Apple seems to have wrapped up the macOS Catalina beta testing cycle, confirming that the update is coming very soon.
The company on Thursday officially seeded the golden master version of macOS Catalina to developers. If you aren’t familiar, a golden master is essentially the software update in its final form that will be released to the public.
New macOS Catalina Features
macOS Catalina is a pretty big update to the Mac operating system. It kills iTunes and introduces new standalone Music, Podcasts and TV apps in its place.
It also introduces a new feature called Sidecar that will let users turn an iPad in a second display for their Mac.
Other notable features include upgraded Apple Watch security capabilities, Activation Lock for T2-equipped Macs, and a new Find My app that can locate offline MacBook devices via Bluetooth.
Screen Time is now on the Mac as well, and there are other incremental updates to Reminders, Mail, Safari and Photos.
The update also includes support for a new Apple endeavor called Project Catalyst, which is a framework that will let developers easily port iPad apps over to the Mac. That should significantly bump up the number of Mac apps available on the App Store.
On the flip side, macOS Catalina officially ends support for 32-bit apps. That means you simply won’t be able to run any app that is 32-bit or uses 32-bit dependencies.
As far as when macOS Catalina will be released, it’s not clear. But GM versions typically come shortly before the final public release.
Still, while some rumors have suggested that Catalina could drop this Friday, Oct. 4, that’s not as likely as a release date sometime in the next couple of weeks. In fact, we expect the only macOS release tomorrow to be the public software testing version of the GM.
Whether or not the Catalina release date will coincide with an October Apple keynote is unclear. Based on the arrival of the GM, Catalina could come before an event is actaully held.
Developers should now be able to download the GM version from System Preferences > Software Update if the proper profile is installed. Do note that the GM shows up as “beta 11.”