macOS Catalina and Macs That Will Run It

Apple announced their new operating system at WWDC on Monday, named Catalina, version 10.15 adds features such as the ability to use an iPad as a second screen, the ability for developers to easily port iPad apps over to the Mac (in the past we have known this as Project Marzipan but is now Project Catalyst) and the ability for motor impaired users to control the entire operating system via Voice Control.

Catalina Image

Catalina also sees iTunes split into separate components, Apple Music, Apple Podcast, Apple Books and Apple TV, a move that many have been requesting for a long time.

Apple have also announced which Macs will be able to run macOS Catalina and there’s not a vast difference between those that are able to currently run Mojave. The Macs that are compatible with Catalina are:

  • MacBook 2015 and later

  • MacBook Air 2012 and later

  • MacBook Pro 2012 and later

  • Mac mini 2012 and later

  • iMac 2012 and later

  • iMac Pro 2017 and later

  • Mac Pro 2013 and later

The full release of Catalina will be in the autumn, usually sometime in September. However, developers can get hold of the beta release now.

Interview on Chit Chat Across the Pond

This week I had the tables turned on me by Allison Sheridon who interviewed me for her podcast Chit Chat Across the Pond.

Firstly we discuss how I access my Mac using accessibility devices and then Allison uses my format on me asking about top Apple hardware, top iPhone, entries into the Mac Quad Digital Archive, etc.

It was a really enjoyable chat, so please have a listen.

Apple Gather Round Event - iPhone Xr

Apple announced the iPhone Xr at the Gather Round Event yesterday (12th September 2018).

iPhone Xr

iPhone Xr

Here’s briefly what you need to know:

Available in White, Black, Blue Yellow, Coral, Product Red

Aluminium Body

Edge to Edge Screen

LCD Display (Liquid Retina) 6.1" (1792 x 828 Pixels)

True Tone Display

Haptic Touch

Face ID via True Depth Camera

True Depth Camera front facing Camera

Single Lens rear Camera, 12MP Wide Angle Camera, Improved True Tone Flash, Portrait Mode Photos, New Smart HDR feature

Same Front True Depth Camera as iPhone Xs

Battery Life - iPhone Xr 90 mins more use that iPhone 8Plus

Capacity 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

Orders from 19th October & Available 26th October

Apple Gather Round Event - iPhone Xs & iPhone Xs Max

Apple announced the iPhone Xs & iPhone Xs Max at the Gather Round Event yesterday (12th September 2018).

iPhone Xs & iPhone Xs Max

iPhone Xs & iPhone Xs Max

Here’s briefly what you need to know:

iPhone Xs

Available in Gold, Silver, Space Grey, Increased Water Resistance, Super Retina Display OLED 5.8" (2436 x 1125 Pixels), 60% Greater Dynamic Range than iPhone X, True Tone Display, Wider Stereo Field, Capacity 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, Order from September 14th & Available September 21st

iPhone Xs Max

Available in Gold, Silver, Space Grey, Increased Water Resistance, Super Retina Display OLED 6.5" (2688 x 1242 Pixels), 60% Greater Dynamic Range than iPhone X, True Tone Display, Wider Stereo Field, Capacity 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, Order from September 14th & Available September 21st

Both Models

Face ID - Improved True Depth Camera and A12 Bionic Chip increases Face ID response time

A12 Bionic Chip - 7 Nanometer Chip, 6 Core CPU, 4 Core GPU, Neural Engine - 8 Core, Apps Launch 30% Faster, Real Time Machine Learning, Core ML 9x Faster

Camera - 12MP Wide-Angle Camera, Improved True Tone Flash, 12 MP Telephoto Camera, Front True Depth Camera 7MP, ISP & Neural Engine now work together to enhance photos, New Smart HDR feature, New Depth Editing feature, Record Stereo Sound on Videos

Battery Life - iPhone Xs 30 mins more use that iPhone X, iPhone Xs Max 90 mins more use that iPhone X

Dual Sim Capability via eSim Technology

Apple Gather Round Event - Apple Watch Series 4

Apple announced the AppleWatch Series 4 at the Gather Round Event yesterday (12th September 2018).

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4

Here’s briefly what you need to know:

Edge to edge screen

Larger screens (40mm & 44mm)

New 8 Complication Watch Face

New Digital Crown includes haptic feedback

50% Louder Speaker

Dual Core 64-bit

Fall Detection - If immobile for 1 minute Apple Watch calls emergency services

Low heart rate alert

Irregular heart rhythm alert

ECG feature

All health & fitness data encrypted on device and in the cloud

18 hour all day battery life

Watch straps fit any generation of Apple Watch

Orders from 14th September & Available from 21st September

Watch OS 5 Available 17th September

macOS 32 bit Application Alert

Since the macOS update to 10.13.4, Apple have been showing alerts when old or un-updated applications are being launched (img.1).



It is to warn that 32-bit applications will not run on any operating system after High Sierra, it was nearly a year ago that application developers were initially told of this, so there has been plenty of time for developers to address this issue. Since January any new applications or application updates submitted to the Mac App Store have been required to be 64-bit.

You can check which applications are 32-bit on your system by going to About This Mac in the Apple Menu and then clicking on System Report. Once this is done in the left column in Software click on Applications. When the results populate there is a 64-bit column in the top panel, I had to increase the size of the window to make this column visible. There will either be a yes or no here.

If there are applications that are not 64-bit they will not run on the next major macOS update (10.14). You may want to contact the developer to see if the application will be updated, find an alternative application or not upgrade to the next major version of macOS, usually released in the autumn.

It’s worth checking and preparing now.

Audible Added To Sonos

It’s been a long time coming but solely going from information on my Sonos system (Two Play:1 Speakers) Audible has finally made a return to Sonos. It has been a service that many users have been crying out for but has been consistently put back by Sonos, audiobooks have been available on Sonos via the service, however, this service has a much smaller user base and a severely reduced catalogue compared to Audible.

After adding the Audible service in the usual way on Sonos (on the Mac Controller click ‘Add music service’ then choose Audible and follow the instructions to add your existing account or create a new one) the option of Audible is available in your services list. My Audible service shows accounts for several countries, even though I only have an account (I don’t know if this is a glitch on launch). Once in your appropriate region all of your audiobook purchases should be available.

I am unable to verify if this service is available to control via Alexa on the Sonos One as I do not have a unit available to test. I would like to test a Sonos One in order to do a comparison with the HomePod but obviously there are financial constraints.

The addition of Audible is extremely welcome to users of the Sonos ecosystem and I know I will be making use of it extensively.

Twitter Cuts Mac App

In an alleged move to make their user experience ‘consistent’ across all platforms Twitter have announced that as of 16th February the Mac app will no longer be available for download and not be supported at all 30 days hence (see img.1 for tweet).



Will this move happen across all platforms? In my view, of course it won’t, I feel it is entirely a move to force Mac users to transfer to Twitter’s web portal and save on investment in an operating system and community that has been vocal over the lack of action by the company regarding abuse towards many sections of the Twitter population. If Twitter were to have announced the removal of the Windows app at the same time the explanation may have been more credible.

I was always a fan of Twitter over Facebook for personal use and any projects I was promoting but with the levels of abuse rising, the unwillingness to open their newer features to third party apps (which despite this restriction are immensely better than the native app or the web portal) and now support for the Mac being eroded, it may be time to look for an alternative (maybe The issue that arrises here is that one of the alternative services must become embedded in the general public’s consciousness before a wide audience can be reached, a thing Twitter has already accomplished and which, therefore, adds more complexity to completely discarding it.

The other worry with this move is how much further into the future will Twitter allow third party apps to have access, however, are there many non tech geeks realise there are apps such as Twitterrific or Tweetbot out there or are willing to pay for a Twitter client.

At the moment I would recommend to those who use a Mac and dislike the web portal to spend a little cash on either Twitterrific or Tweetbot and look at other social networking options, hopefully one of these will become a credible alternative.

iOS 11.2.2 Released - Spectre Patch

Apple released an iOS patch (11.2.2) last week.

This patch reduces the risk associated with the Spectre chip vulnerability. It will make your iOS device more secure but will not completely eradicate the issue (this can probably never be completely dealt with via a software fix as the vulnerability is within the chip itself)

Apple has said there maybe a small impact on the performance of the iPhone by installing the 11.2.2 update but tests have shown it may be as little as 2.5 %, in my view, a hit worth taking for increased security.

Macworld has an article about the performance hit which can be viewed here.

I would advise installing this update as soon as possible, better to be safe than sorry.