MacOS Catalina now available: New features and how to download

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Apple has released macOS Catalina. Apple had announced macOS 10.15 Catalina at its annual developers conference – WWDC 2019 – and the company has started rolling out the latest iteration of its desktop operating system to all its users.

MacOS Catalina, which is the successor to macOS Mojave, brings a series of new features to Apple’s desktops and laptops. In addition to bringing in new features, macOS Catalina also unifies Apple’s mobile and desktop based operating system by introducing app that are already available on iPhones and iPads on to Macs and MacBooks. In addition to the apps and upgrades, the newly launched desktop operating system brings the Apple Arcade – company’s game subscription service – to its laptops and desktops.

Before we talk about the features, let’s see how you can get macOS Catalina on your Mac.

How to download macOS Catalina on your MacBook/Mac?

Downloading macOS Catalina on your MacBook or Mac is really simple. Tap on the Apple icon on the home screen of your MacBook. In the drop down menu that appears next, you will 1 update in front of the App Store option. Tap on the option and follow the steps on your screen to install the new operating system on your MacBook/Mac.

Alternatively, you can open the App Store on your Mac and look for MacOS Catalina update to upgrade your Mac for free.

An important thing to note here is that if your Apple desktop or laptop is running on macOS 10.13 High Sierra, macOS 10.12 Sierra or macOS 10.11 El Capitan, you can upgrade to macOS Catalina directly from the App Store.

However, if your Apple laptop or desktop is running on macOS 10.7 Lion or macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion, you will first have upgrade to system to macOS 10.11 El Capitan and then download macOS 10.15 Catalina on your system.

What all Apple devices are eligible for macOS Catalina update?

Apple has listed a set of basic requirements for you to determine if your MacBook or Mac is eligible for macOS Catalina update. These requirements include: OS X 10.9 or later, 4GB of memory and 12.5GB of available storage space.

However, if those details confuse you here is a list of Apple devices that are eligible for macOS Catalina update:

— MacBook (Early 2015 or newer)
— MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer)
— MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer)
— Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer)
— iMac (Late 2012 or newer)
— iMac Pro (2017)
— Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)

What are the top features of macOS Catalina?

As mentioned before, macOS 10.15 Catalina brings a host of new features to Apple’s desktop based ecosystem. Here are some of the top features:

Apple Arcade: MacOS Catalina brings support for Apple Arcade to Mac. The latest release completes Apple’s ecosystem in terms of providing access to games offered as a part of the gaming service. Users can now play games seamless on any of their Apple devices – iPhones, iPads and Macs. “On Mac, games can be played with keyboard and track-pad or mouse, and many games support controllers as well, including Xbox Wireless Controllers with Bluetooth and PlayStation DualShock 4,” Apple wrote in a blog post.

Separate entertainment apps: Instead of iTunes, which up until now had been one stop destination for music, podcasts and Apple TV, macOS Catalina brings three separate apps — Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV to Macs, making it easier for users to find the right content on their Apple devices.

Voice Control: With macOS Catalina, users can control their Macs entirely using their voices. “It uses the latest version of Siri speech recognition technology to transcribe spoken text and enable editing text via voice,” Apple noted.

Screen Time: Another major upgrade coming to Macs is the Screen Time feature. Up until now, Apple’s Screen Time feature was available only on iPhones. Now, with MacOS Catalina, users can see the amount of time that they are spending on individual apps or websites. “Downtime lets users schedule time away from their Mac, and App Limits allow control over how much time users spend with specific apps, websites and categories of apps,” Apple wrote.

Find My app: MacOS Catalina, just like iOS 13, combines the old Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps into a single on Mac. The new Find My can enable users locate a missing Mac even if it’s offline.

Sidecar: This feature enables users to extend Mac workspace by allowing them to use iPad as a second display. They can also mirror the screens so they both – the iPad and the Mac — display the same content. Additionally, Sidecar runs on a wired connection so users can charge their iPads as they work.

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