs across Apple's platforms.

While many of the features of Xcode 11 are highly technical -- Apple offers an accessible overview on its developer site -- the new version notably provides an intelligent Assistant Editor that automatically presents relevant files for reference while you work in the primary code editor; a new minimap that presents a thumbnail view of long stretches of code so you can visually jump between regions quickly; support for SwiftUI and its new drag and drop design tools for rapidly prototyping and visualizing in real-time how UI code will look across a variety of devices; and Catalyst support for building native Mac apps from iPad code projects, complete with the power to submit the finished app to the Mac App Store or notarize it for flexible distribution independently.

XCode 11
Catalina's Xcode 11 is designed to help create better apps for all of Apple's platforms


Xcode 11 is important even to Mac users who never plan to learn app development on their own. That's because developers will have increasingly sophisticated tools to make them more productive and efficient in writing new Mac apps, enhancing and debugging their existing titles, and in bringing many existing iPad titles-- including games-- to the Mac.

Xcode 11 and Catalyst will enable more "rich app" native experiences for Mac users who would otherwise just get a web app (think of Twitter), as well as a broader selection of interactive and educational tools. At WWDC19, Apple demonstrated "Fender Play," a video-based title for learning to play guitar. Another example cited on its developer site is Proloquo2Go, an existing iPad title designed to enable people with disabilities to communicate visually. Now it runs on Mac.

Pluto TV is another developer making use of Catalyst to deliver a Mac version of its software. The Mac edition will enable desktop users to watch live TV from over 150 broadcasters including BBC, Comedy Central, and CNN, as well as streaming a library of on-demand movies and TV shows for free.

Other new apps making use of Catalyst to support Macs include Crew, a group chat, scheduling, and task assignment app designed for small business employees, and Zoho Books, an accounting program coming to the Mac with support for Touch Bar, notifications and keyboard shortcuts. Other popular iOS apps, including GoodNotes, Rosetta Stone, Post-It, Carrot Weather, TripIt travel planning, and graphics design title Vectornator are also leveraging Catalyst to arrive on the Mac as native apps.

Twitter Catalyst
Catalyst is designed to leverage the same code across platforms, with an appropriate appearance and features


Effectively, Catalyst leverages the efforts of third party programmers serving Apple's hundreds of millions of iOS users. Catalyst makes it easy to bring their feature-complete efforts to the Mac, where there isn't as big of an installed base with the critical mass required to drive smaller niches of demand.

That's critically important to a wide range of specialty users, from corporate enterprise development teams to smaller startups seeking to reach the most users as effectively as possible.

New Mac Augmented Reality tools

Another forward-thinking development idea being introduced in macOS Catalina is Reality Composer, Apple's new app for building Augmented Reality worlds. Apple could have named its new app "Keynote 3D," because it effectively works as a productivity tool for laying out animated USDZ 3D models in space, with attached actions and sound effects that create animated, interactive "presentations" you can view and explore from any camera angle.

You can trigger your defined animations and effects within a "Reality" world via proximity-- so that an object begins to interact as you approach it-- or at timed intervals or when you tap on it. This enables the creation of the type of rich, interactive AR experiences Apple has shown off at its events-- such as the exploded, explorable views of the new Mac Pro at WWDC19-- and at its new Apple Park Visitor Center, where iPads allow users to virtually explore around inside various buildings at its new facilities.

Reality Composer
Catalina's Reality Composer makes it easy to construct AR worlds for iOS users


The new Reality Composer app produces a "Reality File" that you can preview in 3D on the Mac using QuickLook or Preview, and view in full AR on an iOS device, placing your interactive model into the camera's immediate view. Reality Files can also be incorporated into technical, educational, or exploration apps to make it easy for even non-technical authors to build interactive, animated experiences that can be experienced in AR.

Developers can further take advantage of the new RealityKit framework featuring a Swift API in Catalina to programmatically build AR scenes that feature the same kind of animations, physics, camera effects and ultra-realistic looking, physics-based rendering with drop shadows and environmental reflections that Reality Composer can create. Apple has also enhanced ARKit to apply motion blur and even camera grain to AR graphics in order to make them look more realistic when viewed through a mobile camera, composited on real-world video.

Apple is investing a lot into making the Mac into an AR creation machine. The rapid advancements in ARKit over just the past year might make it seem like Apple is throwing a lot of resources at a technology that might initially appear to be best at simply adding some extra novelty to games. But at WWDC19, two comments jumped out at me that really underlined why Apple is making AR such a priority, and why today's ARKit isn't a repeat of initiatives like Apple's mid 90's QuickTime VR-- a fun, futuristic platform for creating explorable worlds that never really found its niche.

There's a real business model supporting the use of AR in commerce apps. Companies that have embraced AR as a way to demonstrate the placement of products right in a customer's home have seen an increase in sales of around three times. Money makes things happen!

Additionally, developers working in education noted that AR has been significant in grabbing and retaining the attention of young people. You might think of it as the modern equivalent of seeing the teacher roll the VHS player into the classroom. When you see young minds light up, that power of engagement in education is just as compelling as money.

It's not hard to speculate about where Apple might be taking AR in the future, from 'video AirPods for your eyes' to perhaps windshields. Whatever future hardware arrives to make AR even more relevant and engaging than today's iOS devices, Apple wants to be ready for it with a platform that can build the "reality" for AR and VR experiences. That future is arriving quickly with the expanded AR development tools and frameworks in macOS Catalina.

Mac as a Machine Learning creator

Along with AR, Apple has also made a big push into Machine Learning. iOS devices are now capable of performing local ML right on the device, enabling advanced artificial intelligence actions-- from object identification to sound recognition to written word comprehension-- that previously required an Internet connection and involved some grey areas regarding the privacy and security of your data.

Core ML 3 can now not only run local ML right on your iOS device, but can even personalize ML models so that your apps can learn your preferences and routines and adjust intelligently in a way that's specific to you, leveraging the same type of individual learning that let Face ID adapt to your appearance as you change your hair, glasses, and clothing. This local learning is entirely private to you, so you don't have to worry about apps building detailed dossiers about you that somehow end up on some server that Facebook or Yahoo decided to leave out in the open and totally unencrypted.

Create ML
Create ML builds models that can used to develop apps as intelligent as Apple's own


On the Mac, developers can now use Create ML to develop and train their models using libraries of sample data right on their machine, without needing to rely on a model training server. ML training can even take advantage of the external GPU support Apple recently delivered for new Macs, leveraging powerful eGPU hardware to crunch through computationally complex ML training sessions.

In parallel with ARKit and Reality Composer, Create ML is building out an entirely new creative purpose for Macs, both in developing intelligent Mac titles as well as iOS apps with super-smart intelligence that grows and develops over time. In Catalina, Apple is working to make these tools both easy to use and powerful.

Apple's revamped Photos 5.0 with advanced ML

Over the past two decades, Apple has created and evolved a series of "iApps" that it began bundling with its new Mac hardware. Catalina's Photos 5.0 introduces a series of new Mac features that are also being released in parallel for iOS 13. In fact, Photos is sort of emblematic of the current direction Apple is taking in its coordinated advancement of both its mobile devices and the Mac.

The previous "Photos, Moments, Collections, and Years" grouping of your Photos library is now more simply "Days, Months, Years, and All." The first three present contextual collections of your memories so you can review recent, significant events that occurred across the previous months and years. Photos uses Machine Learning-driven intelligence to identify your best shots, where subjects are in focus and well framed.

Internally, macOS Catalina now supports new ML Vision frameworks that can identify not just the most visually interesting photos, but also the most interesting parts of a photo, a concept Apple refers to as "saliency." The Vision framework can take any photo and intelligently create a heat map of what it thinks will attract a human's attention, such as people and faces.

This enables Photos to automatically crop and arrange your images in Days previews that appear to be professional created albums, presenting your friends, family, action clips, and landscapes in great looking previews. When you open an image, you get the full picture in its original format, and can manually crop and adjust it with non-destructive edits.

The underlying intelligence lays out various sizes of your images along with animated Live Photos and videos that individually spring to life as you scroll through them. It's even smart enough to know not to play everything back at once, creating a vibrant, visually interesting portfolio of your best shots that isn't excessively busy.

For example, in the Months view of my photos below, the Seattle Center fountain begins to animate because I shot it in SloMo, then the underwater swimming video captured using an iPhone plays back, followed by a video of people shooting off the slide at the Eclipse Festival. These sequentially timed, animated events that play as I navigate through my library of monthly photos from a couple of years ago is both nostalgic and touching, and makes me want to dive in and see more images related to specific adventures and travels from that summer.

Photos Catalina
Photos selects images for Years and Months collections to help you revisit previous events


When you review Months and Years, you see a smaller selection of what Photos deems to be the highlights of recent months or past years. Select a year image and it opens up your monthly albums from that year. Select a month image and it reveals the related top photos from those days.

However, there isn't an obvious way to edit the "thoroughly artificial" intelligent selections Photos comes up with, apart from manually hiding an image it's pulled from your collection as a major event, when in reality it's an embarrassing photo or something that you'd rather forget.

Photos can also create Memory Movies automatically from an event, so all you have to set is a title, mood, and duration. The Memory Movies you favorite are synced across your devices, enabling you to show off professional quality albums and clips on your iPhone or from a living room iPad that serves as the family album of the future.

Apple already delivered the technology to recognize people, places, objects and scenes in previous versions of Photos, enabling you to do advanced searches using this AI metadata. You can even search via Siri, such as asking "show me my photos of clowns in New York City."

Additional "personalization" features now also let you identify important moments like anniversaries, birthdays, and vacations, although sometimes the machine doesn't get this perfectly correct. In particular, the intelligence that Apple is using to build Memories might end up with some surreal results. For example, Photos created an "Independence Day over the years" memory for me, which included pictures of a BBQ with friends, shots of Apple Pie, fireworks, a mysterious image of some random cars at night, and some irrelevant selfies I'd rather not see distributed widely or shared.

It would be clever if Apple could use some intelligence to segregate your scandalous photos into a personal purgatory folder that isn't used to generate Memory Movies. It would also be nice if you could identify certain specific recognized faces as being "people I don't want to see right now."

My Photos library has over 80,000 photos, some in coherent groups and some just random ideas and experiments. Occasionally I'd see a Memory Movie suggested that was just a single random shot backed by an acoustic guitar with a Ken Burns effect applied. In other cases, such as when viewing a series of pics I took at a music festival under the Days tab -- which narrows down your shots to a selection of what it deems to be the best -- Photos actually automatically created a nice video sequence that turned out really well.

Photos Catalina
Click on the ellipsis button, and Photos will offer to create a Memory Movie for you


One of the most impressive aspects of Apple's ML intelligence magic on display in Photos is that the underlying technologies are also openly available to third parties, enabling developers to create their own intelligent apps that can analyze images, videos, text, and even read the words on signs and convert them to text to be analyzed in various ways.

Apple had a lot to say about its ML work at WWDC19, with a focus on doing all this magic while respecting users' privacy and security. So in addition to seeing "more apps" as described above, we're also going to see more intelligent apps-- some of which developers already had on display months ago.

One amazing example I saw was Fretello, a guitar learning iOS app from a developer in Austria. An upcoming version uses Apple's Core ML to listen to the sounds you play to provide feedback. It even uses ML video analysis to recognize your hand and finger placement while you play on camera as it teaches you the dexterity to play chords.

Catalina's new Music 1.0

In the same way that Apple moved from iPhotos to Photos four years ago and reverted the app's version number from 9.6 to 1.0, it is now moving from iTunes 12.9 to Music 1.0, aligning the Mac's media player naming conventions with iOS and dropping the venerable but overloaded "iTunes" brand entirely.

Music Catalina
Music is the new iTunes, with support for both the iTunes Music Store and Apple Music


However, the new Music app isn't starting over from zero. It appears that the new Music is effectively a renamed and overhauled version of the same AppKit iTunes for Mac codebase. That's actually good news because starting over from scratch generally means a lot of new bugs in all that brand new code, and often also a lot of missing features. The "new" Music still supports features including the iTunes Classic Visualizer, Crossfade, Sound Enhancer, and Equalizer.

Music features Apple Music's For You, Browse (above), and Radio views; your own music library presented by Artist, Album, and Songs; optionally the iTunes Store; and your devices and playlists in the sidebar. In Preferences, you can disable either the iTunes Store or Apple Music to tailor the Music app to fit your personal style.

Your own Music Videos remain in the Music app and are now easier to find as a top item of your library (below). Music Videos on Apple Music now seem far more prominent under Browse.

Previously, it felt like Apple hadn't made music videos a priority in iTunes, enabling Vimeo and YouTube to serve as more popular ways to watch them. However, this appears to be slowly changing -- Apple is now commonly featuring individual videos at the top of Apple Music, along with featured new videos, its own curated music video playlists, as well as some of its own documentaries and shorts.

Music Catalina
Music now makes your music videos a top level item


In the Public Beta, I had a lot of problems linking to my Apple Music account, in part because the system ran into confusion between my physical location in Europe and the fact that my account is tied to the U.S. store. I could also browse the iTunes Store, but only the Germany version. The store region selection feature didn't work for the iTunes Store, and I couldn't even see an option for configuring my Apple Music region. That's now been fixed, allowing users to change their store region and login from anywhere.

My local library items always appeared to work normally, but while I could see my attached iPhone, I couldn't consistently select it to see songs I'd manually copied over in the early betas. I'm still having problems with manually dragging songs to a mobile device, even after setting up my iPhone to "manually manage songs." I don't have any issues with managing songs on my iPhone directly.

The new Music app also puts a greater emphasis on song lyrics, optionally presenting them as you listen to a song and adding a Music toolbar button dedicated to Lyrics, which were previously buried in the Up Next and playback History panel.

Mojave's version of iTunes saw iterative tweaks but hadn't been radically refreshed since version 12.0 first arrived back in 2014's Yosemite. And, that version was really just a streamlined refresh of the user interface introduced in iTunes 11, which first appeared seven years ago in 2012 with Lion.

It's a bit surprising that Apple didn't address its sprawling, monolithic mess of a mega-app earlier, considering how important iTunes has been for Apple. The way people use iTunes has changed dramatically over the last 18 years, while the app itself has largely remained the same, even as it bolted on various new features. Actually, Apple did address iTunes, it just did so only on iOS. In macOS Catalina, that same task-based, distributed app overhaul is now coming to the Mac.

Podcasts

Other non-music features of iTunes are now delegated to standalone apps. Podcasts are obviously in the new Podcasts 1.0 app, which provides a clean, streamlined interface devoted to the programs you listen to without the other clutter of iTunes. it's similar enough to Music so that it's instantly familiar.

Being its own separate app now allows Podcasts to present a sidebar of items that makes sense for managing episodic radio-like content. Apple's directory of Podcasts is presented similar to Apple Music, with Listen Now, Browse and Top Charts listings. Your local library is presented as Recently Updated, Shows, Episodes, and Downloaded, making it easier to follow your favorites.

Podcasts Catalina
The new Podcasts is a Catalyst app, but it doesn't matter


Podcast search is also being enhanced. Apple is creating transcriptions for all of the hundreds of thousands of audio podcasts that it lists. This will enable users to search for episodes by subject keywords, even if you don't know the name of the show or the episode. You'll also be able to search podcasts by host, guest appearances, and other metadata details. Podcasts also uses Siri intelligence to suggest shows similar to ones you've listened to.

The new Podcasts interface will be conceptually familiar to iOS users, as its based on the same underlying code, albeit with a UI retooled to make sense on a desktop computer. One advantage of Apple sharing its Podcast app code between iOS and the Mac via Catalyst is that it can more effortlessly introduce new features for both platforms at the same time.

It's hard to discern any difference in the look and feel and responsiveness of Music compared to the all-new Podcasts app (above), which Apple has specifically outed as a Catalyst UIKit app sharing its core code with the iPad version. That's also good news, especially in view of the rough edges apparent in last year's first examples of UIKIt apps on a Mac, which looked foreign and clearly ported from a different world.

Oddly enough, while Apple has promised to update its Stocks, News, Voice Memos and Home apps to bring them more into line with what Mac users expect of a native app, they still appear to be unchanged in the official Catalina release. The new Podcasts app feels much more like a Mac app, but still uses iPad-like panels rather than movable windows to display item details. Overall, however, the new Podcasts app looks and works very similar to other modern apps.

Catalina's new Music and Podcasts apps look so similar that they seem sort of boring. The chrome of both are basic whites in the Light appearance and flatly black in Dark Mode. This deference of the UI makes the app's content really pop, but there is none of the ornamentally skeuomorphic music player character of the old iTunes to be seen anywhere. Overall, both look a bit like the Finder with less sidebar vibrancy, although they feature a nice balance of color in their icons.

Perhaps that's appropriate, as we're no longer needing to associate the Mac's music app with a jukebox or physical media player that nobody really ever uses anymore. The clean lines of Music feel more like a web browser, where you're focused on the content, not the illusion of some olde-timey music playback machine. And while the Finder-like sidebar layout feels a bit formulaically simple, the minimal new layout of Music makes a lot more sense than the weirdness of iTunes with its 18 years of overloaded baggage that required modal popup menus to switch between Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and Audiobooks.

Books and audiobooks

Books 1.0 was refreshed last year in Mojave, dropping the original "iBooks" name. Now, iTunes' audiobooks and the Audiobooks Store are now more logically located in Books 2.0, next to your library of standard ebooks, PDFs, and Apple's Book Store.

In the initial Catalina betas, it retained the "2018 appearance" it shared with Mojave Mac App Store that debuted alongside it. In the shipping version of Catalina, Books now has a modern appearance matching Music and Podcasts.

Books now looks a lot like Music, but the new app lacks the old iTunes' smart folders and playlists for organizing content. Books does provide Collections, which are playlist-like groupings which can be sorted by most recent, by title or manually organized. But there is no longer any way to sort your ebooks or audiobooks programmatically by rules.

Books Catalina
Books was freshly given the Catalina appearance

TV and movies

Apple TV app
Apple's TV app is drumming up interest in Apple's upcoming TV+ content


In Catalina, the TV app (above) is now coming to the Mac as the place to watch your existing iTunes video library content as well as the new ad-free streaming Channels, which vary in availability based on your geographic region. Just like Apple TV, the new TV app in Catalina presents a Watch Now tab with curated selections and personalized recommendations based on your viewing history. The Movies and TV Shows tabs detail popular and trending content, with features promoting titles in 4K HDR, films at special prices, and by genre.

There's also a Kids tab (below) featuring easy to navigate content for kids and teens, and a Library tab that presents your own content in a sidebar layout similar to the new Music and Podcasts. The new TV apps syncs movie and episode playback across Apple TVs, iOS devices, and "select" Smart TVs that can run the app. And on Apple TV 4K and T2-equipped MacBooks, the TV app now supports playback of Dolby Atmos as well as Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks.

Apple TV Catalina


Atmos is Dolby's advanced new form of surround sound that simulates audio in 3D space rather than just pushing different channels to right and left speakers. The T2 chip is required as it provides hardware decoding support. The new iPhone 11 Pro models also now support Dolby Atmos, using their two speakers to create a wider sound space when watching movies. The technology uses an audio virtualizer that works similar to noise-canceling mics: the left speaker cancels some of right and vice versa, creating "audio zones" that enhance dialog and broaden the virtual sound stage.

iTunes updates, backups and configuration

iPod and iOS device sync and backups are the last bit of iTunes functionality that's been relocated in Catalina. Those features are now integrated into the Finder version 10.15.

Most iOS users are now using iCloud to keep all their content in sync. But, if you prefer to manually sync using a cable, your device now pops up in the Finder just like any other drive under Locations in the sidebar when you plug it in.

Finder Catalina
No, I am your Finder!


The interface looks essentially identical to the old iTunes. The General tab lets you update your device software and restore from an image or backup. You can also configure backups to occur to iCloud or locally, and setup sync to occur automatically when plugged in or manually.

The Finder's Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Books tabs let you configure manual sync of your entire Mac library or individually selected items, most of which is more relevant to iPods than to modern iOS devices. The Photos tab tells you that photos are synched by iCloud, and that you can manually send images to your device "via WiFi or Cellular." If it wanted to be more helpful, it could integrate AirDrop for you, or explain that you can share photos via SMS, Email, or iCloud Drive.

The Files tab presents what was sort of confusingly called "File Sharing" in iTunes: a list of apps on your device and the documents each stored in their sandbox. The presentation of these files is even a bit wonkier and technical than it was in iTunes.

There's an Info tab that presents options to manually sync Calendar and Contacts, more of the old legacy from iPod days. Apple should clarify this entire interface to make it more understandable that this is manual sync as an option to automatic, wireless iCloud updates. For many users, it might seem desirable to click the boxes to sync your data. Most of this should be hidden behind an interface explaining that iCloud is already configured to handle all of this.

What would really be helpful is for Apple to provide a panel in the Finder that offers to clear out the cruft and fix issues with iOS devices that are too full to sync or update. I know
dewmeleehammwatto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 158
    All Catalina does is take things away. It is also about as polished as a rock quarry.

    After 15 years of downloading things in Safari, you now get the "feature" of having to approve access to your Downloads folder, manually, for every single website.

    You also now "get to" approve access to every single directory any app might request access to. That will go over real well. Since users have no idea why an App needs access to what it needs to access to, users will deny it, and the app will not function. Real smart Apple.

    I guess Apple really wants developers to move to web apps. They are much more attractive these days than making native Mac apps. Much, much more.
    edited October 7 lkrupprazorpitElCapitananantksundaramblastdoorelijahgmuthuk_vanalingammichelb76chemengin1pembroke
  • Reply 2 of 158
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,014member
    Bloody hell is DED trying to break the world record on longest article? Catalina really doesn’t add enough for what’s taken away for me, namely 32 bit application support. Seems a bit ridiculous to eliminated 32 bit support entirely. 32 bit apps can be sandboxed for security and 32 bit libraries can stay linked but unloaded until they’re required, so the extra RAM usage and security is a non-issue. 
    edited October 7 razorpitjeffharrisElCapitananantksundaramramanpfaffbaconstangblastdoormuthuk_vanalingamappleinsiderusermbenz1962
  • Reply 3 of 158
    dougddougd Posts: 289member
    I wouldn't touch it for at least six months after the disastrous IOS 13 rollout
    razorpitElCapitanpsliceanantksundaramlkruppbaconstangblastdoorphilboogie
  • Reply 4 of 158
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,494member
    TL;DR...but I assume DED likes it.


    cornchipblastdoorelijahg
  • Reply 5 of 158

    After 15 years of downloading things in Safari, you now get the "feature" of having to approve access to your Downloads folder, manually, for every single website.

    You are not approving access to your Downloads folder.  You are giving that specific website permissions to download files (to wherever you have designated as the default download location).  This stops drive-by downing of malware, etc., where as soon as you click a link or open a web page, software is downloaded, and if it's considered "safe", it is automatically opened.
    StrangeDayscy_starkmancorrectionscat52fastasleeplkrupplollivermatrix077tomahawkequality72521
  • Reply 6 of 158
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member
    All Catalina does is take things away. It is also about as polished as a rock quarry.

    After 15 years of downloading things in Safari, you now get the "feature" of having to approve access to your Downloads folder, manually, for every single website.

    You also now "get to" approve access to every single directory any app might request access to. That will go over real well. Since users have no idea why an App needs access to what it needs to access to, users will deny it, and the app will not function. Real smart Apple.

    I guess Apple really wants developers to move to web apps. They are much more attractive these days than making native Mac apps. Much, much more.
    Just get a Dell, quit the constant, never-ending whining, and find joy in your life. Please. Why wallow in misery? Don’t you want to be happy? I know you could be. Cuz it sure as hell isn't interesting to read the constant whining about how unhappy you are with this platform. 
    cornchiphydrogency_starkmanMacPromacplusplusmacxpresslkruppdewmelolliverp-dog
  • Reply 7 of 158
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member

    dougd said:
    I wouldn't touch it for at least six months after the disastrous IOS 13 rollout
    Dougd doesn’t like it!

    Dont know what I’m doing wrong, but I’ve encountered zero disaster here. Can you clarify further about how you’ve been victimized by Apple? What are the real-world limitations you’ve experienced as part of the “disaster” on your end? Inquiring minds want to know. 
    edited October 7 cornchipfastasleepmacpluspluslolliverp-doguraharaMissNomerequality72521chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 158

    You also now "get to" approve access to every single directory any app might request access to. That will go over real well. Since users have no idea why an App needs access to what it needs to access to, users will deny it, and the app will not function. Real smart Apple.

    You don't have to approve access to every directory an app wants access to - just any directory that might have personal, private, etc. information.  Apple defines what specific directories require permissions to access.  This is just like the previous request for permissions to Contacts, or Calendar as examples.
    StrangeDaysfastasleeplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 158
    All Catalina does is take things away. It is also about as polished as a rock quarry.

    After 15 years of downloading things in Safari, you now get the "feature" of having to approve access to your Downloads folder, manually, for every single website.

    You also now "get to" approve access to every single directory any app might request access to. That will go over real well. Since users have no idea why an App needs access to what it needs to access to, users will deny it, and the app will not function. Real smart Apple.

    I guess Apple really wants developers to move to web apps. They are much more attractive these days than making native Mac apps. Much, much more.
    Just get a Dell, quit the constant, never-ending whining, and find joy in your life. Please. Why wallow in misery? Don’t you want to be happy? I know you could be. Cuz it sure as hell isn't interesting to read the constant whining about how unhappy you are with this platform. 
    More importantly they should stop sharing that misery with others. :-)
    StrangeDayshydrogencat52macxpresslkrupplolliverMissNomercwingravequality72521chasm
  • Reply 10 of 158
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member

    elijahg said:
    Bloody hell is DED trying to break the world record on longest article? Catalina really doesn’t add enough for what’s taken away for me, namely 32 bit application support. Seems a bit ridiculous to eliminated 32 bit support entirely. 32 bit apps can be sandboxed for security and 32 bit libraries can stay linked but unloaded until they’re required, so the extra RAM usage and security is a non-issue. 
    Christ, they’ve deprecated and announced the planned end of life for 32-bit apps years ago, and yet people are still gonna get butthurt and whine about it when it finally happens. 

    No man, it’s not ridiculous. It streamlines the OS, the future processors, and is the direction the future is moving. Move past the denial stage and accept it. 
    hydrogencoolfactormacpluspluslkrupplolliverp-dogequality72521watto_cobraminicoffee
  • Reply 11 of 158
    ednlednl Posts: 29member
    Not all 32-bit software is ancient. I use Lightroom 6 standalone and have no alternative lined up yet, certainly not the subscription.
    ElCapitancoolfactorramanpfafflkruppbaconstangblastdoorelijahgphilboogie
  • Reply 12 of 158

    dougd said:
    I wouldn't touch it for at least six months after the disastrous IOS 13 rollout
    Me too .. oh wait .. installing now. No guts no glory!
    StrangeDayscat52lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 158

    elijahg said:
    Bloody hell is DED trying to break the world record on longest article? Catalina really doesn’t add enough for what’s taken away for me, namely 32 bit application support. Seems a bit ridiculous to eliminated 32 bit support entirely. 32 bit apps can be sandboxed for security and 32 bit libraries can stay linked but unloaded until they’re required, so the extra RAM usage and security is a non-issue. 
    Christ, they’ve deprecated and announced the planned end of life for 32-bit apps years ago, and yet people are still gonna get butthurt and whine about it when it finally happens. 

    No man, it’s not ridiculous. It streamlines the OS, the future processors, and is the direction the future is moving. Move past the denial stage and accept it. 
    Let the migration to other platforms begin.  Am in the process of moving a lot of solutions that ran brilliantly on Apple kit to Linux as it is no longer viable for macOS. 


    blastdoor
  • Reply 14 of 158
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member
    ednl said:
    Not all 32-bit software is ancient. I use Lightroom 6 standalone and have no alternative lined up yet, certainly not the subscription.
    I had an older copy of LR too, but guess what? I’m going to use something else now. Progress is a march forward, not backward, and when it comes to software it has a lifespan. Such is life my man. Can’t there get from here.
    edited October 7 fastasleepmacpluspluslolliverp-dogrevenantMissNomerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 158
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,787member
    ElCapitan said:

    elijahg said:
    Bloody hell is DED trying to break the world record on longest article? Catalina really doesn’t add enough for what’s taken away for me, namely 32 bit application support. Seems a bit ridiculous to eliminated 32 bit support entirely. 32 bit apps can be sandboxed for security and 32 bit libraries can stay linked but unloaded until they’re required, so the extra RAM usage and security is a non-issue. 
    Christ, they’ve deprecated and announced the planned end of life for 32-bit apps years ago, and yet people are still gonna get butthurt and whine about it when it finally happens. 

    No man, it’s not ridiculous. It streamlines the OS, the future processors, and is the direction the future is moving. Move past the denial stage and accept it. 
    Let the migration to other platforms begin.  Am in the process of moving a lot of solutions that ran brilliantly on Apple kit to Linux as it is no longer viable for macOS. 
    Awesome. Guess that means we won’t have the constant butthurt to look forward to in the near future? Have fun playing the drivers game on Linux, the bastion of easy computing...lol
    cornchipWgkruegermacpluspluslkrupplolliverp-dogmatrix077MissNomerequality72521watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 158
    ElCapitan said:

    elijahg said:
    Bloody hell is DED trying to break the world record on longest article? Catalina really doesn’t add enough for what’s taken away for me, namely 32 bit application support. Seems a bit ridiculous to eliminated 32 bit support entirely. 32 bit apps can be sandboxed for security and 32 bit libraries can stay linked but unloaded until they’re required, so the extra RAM usage and security is a non-issue. 
    Christ, they’ve deprecated and announced the planned end of life for 32-bit apps years ago, and yet people are still gonna get butthurt and whine about it when it finally happens. 

    No man, it’s not ridiculous. It streamlines the OS, the future processors, and is the direction the future is moving. Move past the denial stage and accept it. 
    Let the migration to other platforms begin.  Am in the process of moving a lot of solutions that ran brilliantly on Apple kit to Linux as it is no longer viable for macOS. 
    Awesome. Guess that means we won’t have the constant butthurt to look forward to in the near future? Have fun playing the drivers game on Linux, the bastion of easy computing...lol
    You sound as idiotic as always. Get yourself pulled out of the Apple Stockholm syndrome you're locked into. 
    elijahgMplsP
  • Reply 17 of 158
    Contrary to the first image, Catalina is WEST of Los Angeles, not East
    fred1watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 158
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,748member
    All Catalina does is take things away. It is also about as polished as a rock quarry.

    After 15 years of downloading things in Safari, you now get the "feature" of having to approve access to your Downloads folder, manually, for every single website.

    You also now "get to" approve access to every single directory any app might request access to. That will go over real well. Since users have no idea why an App needs access to what it needs to access to, users will deny it, and the app will not function. Real smart Apple.

    I guess Apple really wants developers to move to web apps. They are much more attractive these days than making native Mac apps. Much, much more.
    That's not true.  Your opinion does not make it fact.
    StrangeDayslolliverp-dogMissNomerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 158
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,060member
    Not sure which part was supposed to be crucial?

    I may install it on a partition when I have some time to kill, but ditching 32-bit apps... that's a tough pill to build up to, it'll take a while.
    raulcristianramanpfaffbaconstangtyler82elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 158
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,420member

    dougd said:
    I wouldn't touch it for at least six months after the disastrous IOS 13 rollout
    Dougd doesn’t like it!

    Dont know what I’m doing wrong, but I’ve encountered zero disaster here. Can you clarify further about how you’ve been victimized by Apple? What are the real-world limitations you’ve experienced as part of the “disaster” on your end? Inquiring minds want to know. 
    Seriously. iOS 13 is chock full of really nice little details & upgrades with virtually zero bugs...

    DISASTER!!! 
    Solicy_starkmanStrangeDayslolliverMissNomerequality72521watto_cobra
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