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Apple releases iOS 13 macOS Catalina public betas (beta.apple.com)
93 points by bouke on June 30, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 77 comments

If you're interested, please be warned that these betas are extremely buggy. I don't mean 1 or 2 bugs experienced per day, I mean a bug in almost every minute of interaction. You will incur severely reduced battery life and many broken apps, particularly on the iOS beta. On the upside, this is an invaluable preview particularly for an app developer or Apple enthusiast.

At the very least you should back up your device first so that you can roll back if necessary - officially there is no other way other than performing a factory reset.

I have been running the betas on 2 laptops and 1 iPhone since they came out.

I had my main laptop crash exactly once - and I think it was due to a buggy kext trying to force its way into the kernel. It hasn't happened again.

There have been a few aesthetic bugs related to the automatic handling of dark/light mode, which can now be enabled without external help (I used to rely on f.lux to get dark mode in the evening). These are pretty benign and don't cause me trouble.

Other than that, macOS Catalina has been smooth sailing, even at compiling software, installing stuff via homebrew, developer tooling - I do mostly Python and Golang stuff but Ruby has been rock solid too.

iOS 13 also brought me a few visual bugs which don't (gah) bug me too much, and I had a few app crashes but nothing horrible either. My bank apps don't work on it yet so I'm currently relying on desktop browsing or other banks, depending on the situation. Not a huge deal either.

Battery life doesn't seem to be suffering on either platform, differently from my experience with previous betas.

If you are “using macOS High Sierra or later on an APFS-formatted startup disk”, you can create additional APFS volumes on the startup disk and install the beta there.

That way, you can switch between your ‘normal’ OS and the beta, and reverting is a matter of deleting the volume you created for the beta (https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT208891)

Of course, that is riskier than installing on a separate disk or even Mac, as the beta PS could easily damage both volumes.

I keep reading and hearing what you're saying, but I have been running iPadOS since beta 1 and iOS since beta 2 without many issues. If these are considered so buggy that we need warnings, then we really have been spoiled with the high quality of production releases.

Bugs I've seen:

- Random graphical artifacts/issues related to dark mode.

- BT sometimes disconnects/reconnects - is this really any different than BT normally? ;) - just hit play again usually works.

- Camera app occasionally crashes.

- Tapping the lock screen with the pencil brings up the last note, but sometimes I still have to FaceId to make the note editable.

Battery life has seemed slightly worse to fine.

It's good to remember this is beta software, but the adjectives used to describe the poor quality of this beta have been a little over the top IME.

I can’t type with a third party keyboard on ios beta. Or let’s say I can type once every 30 times. So at this point I’m must using the native ios keyboard and I hate it. That puts me in the “it’s very very buggy” camp.

I flashed an iPad air with iPad is, and within 2 minutes after the onboarding flow, it completely locked up and would not recover, had to be hard rebooted. That's pretty buggy.

In the case of macOS, you can install it on a separate APFS volume [1] without touching your current installation.

I have been using it to test the new features in Xcode 11/ iOS 13, and it has spared me many headaches.


Just want to be the one person to reply corroborating this opinion as my experience with the iOS 11 and 12 betas meant frequent crashes and absolutely terrible battery life.

From what I’ve heard the first public betas of 11 and 12 were quite stable compared to this.

Which is fine, betas are not supposed to be bug free. But people who had great experiences with the 11 & 12 public betas might be lulled into a false sense of safety.

I skipped iOS 13 beta 1, but I installed beta 2 and I haven’t had any major problems. There was a problem in my banking app, which they fixed, and I get some odd audio things here and there, but otherwise it’s relatively fine.

But that’s just my experience.

Of course everyone's experience will vary, but I've been using macOS Catalina, iOS 13 and watchOS 6 as my main OSes since WWDC Day 1.

No catastrophic bugs or crashes so far. Everything seems performant, but I feel that battery charge lasts less than it should/did.

One serious bug is that App Store apps cannot seem to update, or even be installed on the Mac.

I've just installed the iOS 13 public beta, and I can confirm that certain things are definitely a bit buggy (especially autocorrect, not sure what's up exactly but it's being annoying).

However, based on my experience with the iOS 11 and 12 betas, I'm confident that most of the issues will be fixed pretty quickly.

This isn't my experience at all. I've been running iPadOS since WWDC and have had only a few very minor bugs. There are a couple of apps that won't run (one game that hard locks the whole OS is pretty bad) but in terms of the OS itself, very few bugs.

The most annoying bug is that at the moment one cannot print from the share sheet. For me, just nothing happens. Besides that, some layout/UI issues and FaceID sometimes needing a second try, it’s really stable.

Running iPadOS since it was made publicly available. Very few bugs, nothing like what you describe.

Surprised to read this, as they have been very solid here.

For a while, now, I get these warnings that 32bit programs will soon be unsupported in macOS. Is this the release where they drop support?



11. As expected and previously announced, support for 32-bit processes/i386 architectures has been removed.

Printer drivers are also deprecated in Catalina. A future version of macOS will remove support for them completely.

24. “lpadmin: Printer drivers are deprecated and will stop working in a future version of CUPS”. man lpadmin on a macOS Catalina system for more details. It seems that Apple wants admins to move from lpd/smb/socket (JetDirect) to AirPrint.

I have an old-ish laser printer (purchased in 2005 or so) which works fine, I really don't want to replace it because of an OS upgrade. My dad's got an even older laser printer (purchased probably in the early 1990s) which also works fine, I don't think he's going to want to replace it either.

Hopefully by "printer drivers" they mean "printer manufacturer supplied drivers" and not "all drivers that aren't AirPrint". My printer uses a driver that's built in to MacOS, hopefully it can continue to do so.

If it does get dropped you may want to look into getting a raspberry pi. I have a couple of old JetDirect printers, and a plotter, that continue to work. I added AirPrint functionality so I could send documents from my iPhone. It's been far more useful than that.

This is something I've briefly looked into and forgotten about a number of times over the years (mainly so I can print from my iPad). I even have unused Raspberry Pis that are ready to be put into service for this.

I’ve had to run a Windows vm because a not-so-old but not widely released canon laser printer just won’t work under cups. It’s a pain but hey, still works.

No the printer driver problem is that printer manufacturers insist on using proprietary formats to communicate with their printer.

They invariably and up doing terrible things (why does a printer driver ever need a kext).

What they are saying is “your printer better support generic content formats” - AirPrint already forces that concept

Printers supporting AirPrint: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201311 (it is a loooong list, basically any printer designed since 2010).

I would assume that there would be a lot of professional printers that don’t support AirPrint.

What's the situation with gaming/Steam? Is this going to be another situation like Ubuntu's where thousands of legacy applications just get dropped? How will Wine function on 32-bit?

Steam app itself is 64-bit since last year. The situation is, if you want to be able to continue playing all of your old games, you better keep an installation of macOS Mojave to dual boot into. Publishers also remove 32-bit games from sale on steam, eg Aspyr and Feral Interactive. "The complete list of 32-bit Mac games no longer supported" https://www.macgamerhq.com/news/32-bit-mac-games/

This is awful. Apple's making their OS _objectively_ worse for nothing but bizarre 64-bit purity.

Yes there is a reason - any code that you can get rid of makes maintenance easier, reduces the surface area of security vulnerabilities, and makes it easier to do updates. At what point should Apple support backwards compatibility? PPC code? 68K code? Carbon?

This isn’t just theoretical. The first widespread security vulnerability that I remember in Windows where you could easily run command line programs on a remote server just by changing the character encoding was caused by Microsoft not testing one of the seven or eight methods they had for defining a string.

You can read Raymond Chen’s Microsoft blog to get a first hand account of all the hacks they had to put in Windows to support backwards compatibility.

On another note, if rumors are to be believe that they are moving Macs over to ARM, they have to get rid of 32 bit code. Apple’s ARM chips got rid of the 32 bit ISA.

Apple is killing a lot of old games with this release.

Steam breaks in Catalina because of the 32-bit issue. Online forums say uninstalling/reinstalling solves the problem.

Legacy video codecs are also removed. https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT209029

I about to post a reply complaining about this, but then I looked at the list. Were any of these formats previously supported by modern QuickTime? I know DivX, for example, was unsupported even as far back as Snow Leopard (unless Perian was installed).

Is this referring to QuickTime 7, the separate download?


> These incompatible media files were typically created using formats or codecs that rely on QuickTime 7—an older version of QuickTime that is included in macOS Mojave for compatibility purposes. However, because versions of macOS after macOS Mojave will no longer include the QuickTime 7 framework, you’ll first need to detect and convert incompatible media files to continue to use those files in iMovie.

I'm actually kinda excited by them dropping 32-bit support. There are so many awful applications I've had to use for work, like VPNs or a print application or license server, that just suck battery life, force-open themselves at login with no way to disable, aren't optimized for retina, crash all the time, etc, and they haven't been maintained in years since they still "work". But this will force some maintenance to happen. I realize they could still suck on 64-bit but at least they'll have to be looked at again.

I am basically very happy with the betas, they have features I really rely on in the app I am currently working on; for example a custom UTI deriving from "com.apple.package" is now properly working on iCloud, although Dropbox on iOS doesn't work with it (yet?) but shows a big red minus sign for those files.

What bugs me with Catalina is that my iMac Pro keeps rebooting when left unattended for an unpredictable but short time. I fixed that for now by using "Owly" which keeps it awake ...

Try caffinate, it’s built in.

Typo. It’s ‘caffeinate’

  caffeinate(8) — prevent the system from sleeping on behalf of a utility

I like Amphetamine (as far as, it does what I want it to do silently and I never have to think about it) but it bugs me that it's updated seemingly every week. Which means I need to close it, update it from the app store, then re-open it quite often. I'm not sure what benefit I'm getting from these constant updates.

Oh nice! (it's caffeinate, btw :-))

Like Owly though, safe install from AppStore as well and then just sits in the menubar and lets me forget about it.

I updated to all three betas last week. I have been submitting suggestions and bug reports to Apple and one app company, but by and large I am enjoying all three betas. I especially like the desktop mode in iPad 13 beta Safari.

Based on previous betas, how soon can we expect the final versions? I am pretty excited about some new features

Final release normally coincides with sale of new hardware. So likely September to come with new MacBook Pro and Mac Pro models.

Didn’t they already release new MacBook Pro models in May? Is there another release coming in September?

The last update was a minor bump in specs. The current models are more than 3 years old and there are rumors swirling about a new design.

Since macOS is always released in September/October, people are speculating there will be an event for updated Macs at that time. The iMac Pro is also long out of date, and maybe they have more to talk about with the Mac Pro.

A week or two after the September iPhone event.


Title could use a comma or "and" before macOS.

Is iPadOS v1 or v13?

According to the "software version" field in Settings in the betas, 13.0.

v13, likely just because it is basically iOS whereas WatchOS differs from iOS in big ways.

My guess would be 1.0, since WatchOS is now 6.0.

Has anyone tried Catalina with an Nvidia eGPU?

Nvidia is still not supported. Probably not anytime soon either.

Didn't these come out earlier last week?

Yeah, a few days ago.

running catalina since 3 days. Already loving it !

Apple should reset the Mac OS X clock back to the Snow Leopard 10.6.8 source tree. Toss everything else away.

This is the last version of OS X I enjoyed. Fast and stable.

Congratulations, your OS is now full of security holes.

You fix security bugs.

Not if you’ve tossed the fixes all away.

My iPhone 6 Plus force upgraded itself to iOS 12 several months ago when I had to restore my phone. Unfortunately, my Apple Watch Series 0 or whatever you’ll call it only works with iOS 11. And now I won’t be able to upgrade my 6 Plus. So my two old devices will permanently and unnecessarily be incompatible with one another forever, through no action of my own (there was no way to avoid the iOS 12 “upgrade”).

Both will permanently be in the past, but one major version away from compatibility. It’s pretty frustrating.

Huh, I have Apple Watch Series 0 as a backup watch and I don't have any issues pairing it with my iPhone X, with iOS 12 and even iOS 13 Beta. My Series 0 is running watchOS 4.3.2.

Hey thanks for letting me know this! Digging around a little it looks like iOS 12 beta was only compatible with watchOS 5 beta. But the GM version of iOS works with watchOS 4! Happy days, I’m really happy I was wrong!

Note that installing an iOS beta is about as opt-in as it gets.

I have Apple Watch Series 0 and it works with both XR and 6S both of them upgraded to the latest OS version 12.3.1

Looks like I was wrong, and I’m glad about it. The error was that iOS 12 beta required watchOS 5. But once iOS 12 was officially released it’s compatible with watchOS 4.

How are IOS11 and IOS12 “unnecessarily incompatible”? What major features will no longer work between them?

He’s unable to use his Series 0 watch.

Except that seems unlikely and everyone else is saying it does work.

It should work. Are you using WatchOS 4.3.2?

You can downgrade your phone software... quick google should show you how.

No, you can’t because apple isn’t signing old versions of iOS anymore.

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