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macOS Catalina available now with Sidecar, Apple Arcade and new TV app

Apple has dropped what promises to be its final major operating system refresh of the 2019 cycle, with macOS Catalina now available to download for compatible Mac computers.

The macOS 10.15 operating system is a free download and introduces a number of new apps and features for MacBook, iMac, Mac mini and other Apple computers released since 2012.

Headlining for Catalina is the new Sidecar feature, which enables Mac users to extend their displays to a companion iPad, opening up touch-based tools and Apple Pencil compatibility.

With Sidecar, you can draw, sketch or write upon any Apple or third-party Mac app that supports stylus input. So, if you’re using Photoshop, you can do a little Apple Pencil editing and then send the image back to the Mac.

Related: Best Mac 2019

Beyond that, the post-Tunes era is upon us, with dedicated standalone apps for Music, Podcasts and TV replacing the classic all-in-one solution. The TV app will be the home for all users’ video content and the forthcoming Apple TV Plus subscription service.

Speaking of Apple subscription services, the newly released Apple Arcade platform arrives on the Mac App Store with Catalina.

A scene from Apple macOS Catalina Apple arcade dread nautical

Catalina is also likely to see the dawn of more iPad apps arriving on the Mac, thanks to the new Mac Catalyst developer tools that’ll make it possible for app makers to port over from iPadOS to macOS. Twitter, TripIt, Post-It, GoodNotes and Jira will be among the first apps to make the Mac App Store, with more to follow.

Furthermore, the iOS Screen Time app is coming to macOS, enabling users to delve deeper into their usage habits and enabling them to better manage their time in apps and websites.

The combined ‘Find My’ app comes to Mac, the Photos app has a new browsing experience and Safari has an updated start page using Siri Suggestions insights. There’s also a number of new security and privacy features on board too.

Those downloading the operating system today, should know that some of their existing apps will no longer work. Older versions of Transmit, 1Password, iStats Menu, Box Sync, SugarSync, Default Folder X, VMWare Fusion and Parallels are also set to become obsolete.

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