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The release of macOS Catalina – the official name for macOS 10.15 – is almost here, and we should see it on our Macs by October 2019.

Apple first unveiled macOS Catalina at its WWDC 2019 conference in San Jose, California earlier this year, during which the company highlighted some of the exciting new features that macOS Catalina has to offer, including the nifty capability to use an iPad as a secondary screen.

Apple’s macOS Catalina has been available as early beta software to app developers, allowing them port their iPhone and iPad apps to Mac more easily. Apple has introduced a new feature, christened "Project Catalyst," solely for this purpose, allowing them to seamlessly port their iOS 13 and iPadOS apps to the macOS environment.

Apple's head of software, Craig Federighi, also announced at WWDC that when the macOS 10.15 Catalina is finally available to the public, it will say goodbye to iTunes and give way to new apps. These apps include Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. Each of these macOS Catalina apps will have new and improved features that aren't available in their previous versions currently running on other devices.

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macOS 10.15 Catalina, whose public beta is now on hand to download, will also add into the mix Sidecar, a new built-in tool for using an iPad as a secondary display for your Mac or MacBook device. This feature will work both wired and wirelessly.

Here's every major change coming to Apple's OS for Macs and MacBooks in 2019 when we usher in macOS Catalina.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? macOS 10.15 Catalina, the successor to macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Smart TVs and so-called “over the top” (OTT) platforms are the latest IoT devices found “spying” on users and leaking sensitive data to companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google and Netflix, according to two separate studies conducted by university researchers as well as independent research done by a Washington Post reporter.

Two reports–one by researchers from Northeastern University and Imperial College London and another by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Chicago–analyzed how smart TVs collect and then pass on information about users’ viewing habits and preferences to partner companies.

The former report analyzed information exposure from 81 devices—including ones from Samsung, LG and Roku–located in labs in the United States and United Kingdom, finding that 72 of the devices sent data to a destination that was not the device manufacturer itself.
Companies most frequently contacted by the devices included Google, Akamai and Microsoft, mostly likely because they provide the cloud and networking services for smart-device operation, researchers said.

The Princeton report discovered that information being sent from devices also originates with channels being viewed through the use of trackers, which are predominantly managed by Google and Facebook. Eighty-nine percent of Amazon Fire TV channels and 69 percent of Roku channels contained trackers collecting information about viewing habits and preferences, researchers found.

These trackers also feature information that can uniquely identify the device and where it’s being used, including device serial numbers and IDs; Wi-Fi network names; and Wi-Fi identifiers known as MAC addresses.

A privacy experiment conducted by Washington Post reporter Geoffrey A. Fowler also discovered similar habits from smart TVs, breaking it down even further to identify spying from pixels and screenshots.

Fowler used the open-source tool IoT Inspector from Princeton University to observe how his own Samsung smart TV—as well as other best-selling devices from TCL Roku TV, Vizio and LG—were tracking his viewing activity and data.

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