WWDC 19: New macOS Catalina, Mac Pro, tvOS 13 and more

Last Updated 04 June 2019, 13:00 IST

Besides the new iOS 13, iPadOS, Apple unveiled the new macOS 10.15 dubbed as Catalina in addition to a brand new powerhouse of machine Mac Pro.

The new macOS Catalina comes with lots of improvements over the Mojave and promises to improve the performance, bring new standalone apps to improve the user experience of the existing Mac devices.

Key features of macOS Catalina:

Sidecar: In a bid improve the multi-tasking capability of the MacBooks, Apple is bringing the Sidecar feature that allows users to use their iPad as a second screen. And, when paired with an Apple Pencil, people can use their iPad to draw, sketch or write in any Mac app that supports stylus input. Sidecar feature will greatly benefit video editing professional using Final Cut Pro X, or drawing with Adobe Illustrator or marking up iWork documents. And like all Continuity features, Sidecar can run on a wireless connection, so users can work with greater mobility.

Sidecar feature of macOS Catalina; picture credit: Apple
Sidecar feature of macOS Catalina; picture credit: Apple

RIP iTunes
Apple announced that it is retiring the iTunes and will be replacing with three standalone apps Apple TV+, Music and Podcasts ( access to more than 700 shows).
The Apple TV comes with numerous channels, personalised recommendations, and over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows to browse, buy or rent. Select content support 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos. It also comes with The Watch Now section, which features Up Next. With this, viewers can keep track of what they are currently watching and resume on any screen.

It can be noted that Apple TV+, the company's original video subscription service, will be available in the Apple TV app this September.

Apple Music: With this app, MacBook owners can get access to more than 50 million songs, playlists, and music videos. And users need not fret about their existing songs and playlists present in the iTunes, as it will get synced with Apple Music. Rest assured, you will have access to their entire music library, previously downloaded the songs, either purchased or ripped them from a CD.

Accessibility: Like iOS 13, the new macOS Catalina can be operated with just voice. Users can make full use of on-device Siri speech recognition technology. the Catalina comes with new labels and grids that let users interact with the virtually any app on the MacBooks using comprehensive navigation tools, with audio processing happening on-device. Voice Control is now also available on iOS and iPadOS, so users can control their device entirely with their voice, even gestures like tapping, swiping and scrolling.

Security: The Gatekeeper feature now checks all apps for known security issues, while new data protections require all apps to get permission before accessing user documents in the MacBooks.

Once upgraded to the Catalina OS, the user can use their Apple Watch to approve many security prompts by simply tapping the side button.
Also, now all Macs with the T2 Security Chip support Activation Lock will make it less attractive for thieves to the steal the devices, as they won't be able to use it without login information, once the device is designated as stolen or misplaced.

The company has integrated the Find My iPhone and Find My Friends into one feature- Find My, which will help device owners track and locate their misplaced MacBooks or iPhones even when being offline. Apple said that the new feature will allow the offline device to send out Bluetooth signal, which can be picked by millions of Apple devices across the world.

Then Apple uses this information to locate and send the location details to the owner. Rest assured, the information of the particular device (and its owner) details, which picked the beacon signal of the lost MacBook or iPhone will remain anonymous at all time.

Apple iOS features come to macOS Catalina: Apple is bringing Screen Time to help user balance the digital life and also offer great control over children's devices and even block the internet or incoming calls to the latter during a particular time slot so that they can study without any disturbances.

Also, macOS Catalina gets new Photos app, improved Safari browser, Mail app, Notes app and Reminders app.

The developer preview of macOS Catalina is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com and a public beta program will be available to Mac users later this month at beta.apple.com. The public version of the macOS Catalina will be available this fall as a free software update for Macs introduced in mid-2012 or later.

Apple also bringing breakthrough SwiftUI Framework, ARKit 3 and New Xcode Tools that will help to develop powerful apps easier and faster than ever.
The company is working on Project Catalyst for registered developers to build multi-platform apps that can work seamlessly on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Social media giant, Twitter is is slated to release a new desktop app through the aforementioned Apple initiative.

Mac Pro:
Apple refreshed the 2013-series trashcan-inspired Mac Pro with an all-new form factor made of premium stainless steel material.

new 2019-series Mac Pro; picture credit: Apple
new 2019-series Mac Pro; picture credit: Apple

The new Mac Pro houses a powerful Xeon processor up to 28 cores, with 64 PCI Express lanes for tremendous performance and massive bandwidth. It also provides over 300W of power along with a state-of-the-art thermal architecture to allow the processor to run fully unconstrained all the time.

It boasts a six-channel memory architecture and 12 physical DIMM slots and allows for a massive 1.5TB of memory, the most ever available in a Mac. And with eight PCI Express expansion slots, which is twice that of the previous-generation Mac Pro tower, device owners will have the freedom to customise and expand their system configuration over time.

The Mac Pro (2019) is touted to be the world’s most powerful graphics card and can support up to 56 teraflops of graphics performance in a single system. It comes with Apple MPX Module, which features Thunderbolt integration and over 500W of power, both firsts for any graphics card. And for super quiet operation, the MPX Module is cooled by the Mac Pro system thermals, the company said.

Furthermore, Mac Pro graphics options start with the Radeon Pro 580X. Mac Pro debuts the Radeon Pro Vega II, featuring up to 14 teraflops of computing performance and 32GB of memory with 1TB/s of memory bandwidth, the highest of any GPU.

The Mac Pro also introduces Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, which features two Vega II GPUs that can offer 28 teraflops of graphics performance and support 64GB of memory, making it the world’s most powerful graphics card. Mac Pro can accommodate two MPX Modules so customers can use two Vega II Duos for a staggering 56 teraflops of graphics performance and 128GB of video memory.

The base model of Mac Pro starts at $5,999 and be released this September. It comes with a new 32-inch, 6K Retina display and costs $4,999.
Apple also unveiled companion accessories such as removable display stand with options like rotate, tilt and also adjust the height. The stand starts at an astronomical $999 and will be available at the same time as the display this fall.

Apple tvOS 13:
Apple also previewed the new tvOS 13 and it is coming with a boatload of new features.

It gets a new Home screen, which can play full-screen video previews, so users can quickly enjoy great new TV shows, movies, music, and games.

The new Apple TV Control Center will offer individual logins and switching options between family members so everyone gets their own personalised entertainment experience.
With this, users can see their unique Up Next list and receive TV and movie recommendations based on their tastes. The new Control Center also provides users with quick access to system sleep and audio routing.

Building on multi-user aspect of Apple TV Control Center, Apple Music also offers everyone an option to listen to personalised playlists and recommendations. In the new Control Center, users can quickly access the song that is currently playing. In addition, users can now follow along to on-screen lyrics timed in sync with their favourite songs.

New 4K screen-saver coming with tvOS 13 update for Apple TV; picture credit: Apple
New 4K screen-saver coming with tvOS 13 update for Apple TV; picture credit: Apple

The gaming subscription Apple Arcade which is slated to debut in Apple TV 4K this fall will allow a family of six have unlimited access to over 100 new and exclusive games, all with no ads or additional purchases, and many will offer support for game controllers. Customers will be able to play Apple Arcade games across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV. It will also support most popular game controllers in the world, Xbox One S and PlayStation DualShock 4.

With tvOS 13, Apple will offer great live recordings of coral reef under the sea as the screen savers on Apple TV. The company collaborated with world-renowned BBC Natural History unit, the team behind “Blue Planet”.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

(Published 04 June 2019, 13:00 IST)

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