Improved security is a big new feature of macOS Catalina. Some features, like a read-only system volume, extra checks by Gatekeeper and the deprecation of kernal extensions will barely even be visible to the typical Mac user. Other features like new permission settings for apps and websites and Sign In With Apple will give us new security techniques that we can practice.
While major new changes get all of the attention, here are 10 minor things that you may not have heard about, but could become your favorite new features in macOS Catalina. You can put Dark Mode on automatic, block email senders, use picture-in-picture with QuickTime Player, tint the color of your screen, and much more.
Sidecar is a new feature that we will get when macOS Catalina and iOS 13 are released that lets you use your iPad as a second screen with your Mac. In addition to a basic screen, you also get some sidebar buttons and the Touch Bar along the bottom. You can use the Apple Pencil on the iPad's screen as a substitute for a mouse or trackpad, or to draw with precision into graphics apps.
After updating to macOS Catalina, old 32-bit apps will not longer work. If you have an old 32-bit app, then before updating, you should update your app or switch to a new one. Most apps have newer versions that professionals should consider buying. If you are using the app for casual purposes, then consider getting a modern alternative to apps like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. These will be cheaper or free, and will probably be much better than using an old outdated pro app. You can also keep an old Mac around to run 32-bit apps. Experts can partition their drive, use an external drive, or a virtual machine to run Mojave or earlier in some situations.
WHen macOS Catalina comes out this fall, iTunes will be replaces with Music, Podcasts and TV apps. This leaves many people wondering what will happen to their iTunes puchases, media and how they will sync their iOS devices. The transition should be seemless for all, with many just experiencing the equivalent to an app name change from iTunes to Music. Syncing will move to the Finder. Changes to some aspects, like ringtone syncing, is unclear.