The latest version, macOS 10.15, has been named Catalina. This comes as a free software update and is available on the App Store. It comes with exciting features for Apple users—Catalyst, Gatekeeper, Screen Time, and a Sidecar extension for Mac workspaces.
Let’s take a look at some of Catalina’s features for enterprise users:
Sidecar extension for improved productivity – You can now work with more than one Apple device by extending the Mac workspace with an iPad display. Mac users can utilize the additional device for enhanced mobility and screen space, and employ illustration apps, video editing apps, and other graphics tools.
Mac Catalyst for building Mac versions of iPad apps – With the new Mac Catalyst feature, app developers can now easily build Mac versions of existing applications that run only on iPads.
Mac administrators – Administrators can track the productivity of end-users through the Screen Time feature that tracks time spent on apps and websites.
In addition, the Downtime feature tracks how long Macs have been non-operational. Another new feature, App Limits, helps control time spent on various websites, apps, and groups of apps.
Security and Privacy for Mac users – The latest version helps protect you from data tampering. Users have better data control because Catalina now runs on a dedicated, read-only system volume that cannot be overwritten. Plus, you can easily find your Mac using the latest “Find My” app, which helps discover lost and misplaced Macbooks easily and syncs geo-tracking details across devices.
Mac’s Gatekeeper technology – Gatekeeper, which allows only trusted software to run on a Mac, can now also scan for known security issues while mandating that all applications obtain proper permission before accessing confidential documents. Also, if you’ve lost or misplaced your Mac, Gatekeeper allows the owner to erase the activation lock in Macs, iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices that have a T2 security chip enabled.
Email controls – Mail can now block emails from a specific sender, mute threads, and help you unsubscribe from commercial emailings.
More useful Notes – Notes has gone through a minor yet crucial upgrade. Notes now comes with a gallery view and a useful checklist. Plus, you can now perform a comprehensive search on Notes and also share folders of notes easily with peers.
Now let’s take a look at what Catalina has to offer for non-enterprise Mac users:
Apple Arcade – Offered as a monthly subscription for $4.99, you can now play a multitude of games that can be synced across Mac devices—iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. As an Apple Arcade subscriber, you can play any game without ads or in-game purchases.
Entertainment apps – Apple iTunes is replaced by Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV that have a much better look and feel. They come with loads of music, shows, media, and other entertainment.
Siri on Mac – Taking a cue from Cortana on Windows 10, Catalina comes with transformative accessibility. Catalina provides voice control capabilities that enable users to access their Mac and iOS devices conveniently. Apple’s own Siri speech recognition feature transcribes speech into text and also enables editing via voice control.
Which of these features excites you the most? Please leave your comments in the comments section below!
How to upgrade to macOS Catalina?
You can access the App Store, search for Catalina, and download it for free. If you are an enterprise Mac administrator, tracking down individual machines can be troublesome. If you need to apply mass upgrades, you might want to look into using an enterprise Mac management solution like Patch Manager Plus or a unified endpoint management solution like Desktop Central.
You can find simple steps for deploying Catalina using Patch Manager Plus.
There might also be concerns about stability after upgrading. For example, Apple revealed that 32-bit apps are no longer supported in Catalina. In such cases, you can monitor stability in Catalina by adding machines to a test group, following the steps for upgrading, and automating approval if no issue is found. The latest version of Catalina will be deployed to all the Mac machines in the stipulated deployment windows.
You can get started with ManageEngine’s Patch Manager Plus or Desktop Central, and push these upgrades to a large scale Mac environment. With the cloud version of Patch Manager Plus, you can even push these upgrades over the cloud.