THE NEXT VERSION of macOS is official and it's the version first to support iPad apps.
That's thanks to Project Catalyst, previously codenamed 'Marzipan'. Apple tested the process internally with macOS 10.14 by porting native iPad apps such as Stocks, News, and Home to the Mac; with macOS 10.15 Catalina, developers will be able to get in on the action.
According to Apple, transforming an iPad app into a macOS app is as simple as checking a box, with Xcode introducing macOS-specific controls like cursor and window controls into an iPad app's framework. This means UIKit developers will only have to maintain a single codebase to create apps that work on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Apple is also introducing a new Sidebar feature, that lets you use your iPad as a second display for Mac, making third-party solutions, such as Astro HQ's Luna Display, largely redundant.
As rumoured, macOS 10.15 Catalina will be the first version of macOS that doesn't include iTunes. The app, long regarded as a necessary evil of setting up an iPhone, is being broken up into three separate apps: Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts.
Catalina also introduces a new way to control a Mac entirely with your voice. It's designed as an accessibility feature, but allows anyone to operate control their Mac entirely by barking commands at it using on-device Siri speech recognition technology,
Naturally, macOS 10.15 offers some souped-up security features; Gatekeeper now checks all apps for security issues, all apps are required to get permission before accessing user documents, and the side button on the Apple Watch can now be used to approve security prompts. There's also a new 'Find My' app too that combines Find My Friends and Find My iPhone and will disable your laptop if it gets stolen.
Elsewhere, macOS Catalina features Screen Time, redesigned Notes and Reminders apps, and a new Safari start page that uses Siri Suggestions to throw up relevant content.
macOS 10.15 is available to developers from today and a public beta will be available to Mac users later this month. It'll be available to download on all mid-2012 Macs or later in the autumn. µ
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