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macOS Catalina Beta Code Indicates Apple is Developing Project Catalyst Versions of Messages and Shortcuts

macOS Catalina Beta Code Indicates Apple is Developing Project Catalyst Versions of Messages and Shortcuts

Code in the latest beta of macOS Catalina found by developer Steve Troughton-Smith indicates Apple could be working on Project Catalyst versions of Messages and Shortcuts for the Mac.

Troughton-Smith took to Twitter this week to show the evidence he’s found that Apple is working on Project Catalyst versions of two iOS applications: Messages and Shortcuts.

Smith says he’s found that a “surprising amount of the UIKit Messages app” works on macOS. He shows off iMessage effects on the Mac, which have long been missing from the macOS Messages application.


Just for reference: this isn’t a ‘marzipanified’ version of the Messages app from the iOS Simulator. This is the ‘native’ Catalyst UI coming from the macOS 10.15 system frameworks. Just like Shortcuts, it’s all there, and mostly works if you know how to talk to it.

If you compare this Catalyst version of Messages w/ what’s in iOS 13, you’ll see the UI layout is pretty different. In fact, it’s modeled to look way more like the macOS version. I’m not convinced this work was done purely to present the ‘share in Messages’ sheet in UIKit apps.

Apple previously hasn’t mentioned a Project Catalyst version of the Messages app or anything about bringing a version of Shortcuts to the Mac. At this point, we don’t know if Apple is targeting a fall release for either app, alongside macOS Catalina, or if these apps will make an appearance in an update later down the line. We’ll keep you posted.

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