First macOS Catalina public beta is finally here

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macOS Catalina
macOS Catalina is coming this fall.
Photo: Apple

You no longer have to be a registered Apple developer to get macOS Catalina on your Mac.

Apple seeded out the first public beta for macOS 10.15 this morning, just one week after the company released the second beta to developers.

To download macOS 10.15 Catalina you will need to sign up for Apple’s Public Beta Tester program. Because macOS Catalina is still in beta, it’s not recommended that you install it on your main machine. If you still want to take that risk, installing it on a partition of your Mac’s hard drive can mitigate some of the risks of using the beta software.

What’s new in macOS Catalina?

Project Catalyst apps are perhaps the biggest star in the macOS Catalina update. Developers can use it to port iPad apps to the Mac which will hopefully bring a wave of new apps to the Mac App Store. Apple has already ported some of its iPad apps to the Mac but is adding some refinements to them before launch.

Other new macOS Catalina features include the ability to use an iPad as a secondary monitor. Voice Control allows you to completely control your Mac using your voice. There’s also a new ‘Find My’ app for locating friends and devices.

Apple also created new Apple Music, Apple Podcast and Apple TV apps to replace iTunes. The new Music app packs all the powerful iTunes music features while still being fast. With the Podcasts app you get a lot of the same stuff from the iOS version. Same thing with the Apple TV for Mac app that also packs support for 4K HDR playback on the Mac and Dolby Atmos sound.

macOS Catalina is slated to launch to the public this fall.