Apple has lifted the lid on macOS Catalina, announcing it is killing off iTunes in favor of new dedicated applications for Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV.
Also announced is an all-new Sidecar feature, designed to allow users to extend their Mac desktop and use an iPad as a second display – great for intensive tasks.
Voice Control is also new, allowing users to control their Mac using their voice.
Speaking of the new release, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said: “With macOS Catalina, we’re bringing fresh new apps to the Mac, starting with new standalone versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app.”
“Users will appreciate how they can expand their workspace with Sidecar, enabling new ways of interacting with Mac apps using iPad and Apple Pencil. And with new developer technologies, users will see more great third-party apps arrive on the Mac this fall.”
Apple is replacing iTunes with new applications to “simplify and improve the way Mac users discover and enjoy their favorite music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.” Music offers the same functionality as iTunes, and the iTunes Store is staying, meaning you can buy new music if you’d prefer not to use Apple Music.
Apple TV allows users to watch their favorite content and stream from Apple TV+, which will launch later in the year, whilst Podcasts introduces a new way to find shows and content, with advanced search tools and categories.
Sidecar, on the other hand, makes it easy to bring an extended display with them so they can spread their work out over two displays wherever they happen to be – no longer do you need to carry around a heavy and expensive second display.
Apple has made serious refinements to accessibility, introducing assistive features like Voice Control, as well as new labels to organize content.
The company has also made some huge leaps in security, with Gatekeeper now checking apps for security issues, and new protections designed to require apps to ask for permission before accessing user documents or other sensitive data.
A new Find My app will allow users to see where their stolen Mac is, even if it’s offline, which will no doubt be of major use to millions of MacBook owners.
Refinements have also been made to Notes, Reminders, Mail, Safari, Photos, and more – and it’ll all be released this Fall in a free update. Developers can access a preview of the software from today, as can Public Beta Testers.
AppleMagazine will bring you up-to-the-minute coverage on WWDC 2019 – stay tuned for more fresh content from the event, as and when we get it. This week, we’ll publish a special edition of AppleMagazine offering an in-depth look at everything coming this fall – make sure you subscribe to the magazine now to be the first to read.