Unreleased ‘Pro Mode’ may bring performance boost to MacBooks

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macBookpro
The 16-inch MacBook Pro couldn't save falling Mac shipments.
Photo: Apple

Apple is working on a new software feature for macOS that can crank Macs’ processing powers into overdrive. References spotted by 9to5Mac in the latest macOS Catalina beta mention a new “Pro Mode.” Details on how Pro Mode will work remain hazy. However, a few lines of code hint that it might only be available on MacBooks.

Apple will enforce macOS app notarization requirements starting in February

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iMac
Apple wants to make macOS as safe as possible.
Photo: Apple

Mac app developers that distribute their apps outside of the Mac App Store will have to submit their software to Apple’s notarization process starting in February.

Apple detailed the upcoming changes in a note to developers this morning. The company originally said developers would have until January 2020 to submit for notarization but the window has been extended a bit.

How to sync your iPhone with your Mac in Catalina

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iTunes-as-Swiss-Army-knife-pun.
iTunes-as-Swiss-Army-knife-pun.
Photo: Goran Ivos/Unsplash

In macOS Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by separate apps, but none of those new apps takes on the tasks of syncing your music, books, photos and other data to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. That responsibility now falls upon the Finder.

So, does this means you can plug in your iPad and drag and drop all your apps’ files between it and your Mac? Of course not. In fact, apart from this functionality now being in the Finder, not much has changed at all.

How to add your own music to the Mac’s Music app

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catalina's music app tape
Adding music to Catalina's music app is as easy as using iTunes.
Photo: Namroud Gorguis on Unsplash

In macOS Catalina, iTunes has disappeared. It’s been replaced by the new Music app, which is a version of the iOS Music app. You could never call iTunes “beloved,” but it did its job, and had plenty of power hidden inside its confusing and bloated interface. The Apple Music app, on the other hand, is rather basic. But it still lets you do one thing that remains impossible on iOS: You can add your own music to your library. And yes, it will then sync that music to your iDevices. Let’s see how.

Can’t launch your apps on macOS Catalina? Here’s the fix

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no entry sign
Catalina makes opening non-approved apps scary.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

macOS 10.15 Catalina is ruthless about launching unknown apps. Unless your app comes direct from the App Store, or the app’s developer got the app notarized by Apple, it won’t launch. Double click on it, and you’ll see a warning — and nothing else. There’s no option to say you trust the app and launch it despite Catalina’s warnings.

But you can still launch those apps. It’s just that Apple hides the controls in the hope that you’ll give up. It’s petty, and it shows a lack of respect for you, the user. However, it’s also dead easy to fix this problem. Let’s see how to launch any app on macOS Catalina.

Continuity Sketch turns the iPad into a graphics tablet for your Mac

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Continuity Sketch is like having an Apple Pencil for your Mac.
Continuity Sketch is like having an Apple Pencil for your Mac.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You can sign a PDF on your Mac using the giant MacBook trackpad, and you can mark up PDFs and screenshots, too. But all that stuff is much easier on the iPad, especially if you have an Apple Pencil. The problem is getting it there. But in macOS Catalina, you don’t have to “get it” anywhere. Screenshots and PDFs magically show up on nearby iPads, where you can sign them or mark them up. Then you can return them to your Mac. These features are called Continuity Sketch and Continuity Markup, and they’re killer.

You know how the UPS guy holds up his brown scanner box for you to sign? PDF markup is like that, only on your iPad — and you never feel guilty about ordering too many parcels.

macOS Catalina 10.15.2 improves Apple News+, Stocks, Photos and more

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MacOS Catalina Jamf
Your Mac and your MacBook can be updated today with macOS Catalina 10.15.2.
Photo: Apple Inc.

There’s a fresh update for macOS Catalina out today. Version 10.15.2 allows an iPhone to remote control a Mac’s music and video playback. And there are also other enhancements for the utilities Apple bundles with this operating system, including Photos, Music and Mail.

How to arrange your iPad’s window in Catalina’s Sidecar

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Yes, that's Logic Pro X 'running' on an iPad.
Yes, that's Logic Pro X "running" on an iPad in Sidecar.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Sidecar, which lets you use an iPad as an external display for your Mac, is an unexpectedly amazing new feature in macOS Catalina. You just move any window to the iPad, and there it is. You can either mouse over to that window with the Mac, just like using any other external display, or you can pick up an Apple Pencil, and use it in the Mac app, directly from the iPad’s screen. And, like any regular external display, you can choose where the iPad’s screen exists.

Today we’re going to see how to move the iPad’s screen from left to right in the Sidecar setup.

How to add a Dark Mode toggle to the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

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The homemade Dark Mode button lets you toggle between Dark Mode and the MacBook Pro's regular appearance, right from your Touch Bar.
The homemade Dark Mode button.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Mac’s Dark Mode isn’t bad. It’s definitely a better view when quickly checking something on your Mac late in the evening. But unless you have it set to switch automatically, toggling Dark Mode on and off is a pain. So, with a shiny new MacBook Pro in front of me, I decided to put the Touch Bar to use.

Did you know you can add your own buttons to the Touch Bar? You can, and it’s totally rad.