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Apple News, Voice Memos, Home and Stocks Mac Apps to Get Major Updates to Make Them More Mac-Like

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."

Apple has said that iOS 13, macOS Catalina, and tvOS 13 betas will launch at some point in July, which is just two weeks away.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina


Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago
Somehow they understood they should take the Mac audience and it's feedback serious.
Rating: 26 Votes
13 weeks ago
That these were intentional design decisions makes it worse. Still, it is encouraging that Federighi himself is aware of the deficits and intends to do something about it.
Rating: 23 Votes
13 weeks ago

Photos really needs a major update. But hey, I guess Apple is not in the picture.

But photo editing got a major update, as part of Catalina, as did photo organisation and video now has many of the same editing tools—it’s stupendous! To say Photos needs a major update (implying it didn’t get one) is disingenuous.

I don’t know what happened Apple in the last 18 months, but somewhere along the way they figured out how to put a fire under every platform. Frankly, it’s difficult to believe how may things Apple has been addressed at WWDC. They are like a different company, software wise. Could it be, I wonder, the reorganisation and new-to-them adjoining department layout at their new headquarters?
Rating: 12 Votes
13 weeks ago
the home app could get a bit more mac-like)
Rating: 7 Votes
13 weeks ago
Nice of Federighi to throw the designers under the bus when surely he OK’d all of these apps.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
I sure hope they mean it, and that they actually know what the heck they are doing this time around. Starting with a few Apps is better than not doing it at all. It's about time we get consistency and visibility back into the OS and Apps (both Mac and iOS) rather than the current "Everything grey all the time because little Jony likes not being able to see things. He thinks that means it is art!" UI crap we have today:

"Little Jony at age 17, discovering blank-canvas-art for the first time. While the world didn't know it at the time, this pivotal moment would one-day spell the end of Apple device usability."



(Unfortunately, I bet all they do is make the apps look more "Current MacOS" rather than actually trying to fix things.)
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
Photos really needs a major update. But hey, I guess Apple is not in the picture.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
I really want to believe all this -- if this gets more developer attention onto the Mac OS platform while keeping UI standards high, I'm all for it.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
Craig is a real asset for Apple. He would make a fantastic CEO, but then he wouldn't be able to do the work that he truly enjoys.
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It’s not the same at all. On stage this year Craig made fun iTunes and how bloated it had become. This is different. This is Craig saying “yeah we get these apps suck but that’s because of designers preferences not technical limitations”. Well Craig showed off these apps on stage last year. Why did he approve them if they didn’t rise to the standard of a good Mac app?


You need to realize just how complex these software projects are. They (Apple) clearly have a long-term roadmap, and can't do everything "now" as users hope. They likely planned for evolution, but needed to start somewhere. This is the next stage of evolution.

When designing software, what is obvious today was likely not obvious yesterday. Clarity is achieved through a process.
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago
If the new Home app can detect mouse clicks I'll be happy
Rating: 4 Votes

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