Upgrading to MacOS 10.15 Catalina?

Upgrading to MacOS 10.15 Catalina?

Beware potential problems before making the move!

Upgrading to MacOs 10.15 Catalina means that there is support for 64-bit applications only, so be prepared to upgrade, retire or replace your existing 32-bit applications.

Be Prudent – Do your Research!

For many users, the regular upgrading of the operating system on your Mac computer can be prudent. However, it can result in making your Mac incompatible with various devices and software applications. Before taking the plunge, it pays to ensure that those devices and applications are officially supported by the relevant manufacturer for the new version of the Mac OS.

Imagine this scenario. You’re running a 2012 or newer iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, etc, and you get a notification to upgrade to the latest version of the Mac operating system, 10.15 Catalina. You might be running the previous version Mojave, or an even older version like El Capitan, Sierra, or High Sierra. You follow the prompts to upgrade to MacOs 10.15 Catalina, get the download, install the update, your computer restarts and you’re all good to go. Right? At first glance, everything seems to work.

Older Applications May Not Be Supported

What about some of those older tried and tested third-party applications you have come to depend on and have proved to be stable and reliable? For instance, suppose your work relies on using audiovisual editing applications, or other kinds of productivity applications that you installed some years back.

Now, after upgrading to MacOS to 10.15 Catalina, you try to launch one or more of these applications and get an error message advising you that the program is either, “damaged”, “corrupt” or “not compatible with this version of the Mac operating system”. Now you’re thinking “No problem, I will just download an update or a new version”, only to discover there is no update or a new version available. What do you do now?

Unfortunately, unlike upgrading to the previous Mojave OS which prevented the upgrade process from occurring if your Mac system was incompatible (generally, a pre-2012 model iMac, MacBook Pro, etc), you won’t get this kind of warning.

It Pays To Be Cautious When Deciding to Upgrade MacOs

Just because you see a notification appear on your computer advising you to upgrade to next release of the Apple Mac operating system (MacOS), don’t assume that it will be all clear sailing. These days, a MacOS will be launched and available from the App Store for around 12 months (usually from late-September/ early-October to the following late-September – with around 5 to 6 version updates in that time) with extended support for an additional 2 years, and iTunes support for another year or so after that.

Possibly Slower Adopters Is Better?

In our experience here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service, it’s never a good idea to be an earlier adopter of any software (never mind an operating system, whether it’s Mac or Windows) unless you’re prepared or unconcerned if or when things may go wrong. The early release of any software often contains numerous “bugs” and compatibility issues that usually get resolved over time. This should be something that is largely resolved whilst product development is in the stages of beta testing by a select number of users and software developers. Unfortunately, more and more companies are opting to release software before it’s ready and tend to employ their mainstream user base as unofficial “beta-testers”. Just ask anyone who regularly plays computer games and is confronted with buggy and unfinished gaming titles.

It Is However Your Choice

Maybe you just don’t care or believe that if the system tells you to upgrade to the next version of the MacOS, that’s what you have to do. That’s your choice and entirely up to you.  As a Mac user, you can use Time Machine as your system backup and restore tool and provide yourself with a reasonably good insurance policy. Just ensure that your Time Machine is working correctly and check to ensure that all your data is there and can be read.

The Risk of Upgrading to MacOs 10.15 Catalina

So what’s the “risk” in upgrading to MacOS 10.15 Catalina and what is the big deal about support for 64-bit applications only? Well, probably very little or none if you spend a little time and plan ahead. Maybe you can use this as an opportunity to upgrade some of these older applications like MS Office for Mac 2011 or find an alternative. The switch to 64-bit support only is significant but if your computer use is very general, then the impact may only be minor. Whatever you do, ensure that your user data is backed up regularly.

Apple and Windows Updates

Apple is not alone in this regard. Any user of Microsoft Windows – especially anyone who remembers making the switch from DOS / Windows 3.1.1 to Windows 95 and the impact that made at the time – will be familiar with this kind of change (not to mention the transition since then from Windows XP to Windows 7 and then from Windows 7 to Windows 10), and the changes to the types of software that are supported and can be run successfully on your computer.

Affordable Computer Repairs and Services

If you are unsure as to your options, your next step forward or you have run into trouble attempting to upgrade your Mac computer, contact us at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service on 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707, we repair and upgrade Apple Macs.


This article was written by Mark, Computer Technician and Owner of Affordable Computer Repairs and Service in Brisbane.

Upgrading to MacOS 10.15 Catalina