Evidence that Apple plans to revitalize macOS Messages with a Catalyst version

New pieces of evidence that got uncovered this past weekend from an early build of the upcoming iOS 14 software update suggest that Apple might be planning a top to bottom overhaul for Messages on Mac, potentially solving a major feature-parity discrepancy between the iOS and maOS editions of the messaging software.

If true, that would mean that Apple could potentially achieve feature parity between iOS and macOS editions of Messages by porting its full iPad version over to the Mac. Currently, Messages users on macOS are supported with basic messaging features — things such as iMessage apps, fullscreen effects, stickers and more remain unavailable in Messages for Mac.

Filipe Espósito, writing for 9to5Mac:

We have found evidence that Apple is working to completely replace the Messages app on macOS with a Catalyst version, based on iOS 14 code. This means Apple will bring the same Messages app from iOS and iPadOS to the Mac.

Currently, macOS users can only use Messages to send and receive standard texts.

I know what you’re thinking because Apple’s Catalyst technology designed to facilitate easier porting of iOS apps to macOS is still in its infancy. Early Catalyst-based Mac apps, including Voice Memos, Podcasts and Stocks, indicate that a Catalyst-based Messages might be worse in terms of user interface intuitiveness than the current native macOS version.

Ben Lovejoy begs to differ:

There’s yet another efficiency argument to be made here: from Apple’s perspective — it’s more efficient to update one app across two platforms than two separate apps.

9to5Mac expects the Catalyst Messages app to be introduced with the next macOS version.

According to earlier iOS 14 leaks, the next update to Messages for iPhone and iPad would add several new features to the mix, such as expanded status update sharing, group chat typing indicators, retracting sent messages, Slack-like mentions and more.

The next version of macOS, as well as iOS 14 and other major Apple OS updates, will be officially previewed at WWDC on June 22.

iOS 14 has become the most-leaked iOS version in history: a recent report has revealed that an early build of iOS 14 sprung from Apple’s supply chain in Asia as far back as February, and got sold on social media to bloggers, security researchers and just about anyone interested in it.