macOS Catalina (version 10.15) is the sixteenth and current major release of macOS, Apple Inc.'s desktop operating system for Macintosh computers. It is the successor to macOS Mojave and precedes macOS Big Sur, which is planned to be released later in 2020. It was announced at WWDC 2019 on June 3, 2019, and was released to the public on October 7, 2019. Catalina is the first version of macOS to support only 64-bit applications and the first to include Activation Lock. It is the last version of macOS to have the version number prefix of 10, as the next release, Big Sur, is version 11.0.
|A version of the macOS operating system|
Screenshot of the macOS Catalina desktop in "dark mode".
|Source model||Closed, with open source components|
|October 7, 2019|
|Latest release||10.15.7 (19H2) (September 24, 2020 )|
|Update method||Software Update|
|Kernel type||Hybrid (XNU)|
|License||APSL and Apple EULA|
|Preceded by||macOS 10.14 Mojave|
|Succeeded by||macOS 11.0 Big Sur|
macOS Catalina officially runs on all standard configuration Macs that support Mojave. 2010–2012 Mac Pros, which could run Mojave only with a GPU upgrade, are no longer supported. Catalina requires 4 GB of memory, an increase over the 2 GB required by Lion through Mojave.
- iMac: Late 2012 or newer
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro: Late 2013 or newer
- Mac Mini: Late 2012 or newer
- MacBook: Early 2015 or newer
- MacBook Air: Mid 2012 or newer
- MacBook Pro: Mid 2012 or newer
It is possible to install Catalina on many older Macintosh computers that are not officially supported by Apple. This requires using a patch to modify the install image.
Catalyst is a new software-development tool that allows developers to write apps that can run on both macOS and iPadOS. Apple demonstrated several ported apps, including Jira and Twitter (after the latter discontinued its macOS app in February 2018).
An upgrade from Kexts. System Extensions avoid the problems of Kexts. There are 3 kinds of System Extensions: Network Extensions, Endpoint Security Extensions, and Driver Extensions. System Extensions run in userspace, outside of the kernel. Catalina will be the last version of macOS to support legacy system extensions.
A replacement for IOKit device drivers, driver extensions are built using DriverKit. DriverKit is a new SDK with all-new frameworks based on IOKit, but updated and modernized. It is designed for building device drivers in userspace, outside of the kernel.
Mac apps, installer packages, and kernel extensions that are signed with a Developer ID must be notarized by Apple to run on macOS Catalina.
Activation Lock helps prevent the unauthorized use and drive erasure of devices with an Apple T2 security chip (2018, 2019, and 2020 MacBook Pro; 2020 5K iMac; 2018 MacBook Air, iMac Pro; 2018 Mac Mini; 2019 Mac Pro).
Dedicated system volumeEdit
The system runs on its own read-only volume, separate from all other data on the Mac.
Sidecar allows a Mac to use an iPad (running iPadOS) as a wireless external display. With Apple Pencil, the device can also be used as a graphics tablet for software running on the computer. Sidecar requires a Mac with Intel Skylake CPUs and newer (such as the fourth-generation MacBook Pro), and an iPad that supports Apple Pencil.
Support for wireless game controllersEdit
iTunes is replaced by separate Books, Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, in line with iOS. iOS device management is now conducted via Finder. The TV app on Mac supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 on MacBooks released in 2018 or later, while 4K HDR playback is supported on Macs released in 2018 or later when connected to a compatible display.
Among other visual and functional overhauls, attachments can be added to reminders and Siri can intelligently estimate when to remind the user about an event.
Removed or changed componentsEdit
macOS Catalina exclusively supports 64-bit applications. 32-bit applications no longer run (including all software that utilizes the Carbon API as well as QuickTime 7 applications, image, audio and video codecs). Apple has also removed all 32-bit-only apps from the Mac App Store.
Zsh is the default login shell and interactive shell in macOS Catalina, replacing Bash, the default shell since Mac OS X Panther in 2003. Bash continues to be available in macOS Catalina, along with other shells such as csh/tcsh and ksh.
The ability to add Backgrounds in Photo Booth was removed in macOS Catalina.
Built-in support for Perl, Python 2.7 and Ruby are included in macOS for compatibility with legacy software. Future versions of macOS will not include scripting language runtimes by default, possibly requiring users to install additional packages.
Catalina received favourable reviews on release for some of its features. However, some writers and bloggers said that the OS was unreliable. Similar to the addition of User Account Control dialog boxes on Windows Vista the previous decade, prompts for allowing software access to sensitive data were criticized by some writers as annoying.
|Previous release||Current release|
|Version||Build||Date||Darwin||Release Notes||Standalone download|
|10.15||19A583||October 7, 2019||19.0.0||Original Software Update release|
|19A602||October 15, 2019||19.0.0||Supplemental update|
|19A603||October 21, 2019||19.0.0||Revised Supplemental update|
|10.15.1||19B88||October 29, 2019||19.0.0
|About the macOS Catalina 10.15.1 Update||macOS 10.15.1 Update|
|10.15.2||19C57||December 10, 2019||19.2.0
|About the macOS Catalina 10.15.2 Update||macOS 10.15.2 Update|
|10.15.3||19D76||January 28, 2020||19.3.0
|About the macOS Catalina 10.15.3 Update||macOS 10.15.3 Update|
|10.15.4||19E266||March 24, 2020||19.4.0
|About the macOS Catalina 10.15.4 Update||macOS 10.15.4 Update|
|19E287||April 8, 2020||Supplemental update||macOS 10.15.4 Supplemental Update|
|10.15.5||19F96||May 26, 2020||19.5.0
|About the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Update||macOS 10.15.5 Update|
|19F101||June 1, 2020||19.5.0
|Supplemental update||macOS 10.15.5 Supplemental Update|
|10.15.6||19G73||July 15, 2020||19.6.0
Jul 5 00:43:10 PDT 2020
|About the macOS Catalina 10.15.6 Update||macOS 10.15.6 Update|
|19G2021||August 12, 2020||19.6.0
Jun 18 20:49:00 PDT 2020
|Supplemental update||macOS 10.15.6 Supplemental Update|
|10.15.7||19H2||September 24, 2020||19.6.0
Mon Aug 31 22:12:52 PDT 2020
|About the macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Update||macOS 10.15.7 Update|
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Voice Control lets users control the entire device with spoken commands and specialized tools, while Siri is an intelligent assistant that lets users ask for information and complete everyday tasks using natural language. Voice Control offers comprehensive capabilities such as voice gestures, name and number labels, grid overlays, text editing commands, and deep customization, while Siri assists with setting reminders, making appointments, looking up directions, and learning game scores.
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Scripting language runtimes such as Python, Ruby, and Perl are included in macOS for compatibility with legacy software. Future versions of macOS won’t include scripting language runtimes by default, and might require you to install additional packages.
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macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
| macOS 10.15 (Catalina)
macOS 11 (Big Sur)