13+ macOS Catalina enhancements you’ll want to use

Apple has promised to ship macOS Catalina in October (the public beta is available now), but word across the Apple rumor machine is that the new Mac operating system is about to ship. Here are a few smaller improvements you may want to use.

What Apple told us about Catalina

Introduced at WWDC 2019, macOS Catalina is the latest iteration of Apple’s operating system, with flagship features including:

  • The replacement of iTunes with Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV apps.
  • Sidecar, which lets you use your iPad as a second display and input device.
  • Voice Control
  • Security and privacy enhancements
  • Screen Time for Mac
  • Improvements in Photos, Safari, Mail, Notes and Reminders.

“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,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “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.”

That’s Apple’s promise and its flagship improvements. Here are some of the smaller refinements you may want to use – but before you upgrade to Catalina be sure to backup your data. You should also check if any of the applications you rely on are 32-bit (About this Mac>System Report>Software>Applications and in the last column you’ll see if there are any 32-bit apps).

App Tiling

You’ll get much more from the window controls. For example, if you hover your cursor over the green button in an application window you’ll now be given a tool to send that window to the left or right of your screen. You can then open another application on the other side of the screen – or use it again to send an application full screen. In Safari, you can use the Tile Window commands in the Window menu for this. Press Escape to quit tiling.

Real signatures

To sign a PDF or other document, just enter the markup menu, choose Signature and you can then use the signature you have on file or write a new one. If you have an iOS device, you can use that device to write your signature.

[Also read: A first look at macOS Catalina (public beta now available)]

A new media control

Watching video in Safari? Just tap and hold the sound icon you should see in the search/address bar and select Enter Picture-in-Picture.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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