In macOS Catalina, the Preview app has a new feature that makes it easier to sign PDFs and other documents by leveraging an iPhone or an iPad running the iOS 13/iPadOS operating system.
Rather than using the Trackpad to create a signature, or scanning a piece of paper, you can connect to your iPhone or iPad to sign there using either a finger or an Apple Pencil.
In the Preview app, under Tools > Annotate > Signature > Manage Signatures > Create Signatures, there is a new option to choose to create a signature with an iOS device. Clicking on this option lets you select an available iPhone or iPad to use.
Devices running iOS 12 will show up in this list, but creating a signature only works on a device running iOS 13. Selecting an iPhone or iPad with iOS 13 will pop up a simple signature interface on the device in question, where you can sign with a finger on the iPhone or a finger or Apple Pencil on iPad.
After you've signed, tap the done button, and your signature is instantly made available in the Preview app as an option to be inserted into your documents.
We needed to have the devices unlocked to get the signature interface to pop up, but this may be a bug that will be addressed in a later beta.
You can already sign PDFs right on the iPhone or iPad using Markup features, but the new Preview option is a useful, streamlined way to get a signature on a document if you start the process using a Mac.
macOS Catalina introduces Sidecar, a native feature that turns the iPad into a secondary display for the Mac. It's a useful function that works well, but it's also something that third-party companies have been doing for several years now.
One of those companies makes the Luna Display, a hardware-based dongle that plugs into the Mac to turn the iPad into a secondary display. According to Luna Display's founders, though Sidecar offers similar connected technology, the Luna Display is sticking around.
"We're not going anywhere," wrote CEO Matt Ronge and Head of Product Giovanni Donelli in a blog post shared this afternoon. The two go on to explain that while they're disappointed in Apple's decision, they plan to continue to cater to creative professionals.
We've spent the last five years building innovative products like Astropad and Luna Display that cater to true creative professionals. Our team has always doubled-down on delivering deep customization and low-latency input. Why? Because that's user-driven and that's what we do.
If you have basic needs, Apple's Sidecar may do the trick. But if you're a pro, we've built Luna Display to fit around your creative workflow.
We know that creative pros have highly-individualized and unique ways of working productively. Whether you need to collaborate with multiple users, or take advantage of the Mac mini's portability by setting your iPad as the main display -- Luna offers the freedom and flexibility to build a connected workspace around your needs, so you can be productive anywhere.
Luna Display's founders are also planning to expand to new platforms and see a "bright future" in Windows.
The Luna Display adapter has been around since it launched as a Kickstarter project in 2017, and before that, Astropad, an iOS and Mac app that offers Sidecar-like functionality, was available for using an iPad or iPhone as a secondary display for a Mac.
Sidecar is available in macOS Catalina and it takes just a few clicks to turn an iPad into a secondary display. Sidecar does have its limitations, though, and is only available on newer Macs from 2015/2016 and later.
It's not clear if this is a complete list, but Troughton-Smith says a long list of older machines are blacklisted from taking advantage of the feature. Some older Macs that are not greenlit for Sidecar can still use the feature via the Terminal command provided by Troughton-Smith, but there's no complete list on exactly which older Macs the Terminal command works with.
Sidecar supports iMac 27" (Late 2015) or newer, MacBook Pro (2016) or newer, mac Mini (2018), Mac Pro (2019), MacBook Air (2018) , MacBook (Early 2016 or newer), and blacklists all the devices in the screenshot pic.twitter.com/DHNDyI98WV
There's no word on whether all iPads will work with Sidecar, or if there will be limitations on that end as well. iPadOS, required for Sidecar, runs on The iPad Air 2 and later, the iPad mini 4 and later, the 5th-generation iPad and later, and all iPad Pro models.
The oldest of these iPads, the iPad mini 4 and the iPad Air 2, use A8 and A8X chips respectively, while the newer models all use more powerful chips.
Apple says all TLS server certificates must comply with these new security requirements in macOS Catalina and iOS 13:
TLS server certificates and issuing CAs using RSA keys must use key sizes greater than or equal to 2048 bits. Certificates using RSA key sizes smaller than 2048 bits are no longer trusted for TLS.
TLS server certificates and issuing CAs must use a hash algorithm from the SHA-2 family in the signature algorithm. SHA-1 signed certificates are no longer trusted for TLS.
TLS server certificates must present the DNS name of the server in the Subject Alternative Name extension of the certificate. DNS names in the CommonName of a certificate are no longer trusted.
Effective immediately, any connections to TLS servers violating these new requirements will fail and may cause network failures, apps to fail, and websites to not load in Safari in macOS Catalina and iOS 13, according to Apple.
Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla all deprecated SHA-1 certificates in 2017.
Apple this week unveiled macOS Catalina, the newest version of the macOS software designed to run on Macs. macOS Catalina is launching this fall, but it is available now in a beta capacity for developers.
In our latest video, we went hands-on with macOS Catalina to explore all of the new features that are coming to the Mac later this year.
One of the most notable changes in Catalina is the elimination of the iTunes app, which has been a key Mac feature since 2001. In Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by three apps: Music, Podcasts, and TV (coming later in the year).
The new apps can do everything that iTunes can do, so Mac users aren't going to be losing any functionality. As for device management, that's now done using the Finder app. When you plug in an iPhone or an iPad, it'll show right up in Finder, with all of the same management and syncing features available.
The TV, Podcasts, and Music apps look similar to iTunes and have similar features, which should make the transition easy for most Mac users. On Macs with a 4K display, such as the iMac, the new TV app will support 4K HDR playback for the first time, along with Dolby Atmos sound.
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.
Notably, macOS Catalina does away with 32-bit app support, so some of your older apps are going to stop working. The operating system will let you know which apps are now defunct once you upgrade.
macOS Catalina is available to developers, but it shouldn't be installed on a main machine and this time because it's not particularly stable and has quite a few bugs. Apple plans to make a Catalina beta available for public beta testers in July, and following a few months of testing to iron out bugs and refine features, macOS Catalina will launch in the fall.
macOS Catalina does away with the iTunes app, a longtime staple of the Mac operating system, which, unsurprisingly, has left many with questions on just how that's going to work.
To answer questions about the imminent sunsetting of iTunes, Apple has created a support document that explains all of the upcoming changes.
Apple is planning to split iTunes into three apps in macOS Catalina: Music, Podcasts, and TV, which, when combined, will replicate much of the functionality that's currently available through iTunes in macOS Mojave and earlier versions of macOS.
One of the most frequent questions concerns device management and syncing, which is currently done through iTunes. In Catalina, Apple is transitioning device management functionality to the Finder app, and when you plug an iOS device into your Mac, it will be listed as an available device on the left side of the window, with all of the same controls and information.
The Music app is going to feature all of the music that you've imported or purchased, and the iTunes Store is still going to be available in the Music app for making music purchases. Apple Music will also be available in the Music app right alongside your purchased music or music ripped from CDs and other sources. iTunes Music purchases will also continue to be available on iOS.
Likewise, TV shows and Movies that you've purchased or rented from iTunes will be listed in the upcoming Apple TV app, and it will also be used for future purchases and rentals.
All of your subscribed podcasts will be transitioned over to the Podcasts app, while audiobooks can be purchased and accessed in the Apple Books app for Mac.
iTunes Gift Cards and iTunes credits will be usable in the new TV and Music apps and in the App Store, so there's no significant change there.
Though iTunes is gone in macOS Catalina, all of the iTunes functionality is available through the Music, Podcasts, Books, and upcoming TV apps, so in practice, there are few changes for end users. In many ways, the split makes a lot more sense than having all of those features in one spot, and most users should be able to adjust to the changes quickly.
Dashboard, a longtime Mac feature that Apple has been phasing out for the last few years, has been eliminated in macOS Catalina and it is no longer available for use.
The Dashboard option, first introduced in OS X 10.4 Tiger, used to be a prominent Mac feature, housing sticky notes, a weather interface, a clock, a calculator, and other customizable widgets.
It was disabled by default starting in macOS 10.10 Yosemite, and in the current version of macOS, Mojave, it's still disabled unless you seek it out, enabling it as part of Mission Control or adding it to the Dock.
In Catalina, there is no more Dashboard app at all, as pointed out by Appleosophy. It can't be enabled via Mission Control and there's no sign of it in the operating system, marking its official demise.
While the Mac and iPad remain distinct products, Apple continues to bridge the gap between its desktop and mobile platforms. In 2014, for example, it introduced Continuity features like Handoff and Universal Clipboard that enable more seamless experiences across the Mac, iPad, and other Apple devices.
Starting with macOS Catalina and Xcode 11, developers can create a Mac version of an iPad app using UIKit, an Apple framework that until now was intended solely for iOS apps. Adding macOS support to an iPad app is as easy as opening an Xcode project and clicking the Mac checkbox under General > Deployment Info.
While the Mac version of the app should run after the box is checked, this is not always the case, as the Xcode project may contain code that no longer compiles due to frameworks, APIs, or embeddable content that is incompatible with the Mac, according to Apple's developer documentation:
Most iPad apps are great candidates for adaptation, but a few rely on iPad features that don’t exist on a Mac. For example, if your app's essential features require iPad capabilities like gyroscope, accelerometer, or rear camera, iOS frameworks like HealthKit or ARKit, or the app's main function is something like navigation, it might not be suited for the Mac.
iPad apps ported to macOS run natively on the Mac, utilizing the same frameworks, resources, and runtime environment as traditional Mac apps, according to Apple's developer documentation:
The Mac version of your iPad app supports many system features found in macOS without requiring any effort from you…
- A default menu bar for your app.
- Support for trackpad, mouse, and keyboard input.
- Support for window resizing and full-screen display.
- Mac-style scroll bars.
- Copy-and-paste support.
- Drag-and-drop support.
- Support for system Touch Bar controls.
DC Universe is an example of a Project Catalyst app coming to Mac
If this all sounds familiar, it is because Project Catalyst is Apple's public-facing name for this initiative, which has been referred to by its internal name of Marzipan until now. Apple's plans to allow iOS apps to easily run on Mac were first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman over 18 months ago.
Apple's upcoming macOS Catalina update will be able to run on a wide range of Macs, dating back to 2012. Apple on its Catalina website today shared a list of all the Macs that will be able to run the new software.
These are all of the same Macs that were able to run macOS Mojave, with the exception of the mid-2010 Mac Pro, which will not be getting the update.
macOS Catalina is currently available to registered developers, who can download the software using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences with the proper profile installed. Apple plans to make Catalina available to public beta testers in July, and the software will launch officially in the fall.
Apple this morning introduced the newest version of macOS, the operating system that runs on the Mac. macOS Catalina is now available in a beta capacity for registered developers who are able to download it for testing purposes.
The new macOS Catalina beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.
As with all new betas, you're not going to want to install macOS Catalina on a primary machine as it is early release software and could have major bugs.
Apple delved into cross-platform apps in macOS Catalina, porting additional iOS apps to macOS and overhauling some existing apps. There are new Music, Books, and Podcasts app, with the iTunes app being retired.
Apple is also making it possible for developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac with just simple changes, which will make it simple for developers to create cross-platform content while also increasing the number of available Mac apps.
You're able to use the iPad as an external display thanks to new continuity functionality built into macOS Catalina and iOS 13, and there's a new "Find My" feature for locating lost devices and friends even when your devices have no cellular or WiFi connection.
macOS Catalina is only available to registered developers at this time, but later in the summer, Apple plans to make a public macOS Catalina beta available, giving public beta testers a chance to try the software before it sees a public launch in the fall.