In Depth

Apple’s macOS Catalina: new features, install instructions and compatibility list

iTunes gets the axe as the tech giant positions computer system closer to iOS

Apple’s new macOS Catalina operating system is now available to download for Mac computer users.

The computer software, also referred to as version 10.15, builds on last year’s macOS Mojave release by introducing a raft of usability improvements and some key new features. 

In addition, iTunes is being axed in a bid to bring the computer software on a level with the iOS and iPadOS systems that power iPhones and iPads respectively. 

Here’s what else Mac users should know: 

How to update

To update, simply click on the Apple logo in the top left-hand side of the screen and select “About This Mac”. Once there, click on the “Overview” tab and then tap “Software Update”.

“Remember to back up all you stuff before installing new software”, Engadget advises, just in case anything goes awry during the update process.

What are the new features?

Apple used WWDC, held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in California, to confirm rumours that it would be dropping its iTunes app. The move comes 18 years after former boss Steve Jobs unveiled the multimedia software at the firm’s Macworld conference. 

Whereas iTunes stores the users’ music, video and podcasts in one place, macOS Catalina will split them over three separate apps - Music, TV and Podcasts - matching the company’s strategy on its iOS devices.

The company is also making it easier for third-party iPad developers to import their apps to Apple’s computers, reports The Verge. Twitter has already confirmed that its iPad app will be transferred over to macOS Catalina, and other developers are expected to follow the social media company’s lead.

Other new features include a “Sidecar” that makes it possible to use an iPad as a secondary display. This could be particularly handy for digital artists, who will be able to use their tablet as a drawing pad.

Accessibility has been improved, too. Mac users can now use voice commands alone for tasks including editing Pages documents and tweaking pictures in the Photos app. 

What devices are compatible with macOS Catalina?

According to ZDNet, the compatibility list for macOS Catalina is almost identical to that for last year’s Mojave update. Only the mid-2010 and mid-2012 models of the Mac Pro desktop computer have been dropped for this year’s release.

Here’s the full list of computers that can run the new software:

  • iMac Pro (2017-present)
  • MacBook (2015-present)
  • Mac Pro (2013-present)
  • iMac (2012-present)
  • MacBook Air (2012-present)
  • MacBook Pro (2012-present)
  • Mac Mini (2012-present)

These devices won’t be compatible with macOS Catalina: 

  • Mac Pro (mid-2012)
  • Mac Pro (mid-2010)

Recommended

Ikea and Aldi plug into gaming and esports market in lockdown boom
The 2018 TwitchCon esports event in California
In Focus

Ikea and Aldi plug into gaming and esports market in lockdown boom

Apple’s acquisitions: legacy built on healthy business strategy
The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City
Behind the scenes

Apple’s acquisitions: legacy built on healthy business strategy

Who are the richest people in the world?
Jeff Bezos
In Focus

Who are the richest people in the world?

China ‘trying to take control of the Moon’
Moon
Tall Tales

China ‘trying to take control of the Moon’

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 March 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 March 2021

Are Royal aides out to sink Meghan Markle - or is she really a ‘bully’?
Harry and Meghan Markle
Today’s big question

Are Royal aides out to sink Meghan Markle - or is she really a ‘bully’?

Who are the richest people in the world?
Jeff Bezos
In Focus

Who are the richest people in the world?