The Apple News, Voice Memos, Home and Stocks apps on the Mac will be getting major updates and new designs to make them more Mac-like, Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi told CNET in an interview.
News, Voice Memos, Home, and Stocks were all apps that were ported over to the Mac in 2018’s macOS Mojave as part of the precursor to Project Catalyst, Apple’s newly announced feature designed to let iOS developers easily adapt their apps for the Mac.
Since their Mac launch, the four apps have mirrored the style of an iOS app, offering little more in terms of design and functionality. Now that Project Catalyst has launched, though, Apple plans to revisit these early Mac app ports.
Federighi says that because the underlying technology has improved over the course of the last year, the apps will be “automatically” upgraded thanks to Project Catalyst’s more unified, native Mac framework. Apple also plans to make additional improvements on top of that to create a 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.”
Federighi also explained that the iOS-like feel to the apps in macOS Mojave was more of a design decision than a result of porting them over to the Mac, but given complaints, Apple made an effort to “co-evolve” with the Mac user base to design a more Mac-like experience in macOS Catalina.
The new Apple News, Voice Memos, Home, and Stocks apps aren’t in the macOS Catalina beta at the current time, but Federighi said we can expect to see them when the public beta launches. “Wait for the public beta,” Federighi told CNET. “We’re still tuning everything up. That’s where it gets really good.”