Apple has officially announced its Project Catalyst at its WWDC in early June. The program is a developer toolset created to make the transition of iOS to Mac easier. More precisely, Catalyst helps build a bridge and in a few cases translate UIKit-based iOS code to Mac’s AppKit. Apple is working on its four first-party apps, News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home, to formally sustain conversion, and it is almost complete, but some new evidence in the first macOS Catalina betas implies that the company might come with some additional surprises.
The code found in the most recent macOS 10.15 Catalina beta suggest that Apple is putting its Project Catalyst framework to develop new variants of Messages and Shortcuts as well. The code was discovered by developer Steven Troughton-Smith. He said in a tweet that “there is a whole lot of evidence in Catalina that they’re working on a full, Catalyst version of Messages, much like Shortcuts for Mac. So, just like Shortcuts, I decided to cut to the chase and do it myself by calling the system frameworks. Voilá.”
macOS Catalina to sport interesting features
Troughton-Smith also says that an important part of the UIKit Messages app functions on macOS, including iMessage effects. The Catalyst version of Messages has a user interface design more similar to the same app’s actual duplication on Mac. This could mean that Apple is planning a full port of the messaging service.
Troughton-Smith said in a blog post earlier this month that Catalyst in macOS Catalina features frameworks required to support Siri Shortcuts, and iOS app and service that allows users to create integrated app shortcuts supported by Siri Intelligence. The support is so ample that the majority of all Shortcuts can be basing in macOS, with also an essential part of its user interface. Whether an upgraded variant of Messages an a premiere to Shortcuts will appear with macOS Catalina later this year is still unclear, but the unveiled code strongly implies that Apple is moving towards that aim.
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