macOS Catalina makes big changes to syncing

Apple Podcasts app for macOS Catalina

Apple made some drastic changes to iTunes with the unveiling of macOS Catalina, effectively ditching the legacy software in favor of standalone Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV apps. But considering how many people still sync their device(s) with a cable, Apple had to make sure not to ditch this particular feature altogether. So instead, it’s just been tweaked a bit.

Apple now has three separate apps for the biggest content libraries out there, ranging from music to podcasts to TV shows and films. But syncing is still handled in a similar way as it was, even if iTunes isn’t around to facilitate the exchange anymore.

Now, we’ll give a quick overview of how syncing works in macOS Catalina so you know what to expect later this year when the desktop operating system launches to the public.


Apple Music app for macOS Catalina


You will still be able to sync with a cable connected from your device to your computer, but you will need to do so in each individual app now. So if you want to sync your music, you’ll need to open up the Apple Music app. And for podcasts and TV? Same thing: open Apple Podcasts and Apple TV, respectively.

Apple also points out that syncing with the cloud isn’t changing. That means all of your content will still be available across all of your devices, making it all easily accessible as long as you’re able to get a stable connection to the cloud either via Wi-Fi or a cellular network.

Apple TV app for macOS Catalina

Apple didn’t ditch syncing through Finder altogether, though. While Apple does make for syncing within the individual apps, if you prefer to sync directly through Finder instead you will be able to do that, too:

Syncing with Finder in macOS Catalina

Back up, Update, and Restore

With iTunes getting the boot, Apple had to make sure there was still a way to sync your device to back it up, update it, and/or restore it. Most of these exist on the device directly, but having the connection to the computer may still be the method that some people prefer. Especially when it comes to backing up their important information.

Now, with macOS Catalina, users will find all of these options (back up, update, and restore) in the Finder. Connecting your device won’t immediately pop up an app like it used to with iTunes. Instead, connect the device and then open Finder, where you’ll find the connected hardware right there in the left panel.

macOS Catalina, iTunes killer

It has been rumored off-and-on for quite some time that Apple has been looking to move away from iTunes. Now, in 2019, that time has finally come. (Unless you’re a Windows user.) With iTunes gone, Apple’s changes now consist of opening even more apps to sync, if you prefer to do that with a cable.

What do you think of these changes? Are they all worth it just to see iTunes axed?