We’re just three days away from WWDC 2020, Apple’s annual worldwide developers conference. And while the conference is fully virtual all five days this year, we expect a ton of news in the realm of software, hardware and services.
macOS Catalina brought many improvements to the Mac in 2019, but we can always hope for more. Come June 22, Apple will likely raise the curtain on macOS 10.16, which should answer many questions. But in the meantime, as we did for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, it’s time for what we hope to see in 10.16.
Mac Catalyst improvements
In 2019, Apple announced Project Catalyst, an initiative that makes it possible for developers to bring their iPad applications to the Mac with little effort. Apple released a handful of Catalyst apps in the form of Music, Podcasts, Stocks and Apple TV. The Catalyst Music app is the reason we no longer have iTunes on the Mac.
The promise of high-quality Catalyst apps that are indistinguishable from their iPad counterparts hasn’t come to fruition, with Twitter’s Mac app being the shining example. The app is slow, buggy and, at times, simply doesn’t work.
Catalyst shows plenty of potential and, hopefully, Apple has figured out a way to streamline the development process that brings an overall improvement to the project.
An iMessage experience that matches the iPhone
What better way to show off Mac Catalyst improvements than to release a Catalyst version of the Messages app? As we see it, the update would bring iMessage effects, sticker packs, reactions, apps and the rest of the iMessage features we all know, love and use on a daily basis.
We desperately look forward to sending or viewing an exciting message that includes fireworks shooting across our iMac screen, but it feels like the only way that’s going to happen is with a Catalyst version of Messages. Make it happen, Apple.
Bring Shortcuts to the Mac
Apple’s Shortcuts app for the iPad and iPhone is a powerful tool that automates routine — and some obscure — processes with just a few taps. For example, we can download a video from a tweet or automatically begin playing our dinner playlist on a nearby Sonos with just a tap.
The Mac has had Automator, but it’s not as user friendly as Shortcuts, nor does it have the same type of dedicated user base.
We would love to bring our iPhone shortcuts to the Mac and run them with a quick keyboard shortcut or a few clicks of the mouse.
Mail has been a staple of macOS (and even OS X) for many years, but chances are you’ve felt limitations. It’s been updated here and there, but they mainly focused on small user interface tweaks and speed ramp-ups behind the scenes.
Similar to the treatments that Messages is rumored to receive this year, we’d like to see a full revamp that would make it easier to use and customize, while also making it feel like a part of macOS.
Expand autofill for messages
Make no mistake about it, we love that the Mac can autofill SMS text codes and other forms of verifications. It saves you a few steps: waiting for the message, copying the code and pasting in it.
It’s still limited to Safari, but what if Apple opened this up system-wide? You could have autofill in the browser of your choosing (Google Chrome for many) and even in third-party apps or settings when you need to verify.
As with any macOS update we expect it to certainly hit the newer laptops and desktops: 2020 MacBook Air, 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, Mac Pro and Mac mini. Some older laptops, of course, may not end up getting the update, but we’ll break it down for you after June 22.
The other big question is if Apple announces the transition to ARM from Intel. Essentially no longer opting for Intel processors in its Mac laptops and desktops. It would take a while to implement and wouldn’t change our recommendation of the current lineup of devices. Either way, we will be here to explain what it means for you. For now, at the minimum, expect a refreshed take on the Mac courtesy of macOS 10.16.
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