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macOS Messages Upgrade Includes Extensions, Stickers, and Message Effects

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Messages on macOS might be getting a much-needed upgrade.

According to a new report from 9To5Mac, Apple is working to completely replace the Messages app on macOS with a Catalyst version, which is based on iOS 14 code. The report states that Apple would bring the Catalyst version of the Messages app to macOS with the next big upgrade that is expected to be unveiled during WWDC 2020 in June.

iMessage has gained several new features since 2011, including extensions, stickers, and message effects. However, none of this is available to Mac users, as macOS still has a basic version of the Messages app that only works to send and receive standard messages.

“However, that might change soon, since we have found evidence of a Catalyst version of the Messages app in an early build of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5Mac,” reads the report. “In other words, this means Apple will bring the same Messages app from iOS and iPadOS to the Mac, which includes all those effects and features we mentioned earlier.”

Catalyst allows iPhone and iPad developers to bring their apps to the Mac without having to re-write them completely. Apple has already used it with some of the apps in macOS Catalina and it looks set to do it again with Messages.

There aren’t definitive clues as to when this Messages revamp would arrive, although history suggests it’ll be unveiled alongside the next version of macOS at WWDC in June, with the finished software reaching users in the fall.

This could also hint at a more substantial rethink of macOS. To date, Catalyst apps in macOS have been non-essential apps like Podcasts, Stocks and Voice Memos. Messages is considerably more important, and hints that Apple may be willing to use Catalyst to redo other macOS apps that could benefit from parity with their mobile equivalents.

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