Six features you should try after installing macOS 10.15 Catalina

With the release of the latest version of macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple introduces a slew of new features. You should (and will) try them all, of course, but where should you start? Well, we’ve been using the macOS Catalina betas, so we have ideas on which new features you should try first. These are the major new features that you’ll want to start with in the macOS update.

Get to know the Music, Podcast, and TV apps

macos catalina music podcast tv iconsApple

The iTunes app is no more in macOS Catalina—it was an app that had too much going on, and Apple wisely broke up the app up into Music, Podcasts, and TV. You now manage the respective media in each app, and if you connect your iOS device to your Mac, you use these apps to coordinate your syncs.

Also, your iOS device now appears in the Finder. Here are instructions on how to backup or restore your iPhone or iPad on your Mac running macOS Catalina.

macoc catalina iphone info IDG

Your iPhone and iPad now appear in the Finder.

Sidecar: Use your iPad as a second display

Using multiple displays is a great way to make it easier to navigate your Mac. But if you don’t want to buy another display, or you’re looking for a way to add a second display while using your Mac laptop on the go, you can now turn your iPad into a second Mac display. There’s a new feature in macOS Catalina called Sidecar that lets you do this.

sidecar macbook ipad pro Leif Johnson/IDG

Use Sidecar to connect your iPad as an external display for your Mac.

With Sidecar, you connect your iPad using a cable or you can use AirPlay. With the wireless connection, the iPad needs to be within 10 meters of the Mac, which makes this a great way to use the iPad as a presentation display.

Sidecar lets you extended the Mac’s desktop, or you can use mirroring. You can use the Apple Pencil with the iPad, and you can use iPadOS text editing gestures.

Sidecar requires an iPad that’s Apple Pencil compatible. Learn more about Sidecar, how it works, and how to set it up.

Block senders in the Mail app

It seems like the battle against spam and other unwanted email is never ending. But the Mail app in macOS Catalina finally has a feature to help. You can now block a sender, and doing so puts their emails directly in the Trash.