How to prepare your Mac for macOS Catalina public beta

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Catalina looks pretty good, but should you install the public beta already?
macOS Catalina is coming soon.
Photo: Apple

The macOS Catalina public beta is here, so if you’re feeling brave, you can go ahead and install it on your Mac. But should you bother? Is early access to Project Catalyst apps, Voice Control, the Photos app redesign, Sidecar and Screen Time worth the risks?

Probably not. Or not yet, at least. But if you want to go ahead and install macOS Catalina on your Mac, here are a few tips and warnings.

Catalyst versions of Messages and Shortcuts on the way to macOS

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iMessage effects
A look at one of the new animations on Messages.
Screenshot: Steve Troughton-Smith

Apple is working to bring new versions of Messages and Shortcuts to Mac, according to code discovered in the latest beta of macOS 10.15 Catalina.

The code was uncovered by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. This would be the first time Shortcuts is available on macOS devices. While Messages is currently on Mac, it looks to be getting a big overhaul.

Apple’s first apps ported from iOS get more ‘Mac-like’

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Project Catalyst Twitter
Apple uses Twitter to demo porting iPad software to Mac because its own offerings are... not so good.
Photo: Apple

The first four applications Apple ported from iOS to macOS Mojave last year met with a certain amount of criticism for feeling like they were still iPad software. An Apple executive has promised these will become more “Mac-like.”

Twitter for Mac will be way better than just an iPad port

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Twitter for Mac
Twitter for Mac will have features not in the iPad version.
Photo: Twitter/Cult of Mac

Twitter recently promised to bring its iPad application to macOS, and the now the company says this will have Mac-specific features, like support for multiple, resizable windows

The re-release of this social-networking software one of the fruits of Project Catalyst, which enables iPad applications to be ported to Mac with relative ease.

Sketchnotes breeze through WWDC 2019’s biggest surprises

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WWDC 2019 Keynote sketchnotes, part 1 of 4
A quick visual highlight of the WWDC 2019 keynote through sketchnotes.
Photo:

WWDC 2019 bug The WWDC 2019 keynote came packed with exciting announcements.  As in past years, I ended up with four pages of drawings in my notebook. I sketched out the biggest new features coming to tvOS 13, iOS 13, macOS Catalina and watchOS 6. And then there’s the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.

As seen in my first sketchnote, above, tvOS 13 adds multi-user support and support for Xbox One and PlayStation DualShock 4  game controllers for Apple Arcade. Meanwhile, watchOS 6 will bring an App Store directly to the Apple Watch, a new Noise app, and a new Cycle tracking app for women.

For a quick visual recap of the highlights  of the WWDC 2019 keynote, check out the rest of my sketchnotes below.