Like macOS Mojave before it, iOS gains a new Dark Mode which will unify the look of all of the apps on your favourite iDevice and it can even be scheduled to change at certain times of the day. You can override the schedule via the Control Centre if you want to change it manually though.
Greater anonymity whilst online and using Apps that require a sign-on is now available using ‘Sign in with Apple’. This system creates a unique sign-in for whichever site or app you’re using and is tied to your Apple ID automatically in the background. This means that you can no longer be tracked by a single ID (Facebook, Google etc.) across multiple websites and apps as a new virtual email addess is create each time you use the service.
Swipe typing is now available on the native keyboard - there’s no need to install a 3rd-party keyboard any more. Whilst not a new idea it’s nice to see Apple listening to users and making use of good ideas. One-handed typing just got easier!
Good news for those of us running older devices, iOS13 will run on the iPhone 6S and newer.
In my opinion this release is more evolution than revolution but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as adding features to the detriment of speed, stability or useability is something Apple has been guilty of in the past.
That said, there are a few items worth mentioning…
As you already know, your iPhone can be locked to your Apple ID to prevent it being usable should it be lost or stolen. Activiation Lock will now be available for your Macs thus offering the same protection iPhones and iPads have had for some time. Not only that but recovery becomes easier with Find My. This feature reports it’s location via nearby Apple device using anonymous tokens over Bluetooth - even when Sleeping. This can’t be good news for services such as Hidden which have made great success from Apple not previously offering this feature.
Good news for those running machines from 2012 as many of them can run Catalina! A full list can be viewed on Apple’s support page for the new OS.
However, there is one point to be especially aware of: 32-bit Apps will not run on Catalina. Apple have been warning people via those annoying “theappyoujustopened is not optimised for your Mac and needs to be updated” messages since the launch of macOS Mojave. Don’t update your machines until you are certain that your beloved software will run on it. You have been warned…
The new Home screen has smaller icons but this extra room gives you the ability to have your Today View on the Home Screen alongside your Apps.
The more significant improved functionailty comes in the format of file access - you can now connect a USB drive to your iPad and read data from and to it. Not huge in the grand scheme of things as Apple’s competitors have offered this for some time but useful nonetheless. Another major improvement is the ability to access SMB shares directly from within the Files App - no more need for workarounds.
Mac Pro 2019
The return of the cheesegrater! Apple have finally acknowledged the Pro market and given them what they’ve been asking for - an upgradable, modular, insanely powerful machine that they can plug their various PCI cards straight into.
Starting at $5,999 (UK prices tbc) and in it’s maximum configuration comes with slotted* Intel processors with up to 28 cores, 1.5TB of RAM, 2x 2TB SSDs and two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo cards, this machine has the potential to be an absolute beast! Now we have to wait until later this year before we can get ours hands on one…
* For many years Apple have been soldering their processors to the Logic Board in order to save space and engineering. Having a slotted processor means that it may be possible to remove the existing one and replace it with a more powerful version in the future.
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