We have already written how to prepare for the release of the new Apple operating system and how to reinstall the OS from scratch.

For those who are still updating, I will tell you my feelings about using Catalina, the pros and cons that I managed to find in a couple of months of operation.

The system has not changed so much, but it is capable of presenting several surprises, but first things first.

Minor changes to macOS Catalina

Let me remind you so that you know what to look for immediately after the update.

one. iTunes no more. Instead, there are three new applications at once: Music, Podcasts and TV.

lovers Apple Music appreciate it, the rest will just remove the three new icons from the Dock right after installation.

2. Application A photo received several new features: day / month / year view timeline, automatic playback of Live Photos, smart search for photos by keywords.

3. In the application Notes there was a view mode with thumbnails, it is possible to manually sort notes and search by keyword, which can find objects in photos added to notes. It is possible to work together with friends and colleagues.

four. Redesigned app Reminders. The design is similar to the program for iPhone and iPad. Added smart reminder sorting by Today, Flagged, and Scheduled lists. If you mark a person in a reminder, it will be displayed when communicating with him in the program Messages.

5. Application Mail got the ability to mute notifications for any user or any correspondence, it is possible to specify unwanted senders and automatically move letters from them to spam.

6. Standard Browser safari received a number of minor changes. For example, if you start typing the address of an already open site, the application will prompt you to go to it without opening a new tab.

7. Cosmetic changes have taken place in System settings. We added a couple of new sections for SideCar and Screen Time, a separate settings block for managing Apple ID, iCloud and family access, like on iOS.

eight. There is an option in the settings automatic theme switching depending on the time of day.

It is strange that automatic switching was not added with the advent of the dark theme in Mojave and for this you had to use crutches or third-party applications.

9. Appeared in macOS built-in archiver. The system can easily unpack the archive from the network without third-party utilities.

Features and settings are very reminiscent of The Unarchiver, which with the advent of Catalina will not be needed.

Unlike a free application from the Mac App Store, the system program can not only decompress, but also compress data.

More significant innovations in macOS Catalina

If the previous chips could be studied in a couple of minutes, then I recommend paying special attention to the following innovations.

one. There was a mode side car, which I have already discussed in detail earlier. You can extend your Mac screen directly on your iPad and use your tablet as a second monitor.

The feature is really cool, there have always been some problems with third-party applications, but with Apple’s implementation, everything, as always, is at the highest level.

2. screen time now available on macOS. The system can combine statistics with mobile devices via iCloud and manage overall application limits.

Previously, I already tried to start using screen time on the iPhone, but quickly gave up, because the statistics from the computer were not taken into account. So, for example, on a Mac, it was easy to bypass the YouTube or social media viewing limit on the iPhone.

In the near future, I will definitely start using this feature again and will talk about it in a separate review.

3. Service for finding gadgets Locator seriously pumped. We have already said that with the advent of iOS 13, you can even search for devices that are turned off.

To do this on the iPhone and Mac application Find my… changed to Locator. The program allows you to display on the map all the gadgets associated with the Apple ID, block any of them, sound the search signal.

A separate tab is designed to search for friends and share the location, which will be more useful on the iPhone. In any case, the application is worth it, if only to find a lost smartphone or earphone at home.

four. The most subtle, but one of the most important innovations is technology Project Catalyst. With its help, developers can easily adapt an application that was written for iOS to macOS Catalina.

To do this, you will need to make minimal changes to Xcode and submit the program for review by the Mac App Store moderators. We are waiting for the appearance of your favorite mobile applications and games on Mac.

5. Work with the connected iPhone and iPad is now carried out in the application Finder. This is very logical and such a change has been suggested for a long time.

All the necessary functionality from iTunes was transferred here: creating and restoring from backups, working with application files, media library.

6. Service launched on Mac Apple Arcade. And although there are not so many really worthwhile games there yet, the appearance of simple arcade games on the Mac is definitely a plus.

Now, in order to kill a few minutes between work, you do not need to deliver an iPhone, you can play directly on your computer.

7. There is voice control in Russian


A very cool feature of iOS 13, which allows you to control the gadget with your voice, is also in the new macOS.

Here, voice control is available in Russian and it is really convenient to use it. If the computer is in the living room or used as a media server, you can easily control it even without the help of Siri.

Just activate the chip along the way System Preferences – Accessibility – Voice Controlwait for the necessary components to load and try to issue almost any commands to control the interface.

This opens up really great opportunities for users with disabilities.

What we liked about macOS Catalina

I have been using the system as a test since the first beta version, which was installed quite unexpectedly even on a hackintosh. On the Mac Mini 2018, I switched to 10.15 in mid-August, since then everything has been working extremely stable and without critical flaws. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

▪️ No iTunes, it’s great!

For a long time I was looking for a replacement for the overloaded combine in macOS. Before the advent of streaming services, I wanted to get a convenient tool for copying content to the iPhone, and later a simple program for adding files to third-party applications.

Now there is no longer such a need for this, and the division of iTunes into several simple applications did not record major changes, but small ones. If Apple had made such a division 3-4 years ago, many would have simply applauded standing.

Apple Music Yandex.Music and Spotify have been replacing me for a long time, I never really liked podcasts, and watching movies on a Mac is still a pleasure.

The main benefit to me from splitting iTunes is bringing connected gadgets to the Finder. I often roll test versions of the firmware on a smartphone or tablet, restore from a backup copy or try a jailbreak. At the same time, all manipulations with backup are much faster to perform on a computer.

Previously, when connecting a smartphone, one had to observe a long and useless download of covers for albums and playlists from Apple Music. Now all this is gone. We set up synchronization with iPhone via Wi-Fi and the smartphone is always displayed in the side menu of the Finder. Making a backup is a matter of a couple of clicks.

▪️ SideCar is the bomb, I want an Apple Pencil!

I have been using the iPad since the third generation and from time to time I look for a use for an outdated tablet model. I tried several times to connect my iPad to my Mac as a second screen, but third-party apps always let me down.

Either the developers did not want to fix a bunch of bugs, or new services demanded too much price for unfinished software, or proven and working solutions did not acquire new necessary features.

As a result, Apple came into this niche with its simple but working solution and beat everyone. My home iPad, which spent most of the day on the shelf, now works as a second display.

I’ve never wanted to buy an Apple branded stylus the way I did after working on macOS Catalina. The Cupertinos really cheated and limited the work in SideCar to promote the Apple Pencil, but it really works.

I edit videos a little, occasionally work with graphics and image retouching, often just display video or messenger on the second screen, but even for this I want to buy a stylus.

Firstlyso it will fully manage happening on the iPad screen.

Secondlyso trite easier to reach to the touch screen without taking your hands off the keyboard much (when the stylus is sandwiched between your fingers while typing on the keyboard).

Thirdlywill be more accurate get into small interface elements when using the second screen with graphics applications or video editing software.

▪️ Apple Watch and Mac pairing becomes more useful

Apple Watch will now help you not only unlock your Mac when approached, but also activate a number of other useful features.

So through Apple Watch, you can remove the password from locked notes, confirm the installation or removal of applications, give permission to change system settings and other important operations.

In most cases, the clock simply replaces entering the system password on the Mac.

Plus one advantage for those who have not yet got an Apple Watch.

▪️ There are a lot of small chips that are yet to be found

As always, Cupertinians have added many small but useful improvements. Such chips simply cheer you up when you suddenly stumble upon them in the process of work.

So I noticed that macOS Catalina has the ability to quickly unpin a video from a browser page for viewing in “picture in picture“.

Previously, for example, on YouTube, you had to call the context menu twice (first the player menu, and then the browser menu) and unpin the image.

Now, if you right-click on the speaker icon on the video tab, an option will appear to unpin the picture.

It’s for such chips that we love Apple, I hope we will find a few more such trifles in the near future.

What I didn’t like about macOS Catalina

There are certain points that upset when working with the new version of the operating system. Nothing critical, but worth mentioning.

▪️ Apple Arcade needs Handoff

The Handoff feature allows you to continue working in the application from iPhone to Mac or vice versa. It is strange that such a useful thing was not added to the Apple gaming service.

Progress in applications and achievements, of course, are synchronized, but unfortunately it will not work to start the game on one device and continue the game on another.

▪️ The TV app looks weird so far

After disbanding iTunes, movies and cartoons moved here, and later a streaming service will be launched here. Apple TV+. The Cupertino team had to hurry up and schedule the release of the operating system and service at the same time.

There is nothing to do in the app right now. You can only view purchased content on a computer, but those who buy it usually have an Apple TV in their arsenal.

▪️ SideCar was cut before the release of the system

One of the main features of macOS Catalina I liked a couple of months ago. In the test version of the system, it was possible to work with the following devices:

▪️ iPad mini 4/5
▪️ iPad 2017/2018
▪️ iPad Air 2/Air 2019
▪️ iPad Pro 9.7/10.5/11/12.9 inches

And on computers:

▪️ Mac mini 2014 and newer
▪️ iMac 2015 and newer
▪️ Mac Pro 2013 and newer
▪️ MacBook 2015 and newer
▪️ MacBook Air 2015 and newer
▪️ MacBook Pro 2015 and newer

After the final release, the list of compatible devices was greatly reduced.

There is no logical explanation for such an act, even on a test system with old devices, for most users everything worked smoothly. It’s one thing to ban quite old iPad models (Air 2 or mini 4), and it’s another to turn off the feature on fairly powerful Macs from 2013-2015.

Did you like Catalina or not?

Definitely yes! After the summer presentation of WWDC 19, the update seemed minor, but after a couple of months of operation, I noticed a lot of both small and large innovations, for which the developers deserved a solid “five”.

The system was not radically changed nothing new under the hood Did not happen. This is good, because from the first test versions it was possible to switch to Catalina even on working Mac computers, and in the final release there are practically no bugs and glitches.

Already now I can’t get enough of the screen extension on the iPad, the Locator application and the game service. In the future, I will start actively using Screen Time and hope for the emergence of cross-platform applications with iOS.

The set of shortcomings noticed is so insignificant that the update can be considered very, very successful.

If you don’t have 32-bit applications, you can confidently upgrade right now.

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What you need to know about Catalina before you bet.

  • Before

    How to use your Apple Watch instead of a system password in macOS Catalina

  • After

    macOS Catalina can’t share folders via iCloud until Spring 2020