Apple has opened up the second public beta for macOS Catalina – giving anyone who’s already a part of Apple’s beta testing program access to some exciting new features. And if you haven’t signed up for the beta yet, it’s pretty easy.
We’ll get into the new features below – but first, here’s how you can get involved with the macOS Catalina beta. Simply go to Apple’s beta testing website, click Sign Up and follow the instructions. This will give you access to public beta versions of macOS Catalina, iOS 13, iPadOS and tvOS 13.
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We must stress that this is unfinished software, which can inherently be unstable – so brace yourself for some potentially annoying bugs. We would recommend carrying out a backup on your devices before installing any of the public betas.
One of the big changes for macOS Catalina is the death of the iTunes app. At this point, it feels like iTunes has been around forever – from syncing our click wheel iPods to discovering our first podcasts.
In its place, we get three apps: Music, Podcasts and TV. The apps basically do what you’d expect, just in three separate applications. The only real thing to note here is device management stuff. For instance, syncing is now performed in macOS Catalina’s Finder, rather than in any of these apps.
A remarkable new feature coming on macOS Catalina is Sidecar. The feature wowed viewers when it was revealed at WWDC 2019. Sidecar allows you to wirelessly connect your iPad to your Mac or MacBook and use it as a secondary display.
Using your iPad as a graphics tablet for working in apps like Photoshop looks like an excellent use for the new feature, especially for anyone who’s already locked into Apple’s ecosystem.
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Another handy new feature is the awkwardly named Find My app. Find My replaces the Find My iPhone app – to represent that the app supports finding other Apple devices too. A nifty new trick of Find My is that you can even find devices that aren’t connected to the internet – using Bluetooth connections of nearby devices to track down your lost property instead.