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

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina update to its public beta testing group, two weeks after seeding the second public beta and a day after seeding the fourth developer beta.

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 In Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by Music, Podcasts, and TV apps.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 features 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 that have not been updated in some time 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)
Avatar
5 weeks ago

I cannot believe they have seeded this as a public beta. No one should touch this with a 50 foot pole.
It is the most garbage beta ever seeded for macOS.


based on what exactly? Certainly this hyperbole comes with some citations?
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago
This came out two days ago.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago

I cannot believe they have seeded this as a public beta. No one should touch this with a 50 foot pole.
It is the most garbage beta ever seeded for macOS.

Of course YMMV, but it's working really well on my MacBook Pro. A few wrinkles here and there, but it has steadily improved with each release.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago

I cannot believe they have seeded this as a public beta. No one should touch this with a 50 foot pole.
It is the most garbage beta ever seeded for macOS.

While I tend to agree this to an extent, I think you are a bit too emotional regarding Catalina beta.
With that being said, I do want people having no idea what to expect from using beta stay away from Catalina beta entirely, or even 6 months after its debut to the public. This version changes a ton of stuff and 64-bit only is the major dealbreaker for tons of people.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago

I cannot believe they have seeded this as a public beta. No one should touch this with a 50 foot pole.
It is the most garbage beta ever seeded for macOS.


Catalina is going to go live GM on schedule whether it's ready or not. The public beta may be trash, but it has to be shoved out there cockroaches, dust mites, bedbugs & all.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago
I'm on Dev-Beta on an external drive - fresh installation with a few Tools I need to check for work -> almost everything is great. A few network issues here, some instabilities there, a few slightly misplaced design elements - most things are not even worth the feedback, because they will be reported by thousands of testers.

On my internal drive (years old installation, migrated over several Macs, had seen Snow Leopard and Lion, many programs on it, survived many updates including some very unstable betas) I'm on Public Beta and the update from PB1 to PB2 left my Mac unbootable. It stalls anywhere while applying the update and ended up in a boot loop, so I had to roll back to Mojave from an 2 days old TimeMachine backup. Not a big deal, but it took me 4 hours to restore. *meh*

I'm a little bit afraid of trying the PB3 now....
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago

This came out two days ago.


This is what I wanted to check. I saw the PB get pushed out the same day as the Dev Beta, so no update is showing now.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago

I have a late 2018 MB Air. Nope. Sorry. I'd put real money on folks not following installation instructions. I wiped and reinstalled HS, and installed last week. Runs fine, even with Chrome, and M$ Office. Too easy.

How do you “not follow installation instructions” on an updater? It’s supposed to update it. Not take days.

It didn’t say to reformat. I’m happy to help test this stuff, but it’s not user error treating the software in the exact way it’s meant to be used.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Things "usually" start to get better for iOS and Mac OS by public Beta 4. Unlike iOS the MacOS never really has a release time outside of "in the Fall" so it could come later if needed to fix stuff.

Plus in Beta 4 other things start to show up like new wallpapers and stuff like that I believe ;)
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
5 weeks ago
Yeah, it’s a beta. Still I do have to agree with the naysayers partially. It is the most problem fraught beta I’ve used, and I’ve been using them since Lion. The only one where I would absolutely try to steer the casual user away from. I have no ill feeling against Apple for this. However I’d tentatively suggest they try and get iCloud and Apple account issues more stable before they send out public betas in the future. Then again, perhaps they needed to expand the beta to the public to better get an understanding of these problems. Hmm.
Rating: 1 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]