Apple today has released the first public beta of macOS Catalina. Users can download the beta on Apple’s public beta website. Please note that the website is down for some people and should be back online soon.
Features in macOS Catalina:
Designed for Apple Music1
Stream and download more than 50 million songs ad-free. Every time you open the app, you’ll get the best of Apple Music personalized to your tastes with For You.
For users who still like to own their music, the iTunes Store is just a click away.
The new Music app includes an updated player. Easily see lyrics while you’re listening and control the music that will play next with just a click. Or switch to MiniPlayer to listen while multitasking.
All your music organized in one place. See artists, albums, songs, playlists, and recent additions with a familiar menu in the new sidebar. And now, type what you’re looking for in the updated library pages to quickly find the exact song in your music collection.
Easily find all your purchased movies and shows in the updated Library tab. Browse by recently added, downloaded, genres, and more.
Movies and TV
Buy or rent new-release movies or explore the catalog of more than 100,000 movies and shows — including the largest catalog of 4K HDR titles.2
Apple TV channels3
Try new Apple TV channels, including HBO, Showtime, Starz, and more. Subscribe and share with up to six family members. Channels play in the Apple TV app ad-free, online or off — no additional apps, accounts, or passwords needed. Try them free and cancel anytime.
Home for Apple TV+
Apple’s new premium streaming service brings you a wide range of exclusive original shows and films from the world’s greatest talent. Apple TV+ will be available in the Apple TV app this fall.
Watch Now is your home in the Apple TV app. Find expertly curated collections and personalized recommendations picked just for you.
Watch Now includes Up Next, which helps you quickly find and watch your favorites. It also lets you resume what you’re watching from the moment you left off, across all your devices.
A new dedicated Kids section helps you discover great, editorially handpicked shows and movies for kids of all ages.
Apple TV app everywhere
You can pick up where you left off on Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, select smart TVs, and now Mac.
Continue listening to your favorite podcast episodes or see when a new one is available. Or find other shows you might like based on the ones you’re already listening to.
The Apple Podcasts library is the one place for all the shows you’ve subscribed to or added — organized by show title or episode title. Download your favorite episodes to listen offline.
With over 700,000 shows in the catalog, our editors pick the best shows for you to browse each week. Try a show from New & Noteworthy or check out which shows are trending in Top Charts.
Search provides better results when you’re searching for a topic or people — even find episodes featuring a specific guest or host.
All three services — Apple TV, Apple Music, and Apple Podcasts — sync your content through the cloud across your devices. Or sync it from each of the apps if you prefer using a cable.
Back up, update, and restore through the Finder
Each time you connect a device, you can find it in the Finder sidebar. From there you can back up, update, and restore your device.
All-new Photos tab
A beautiful new browsing experience showcases your photos and memories.
Day, month, and year organization
Photos is organized by day, month, and year views so it’s easy to find photos or relive your memories. Animations and transitions keep your spot in the timeline so you can switch between views without losing your place.
Large photo previews
Photo previews are larger to help you distinguish between shots. Photos uses intelligence to find the best part of your photo in previews, so you see the full, unedited version when you open the photo.
Auto-playing Live Photos and videos
Live Photos and videos begin playing as you scroll, bringing your library to life.
Using machine learning on your Mac, Photos can understand who’s in your photos and what’s happening to highlight important moments like birthdays, anniversaries, and trips.
Your best shots
Photos intelligently showcases the best shots in your library, removing duplicates and clutter.
The All Photos view displays all your photos and videos in a grid. Choose to zoom in for large previews, or zoom out to get an overview of your entire collection. You can also choose to view your photos and videos in square or original format.
Now you can view Memory movies on your Mac and edit the duration, mood, and title. Edits sync to your other devices when you use iCloud Photos.
The all-new gallery view displays your notes as visual thumbnails, making it easier than ever to quickly find the note you’re looking for.
Collaborate on entire folders, including all the notes and subfolders inside. Invite others to a folder, and everyone can add notes, attachments, or subfolders.
You can now share notes or entire folders as view-only so that you’re the only one who can make changes.
More powerful search
Search can now recognize objects or scenes within the images you’ve added to your notes and can help you find specific text in the items you’ve scanned using the built-in document scanner. Search is also helpful before you type, with suggested searches that you can simply click to view.
New checklist options
Quickly reorder checklist items using drag and drop or keyboard shortcuts, and move checked items to the bottom and out of the way. If you’ve completed the checklist and want to re-use it, you can click to uncheck all the items and start over.
The Reminders app has been completely rebuilt with an all-new user interface and more powerful features, making it easier than ever to create, organize, and keep track of reminders.
New edit buttons
Quickly add dates, times, locations, or flags to reminders using the new edit buttons, all without having to go to another view.
Enhanced Siri intelligence
You can type longer, more descriptive sentences and Reminders understands and provides relevant suggestions. Siri intelligence on your device can also help anticipate your needs by suggesting that you create a reminder while you make plans in Messages.
Add attachments to your reminders to make them more informative and useful. You can add photos, scanned documents, or even web links that take you directly to a website related to the reminder.
Tasks and grouped lists
There are more options for organizing your reminders. You can capture tasks associated with a top-level reminder. You can also group multiple lists.
All-new smart lists automatically organize your upcoming reminders into easy-to-find categories like Today, Flagged, Scheduled, or All to see them in a single list.
Customize list appearance
Customize the appearance of your personal or shared iCloud lists, choosing from 12 beautiful colors and 60 expressive symbols.
Tag someone in a reminder and the next time you’re chatting with the person in Messages, you’ll be reminded that now might be a good time to talk.
Updated start page
An updated start page design includes favorites, frequently visited, and Siri suggestions that surface relevant websites in your browsing history, recently visited sites, bookmarks, reading list, iCloud Tabs, and links you receive in Messages.
Weak password warnings
When you sign up for a new account in Safari and type a weak, easy-to-guess password, Safari warns you and helps you replace it with a stronger one.
PiP from the tab audio button
Quickly enable Picture in Picture from the tab audio button.
Switch to open tab from the Smart Search field
If you start typing the address of a website that’s already open, Safari directs you to the open tab.
Mail can block all email from specified senders and move their messages directly to the trash. Just as in Messages, you can access this feature by clicking the sender’s name in any email header.
An unsubscribe link for email messages from commercial lists now appears above the email header. Clicking Unsubscribe requests removal of your email address from the list.
Mute Thread prevents notifications from an overly active email thread.
Updated classic layout
Arranges the Mail viewer in a column layout, with an option to preview the current message below, or to the right of your message list.
Use your iPad as a second display for additional screen space. Refer to one app while you work in another, or see how a presentation looks in presentation mode on your iPad while editing it on your Mac.
Mirror the screen on your Mac to have two screens displaying the same content, making it perfect for sharing with others.
Wired or wireless
Connect your iPad to your Mac using a cable to keep it charged, or use it wirelessly — within 10 meters — for greater mobility.
Draw and sketch in apps
Use the precision and intuitiveness of Apple Pencil with your favorite creative Mac apps. Draw and write naturally, edit a photo or graphic, and use it to point and click as you do with a mouse.
Write and sketch on PDFs or mark up your documents with Apple Pencil. See the updates live on your Mac as you mark them up on your iPad.
Create a sketch on your iPad using Apple Pencil and easily insert it into any document on your Mac.
Use the same Multi-Touch gestures you’re familiar with on iPad, along with all-new text editing gestures that let you cut, copy, paste, and undo without lifting your hands from the onscreen keyboard.
Get easy access to your most commonly used controls from the sidebar. Use modifier keys to enable shortcuts in pro apps, and access buttons that allow you to undo as well as display or hide the menu bar, Dock, and keyboard.
For apps with Touch Bar support, the controls appear at the bottom of your iPad screen — even if your Mac doesn’t have a Touch Bar.
Developers don’t need to do anything for Sidecar support — it just works. Apps with advanced stylus support can use Tablet Events in AppKit to enable pressure and tilt for Apple Pencil. Additionally, developers can specify custom behavior for double-tap on the side of Apple Pencil through a changeMode event.
Final Cut Pro
Screen Time creates usage reports that show you how much time is being spent on your Mac, which apps are used most, and how many notifications are received. With iCloud, Screen Time combines all your usage information and syncs Downtime settings and App Limits across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
With Screen Time, you can schedule Downtime so you (or your child) can only use specific apps you’ve approved.
With App Limits, you can set the amount of time you want to use your apps and websites. Set App Limits for total time, categories, or specific apps.
Create combined limits with a combination of app categories, specific apps, or websites.
One More Minute
When a limit is met, you can tap “one more minute” to give you time to quickly save your work or wrap up a conversation.
Communication Limits let you control who your children can communicate with and who can communicate with them throughout the day and during Downtime.
Managed contact list for children
Parents can use Screen Time to manage the contacts that appear on their children’s devices.
Parents can configure Screen Time from any device — iPhone, iPad, or Mac — and have everything set up for their kids on all their devices.
Dedicated system volume
macOS Catalina runs in a dedicated, read-only system volume — which means it is completely separate from all other data, and nothing can overwrite your critical operating system files.
DriverKit and user space system extensions
Previously many hardware peripherals and sophisticated features needed to run their code directly within macOS using kernel extensions, or kexts. Now these programs run separately from the operating system, just like any other app, so they can’t affect macOS if something goes wrong.
Gatekeeper will ensure that all new apps you install — from the App Store or the internet — have been checked for known security issues by Apple before you run them the first time and periodically thereafter. This extends the protection from the app’s source to include automated checks for what’s in the app.
macOS Catalina checks with you before allowing an app to access your data in your Documents, Desktop, and Downloads folders; iCloud Drive; the folders of third-party cloud storage providers; removable media; and external volumes. In addition, you’re asked before an app can perform key logging or capture a still or video recording of your screen.
All Mac models with the Apple T2 Security Chip now support Activation Lock — just like your iPhone or iPad. So if your Mac is ever misplaced or lost, the only person who can erase and reactivate it is you.
Two great apps in one
Find My iPhone and Find My Friends are now combined in a single, easy-to-use app to help you locate the people and devices that are important to you.
Find offline devices
Locate a missing device even if it’s not connected to Wi-Fi using crowd-sourced location. When you mark your device as missing and another Apple user’s device is nearby, it can detect your device’s Bluetooth signal and report its location to you. It’s completely anonymous and encrypted end-to-end, so everyone’s privacy is protected.
Enhanced location notifications
Location notifications include the ability to schedule notifications for different days of the week, more useful place names, and enhanced privacy controls.
Approve with Apple Watch
Anywhere you need to type your Mac password, such as viewing passwords in Safari preferences, you can now double-click the side button on your Apple Watch to authenticate on your Mac.
Approving app installations
Unlock a locked note, approve app installations, unlock settings in System Preferences, and modify root files, all with your Apple Watch.
Voice Control is a new way to fully control your Mac, iPadOS, and iOS devices entirely with your voice.
Voice Control improves on the existing Enhanced Dictation feature using the Siri speech recognition engine6, so you get the latest advances in machine learning for audio-to-text transcription.
Add custom words
Whether you’re writing a biology report, filling out a legal document, or emailing about a favorite topic, you can add custom words to ensure that Voice Control recognizes the words you commonly use.
All audio processing for Voice Control happens on your device, ensuring that your personal data is kept private.
Rich text editing
Thanks to rich text editing commands, you don’t have to rehearse before you speak. Making corrections is quick and easy. You can replace phrases by name. Try saying “Replace I’m almost there with I just arrived.” Fine-grained selection also makes it simple to select text. Try saying “Move up two lines. Select previous word. Capitalize that.”
Word and emoji suggestions
If you need to correct a word, there’s a new interface just for that. Simply ask to correct a word, and you’ll be presented with a list of suggested replacements.
Seamless transitions from dictation to commands
Voice Control understands contextual cues, so you can seamlessly transition between text dictation and commands. For example, say “Happy Birthday. Tap send.” in Messages, and Voice Control sends “Happy Birthday” — just as you intended. You can also say “delete that”, and Voice Controls knows to delete what you just typed.
Comprehensive app navigation
You can rely entirely on your voice to navigate an app. Comprehensive navigation is provided by navigation commands, names of accessibility labels, numbers, and grids.
Navigation commands give you quick ways to interact with macOS and apps. You can open apps, search the web, open Spotlight, and more.
You can easily navigate by telling Voice Control to select the name of an accessibility label for buttons, links, and more.
Say “show numbers” to see numbers appear next to all clickable items onscreen. Use this to quickly navigate complex or unfamiliar apps. Numbers automatically appear in menus and whenever you need to disambiguate between items with the same name. Just say a number to click it.
If you ever need to touch a part of the screen that doesn’t have a control, use Grid overlays. Saying “show grid” superimposes a grid on your screen and allows you to precisely do things, like select, zoom, drag, and more.
Hover Text displays high-resolution zoom of text, text fields, menu items, buttons, and more in a dedicated window. Just press the Control key when hovering over text with your cursor, and a window with zoomed text appears alongside the standard interface — helping you stay contextually aware. Text is crisply displayed in a font and color of your choice. And you can interact with buttons and type right in the zoomed window.
Zoom your second display
While using a second display, you can see the same screen up close and at a distance simultaneously. You can keep one monitor zoomed in and another at a standard resolution. Or keep a personal Mac zoomed in while giving a presentation.
Simplified tab navigation
VoiceOver users will enjoy simplified keyboard navigation that requires less drilling into unique focus groups. The Tab key more simply advances through selection of elements — such as window stoplights, toolbar buttons, and scroll bars.
New Siri voice for VoiceOver and Speech
Users who prefer the natural-sounding Siri voice can now select it in Accessibility preferences for VoiceOver and Speech.
Punctuation in iCloud
VoiceOver users often customize the way punctuation marks are spoken. These customizations are now stored in iCloud, giving you a consistent experience across macOS, iPadOS, and iOS.
Additional international braille tables
macOS Catalina adds more international braille tables and lets you quickly switch between them.
Improved VoiceOver support in Xcode
VoiceOver now reads aloud warnings, line numbers, and break points in the Xcode text editor.
Display color filters
Users with color vision deficiencies can adjust display colors using new color filter options. Your Mac shifts the colors onscreen, helping you easily differentiate areas of confusion. And you can turn this preference on and off through the Accessibility Options pane using Command-Option-F5.
Tint your entire display
A new display option lets you tint your entire screen using a color of your choice. Some users may find that certain color tints help make text easier to read.
Apple ID Account Information
One place for your Apple ID account details
Now you can access all your important Apple ID account information right from System Preferences on your Mac.
Overview and helpful notifications
A new overview pane allows you to quickly review important tips and notifications to help ensure that your account is properly signed in and secure, and that all the features you expect are set up and working correctly.
Basic account and security details
Easily review account details such as your name, contact info, password, security details, payment and shipping info, and email newsletter preferences.
Review and update your iCloud settings and manage or upgrade your storage plan anytime.
Media and purchases
Get easy access to your current subscriptions, past purchases, and account settings related to the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Books, Apple News, and more.
View which subscriptions you’re sharing, which services are enabled, who has Ask to Buy turned on, and more.
View all your devices
View a list of all the devices you’re signed in to with your account. Review device details such as last backup completed, Find My status, and more.
Picture in Picture (PiP)
With a single click in the navigation controller, you can play video in a resizable window that isn’t blocked by other windows, allowing you to watch while working on other things.
Enhanced Movie Inspector
The Movie Inspector pane shows you even more in-depth technical information about the currently open media file. See key details such as video color space, HDR format, bit depth, scale, and aspect ratio.
Open Image Sequence
Create an H.264, HEVC, or ProRes-encoded movie file by navigating to a folder of sequentially numbered images, then choosing your desired resolution, frame rate, and encoding quality.
When QuickTime Player opens a media file with embedded timecode, it shows the time information in the onscreen navigation controller.
Transparent video support
Transparency in ProRes 4444 files can optionally be preserved when exporting to the HEVC format.
HomeKit Secure Video
With a home hub such as an Apple TV or HomePod, securely record video to iCloud when activity by a person, animal, or vehicle is detected by your HomeKit-enabled cameras. Choose to receive notifications when clips are recorded and view them in the Home app on your Mac. In the Home app, a timeline of recordings is available to play from iCloud. You can also share a recording, delete it, or save it to your Photos library.
Audio in scenes and automations
HomePod and AirPlay 2–enabled speakers can now play songs, playlists, and radio stations from Apple Music in scenes and automations with your other HomeKit accessories.
New multilingual setup for macOS
Choose your languages, including those for keyboard and dictation, in Setup Assistant, and customize your language preferences from the start.
New relationship labels in Contacts
Contacts now includes hundreds of new, more specific relationship labels to help you manage your contact list. Examples include “younger cousin” and “elder cousin.”
Cantonese keyboard predictions
The new Cantonese predictions for Traditional Chinese Cangjie, Sucheng, Stroke, and Handwriting keyboards bring more relevant character and emoji predictions to Cantonese users.
Improved Japanese predictions
A new neural language model takes words typed earlier in the sentence into account, so predictions are more grammatically consistent and relevant to the subject matter.
New fonts for Indian languages
Get 34 new fonts, including four system fonts and 30 document fonts, for languages like Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, and many more.
New Indian English Siri voices
All-new Indian English male and female Siri voices allow Siri to be more natural and expressive.
New dictionaries include Thai-English and Vietnamese-English.
iCloud Drive folder sharing
You can now share folders with a private link. Anyone who has access can see the folder in iCloud Drive, add new files, and get the latest versions of files.
Third-party cloud service integration
An all-new FileProvider API for cloud storage providers delivers a new way to seamlessly integrate their services into the Finder without requiring a kernel extension, helping to maintain the security of your Mac. Cloud storage providers can now deliver their apps through the Mac App Store.
Restore from snapshot
If your third-party software is incompatible with an update you just installed, use macOS Recovery to restore from a snapshot of your computer taken right before the installation. macOS and all your apps will work just as they did before you installed the update.