Earlier this month, Apple announced the latest revisions of its entire family of operating systems including iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS and macOS. While all of latest beta versions of those operating systems are currently available to developers, today marks the first time that Apple is releasing public betas.
However, the public betas are now available for iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and macOS 10.15 Catalina. iOS 13 is likely to be the most popular software package to be downloaded by Apple users, with the headlining feature being the arrival of a system-wide Dark Mode. The new dark mode greatly complements the OLED displays found on iPhone X/iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and should be easier on the eyes when using your smartphone in darker environments (or at night). All of Apple’s native apps support dark mode, and developers will have the choice to enable the option in their third-party apps.
Apple Maps has been given a top-to-bottom overhaul using new road mapping data that Apple has incorporated from its own fleet of vehicles that have crisscrossed the United States and other countries. The app has also been optimized to improved map renders speeds and overall performance. There are other little tweaks sprinkled about including faster overall app loading, more customizable Memojis, and a more inclusive Health app.
iPadOS 13, which is the first iPad-specific operating system release, brings over all of the features that you’ll find in iOS 13. However, it adds a number of iPad-centric features that makes the iPad, iPad mini and iPad Pro more productive machines. Multi-window support has been improved, allowing you to control multiple apps on-screen at once. New gestures have been added to aid in performing simple editing tasks such as copy/paste and undo, while a new Home Screen shrinks down the size of the static app icons and gives you space for a more useful (and dynamic) widgets.
Safari has perhaps seen the biggest upgrade, as the web browser will no longer be relegated to displaying mobile-optimized apps. Instead, Safari for iPadOS will always show desktop optimized apps that make full use of the higher resolution displays on iPads (compared to their iPhone counterparts).
A new floating keyboard allows you to more easily type with a single thumb and a new Files app allows you to finally have direct access to assets on a USB thumb drive.
Finally, there’s macOS 10.15 Catalina. Perhaps the biggest change with macOS Catalina isn’t an addition; but rather a subtraction. Apple has removed the long-standing and bloated iTunes app. It has instead been replaced by three apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. There’s a new feature that will practically kill off any third-party apps that offer similar functionality. Called Sidecar, this feature allows you to either to connect an iPad to your Mac (either wired or wirelessly) to extend your workspace.
In other iPad-related news, Macs can also use iPads as a stylus input when combined with an Apple Pencil. Then there’s Project Catalyst, which is going to make it much easier for developers to bring their iPad apps over to macOS platform. This will simplify the development process for developers and hopefully expand the availability of apps in the Mac App Store.
The iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and macOS 10.15 Catalina public betas are currently available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users by clicking the following link.