Devs ding Catalyst, Apple’s new system for porting iPad apps to Mac

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macOS Catalyst ports iPad apps to Mac
Developers say macOS Catalyst has a lot of potential, but plenty of limitations too.
Photo: Apple

Developers using Apple’s system to convert iPad software to macOS say Catalyst still needs lots of work before it can fulfill its promise.

The functionality is mostly there, but some features are missing and there are complaints about the style of the resulting apps.

How to check (and block) apps that track you on iPhone and iPad

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Protect iOS your privacy and data with a firewall app.
Protect iOS your privacy and data with a firewall app.
Photo: Capturing the Human Heart/Unsplash

Safari’s content blockers effectively block trackers and other Bad Stuff on the web, but that only works in Apple’s browser. Any other app you install on your iPhone or iPad can send all kinds of personal information to anyone, without you ever knowing. Your location, the details of your menstrual cycle, how long you spend asleep — pretty much anything.

So how do you stop this? Well, iOS 13 itself can help limit some abuses. But what you really need is an iOS firewall app that can detect and shut down any unauthorized connections.

PDF Expert adds powerful iPadOS 13 features

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pdf expert iPadOS 13
PDF Export now supports multiple windows.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Readdle’s PDF Expert is my most-used PDF app, because it’s fast, powerful and doesn’t get in the way. I don’t even use many of the advanced features, but I still prefer it over most other options.

Now it’s even better. The most recent PDF Expert update adds support for the new features in iOS 13 and iPadOS. Let’s run through what’s new.

The best widgets apps for iPadOS 13’s new Home screen

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Dark Mode on iPadOS
The new Home screen widget panel on iPadOS 13.
Photo: Apple

In iPadOS, the old Today View has shuffled over a little, and now lives right on the Home screen. You can pin widgets there, and they will be permanently shown on the left edge of the Home screen (in landscape, at least — in portrait they will act more like a temporary Slide Over panel).

This changes how we use widgets. Instead of being temporary, quick-info panels, or shortcuts for app functions, widgets are now always visible, and always available to tap. A weather widget can be checked with a single glance, for instance. Ditto countdown timers. And — best of all — Shortcuts can be triggered with a single tap.

Let’s take a look at some great widgets for the iPadOS Home screen.