macOS Catalina is out with new apps, Apple Arcade, Sidecar and more

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macOS Catalina is here. But proceed from Mojave with caution.
macOS Catalina is here. But proceed from Mojave with caution.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s big update for Macs, macOS Catalina, is finally out today bringing with it a host of new features, apps, privacy improvements, and much more.

Developers just received the gold master version of macOS Catalina last week, but today’s launch was a bit of a surprise. Anyone that has a compatible Mac can grab the new update from the Mac App Store for free.

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.

Luna Display not giving up in the face of Apple’s Sidecar

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Luna Display easily converts an iPad into a second screen for your MacBook Pro.
Luna Display promises to be better than Apple Sidecar at making an iPad into a Mac’s external display
Photo: Astro HQ

macOS Catalina enables an iPad to function as a second screen for a Mac, but one of the companies that already offers a solution for this job isn’t throwing in the towel. The founders of Astro HQ promise that their Luna Display and Astropad will offer a superior experience to Apple’s Sidecar, especially for creative professionals.

There’s also a new version of their software out today that offers better image quality on a connected iPad.

Only a small number of Macs will support Sidecar in macOS Catalina

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Luna Display easily converts an iPad into a second screen for your MacBook Pro.
Third-party solutions are far from dead.
Photo: Astro HQ

Not many Apple computers will be left out in the cold when its big macOS Catalina upgrade rolls out this fall. But even if your Mac is compatible, it might not be able to take advantage of every feature.

Sidecar, which lets you use an iPad as a second screen, will only support a limited number of machines. If your Mac is getting a little long in the tooth, you’re probably going to be out of luck.

iPad is a whole new beast after leaving iPhone behind

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Ipados
The iPad is now almost as capable as the Mac. Almost.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

At first look, iPadOS — Apple’s new operating system designed specifically for the iPad — doesn’t seem to have added so much. If you discount the iOS 13 features that the iPad shares with the iPhone, the iPadOS extras look rather pedestrian. But these small changes show a big change of direction for the iPad. Apple is turning it into a new kind of mobile computer, instead of a big iPhone.

Imagine that you saw somebody roll a rock a few feet away from another rock. Maybe it crests a small bump in the grass. But then, when you take a step away, you see that the rock is now perched on the edge of a canyon. To mix metaphors, iPadOS is like Wile E. Coyote floating over the big drop. Only the drop goes up instead of down, or something.

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.

Rumor roundup: What to expect in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 [Video]

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holding iPhone with
iOS 13 could offer tons of huge improvements to Apple's mobile operating system.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The last few weeks have been packed with rumors and leaks about what Apple may have in store for us with iOS 13 and macOS 10.15. With so much information coming out day after day, it’s hard to keep track of all the possible rumors.

Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled the full list of expected features coming this year to iOS and macOS. From dark mode to iPad updates, and new Mac apps to Siri improvements, here’s everything we are expecting (so far) in iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.

Lyft Is Your Friend With A Car [Deals]

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redesign_lyft_mf

Forged in the fires of Silicon Valley and backed by venture capital power players comes Lyft® – a service revolutionizing public transport. You request a ride through the free iOS or Android app, then watch on a real-time map as your driver approaches.

Lyft drivers are friendly, always available, and cheaper than a cab – why would you ever take a taxi again? And right now Cult of Mac Deals has $30 of Lyft credit available for just $10, meaning you’ll save even more money.