Back at WWDC in June this year, Apple revealed the usual host of updates to its operating systems, most of which we have had already. iOS 13 we have had already, in fact quite a number of releases since 13.0 was released. iPadOS has been released and since then, one minor bug fix too and also tvOS 13 dropped, with support for Apple Arcade and some new wallpapers.

But now, Apple has released this years update to the Mac lineup, with macOS Catalina. Compared to years gone by, it is one of the smaller updates in terms of big name features, but it does bring some stuff we like and remove some stuff we didn’t like.

What’s new?

In terms of all of the new features, what they do and how they work – we will have an upcoming video and full length discussion on macOS Catalina coming soon but for now we’ll discuss the headlining features.

Bye iTunes!

Yes yes, Apple has finally ditched iTunes and while over these years it has been a useful companion for backing up and restoring iPhones as well as managing huge music library’s it was time for the ageing app to hit the road. On Windows, iTunes will remain but on macOS Catalina Apple has taken the iOS approach, by splitting Music, Podcasts and TV into their own segregated apps.

Music app, on macOS Catalina
Music app, on macOS Catalina

The Music app is similar to how the Music section of iTunes used to work, the iTunes Store is hidden by default, so if you don’t use Apple Music and still purchase music from iTunes at least this is still accessible. All of the films and TV shows from are now in the Apple TV app, and it has the same ‘Up Next’ feature from the actual Apple TV and the corresponding app on iOS and iPadOS.

In terms of syncing your devices (something I like to do still), that section of iTunes is now in the Finder, which actually makes sense. Finder supports all versions of iPhone, iPad and just like iTunes did – all the old iPods too.

Find My

Find My Friends has always been an iOS only app, yes on some later versions of macOS you could access very basic information from the Today widget in the notification centre, but it was never the full blown experience we had on iOS. Now, with macOS Catalina Apple is bringing the new Find My app from iOS 13, to the Mac. So now, from the desktop you can see where your friends and family are at and also check where yours and your family’s Apple devices are too.

New Reminders App

Screen Time

What Mac models does macOS Catalina run on?

macOS runs on any Mac model which could run last year’s release, Mojave. But to be extra helpful, Apple has posted this handy graphic on its website showing all the Mac models which can run macOS Catalina.

If you are not sure what model year your Mac is, simply click on the Apple logo the upper left hand corner on your Mac, click ‘About this Mac’ and then a window will open showing you what year your Mac was released.

How do I update my Mac to the new version?

If your Mac is on macOS Mojave, the process has changed from last year in updating macOS. Before, you used to have to go to the Mac App Store and choose the new update from the main screen. Now, it is much more seamless, within the System Preferences app, under Software Update – macOS Catalina will show as an available update.