Move over, Dropbox: How to share iCloud folders in iOS 13.4

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colored notebooks
Some folders, which could totally be shared.
Photo: Laika Notebooks/Unsplash

In iOS 13.4, you can share iCloud folders with other people for the first time. You’ve long been able to share a single file via iCloud, but now you can share folders, so all the people sharing can drop files in there. Just like Dropbox has done since, like, forever.

This new capability, which arrived Tuesday in iOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4, will finally let people ditch Dropbox and go all-in on iCloud. Let’s see how it works.

Bundle of new developer OS betas highlight iPad Up Next widget functionality

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iPadOS 13.4 includes an improved Up Next home screen widget.
See locations in the Up Next home screen widget in iPadOS 13.4 beta.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Up Next widget on the iPad home screen gets a handy tweak in iPadOS 13.4, showing the location of upcoming events if they’ve been specified in the Calendar. This is just one of the improvements in this version, which is still in beta testing,

But the release is getting closer, as Apple just released the third beta of iPadOS 13.4 to developers. Plus, there are new pre-release editions of macOS 10.15.4, iOS 13.4, tvOS 13.4 and watchOS 6.2.

SwitchGlass is a supercharged Dock replacement for Mac

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SwitchGlass -- almost exactly the same as the Dock.
SwitchGlass -- almost exactly the same as the Dock.
Photo: John Siracusa

SwitchGlass is a handy new Mac app from John Siracusa. It’s like a superpowered dock, conceptually honed from the regular macOS dock by removing some annoyances, and adding some extra subtleties. It’s certainly not the most powerful dock-replacement app out there, but if your needs align with Siracusa’s, then you’re going to love it.

Unreleased ‘Pro Mode’ may bring performance boost to MacBooks

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macBookpro
Bag yours before they disappear.
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.