The interface of iTunes had gotten very complicated and confusing when trying to switch between music, movies and other forms of media.
Text To Speech Mac App
The new, separate apps are simple and sparse, but generally consistent and usable. If you were worried that CDs you burned or other digital media files you imported into iTunes would get lost or mangled in the conversion to Catalina, the good news is that all of that stuff seems to be handled pretty well. It's just in new places.
Still, expect a little bit weirdness here and there, and some bugs that still need to be ironed out. For example, I added a new spoken word track to Books, where I wanted to treat it like an audiobook and sync to iPhone where I could listen to it from the iOS Books app, like other audiobooks. But when I went to edit the metadata author, name of the tracks, etc. This is a rare scenario, but it shows there are still some frayed edges with the new apps that are replacing iTunes. Another one of the biggest fear factors for Mac users with the arrival of Catalina has been the new framework for developers to bring iPad apps to the Mac.
The fear was that a bunch of low-quality iPad apps that were not optimized for the Mac would flood the Mac App Store, and native apps optimized for the Mac would get lost in the deluge. This perception wasn't helped by the fact that those first four iOS apps released by Apple for the Mac last year weren't very good and were not well received by Mac users.
However, a year has made a big difference though those original four apps still need fixing. The biggest testament to how far Catalyst has come is the Podcasts app. It's a Catalyst port of the iPad app, but has been modified with native Mac menus and look-and-feel. These all look like they are attempting to be good Mac citizens, even if they still retain a bit of iPad-ness in their look-and-feel. While apps such as Duet Display have allowed users to turn their iPads into extra external monitors for Mac or Windows machines for years, Apple decided to add this as a built-in feature of the operating system in Catalina.
Of course, it only works between Apple devices in this case. It's very easy to connect using the Displays setting on your Mac running Catalina Pro tip: go into Display in Settings on your Mac and check the box to show displays in the menu bar, if you want easy access to this feature. The Sidecar feature works well, is very responsive and generally acts as expected.
How to change your Dictation language
I have to admit that I didn't find it all that useful, though, especially when connected to a desktop with a full-sized monitor. Others might find it more useful to have a single app open on a small side screen like this -- perhaps something like Slack or a real-time analytics dashboard. I suspect dual screen desktop lovers who want to use the iPad as a second display for their MacBook when traveling could also be fans of this new feature.
Even though it will only be used by a small subset of users, the most impressive part of Sidecar is how it works when you use an Apple Pencil with an iPad that's connected via Sidecar.
macOS: How to Start Using Mac Dictation
It essentially turns the iPad into a drawing tablet where users can write and draw with the Apple Pencil on the iPad in Mac apps that already support stylus input, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and Maya from Autodesk. With the new iPadOS now decreasing Apple Pencil latency to 9ms down from 20ms , the combination of the powers of the iPad and the Mac in this new feature will likely be one of the most welcome new additions in Catalina for creatives. The Mac has been a gaming platform for a long time.
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But in recent years, Windows PCs have been the computer platform of choice for most gamers -- for a lot of different reasons, but mostly because that was where the best gaming hardware and software could be found. That's not likely to change anytime soon. Arcade opens up its whole library of games to Mac users. Combined with the TV app, which has a very similar look-and-feel to the iPad and Apple TV versions, this makes the Mac more capable as an entertainment device -- and travelers are likely to welcome that. It might even allow some of them to carry only a Mac and no tablet when they go on the road.
Security and privacy changes -- Apple has done a lot of under-the-hood work to make Catalina more difficult for attackers to compromise , even if they do trick users into opening bad links. It also introduced Sign In with Apple to protect your email address and your identity from apps and services you sign up for. Voice Control -- To make the Mac a better platform for users with visual, motor or other limitations, this greatly expanded feature allows a Mac to be fully controlled by voice commands.
It's been attempted by others in the past, but Apple has taken a comprehensive approach and fully baked it into the operating system. It's a step in the right direction, but it's still not a Dropbox, Box or Google Drive replacement.
Talking Terminal: Have Your Mac Say Hello
Screen Time -- This popular new feature on iPhone and iPad comes to the Mac in Catalina, and lets you tie it all together across platforms. Parents of younger Mac users will thank Apple for this one. Notes and Reminders -- Both of these daily usage apps get big overhauls in Catalina as well as in iOS However, keep an eye out for bugs in syncing with devices using older versions of these apps on MacOS or iOS.
Find My -- The mashup that now lets you locate friends and family as well as all your Apple devices from one app is now accessible from your laptop or desktop. This is more handy than expected. QuickTime -- The old school QuickTime app gets a nice little upgrade with Picture-in-Picture capabilities, and adds pro-level features such as a new Movie Inspector that lets you see all the technical details of video files.
You can also specify which voice your Mac should use when it speaks the say command by using the -v attribute. An example:. Your Mac has quite a few voices it can use for speech; currently, there are over voices available in various languages and styles. If you would like to see a full list of the voices, here's how to do it:.
You will notice some voices have a checkmark next to them, while others have the checkbox blank. Those with a checkmark are displayed in the System Voice drop down menu.
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If you would like to try out the various voices, you can use the System Voice drop down menu to select a voice, and then click the Play button to hear the voice speak a sentence or two. An alternate method to view all the available voices is to enter the following command in Terminal:. When specifying a voice in Terminal, use all lower case. If the name has a space in it, such as Bad News, place it in quotes, like this.
Enough with the hellos; on to more fun. The Say command can speak a long sentence; in fact, it can say just about anything as long as it's on a single line. The Say command understands some punctuation, including the period and the comma, both of which inject a slight pause into speaking the text. Now for the fun part. With the right combination of voice and words, you can get the Say command to sing. For the most part, the ability of these voices to sing isn't in the text string you use but is actually built into the character of the voice.
Here are some examples:.
The Cellos voice intonation is the Hall of the Mountain King. Give the following a try in Terminal:.
You can actually use any text; the Cellos voice will try to render it in the form of the Hall of the Mountain King.
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