MacOS Catalina has arrived. Here are the 5 best features you can use right now

everything apple announced at wwdc 2019 macos catalina
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It was just a few weeks ago, during WWDC 2019, that Apple officially introduced Catalina, the latest version of its MacOS. And now, as of Monday, June 24, a public beta of MacOS Catalina has been released that you can download now.

With its release, the new MacOS brings with it a laundry list of changes, including a host of new features, a few updated apps, and the demise of a beloved app. But among these features, five of them really stand out from the rest. Here are the five best features to expect from MacOS Catalina.

1. Apple Music, Podcasts, and TV replace iTunes

macos catalina best features right now screen shot 2019 06 03 at 11 600x338

Yes, Apple confirmed the death of iTunes during its official MacOS Catalina announcement at WWDC 2019. This announcement also revealed that a new trio of media apps have been named as the joint successors to the beloved media manager app. Beginning with Catalina, iTunes is expected to be replaced with the following apps: Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts.

According to a press release published the same day as the WWDC announcement, the Apple Music app is “lightning fast” and offers a library of “50 million songs, playlists, and music videos.” Apple Music users will also still have access to the iTunes music store. The Apple TV app will support 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos, and will offer access to over 100,000 iTunes movies and TV shows which are available for rent or purchase. The Apple TV app will also support Apple’s forthcoming “original video subscription service,” known as Apple TV+. And lastly, the Apple Podcasts app will include a catalog of over 700,000 shows, all of which will be searchable using machine-learning driven searching to let users search for podcast episodes by host “or even discussion topic.”

2. Second screen support for iPads with Sidecar

macos catalina best features right now sidecar

MacOS Catalina will also offer second screen support for iPads. Known as Sidecar, the feature essentially allows Mac users to utilize their iPads as a companion second screen for their Macs. And Sidecar offers second screen support in two meaningful ways. You can drag windows from your Mac to your iPad and use it just as you would an external monitor.

According to Apple, Sidecar can be used wired or wirelessly. But it’s worth noting that for the wireless version to work, you’ll need to stay within ten meters of your Mac for it to work. Sidecar also offers support for Touch Bar if the apps you’re using with Sidecar also support Touch Bar. These Touch Bar controls should appear at the bottom of your iPad screen when turned on.

3. Use your iPad as a drawing tablet

wwdc 2019 begins apple announces next version of macos catalina sidecar tethered woman drawing 06032019 big jpg large 2x

The second aspect of Sidecar is almost as exciting, especially for artists, designers, and illustrators. After you have your iPad connected through Sidecar, you can use an Apple Pencil to draw and annotate things right on your iPad. In theory, this should work with your Mac apps seamlessly, meaning you could ditch your Wacom tablet and use your iPad to work directly in applications like Photoshop or Illustrator.

4. Screen Time

Apple Screen Time app on MacOS Catalina
Apple Newsroom/Apple, Inc.

Managing your family’s screen time might be a little easier now that the Screen Time app has finally made it to MacOS. Especially since, as Apple notes, Catalina’s Screen Time allows users to set App Limits across all of your Apple devices and not just your Mac.

Screen Time also generates usage reports, has a One More Minute feature that gives users just a little more time to wrap things up, and lets you set Communication Limits to help you control who gets to communicate with your kids and when.

5. An updated Photos app for better curation

Photo of MacOS Catalina Photos screen
Apple Newsroom/Apple, Inc.

Apple has also revamped the Photos app in MacOS Catalina. The most notable change in the app is that it curates and features your best photos for you, while also removing poor-quality photos and duplicate shots. In addition, the Photos app also sports larger previews for photos, machine learning that helps “highlight important moments” and memories, and your Live Photos and videos now have the ability to auto-play while you scroll through your photo library.

Photography

Luminar’s A.I. tools expand for Photoshop, Lightroom via updated plug-in

Eyeing Luminar's A.I.-powered tools, but not keen on abandoning your current Adobe workflow? Luminar Flex is a plug-in that brings several Luminar tools to Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Express, MacOS Photos, and Apple Aperture.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Deals

Best Prime Day Apple deals: iPad, MacBook, and AirPods discounts

Prime Day is officially here, and there are still some nice Apple deals to be had during Amazon's big event. We’ve rounded up iPads, Macbooks, and more, along with a quick and handy guide detailing what Apple deals you can expect to find.
Computing

Apple isn't done with MacBook Pros for 2019. Here's what's coming next

The MacBook Pro was updated earlier this year with new processors, but according to the latest rumors and reports, Apple may be planning to launch a couple of new MacBook Pros later this year.
Computing

Amazon Prime Day deal slashes $200 off of this MacBook Pro

Amazon’s Prime Day deals have extended to Apple’s MacBook Pro, with deep discounts galore. You can save $200 on a 2018 MacBook Pro, making it a superb bargain if you’re in the market for a MacBook.
Deals

Walmart Prime Day sale: 4K TV, Apple Watch, and Nintendo Switch Deals

The Walmart Prime Day sale continues to go strong as the first day of Amazon's 48-hour deals event comes to a close. There are loads of great Apple Watch, Nintendo Switch, and 4K TV deals going on right now.
Computing

This iPad Pro is at its lowest price ever thanks to Amazon Prime Day

On the lookout for a new iPad Pro on Prime Day? Look no further, because we’ve found the mother of all deals. You can save $430 on an iPad Pro, bringing its price down to a super-low $699.
Computing

Don't pay for that app! These top-notch screen recorders are absolutely free

Our list of the best free screen recorders showcases some of the top apps for capturing video on your computer - without paying for the feature. Whether you're in a business or on your own, take a look at the these options.
Computing

The best Prime Day laptop deals: MacBook, Razer, HP, and Dell XPS discounts

Amazon Prime Day is now in its second and last day. Time is ticking to sort through some amazing laptop deals. We're seeing huge discounts on gaming laptops, MacBooks, Chromebooks, and more. We'll help you hunt for a solid laptop deal.
Deals

Amazon Prime Day slashes prices on AMD Ryzen 7 and Intel Core i7 CPU systems

Amazon Prime Day is back and it's better than ever with some amazing deals on AMD and Intel processors. Looking for a Ryzen 7 or Core i7 CPU? These are the best deals we could find with them inside.
Emerging Tech

Photorealistic A.I. tool can fill in gaps in images, including faces

Researchers have developed a smart new A.I. system which can accurately fill in blank areas in an image, whether that’s a missing face or the front of a building. Here's how it works.
Deals

Samsung Chromebook 3 gets $70 price drop during Walmart’s The Big Save

This year, Walmart has introduced The Big Save, its own midsummer days of deals to rival Amazon's Prime Day. Now at Walmart, the Samsung Chromebook 3 can be yours for just $159, down from its original $229.
Deals

HP drops killer laptop deals for Prime Day with over $800 in price cuts

The HP brand is known for high-quality portable computers, most notably the Spectre x360. With discounts over $800 during HP's Prime Day deals event, you can apply the code FIVEMORE to get additional savings
Computing

The Logitech G502 Lightspeed is the wireless gaming mouse of your dreams

Logitech's G502 Lightspeed represents the pinnacle of wireless gaming rodents. It's fast, accurate, and wireless charging means that you never even need to think about plugging a cable in. But is the price worth paying?