Just wait to upgrade to macOS Cantalina

Mac Users: Don’t Upgrade to Catalina… Just Yet!

 SMU macOS users can update to Catalina. This news item was published in October 2019, is now outdated, and is preserved for historical reference only.

macOS Catalina is available todayThe newest version of macOS 10.15 Catalina is now available. We highly recommend not updating to this OS as it will be problematic for various 32-Bit software packages causing the software to not run.

An End to 32-bit Apps

After a decade-long transition, Apple has fully made the switch to 64-bit applications. These 64-bit apps will allow the use of more memory and more processing power, but if you are happy with your old software, such as Adobe Photoshop 6 or Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac, it may no longer run.

According to Apple, “Apple began transitioning to 64-bit hardware and software technology for Mac over a decade ago, and all modern Macs now include powerful 64-bit processors that can run advanced 64-bit apps. These apps can access dramatically more memory, enable faster system performance, and take advantage of technologies that define today’s Mac experience, such as Metal graphics acceleration.”

So, starting with macOS Catalina, 32-bit apps are no longer compatible with macOS. If you have a 32-bit app, Apple is recommending users please check with the app developer for a more modern 64-bit version. Of course, some of those upgrades come with a price.

Our users can download the latest version of managed software, including Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Cloud applications, using the Ivanti Portal Manger.

To find out if you are still using 32-bit applications, just run a System Report:

  1. From the Apple Menu, select About this Mac.
  2. Click System Report.
  3. In the sidebar under Software, select Legacy Software.*
  4. It will display all of the 32-bit applications remaining on your system.
macOS Mojave SystemReport 64-bit
No 32-Bit applications found on this Mac.

* High Sierra and older will display the legacy software under Applications in the column 64-Bit (Intel).

macOS High Sierra SystemReport 64-bit
Several 32-Bit applications found on this Mac running macOS High Sierra.

One of the applications used by our community impacted is Cisco AnyConnect. Users that have previously installed the Cisco AnyConnect client to connect to VPN from off-campus will run into trouble. Luckily, Cisco released an update just yesterday, October 9, 2019. According to the website, “Cisco AnyConnect 4.8.00175 is the first version that officially supports operation on macOS Catalina and contains no 32-bit code.”

If you have a 32-Bit application that is invaluable to your work, you’re going to want to hold off on upgrading to ‌macOS Catalina‌.

No iTunes

One of the main improvements(?) with Catalina is, after almost two decades, the bloated iTunes software would be retired and replaced with three all-new, dedicated apps — Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts. One of the downsides is since there is no longer an iTunes, the underlying XML database is also no longer there. If you depend on that iTunes Library and XML database – say for that side hustle as a DJ – to get your job done, you are out of luck. Apps like Rekordbox and Traktor will not run properly with the new OS until an update is released.

Backing Up

Our Install Team has found an issue where CrashPlan is not backing up all contents and attempting to “synchronize” following the macOS update. They have identified a workaround for this, however, it does require users to modify their settings. The team is investigating a solution that can run in the background without user intervention.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the IT Help Desk at 214.768.HELP (4357) or help@smu.edu.

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is an Adobe Creative Educator and the Senior IT Communications Specialist & Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT). For over 25 years, he has helped the SMU community use technology and implement digital and web media through multiple roles with the Digital Commons, SMU STAR Program, and now OIT. Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family in his free time.