New features available with macOS Catalina.

macOS Catalina gives users powerful ways to do amazing things. So you can create and discover like never before.

Music

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 personalised to your tastes with For You.

Music Store

For users who still like to own their music, the iTunes Store is just a click away.

Now Playing

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.

Library

All your music organised 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.

TV

Library

Easily find all your purchased movies 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 catalogue of thousands of movies — including the largest catalogue of 4K HDR titles.2

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 later this year.

Watch Now

Watch Now is your home in the Apple TV app. Find expertly curated collections and personalised recommendations picked just for you.

Up Next

Watch Now includes Up Next, which helps you quickly find and watch your favourites. It also lets you resume what you’re watching from the moment you left off, across all your devices.

Apple TV app everywhere

You can pick up where you left off on Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, selected smart TVs and now Mac.

Dolby Atmos

Enjoy a thrilling surround sound experience with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks in the Apple TV app using the built-in speakers on certain Mac models.3

Podcasts

Listen Now

Continue listening to your favourite 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.

Library

The Apple Podcasts library is the one place for all the shows you’ve subscribed to or added — organised by show title or episode title. Download your favourite episodes to listen offline

Browse

With hundreds of thousands of shows in the catalogue, 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

Search provides better results when you’re searching for a topic or people — even find episodes featuring a specific guest or host.

Syncing

Media syncing

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 cord.

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.

Photos

All-new Photos tab

A beautiful new browsing experience showcases your photos and memories.

Day, month and year organisation

Photos is organised 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.

Personalisation

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.

All Photos

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.

Memory movies

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.

Notes

Gallery view

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.

Shared folders

Collaborate on entire folders, including all the notes and subfolders inside. Invite others to a folder, and everyone can add notes, attachments or subfolders.

View-only collaboration

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 recognise 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 use it again, you can click to uncheck all the items and start over.

Reminders

All-new design

The Reminders app has been completely rebuilt with an all-new user interface and more powerful features, making it easier than ever to create, organise 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.

Siri intelligence

Siri intelligence on your device can help anticipate your needs by suggesting that you create a reminder while you make plans in Messages.

Attachments

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 organising your reminders. You can capture tasks associated with a top-level reminder. You can also group multiple lists.

Smart lists

All-new smart lists automatically organise your upcoming reminders into easy-to-find categories like Today, Flagged, Scheduled or All to see them in a single list.

Customise list appearance

Customise the appearance of your personal or shared iCloud lists, choosing from 12 beautiful colours and 60 expressive symbols.

Messages integration

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.

Safari

Updated start page

An updated start page design includes favourites, 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 in to an account in Safari with 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

Block sender

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.

Unsubscribe

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

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.

Sidecar4

Extended desktop

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.

View the Sidecar White Paper (PDF)

Mirrored desktop

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 cord to keep it charged, or use it wirelessly — within 10 metres — for greater mobility.

Apple Pencil

Use the precision and intuitiveness of Apple Pencil with your favourite creative Mac apps that support drawing tablets. Draw and write naturally, edit a photo or graphic and use it to point and click as you do with a mouse.

Gestures

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.

Sidebar

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.

Touch Bar

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.

Developer support

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 behaviour for double-tap on the side of Apple Pencil through a changeMode event.

Continuity Markup and Sketch

Continuity Markup

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.

Continuity Sketch

Create a sketch on your iPad using Apple Pencil and easily insert it into any document on your Mac.

Screen Time

Usage reports

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.

Downtime

With Screen Time, you can schedule downtime so you (or your child) can only use specific apps you’ve approved.

App Limits

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.

Combined Limits

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*

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.

Family Sharing

Parents can configure Screen Time from any device — iPhone, iPad or Mac — and have everything set up for their kids on all their devices.

Security

Enhanced Gatekeeper

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.

Data protections

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.

Activation Lock

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.

Dedicated system volume

macOS Catalina runs in a dedicated, read-only system volume — which means it is completely separate from all other data and helps improve the reliability of macOS.

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.

Find My

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

View passwords

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.

Accessibility

Voice Control

Voice Control is a new way to fully control your Mac, iOS and iPadOS devices entirely with your voice.

View the Accessibility White Paper (PDF)

Accurate dictation

Voice Control improves on the existing Enhanced Dictation feature using the Siri speech recognition engine,5 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 favourite topic, you can add custom words to ensure that Voice Control recognises the words you commonly use.

On-device processing

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. Capitalise 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

Navigation commands give you quick ways to interact with macOS and apps. You can open apps, search the web, open Spotlight and more.

Names

You can easily navigate by telling Voice Control to select the name of an accessibility label for buttons, links and more.

Numbers

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.

Grids

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

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 colour of your choice. And you can interact with buttons and type directly in the zoomed window.

Zoom 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.

Punctuation in iCloud

VoiceOver users often customise the way punctuation marks are spoken. These customisations are now stored in iCloud, giving you a consistent experience across macOS, iOS and iPadOS.

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 colour filters

Users with colour vision deficiencies can adjust display colours using new colour filter options. Your Mac shifts the colours 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 colour of your choice. Some users may find that certain colour tints help make text easier to read.

QuickTime Player

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 colour 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.

Timecode support

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.

Home

HomeKit Secure Video

With a home hub such as an Apple TV, 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

AirPlay 2–enabled speakers can now play songs, playlists and radio stations from Apple Music in scenes and automations with your other HomeKit accessories.

International Features

New multilingual setup for macOS

Choose your languages, including those for keyboard and dictation, in Setup Assistant, and customise 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

New dictionaries include Thai-English and Vietnamese-English.

Other Features

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.

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 just before the installation. macOS and all your apps will work just as they did before you installed the update.