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By Dan Moren for Macworld
Ever since the introduction of the iPod in 2001, Apple has had to navigate the intricacies of a multi-device ecosystem. In the earliest of days, that meant dealing with the iPod as an ancillary media device, reliant upon a Mac (or later a PC) for everything from activation to syncing media.
Over the last twelve years, the Apple ecosystem has gotten only more complex, with the addition of iPhones and iPads, the Apple TV, the Apple Watch, AirPods, the HomePod, and more. And while the Mac may be the elder statesperson of this assemblage, it’s found its responsibilities decentralized. No longer does the iPhone or iPad require a Mac just to function; newer devices like the Apple Watch and HomePod never have.
But the Mac still remains a member of the ecosystem in good standing, and Catalina continues to adapt to this new reality. Instead of being dependent on the Mac to survive, those other devices have grown up and are now ready to bring their own particular skills to bear on supporting their predecessor.