Apple Releases Third Public Beta of macOS Catalina to Public Beta Testers

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Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Catalina update to its public beta testing group, two weeks after seeding the second public beta and a day after seeding the fourth developer beta.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will be able to download the macOS Catalina beta through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile. Those who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.


Potential beta testers should make a full Time Machine backup before installing macOS Catalina, and it may not be wise to install it on a primary machine because betas can be unstable and often have many bugs.

macOS Catalina eliminates the iTunes app, which has been a key Mac feature since 2001. In Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by Music, Podcasts, and TV apps. The new apps can do everything that iTunes can do, so Mac users aren't going to be losing any functionality, and device management capabilities are now handled by the Finder app.

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 features 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.


Before installing macOS Catalina, be aware that it does away with 32-bit app support, so some older apps that have not been updated in some time may stop working. For more on macOS Catalina, make sure to check out our macOS Catalina roundup.

Article Link: Apple Releases Third Public Beta of macOS Catalina to Public Beta Testers
 

PastaPrimav

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I cannot believe they have seeded this as a public beta. No one should touch this with a 50 foot pole.
It is the most garbage beta ever seeded for macOS.
 
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socialwill

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Things "usually" start to get better for iOS and Mac OS by public Beta 4. Unlike iOS the MacOS never really has a release time outside of "in the Fall" so it could come later if needed to fix stuff.

Plus in Beta 4 other things start to show up like new wallpapers and stuff like that I believe ;)
 
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urgs

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I'm on Dev-Beta on an external drive - fresh installation with a few Tools I need to check for work -> almost everything is great. A few network issues here, some instabilities there, a few slightly misplaced design elements - most things are not even worth the feedback, because they will be reported by thousands of testers.

On my internal drive (years old installation, migrated over several Macs, had seen Snow Leopard and Lion, many programs on it, survived many updates including some very unstable betas) I'm on Public Beta and the update from PB1 to PB2 left my Mac unbootable. It stalls anywhere while applying the update and ended up in a boot loop, so I had to roll back to Mojave from an 2 days old TimeMachine backup. Not a big deal, but it took me 4 hours to restore. *meh*

I'm a little bit afraid of trying the PB3 now....
 

Mike Haas

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I cannot believe they have seeded this as a public beta. No one should touch this with a 50 foot pole.
It is the most garbage beta ever seeded for macOS.
The worst impressions seem to be related to 2018 hardware. Those with 2018 hardware also ran into a problem installing Dev B3 last time with Apple trying several times to push an acceptable B3 to those users over the course of an evening.

I have a 2017 13" MBP running Dev Beta 4 and it seems very stable other than long Time Machine preps and backups. iCloud photo backups are still slow but at least are running faster than before. Pinch and zoom in Photos app is broken but the slider at the top left still works. Home Sharing to the iPhone running iOS 13: Music doesn't work but my TV shows and movies share to the Apple TV app. On the Apple TV public beta, Home Sharing music works, TV shows and movies does not.

I'm curious how the Public Beta would be running on my 2017 MBP but I'm not curious enough to try to switch streams...
 

Marx55

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Does the Third Public Beta of macOS Catalina allow to save Time Machine backups into APFS disks?
 

schlitzz

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The worst impressions seem to be related to 2018 hardware. Those with 2018 hardware also ran into a problem installing Dev B3 last time with Apple trying several times to push an acceptable B3 to those users over the course of an evening.
I have a late 2018 MB Air. Nope. Sorry. I'd put real money on folks not following installation instructions. I wiped and reinstalled HS, and installed last week. Runs fine, even with Chrome, and M$ Office. Too easy.
 

mixel

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I have a late 2018 MB Air. Nope. Sorry. I'd put real money on folks not following installation instructions. I wiped and reinstalled HS, and installed last week. Runs fine, even with Chrome, and M$ Office. Too easy.
How do you “not follow installation instructions” on an updater? It’s supposed to update it. Not take days.

It didn’t say to reformat. I’m happy to help test this stuff, but it’s not user error treating the software in the exact way it’s meant to be used.
 

Shirasaki

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I cannot believe they have seeded this as a public beta. No one should touch this with a 50 foot pole.
It is the most garbage beta ever seeded for macOS.
While I tend to agree this to an extent, I think you are a bit too emotional regarding Catalina beta.
With that being said, I do want people having no idea what to expect from using beta stay away from Catalina beta entirely, or even 6 months after its debut to the public. This version changes a ton of stuff and 64-bit only is the major dealbreaker for tons of people.
 

Vjosullivan

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I asked Siri on my Mac to set a four minute timer. I doesn't respond to me saying "Hey, Siri." so I clicked the icon:

Siri: "What can I help you with?"
Me: "Set a timer for four minutes."
Siri: "I can't do that here. Would you like a reminder instead?"
Me: "Yes."
Siri: "I wasn't able to create your reminder. Sorry about that."

Apart from that, I can't say that I've had any problems with the beta. I installed it so that I could run the new version of Xcode and that's working fine, too. The new Xcode is a tremendous improvement (even if it will only ever be used for niche development of "Apple only" software).
 
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PastaPrimav

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While I tend to agree this to an extent, I think you are a bit too emotional regarding Catalina beta.
With that being said, I do want people having no idea what to expect from using beta stay away from Catalina beta entirely, or even 6 months after its debut to the public. This version changes a ton of stuff and 64-bit only is the major dealbreaker for tons of people.
They seed a public beta that can seriously damage iCloud Drive. No one can be "too emotional" about that.

This isn't beta.