It’s about that time of the year when Apple reveals the next steps that its platforms are taking into the future. For the next edition of macOS (likely version 10.15), we’re starting to see a lot of speculation about the cross-platform apps introduced in macOS 10.14 — one of which could mark a long-expected change in how the platform handles media files.
We’ve also got a relatively reliable schedule for when you should expect Apple to release this new version. And as far as what we hope to see in the new macOS, we’re hoping that Music gets at least one iTunes feature that power users depend on.
macOS 10.15 Release Date: What We Expect
The Reveal: June 3, 2019. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has long been the show where Apple previews its next major software updates. This year’s keynote is set for June 3, so we expect to hear about the major features of the new macOS — and the update’s code name (likely an area in California, if precedent is continued). We also expect to see iOS 13 for iPads and iPhones at the show.
Betas: Same day (developer) and late June (public). You’ll be able to install the first developer beta of macOS 10.15 on your system, provided that you have a $99 developer account and the courage to place your device on the cutting edge. Apple typically announces this availability at the keynote.
MORE: Best Apple Laptops
Those looking to risk less can wait for a public beta: Apple has been offering those for free, since 2016. And since these are typically available three weeks after the keynote, we’d expect it to arrive around June 24.
Final Release: September 2019. Apple typically announces the macOS release date at the media event where it shows off its new iPhones and other hardware. We’d expect this new version to be available for free download later in September.
macOS 10.15 Rumored Features
iTunes finally gets split up: iTunes — the giant, sluggish app that manages everything from music to podcasts to ring tones — may finally be on its way out, or at least its replacements are coming. According to a report, macOS 10.15 will feature stand-alone apps for Music, Podcasts and Books.
These new apps will likely bear a lot of resemblance to their iOS counterparts — the Mac appsare expected to be ported over using the process commonly known as Marzipan, which brought over Stocks, News, Voice Memos and Home in macOS Mojave.
Et tu, Siri? In a report published in mid-April, we learned a bit more about this upcoming macOS revamp, including that Siri Shortcuts — the app that lets you create voice commands for performing actions — is coming in macOS 10.15. That report notes that the Shortcuts app is also likely coming to the Mac, as a possible optional download.
MORE: Apple Channels Announced with HBO, Showtime and More
Sources claim that only apps coming over to the Mac from iOS, via the Marzipan conversion, will support Siri Shortcuts. This would provide an incentive for developers to make macOS versions of their iOS apps.
All of the screens need Screen Time: In this age of measuring our digital addictions, the Mac’s lack of Apple’s Screen Time tracking has felt like an accident ready to be fixed. So, in very expected news, macOS 10.15 is rumored to bring Screen Time to Apple’s laptops and desktops.
If you’ve used the feature on iOS, you won’t be surprised with its macOS implementation. Screen Time options will live in System Preferences and allow you to see the time you spend in apps. To try and curb Junior’s Fortnite addiction, you can also set limits for your account and devices in your family’s account.
What else? Expect Apple ID management to improve, since a panel for this series of options is coming to System Preferences.
Also, Apple’s Messages app will catch up to its iOS counterpart with actual visual effects, such as confetti, fireworks and lasers that are often spelled out “sent with lasers” on the Mac.
The Features We Want in macOS 10.15
A better Music app: A straight conversion of the iOS music app will not be enough for this die-hard iTunes user. At the very least, I want to shoutout my fellow iTunes Match users; we upload our own files because no streaming music service’s database can be truly complete for collectors such as myself.
Just give me an upload button, Apple, and I’ll consider moving away from iTunes. Until then, I’ll be resolute in using iTunes, for the ability it gives me to keep using iCloud Music Library.