APPLE HAS QUIETLY ANNOUNCED that it'll release macOS Catalina at some point in October.
Though the next version of macOS failed to get a mention during Apple's iPhone 11 launch event on Tuesday, the company has since confirmed that the OS will be pushed out to Mac users next month.
This means it won't arrive at the same time as iOS 13 and watchOS 6, which will be flung out into the wild on 19 September.
Apple didn't give a firm date for the release of Catalina, but there's chatter that the firm is plotting a Mac-centric launch event for October which could see the launch of the long-rumoured 16in MacBook. If it does, it's likely that the release of the OS will be timed with the release of the new machines.
The OS, first shown off at WWDC earlier this year, will be the first version of macOS to support iPad apps. With Project Catalyst, developers will be able to port iPad apps to Mac by simply 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.
macOS 10.15 Catalina also introduces a new Sidebar feature that lets you use your iPad as a second display for Mac, along with a new feature that lets you 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 also 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. µ
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