macOS Catalina and 64-bit

Apple on Monday released macOS Catalina, the newest operating systems for the company’s Macs. While there is a wealth of new features in the latest version, Catalina is also the first macOS to require 64-bit apps.

For those that have been following along, 64-bit is not that new. Apple has been talking to developers about the 64-bit transition for several years. Chances are your apps have already been updated to take advantage of the architecture.

However, if your apps haven’t been updated, they won’t run on the new operating system. You should be aware of that before you upgrade.

In typical Apple fashion, the company has made it easy to find out if you’ll have a problem with your apps. In your current macOS, you can go to About this Mac > System Report > Applications and get a list of all applications and whether they are 64-bit or not.

If you decide not to do that and try to install macOS Catalina, the installer will post a warning that some of your apps are not compatible with the new operating system. It will also give you a list of these apps. You can decide to stop the install process and contact the developers about updates or continue, knowing those apps won’t work.

I’ve been running macOS Catalina since the beta started, and all of my apps are 64-bit, which I think is standard for most users. However, there could be niche apps that haven’t been updated, so make sure you check.

Apple told me that updates to its Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro would also be released today.

One other change that users will see in Catalina is a notice when an application or web site tries to access files or folders. For me, this happened when I was downloading files from the Internet.

The alert would let me know that this web site wanted access to my Downloads folder. I had the option to allow or deny. When I allowed the download, Catalina also allowed all future downloads from that web site.

The way it was done is right. There is a notification giving you a choice, but it didn’t pop-up every time you tried to download something from the same site. Secure, but not bothersome.

Of course, macOS Catalina has many other features including Sidecar, which allows you to use your iPad as a second Mac display; more powerful Notes and Reminders; Catalyst, which will enable developers to bring iPad apps to the Mac; Apple Arcade; Apple TV; and more.