Don’t upgrade to Apple’s macOS Catalina, music software makers say

The new OS axes 32-bit compatibility and tightens security.

Apple Preview macOS Catalina
Image: Apple.com

At its 2019 keynote yesterday, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 11 Pro and entry-level iPad alongside a slew of releases and updates. While the world was swept up in the new gear announcements, Apple’s upcoming operating system, macOS Catalina, has been making headlines of its own.

The current warning from most music software makers is to hold off on upgrading to macOS Catalina until further notice. Native Instruments, for example, has recommended that users should not update their macOS while the company works on “making [their] software fully compatible with macOS 10.15”. Audient released a similar statement, stating that users can expect an update when the brand has “more information” and are confident of their products being operable on Catalina.

The new macOS, which replaces Mojave, will end support for 32-bit code, effectively rendering a host of existing software and legacy libraries incompatible with your Mac. That includes third-party ‘bridge’ software to get 32-bit plug-ins, apps and libraries running. In macOS Catalina, they just won’t work at all. For reference, major DAWs and software such as Ableton Live and Native Instruments have 32-bit versions of their products that you might still be running.

Catalina also introduces a raft of new security features that will affect software installers, too. So, when you get a notification to upgrade to macOS Catalina, our best advice is this: Hold fire, at least for now.

Stay tuned for more updates on the matter. In the meantime, you can check out CDM’s informative breakdown on the implications of Catalina’s arrival.

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