Apple to overhaul macOS Messages app in next release

According to leaked iOS 14 and macOS code found by 9to5Mac, Apple is planning to change the way it runs the Messages app on the Mac, turning to its iOS counterpart instead.

Their analysis suggests that Apple will port the iOS version of the Messages app to the Mac using Project Catalyst, reducing development time and allowing Apple to introduce features to the Mac version of the service, such as Memoji and message effects for the first time.

Apple has made significant changes to Messages since 2011, most recently adding fun effects like stickers, extensions, and message effects, alongside Memoji.

Most of these features are unavailable on the macOS version of the app, making it less attractive to users.

With WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger gobbling up market share with their macOS apps, Apple is apparently ready to invest some more time in improving its messaging experience.

Apple introduced Catalyst technology in 2018, allowing iOS app developers to transfer their apps from iOS to macOS with a click of a button.

Apple has already ported over some of its existing iOS apps to the Mac, including Voice Memos and Podcasts, but this would be the first time an existing and established macOS app was replaced by its iOS counterpart.

Although Catalyst has been criticized by some for its limited features and functionality, it would make sense for Apple to give Messages the Catalyst treatment, as it’s lightweight and offers the same functionality on iOS as it does on macOS.

By focusing on one Messages app across the Mac and iOS, Apple would also cut development time and add new features.

We’ll no doubt hear more about this at WWDC20, coming to your living rooms virtually in June. Are you looking forward to new macOS features? Let us know on social media and stay tuned for the latest news on iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and more, right here.

About the Author

Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.