Apple at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2019 event has unveiled the next version of its operating system for Macs dubbed macOS Catalina. It is an incremental upgrade over the macOS 10 Mojave operating system and will be made available to eligible Mac users in fall 2019. The public beta for macOS Catalina will come in July 2019.
One of the biggest features of the new macOS Catalina is the expansion of cross platform apps under Project Catalyst. This feature was first introduced with macOS Mojave and iOS 12 for the company’s own apps. With the introduction of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, Apple will now allow its developers to utilise this feature for testing their own apps for compatibility.
This will allow developers to create a single app that will work on iOS or macOS, responding to touch or mouse. Apple also showcased its new ‘Find My’ app that clubs its Find My Friends and Find My Phone apps into one. The app also includes a new find network feature with the help of which consumers can track their Apple devices even when they are not connected to the internet. The Find My app will also come to iOS.
The update also brings in a slew of new and redesigned apps, including Apple Music, Podcasts, Books, TV and Reminders. As a part of the company’s new cross platform app initiative, these apps will be similar to their iOS counterparts. Music and TV apps are the new apps, whereas the Podcasts, Books and Reminders apps are just redesigned. Additionally, the Music app will be replacing iTunes, which has been in use for 18 years now.
Another feature that Apple is introducing with macOS Catalina is the ability to send any app to an external display, which include connected monitors and iPads. This functionality on iPads will also help Apple Pen owners use the iPad as a pen-tab for their Macs. It is called Sidecar.
New RealityKit feature available in Apple’s AR Kit 3 can be accessed by developers within Xcode. This will help developers add AR elements to their apps without the need for heavy investments. Many apps like Minecraft have already started taking advantage of the new AR features to enable new features inside of their apps.
Lastly, Swift UI is the successor to the Swift code language Apple introduced a few years ago. The new Swift UI makes it much easier for developers to code apps for all of Apple’s platforms and the X code preview feature will be able to show how the apps will look like in real life.