The Current State of Catalina: How Stable is the Mac OS?

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Whenever there’s a new operating system update, users expect it to perform more reliably than previous versions. However, there are often some initial bugs to work out before the system is completely stable, leaving consumers wary of transferring to a new system too soon and being caught up in system errors, and Apple’s new operating system is no different. Launched in October 2019, macOS Catalina is Apple’s latest operating system. It replaced macOS Mojave, which was released in September 2018. Named after California’s landmark Catalina Islands, Catalina (macOS 10.15) has numerous updates and improvements for Mac users. This article guides you through the new features and updates in Catalina OS, as well as initial bugs to watch out for and the current state of the updated operating system.

What’s New in macOS Catalina?

The new Mac operating system has implemented various changes. So of course, users should expect a different look for some features, as happens with every new release.

Good-bye iTunes

For many years, iTunes has served as Apple’s digital hub. But the new macOS has separated content into three different apps to replace the conventional iTunes. Apple Music has taken over the music side of operations, offering users a platform for organizing music, playlists, and albums. Apple Podcasts is the new podcast manager, while Apple TV handles all channels, shows, and movies. Through Apple TV, you can also access Apple TV Plus, the new streaming service. While iTunes required users to keep their devices up to date, the new apps are synced through iCloud, which means you won’t have to worry about manually updating them.

Emojis and Photos

Apple has released 50 new emojis in the Catalina OS, including a unique way of changing individuals’ skin color in couple emojis. The new Photos app offers new browsing options for viewing your photos. The app still organizes photos according to time taken and location, but you can now choose to view photos according to subcategories of Years, Months, and Days.


You can now turn your iPad into a second screen for your Mac, thanks to the Sidecar feature. This allows you to turn your iPad into a second display by wirelessly connecting it to your laptop. You can connect by clicking the AirPlay icon. You can also use screen mirroring in Sidecar, making this a great feature for sharing your screen with others. Many users have deemed this feature the most thrilling update that the new Catalina OS offers.

Mail and Browser

The Safari browser opens your start page faster than the previous version. It also offers Siri suggestions and warns users about weak passwords. The Mail feature can easily unsubscribe from commercial lists, block senders, and mute threads more easily. Other new items include the following:
  • Redesigned Reminders app
  • Combinations of Find My Phone and Find My Friends in one app
  • Use of Apple Watch to authenticate your Mac
  • Picture-in-picture for QuickTime Player, allowing you to minimize videos and continue watching while still working in other apps
  • Multilingual support

Catalina OS Stability

The new Catalina operating system was made to improve the performance of your Mac. However, the updates haven’t all gone smoothly.  Some users have found it hard to adapt to the new changes. A few issues have arisen, but this isn’t surprising, as hiccups are common with newly-released operating systems. But after some expected startup errors at its launch, it is now far more stable, and upgrading is generally recommended with the help of a Mac IT specialist Some of the most common problems users have experienced with macOS Catalina include the following issues:

Download Problems

macOS 10.15 fails to download in some instances, displaying an error message to users. The message can read “Network connection was lost,” “macOS Catalina download has failed,” or “That content can’t be downloaded at this time. Try again later.” Although this was a relatively common problem after the launch, few users currently experience it.

“Setting Up Your Mac” Message

The majority of users who have requested Mac support for Catalina complained of receiving a “Setting up Your Mac” message after installing the Catalina OS, with nothing happening afterward. Nonetheless, this is only a small issue that is easily fixed by rebooting your Mac or MacBook. All it means is that the installation is complete.

Catalina OS Login Problems

A few users have experienced trouble logging in into their Mac or MacBook after installing macOS Catalina. This problem might be persistent and may require help from Mac IT Support. Three updates that were released by January 2020, macOS Catalina 10.15.1, 10.15.2, and 10.15.3, addressed the majority of these bugs and patched some security vulnerabilities.

System Compatibility

Any device that would run Mojave (macOS 10.14) supports macOS Catalina 10.15. However, there is an exception for computers that require a GPU upgrade. Catalina OS is compatible with the following devices:
  • MacBook models from early 2015 onward
  • All iMac Pro models
  • iMac models from late 2012 onward
  • Mac Mini models from late 2012 onward
  • MacBook Air models from mid 2012 onward
  • MacBook Pro models from mid 2012 onward
  • Mac Pro models from late 2013 onward
However, not all features work on every computer. Seek Mac help if you are having difficulties or are unsure of your device’s compatibility.

App Compatibility

Catalina OS only supports 64-bit applications, unlike Mojave, which could support 32-bit apps. This shouldn’t affect your use of apps much, as most apps have updated to a 64-bit model. However, if you are using older apps that haven’t been updated by their developers, this may become a problem.

The Bottom Line

While the initial upgrade to Catalina was not recommended by Mac experts, if you’re familiar with the new features and how the new OS will interfere with your workflow, Catalina can be beneficial.  With the right Apple consultant to help your business with an upgrade, the new Catalina OS can enhance rather than hinder business operations. Its new features are user-friendly and continue to look promising, and Apple is providing updates to rectify any issues that arise within the system.

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