New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Releases First Public Beta of macOS Catalina to Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina update to its public beta testing group, giving non-developers a chance to try out the software ahead of its fall public release.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will be able to download the macOS Catalina beta through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.


Potential beta testers should make a full Time Machine backup before installing macOS Catalina, and it may not be wise to install it on a primary machine because betas can be unstable and often have many bugs.

macOS Catalina eliminates the iTunes app, which has been a key Mac feature since 2001. In Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by Music, Podcasts, and TV apps.

The new apps can do everything that iTunes can do, so Mac users aren't going to be losing any functionality, and device management capabilities are now handled by the Finder app.

macOS Catalina has a useful new Sidecar feature, designed to turn the iPad into a secondary display for the Mac. It can work as a traditional second display or with a mirroring feature. Apple Pencil support works with Sidecar, so you can turn your iPad into a drawing tablet using apps like Photoshop.

For those with an Apple Watch set up to unlock the Mac, there's now an option to approve security prompts in Catalina by tapping on the side button of the watch. Macs with a T2 chip in them also support Activation Lock, making them useless to thieves much as it does on the iPhone.

There's a new Find My app that lets you track your lost devices, and previously, this functionality was only available via iCloud on the Mac. There's even a new option to find your devices even when they're offline by leveraging Bluetooth connections to other nearby devices, something that's particularly handy on the Mac because it doesn't have a cellular connection.

Apple is expanding Screen Time to the Mac in Catalina, letting Apple users track their device usage across Mac, iOS, and iPad for a better overall picture of time spent using electronics.

For developers, a "Project Catalyst" feature lets apps designed for the iPad be ported over to the Mac with just a few clicks in Xcode and some minor tweaks. Apple's ultimate goal with Project Catalyst is to bring more apps to the Mac.

Photos has an updated interface that better highlights your best pictures, Safari includes a new start page with Siri Suggestions, Mail has a new feature for blocking emails and another new option for muting threads, and the Reminders app has been overhauled and is now more useful.

Before installing macOS Catalina, be aware that it does away with 32-bit app support, so some older apps may stop working.

For more on macOS Catalina, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

12 weeks ago
Here comes the public complaining about battery life and bugs in a beta.
Rating: 6 Votes
12 weeks ago

Here comes the public complaining about battery life and bugs in a beta.

Actually I'm rocking a MBP 2012 Retina and I get 6-8 hours.
[doublepost=1561396727][/doublepost]

Thing is, joe public aren’t going to know about this. You need to seek out the PB’s to be able to install them.

You’d think anyway.

You forget how big the Apple enthusiasts are that follow the keynotes. Much bigger than us fanatics willing to obtain the dev betas.
Rating: 5 Votes
12 weeks ago
If it's dev B2 then a whole bunch of users will be in a world of hurt. I sincerely hope it's dev B3, but I'm wondering why there is no update available in the update screen.
Rating: 5 Votes
12 weeks ago
This is really early. Although Catalina is about to become the best macOS release in years, it's very buggy at this time with some critical bugs still there.
Rating: 4 Votes
12 weeks ago

Now available in UK
Started download


Be careful installing this, it's by no means as stable as last years betas, Mojave was a lot more stable.
Think this one is the least stable one since I started using OS X almost 2 decades ago, well, the first beta wasn't that stable.
It's quite a mess, Time Machine/Finder being the worst ones, lots of services crashes too.
I was losing more and more space on beta 1, the more I deleted the less space I got, a terminal showed me I had just 1 Local backup, disk repair showed 12, got me thinking, but someone told me to switch of automatic ™ backup, I instantly got my space back and now could update to beta 2.
Time Machine takes forever to finish backups, last time before I switched it off it took hours to backup 1 GB, and it was hanging at 160 MB.
Rating: 3 Votes
12 weeks ago
It would be handy if MacRumors could have a page on the bugs spotted by its forum users.
Rating: 3 Votes
12 weeks ago

I’m confused. My Time Machine is backing up my disk just fine and it’s APFS.


Time Machine will backup an APFS formatted drive. It will not backup onto an APFS formatted drive.
Rating: 2 Votes
12 weeks ago

Public beta 1 is 19A487m

Wow. Add me to the list of those who thinks it's nowhere near ready for even a public beta release.
Rating: 2 Votes
12 weeks ago
Don't install it if you depend on Parallels, it has numerous issues for which no updates have been released as of yet.
Rating: 2 Votes
12 weeks ago
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]