MacOS Catalina is the 16th release of the Mac operating system and has been released in October 2019. Every year, Apple updates with new performance security fixes together with improved and new features. Without well-know features, there are some hidden ones: now you can restore from a snapshot with macOS Recovery, use a Picture in Picture function, approve with Apple Watch, there’s a hover text, a few international features, updated Reminders, Activation Lock and Privacy, Notes, Safari, Continuity Markup and Sketch.
Though some people have not had a really good experience with Catalina’s speed, there’s always an opportunity to make Catalina run faster. Despite that, the newest Mac upgrade has great features including 7 hidden features.
1. macOS Recovery
If you ever had a bad experience installing a software update that has broken other software and your job depended on it, you can take it easy now. Catalina has a new feature that takes a snapshot of the system disk before applying an update and allows you to restore your Mac and all your apps will work just like before you installed the update.
2. Picture in Picture
QuickTime Player now suggests more ways you can get video into Picture in Picture. With only one click in the navigation controller, you can resize the window and play the video that isn’t blocked by other windows, allowing you to watch while doing other things.
3. Approve With Apple Watch
Anywhere you need to type your Mac password, such as viewing passwords in Safari preferences, now you can click twice the side button on your Apple Watch to authenticate on your Mac. With Apple Watch now you can also approve app installations, unlock locked notes, modify root files and unlock settings in System Preferences.
4. Hover Text
Hover Text offers high-resolution zoom of text, text fields, buttons, menu items and even more. If you press the Control key when hovering over the text with your cursor, a window with zoomed text appears beside the standard interface — helping you stay contextually attentive. The text is displayed in whatever color and font you choose and you can interact with buttons and type in the zoomed window.
5. International Features
In macOS Catalina, there are several new features, including a new multilingual setup for macOS. Now in the Setup Assistant you can choose languages, including the ones for keyboard and dictation and customize your language preferences from the beginning. Contacts now include many new, more specific relationship labels manage your contact list easier. Examples include “younger sister” and “elder sister.” The new Cantonese predictions for Traditional Chinese Cangjie, Sucheng, Stroke, and Handwriting keyboards bring more relevant character and emoji predictions to the ones who speak Cantonese. A new neural language model memorizes words typed earlier in the sentence in order that predictions would be more grammatically relevant to the subject matter. New Indian English male and female Siri voices now allow Siri to sound more natural and expressive. Also, there are new dictionaries, including Thai-English and Vietnamese-English.
Talking about productivity tools, Reminders are updated across all of Apple’s platforms. It’s easier to control and includes better options to create and organize your reminders. They now have a clearer design, more one-click conveniences and integrate with iMessages. You can also use Siri to create entries and attach items to your lists.
7. Activation Lock And Privacy
Activation Lock, which protects a lost or stolen device from being activated only by the person whose iCloud account is attached to the device. Gatekeeper and Apple’s security protocol scans all your apps for known security issues. Moreover, new data protections require apps to get your permission before accessing your documents.
The new gallery view displays your notes as visual thumbnails, which makes it easier to quickly find the note you’re searching for. You can share entire folders, including all the notes and subfolders inside. If you invite others to a folder, everyone can add subfolders, notes and attachments. You can now share notes or entire folders as view-only that only you would be allowed to make changes. Quickly change the order of the checklist items using drag & drop or keyboard shortcuts, and move checked items to the bottom or remove them.
One more hidden feature in macOS Catalina is an updated start page. It includes favorites, most visited and Siri suggestions that surface pertinent websites in your browsing history, recently visited sites, bookmarks, reading list and iCloud Tabs. If you type in a weak and easy-to-guess password in Safari when signing in, it warns you and offers you to replace it with a stronger one.
10. Continuity Markup And Sketch
With Apple Pencil, you can write and sketch on PDFs or mark up your documents. If you mark updates up on your iPad, you can see them live on your Mac. Also, you can easily insert a sketch into any document on your Mac, by creating it with Apple Pencil on your iPad.