Messages for macOS 10.16 could be Catalyst conversion of iOS app

Posted:
in macOS edited August 2020
The macOS Messages app could be replaced by a version using the same code as the iOS variant, according to an exploration of iOS 14's code, with a Catalyst version of the app potentially on the cards for Mac users.




Apple is anticipated to show off its next generation of operating system upgrades at WWDC 2020 on June 22, including a variety of new features for each of its platforms. For 2020, it is believed macOS 10.16 will see a major change for the Messages app that switches it over to a codebase shared with iOS.

Discovered in a deep dive of iOS 14, 9to5Mac claims the Messages app will be a version based on Mac Catalyst in the next macOS generation. Catalyst is Apple's technology that enables developers to convert apps developed for iOS and iPadOS for use in macOS.

So far, Apple has created a variety of Catalyst apps, including Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home, to demonstrate the technology works using its own products. During initial betas of macOS Catalina 10.15 in June 2019, code was found to indicate the Catalyst framework would be used to port across Messages from iOS, a prospect reawakened by the report.

Migrating the Messages app over to Catalyst could give macOS users feature parity with the iPhone and iPad versions of the app, including the ability to apply stickers and message effects.

The changeover may also include features completely new to Messages. In March, it was claimed Apple was testing additions such as an expansion of status update sharing, ellipses displayed when somebody in the group chat is typing, the ability to "unread" a message, and even retracting a message after it has been sent.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    jsh56jsh56 Posts: 12member
    And it will be full of bugs for the first few releases....
    dysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 10
    thttht Posts: 5,548member
    Surprising that the rumors from Gurman hasn't been reiterated this year yet. He has to have a WWDC rumor article published soon.

    If you recall, Gurman was rumormongering that the Marzipan project would have a 2nd phase, where Catalyst will enable iPhone apps to be run on macOS.

    Apple is definitely treading slowly in trying to transition everybody away from AppKit to some SwiftUI toolchain that can run on all their platforms with more fluidity.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,421member
    tht said:
    Surprising that the rumors from Gurman hasn't been reiterated this year yet. He has to have a WWDC rumor article published soon.
    Gurman's no longer any sort of reliable source. Apple flatly refuted (backed up by several other sites and employees) his fake story about Apple pushing people to come back to work before it safe. Bloomberg's track record on Apple gets worse and worse with each passing day.

    As for Catalyst, my expectation is that this year's version will be significantly improved from last year's version, which was fully functional and seems to work fine (all my Catalyst apps work without problems on my Macs), so this appears to be a fast way to bring full feature parity to Messages (which is overdue), and thus I have zero issues with this. I think Catalyst is still in the "can only handle certain classes of functions" stage and is not yet a replacement for the more-complex Mac apps, but time will pass and that will change.
    edited May 2020 flyingdpPetrolDaveStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    That makes zero sense. iOS apps are subsets of macOS applications in Foundation Kit, AppKit, etc. Catalyst makes it easier for developers to port their third party iOS apps to macOS by doing heavy lifting that they don't want to for them.

    There is zero heavy lifting for Apple to do on itself.

    SwiftUI integrates inside AppKit, not the other way around.
    edited May 2020 elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Wish was Activity app for iPad and mac 
    razorpitelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    jsh56 said:
    And it will be full of bugs for the first few releases....
    You say that as if it’s rock solid now.
    Wish was Activity app for iPad and mac 
    But then how would you push iPhone sales?  ;)

    Having “one app” on multiple platforms is a no-brainer.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    jsh56 said:
    And it will be full of bugs for the first few releases....
    You have a choice. Stay right where you are and never update anything again...ever.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,290member
    Wish was Activity app for iPad and mac 
    Imagine jogging with a Mac Pro strapped to your back. You’ll close those rings in no time. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    jsh56 said:
    And it will be full of bugs for the first few releases....
    And will be feature-gutted like all iOS ports back to Mac OS. Just like iWork.

    I assume they will rip out all the non-Apple chat protocols...
  • Reply 10 of 10
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member

    That makes zero sense. iOS apps are subsets of macOS applications in Foundation Kit, AppKit, etc. Catalyst makes it easier for developers to port their third party iOS apps to macOS by doing heavy lifting that they don't want to for them.

    There is zero heavy lifting for Apple to do on itself.

    SwiftUI integrates inside AppKit, not the other way around.
    There’s a LOT about the computer industry (and Apple) that makes zero sense but is there nevertheless.
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