The Mac Apple News, Home, Stocks and Voice Memos apps will all be getting a major revamp to make them more Mac-like, Apple software head Craig Federighi CNET in an interview.
The apps were all ported over to Mac in 2018′ release of macOS Mojave as the results of the forerunner of Apple’s Project Catalyst, the recently announced feature designed to allow iOS developers to adapt their apps to the macOS platform.
The initial versions of the iOS apps on the Mac have mirrored the style of an iOS app, and didn’t take advantage of the Mac’s capabilities. Now that Project Catalyst has officially launched, Apple is revisiting the design of the initial Mac ports.
Federighi says Project Catalyst’s underlying technology has improved over the last year, and the apps will be “automatically” upgraded thanks to Project Catalyst’s more unified, native Mac framework. Additional improvements will be made to improve the Mac experience.
“We’ve looked at the design and features of some of those apps and said we can make this a bit more of a Mac experience through changes that are independent of the use of Catalyst, but are just design team decisions,” Federighi said. “When I read some of the initial reviews of those apps, people were saying, ‘Obviously this technology is causing them to do things that don’t feel Mac-like.’ Honestly, 90% of those were just decisions that designers made … People took that as ‘this feels iOS-y’ and therefore they thought it was a technology thing. Actually, it was a designer preference. So part of [the upgrade] is we said we’ve got to co-evolve with our user base around the aesthetics of the Mac experience. And so we made some adjustments to the apps.”
The new Apple News, Home, Stocks and Voice Memos apps aren’t included in the macOS Catalina beta as yet, but should be available by the time the operating system’s public beta launches, which is expected to happen in July.
“Wait for the public beta,” Federighi told CNET. “We’re still tuning everything up. That’s where it gets really good.”