Apple's macOS Catalina update is now available for download
Check out Apple Arcade, Sidecar, Voice Control, and moreBy Cohen Coberly
Apple today announced the latest version of its macOS desktop operating system – macOS Catalina – and it brings quite a few new features and services for Mac fans to chew on. We'll break down the key additions below, but you can visit the official announcement post for all of the nitty-gritty details.
For starters, macOS Catalina is bringing Apple Arcade to the Mac ecosystem, just weeks after the gaming subscription service launched on other Apple devices. For the unaware, Apple Arcade is a $4.99/month gaming platform that gives you access to a wide array of games; some exclusive, some not. It boasts titles like Oceanhorn 2, The Pathless, and Beyond a Steel Sky.
You won't need an additional subscription to take advantage of Apple Arcade for Mac – by paying the monthly fee, you can access your favorite games on Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and the iPod Touch.
In terms of the other new entertainment options arriving with macOS Catalina, there are quite a few: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV, specifically. These three apps will be replacing iTunes (which may prove to be a bit controversial) and will offer a wide array of content for users to enjoy.
In Podcasts alone, Apple says users can download "more than 700,000 shows." It's also worth noting that the company's upcoming Apple TV+ video streaming service will be available through the Apple TV app on Mac starting next month.
Another new feature hitting the Mac world with Catalina is Sidecar. In short, Sidecar lets you use your iPad as a secondary display for productivity: you can sketch or jot down notes on it using any supported stylus (including the Apple Pencil) and see the results on your Mac's screen.
Though there are plenty of uses for Sidecar, Apple draws particular attention to apps like Photoshop, ZBrush, and Adobe Illustrator. Sidecar can function via a wired or wireless connection; with the former allowing you to charge your iPad while you work.
Though the features and services mentioned above are the main additions joining the macOS ecosystem with Catalina, there are plenty of smaller updates of note, as well. Catalina brings new accessibility functions (including Voice Control), a streamlined Find My app, an updated start page for Safari, and a redesigned UI for Reminders, among other things.
Catalina is available today, and gaining access to it as simple as updating your device.